Skip to main content

Leaving the Rat Race for a Simple Life

Money Can't Buy Happiness

In 2012, I was in the process of a life change. Not because of the recession at the time, because truly, I hardly felt the effects of the economic downturn. Not because of some mid-life crisis, but because mid-life is in my rearview mirror, never to be seen again. No, this change came about after years of introspection and asking the all-important question: why?

A little background to set the stage in explaining this change. I lived most of my life believing in the American Dream: bigger house, better paying job, possessions; if ten was good, then twenty must be better. Owned twelve homes, made over $100,000, had the toys, nice cars, and all the trappings of life.

I Was Trapped

Interesting phrase, trappings of life! Because in order to fulfill the American Dream, I was required to work ridiculous hours, neglect my mental, emotional, and physical health, and focus solely on the dream. I was, quite frankly, trapped, sinking in the quicksand of my own making. And as unhappiness set in, my best thinking told me that I must not be working enough, or not hard enough, or I don't yet own enough, so I picked up the pace, and the unhappiness continued.

For me, this was a battle I simply couldn't win. Statistics tell us that unless I was in the top 2% of money earners in America, I was never going to reach a financial level of ultimate security. Most Americans are one paycheck away from financial difficulties, and that certainly described me, as with higher wages also came increased spending and debt.

Everything Came Crashing Down

Finally, it all came crashing down on me in 1989: a divorce, a back operation, loss of a job, and a mountain of debt. The American Dream for this boy had shattered, never to be realized or sought after again. Out of necessity at first, but eventually out of a realization that it was right for me, I started making changes.

I came to realize that no matter how many toys I had, they never could bring me true happiness. No matter how many homes, no matter how much money, no matter how much recognition for a job well done, I was stuck in that quicksand and would never climb out of it.

Today, I Do More With Less

Fast-forward to today. The changes have come slowly, but they have come. I have learned to do with less. I have learned to buy secondhand. I have learned to shop wisely and live within a budget. I have paid off my debt and now buy only what I can afford without incurring debt. I own nothing but the clothes I wear and my truck. For probably the first time in my life, I can save money monthly, and it is easy to do so. And here's a fact that may be hard for some of you to follow along with: I have virtually no retirement stash and really don't need one.

I am happy today with barely any financial holdings. I work at a job I love, I have great friends and a son I adore, and I have free time to help others and spend time with those I love. Life is just good. And the changes that started from necessity back in 1989 continue today as I learn new ways to simplify my life, to gain more with less. It has been a wonderful transformation, one I could never imagine thirty years ago, and I am so happy that I lived long enough to learn an important lesson: Money truly can't buy happiness.

Follow Up: One Year Later

It has been a year since I wrote this article. In that time, life has only improved. We have continued the simplification process, and our family is happy and healthy. We need nothing, and we want for nothing. We have it all.

© 2012 Bill Holland


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 04, 2016:

Thank you Peter. Best wishes to you as well.

Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on September 04, 2016:

Dear billybuc

What a great idea, however even now I am retired I can't stop working at one thing or another.

I wish you well and kind regards Peter

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 04, 2016:

Ben, when I talk about frugal living, I'm talking about extremes. I live an extreme lifestyle and I'm comfortable with it. It certainly is not for everyone because few people can live the spartan lifestyle I live.

ben on September 03, 2016:

I fully agree with most everything you said, except the part about not needing retirement funds. I'm within 6 months of being debt free when I pay off the mortgage on my humble little home. Even with the expenses of home ownership, I find it's still cheaper (low mortgage now, none next year) than any place I could rent in a safe enough neighborhood. Short of having paying roommates, I do live cheaper than most. Still, I don't see social security covering my expenses in retirement. I do need retirement savings. How have you arrived at not needing retirement savings?



Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 19, 2015:

Letstalkabouteduc....good for you!!!!! I think that is a wonderful success story, and I'm so happy for you, your son and wonderful husband. I wish I could force about 100 million Americans to read your great comment. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 19, 2015:

I could do that, Iralyn....thanks.

