If I had to condense all my financial beliefs into one main idea, I would say my plan is to provide for my needs with only passive recurring income.
I look around at my friends and acquaintances and realize many of them have little to show for their years of labor. I don't have to look far: my own mother is the perfect example (in fact, I'm probably the way I am because I'm rebelling against the way she raised me). Let me explain: Mom thinks money is flammable, and the only way to prevent it from burning a hole in your pocket is to spend it right away. Over the years her refusal to build a safety net has led to foreclosure; she's been evicted from the apartment she moved into, she's lost every job she's ever had, and she owns nothing more than a few pieces of furniture, clothes and a beat up car. Whenever I've tried to help her she's just blown the money on something she doesn't need.
I guess I should mention 1) that I love my mom, and 2) she doesn't know about my blog. And in case you haven't figured it out, she frustrates the hell out of me.
I really don't consider the way I live as sacrificing anything, but people around me seem to think so. I don't subscribe to cable TV because I think TV makes you lazy, plus there's just not much on TV worth watching. The financial explanation is even more compelling: if I assume cable TV would cost me $100 per month and I could earn 8% on that money if it were invested, I would have thrown away about $87,000 over 25 years. I can think of many things I could do with $87,000 that would give me greater pleasure than being able to watch Hoarders the day it airs instead of later when I can watch it for free.
On the income side, I'm working quite a few hours doing mystery shops that don't pay too much. Why do I put up with low pay? Because I'm not where I want to be.
Where do I want to be? I said it already: I want to provide for my needs with passive recurring income. The quicker I get there, the better. So I continue to toil in the name of debt reduction, knowing that more than likely, at some point in the next 5 years, I will reach financial independence.
Oh, I almost forgot. One of the few things Mom does have is cable TV. She would never give that up.