I was listening to a Gary Vee video the other day, actually it was a short clip on Instagram. I heard the clip before, but this time it struck a different cord. In the video he talked about downsizing: how people should not be ashamed to move into a smaller place, take an apartment instead of a house, maybe move back in with their parents to save money. Essentially, fuck what other people think about your status, do what you need to do to achieve your version of success.
The first time I heard this message I was paying for an entire apartment, utilities, internet, everything you need to live. However, living a small business, self-employed lifestyle (with a frequently new side hustle) meant my cash-flow was not certain, I had little savings, and was still trying to get out of a lot of debt. I needed to downsize, but my perception of what I could do to improve my situation was somewhat limited by what a responsible adult is “supposed” to do. After all, a man in his mid-to-late twenties should be looking to buy a house, climb the corporate, and settle down. But I take Gary Vee’s advice instead: finished my apartment lease, moved out, and rented a room with a relative.
I have been in this living arrangement for about eight months, and am glad I did it. The lifestyle shift has enabled me to cut my monthly living expenses in half, I paid off huge portions of business debt, my car loan, and can still have a bit of a social life.
Moving from leasing an apartment to renting a room has also opened my perspective to a more mobile lifestyle. Since most of my income derives from being an online English teacher, I can be a digital nomad. But I would not be able to achieve digital nomad status if I was obsessed with following the conventional wisdom of buying a house or leasing a nice apartment in uptown Houston.
Now I am planning on moving to Taiwan for several months. After Taiwan I could go anywhere I choose, as long as their is an Airbnb and a decent internet connection. My eyes have opened to the potential of living a life of maximal freedom, and I don’t plan on closing them anytime soon.