McKenna Meyers on July 19, 2015:

Very thought-provoking, Bill. So many of us are owned by our possessions (think of the TV show, Hoarders). A beautiful part of town here in Bend, OR was destroyed by the recent construction of storage lockers so people can hold on to more stuff they don't need. My mom who is 77 has friends with storage lockers! They simply can't say goodbye to the dining room set that sat in their family home decades ago. They spend money each month for the locker -- money they could use to take their grandkids to Disneyland, go on a cruise with friends, make some good memories. My desire for simplicity and peace happened when I had a son with autism. It changed everything. I saw that the people who surrounded me didn't give a shit except for my wonderful husband. I saw that I didn't want to keep teaching other people's children when my own needed me so much. I realized that the big house and all the trappings that were supposed to make me happy didn't. All I wanted in the entire world was a son who was okay -- whatever okay means when you have autism. Well, my wish came true and my son is doing great and I attribute a lot of his success to our moving away from the rat race, to down-sizing, and eliminating a lot of extraneous folks from our lives. Voted up.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 01, 2014:

Krishna, what a wonderful comment, and how wise you are. I was once a teacher, and I was one of the rare teachers who did not believe that all students should immediately go to college after high school. Very few high school seniors are ready to make life decisions as college demands they do. Taking time off from academics and learning about life is a wise path for many, and you are living proof of that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Krishna on November 01, 2014:

I must say that this article was a great read and really propped up my desire to completely go the other way in life and not follow the rat race, or choose a career for money and security over happiness, experiences, and enjoyment of life, including the time to truly enjoy it.

Most of my friends are done and finished with University or just finishing up their exceptionally stressful Ph.d's, paying off enormous debt, stressed due to the workload of either their studies or their new found jobs, families, cars, lifestyles, etc. Fortunately I have not found my way in University yet (though now I am on that path) and have spent the last 10 years (i'm 34 now) working non career jobs, trying to find myself. That time has given me the opportunity to see watch the rat race from the outside without being stuck in it, as well as allowing me to see in my friends lives how much stress from jobs can affect peoples lives, families, and personal happiness; and for what? Money? Accolades? So called financial security?

Now that I feel I am ready to attend University I am going there to study something that actually speaks to me as a person so I can create a life for myself that is slow, meaningful, and exceptionally simplified.

I truly believe that free time and inner fulfillment trumps prestige, car payments, owning your own home, and having to work a job you moderately like to either get ahead or keep the boat a float.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 06, 2014:

Zoran, thanks for the clarification and thoughts. Yessir, that's what I hope for...changing one life, or helping one person...and from there it will spread.

Zoran (AUS) on September 06, 2014:

Mid 80's 7 day trading, i apologise for the error as i indicated mid 90's, however it did take a bit of time before people got in to the full swing of it. The only type of restraint will need to come from the individual, unfortunatley, for many, the pressures of having are too high, and it is difficult to remove your self from that cycle. I watched the movie Company Man, i enjoyed it, wow. Anyway, again, great site and keep up the great work, i hope more people list their experiences, suggestions here, and if one person can be helped to a normal life, it's a great outcome. Thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 05, 2014:

Zoran, that's interesting that it wasn't until the mid 90's that shops closed at noon on Saturday. Here we haven't seen that sort of retail self-restraint since the early 60's. I'm glad you stopped by again. I love your comments. Thank you.

Zoran (AUS) on September 05, 2014:

I do recall before the mid 90's when shops would close at 12pm on a Saturday, and Sunday no trade, family day. Parks were full, people were allowed to recharge the batteries, spend time with family, and funny enough back than, people what they had used it until it broke, than will make the purchase. Today, trade is 7 days a week, shopping centres are full, parks are empty, and every one has a debt car, debt house, debt plasama and so on, which is very sad indeed. I thought i would share this from the land down under, Australia Sydney. Again, great site and keep up the great work, certainly puts things into perspective.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 05, 2014:

justcrafty, it does seem to lack a bit of goodwill, don't you think? :)

justcrafty on September 05, 2014:

My thank you gift from my corporate american job of 19 yrs was you are now terminated.

Wat a nice thank you gift.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 05, 2014:

Zoran, welcome to our site, and thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. You said it all there my friend. Needs vs wants is the rule I live by, and it's worked for me for quite some time.

Zoran on September 05, 2014:

I am from Australia, and i came across this site, a wonderulf site, reading posts by people with real time stories. I have always said, we wont take anything to the grave, life is too short, live within your means, enjoy what you have, do not worry about what you don't have, you can only live in one home at a time, drive 1 car at a time. If people do not respect you for who you are, than do not associate with them. Enjoy life, don't be a slave to the corporates, banks, no one will ever thank you. Am so glad i came across this site, well done.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 19, 2014:

Awww, Brie, thank you so much. That was very sweet of you and I really do appreciate it. I didn't even know we could vote for Hubbies yet.

Brie Hoffman from Manhattan on August 18, 2014:

I voted for this hub for a hubbie award, good luck!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 28, 2014:

Dee, congratulations on finding sanity and peace. Wow, what a story and Wow, what a solution...the only logical solution. I have no doubt you will be extremely happy with your decision. Scary at first no doubt, but it was the only decision you could make if serenity was your goal. Good luck with your new life and congratulations on your engagement.

DeeCanuc on March 28, 2014:

Good Morning from Canada. I just walked from my downtown Toronto corporate job yesterday and I just ran across your hub Billy. I came to the city from a small town in Ontario 30 years ago at 18 years old to climb the ladder. 30 years later and am no happier and deep in debt. My house is going on the market and I am going to live with my fiancé in his country home. He got out of the rat race a few years ago and it took me until now to see his point. After I took a high paying job downtown 6 months ago thinking the money would make our lives better. It was a nightmare! So I packed up my office and walked away. I have never felt so relieved and already happy than I have in 30 years! Thank you Billy:) Since I already come from the country this will not be a big adjustment, just peace. I am just tidying up my house to go up for sale, cutting off the phone and cable and packing up so my fiancé and I can begin this new life. By the way, my fiancé had a heart attack 3 years ago and has recovered well and now has a second chance at life. Lesson learned. I will definitely be following your hub Billy!

Dee from Canada

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 04, 2014:

Moorabite Queen, thank you so much. I appreciate you stopping by my site to read this. I think it is an important message.

Sarah Israel on January 04, 2014:

Thanks for this inspiring Hub. Add Your Comment...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Health Care....gee, I hope not. LOL

Health Care on November 06, 2013:

Am I going to be paying for your health care?

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 19, 2013:

Laura, no doubt about it, money can buy you freedom. I don't agree that "everyone" who simplified was making over six figures. I have simplified and I'm making less than $20,000 per year. I have no concerns about money because it has never been important to me. Making money, for me, was always a game...the more you make the better you are at the game. Conversely, when I lost it, all it was to me was losing a game that I could play again if I chose....which I have not chosen for over six years now.

Thanks for the visit and comment.

Laura on May 18, 2013:

Why is it that everyone who simplified was always making over 6 figures. With that kind of money you can save and get out. What advise for those of us working just a many hours in horrible work situations sometimes over 50-55 hours a week and only making between 40 or 60K. It's a different ball game I think. I see when you make 100K there is "fluff" to lose, and all this talk about "stuff" but at lower salaries your American dream is paying health insurance, college, repairs on your house and car that's not "fluff". I'm just saying the people with big money and who leave the rat race get a nice pat on the back and allocades for walking away from that money though it looks like one poster above did walk away from a lower salary. If I was making 100+ I'd be living off 30-40, saving 60/70 a year and make my nestegg quicker to get OUT. Money buys you FREEDOM if you manage it wisely.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 22, 2013:

Chinared, I love stories like yours. Enjoy that simple life my friend. Thank you!

Just call me, Rick from Asia, and all over on March 22, 2013:

Nice hub! I did the exact same thing. Made tons of money, bought all the toys and made all the right investments. It soon took it's toll with with high blood pressure. Doctor said, "You can die any moment, you better slow down." After some serious thought, I refused to slow down. Instead, I quit! Sold everything, paid off debts, and lived a simpler low strees job in a low stress country. The only thing I regret, is not doing it when I was much younger. Good job. Thumbs up and interesting!!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 25, 2012:

Justgrace....peace indeed! :)

Nancy McGill from United States on September 25, 2012:

Peace! :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 24, 2012:

justgrace, so do I, and I'm not returning to the old ways. I have found happiness and peace and that's what it's all about, right?

Thank you for the visit!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 24, 2012:

Tranquillite, so nice to have you visit; thank you for the kind words, and if they have helped you in any way, then I am happy. I have never been happier in my life than the last six years. :)

May peace and happiness be yours, today and always.


tranquillite from New York, NY on September 24, 2012:

I really appreciate what you wrote and believe in it whole heartedly. I live a pretty interesting life and in the last 6 months I have discovered the importance of making sure how I spend my time is worth my while and something I love. So no more of these things just because I need the money! I'm still in transition right now but your hub has inspired me to continue down this route and not to doubt myself. :) Thank you for the inspiration!

Nancy McGill from United States on September 24, 2012:

I think it would be great if more people made a decision like yours, dispelling the myth of materialism. I've done the same - left the rat race (except I wasn't making that much) and adapted to simplicity. I absolutely love it!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 12, 2012:

Chappells, bravo to you my friend! You are making a move so many wish they could make....but they never take the action to do so. I am very excited about your journey and look forward to reading about it once that book is out. Thanks for the visit and congratulations!

Chappells Corner from Colorado for now... on September 12, 2012:

Awesome hub! I had to comment because I get it! My wife and I have been married for almost 18 years (I'm only 37 years old i'm not allowed to say her age lol) and we have 4 kids and in our 18 years of marriage and raising kids, making money, losing money etc...we have never been able to get ahead! However for the last year we have been planning our escape from the "rat race". There is a small S. American country we have been eyeing for awhile that we are looking forward to moving our family to...selling ALL of our possesions and starting over there living a much simpler life! I plan on writing a book about it once the journey begins your post has reminded me that we are making this move for all of the right reasons! Thanks!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 12, 2012:

Samnasy, very true my friend! Life is good today, now that I've learned what is truly important. Thank you!

Sam Graham from Australia on September 12, 2012:

Great hub and so true. We have to learn to get appreciate each moment for what it is and treasure the simple things in life. If we look deep enough we all know what these really are.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 01, 2012:

Thank you Au fait! So much of life is wasted on stuff....meaningless stuff...I'm all for a simpler life and for the past six years I have been working towards that goal. I appreciate you stopping by!

C E Clark from North Texas on August 01, 2012:

Agree that most 'stuff' is not necessary and only takes up space, requires dusting, and basically holds a person down. When a person takes on a mortgage, a car payment or two, credit cards, etc., they pretty much box themselves into a particular lifestyle so that they’re stuck. They often end up working long hours, and spending very little time doing the things they love or being with the people they care about most. A prison of their own making, so to speak. Some things really aren’t worth what it truly costs to have them, and that cost is usually much more than money.

Very good hub and full of food for thought . . .

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2012:

Mao, great line! Yes indeed....if it exists I never found it! Thank you for the great comment!

MaoZedong from Europe on July 12, 2012:

Wonderful hub! :) ++++

.. they call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe in it :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2012:

Peter, my new friend and kindred spirit, welcome and thank you! "Shrouds have no pockets." I'll remember that one for some time to come. Great line!

My realization of the truths you have beautifully stated took a long time. My reflections were fleeting at best; one gets wrapped up in the game and rarely stops to smell the greenbacks. So it was years before a conscious effort was made to begin phasing out all that I once thought was important. Now that I finally have there is no turning around. I love writing; I love having freedom, and I miss none of the trappings that I once thought were do damn important.

It will be a pleasure to get to know you through your writings. Thank you for the compliment and I'm sending you peace and happiness.


Peter Messerschmidt from Port Townsend on July 12, 2012:

Thumbs up and awesome! Best-- and most important-- hub I have read this year.

I thought of "mine" as a mid-life epiphany, rather than a mid-life crisis. Maybe the term "crisis" is used because it's a crisis for the system-- and for the people still trapped on the hamster treadmill-- when someone wakes up and leaves. I worked in IT; I also managed a business and 20+ employees. I phased out... slowly, gradually, from about 1995 on. My "crystal moment" came while standing in a store in Austin, TX, peeling off a stack of $100 bills to buy my ex a $1500 solid gold pen and asking myself WHY... since it did the exact same thing as a Bic, and had no more "emotional value" than a Bic.

Sadly, not everyone has the consciousness to step away and ask the hard questions... WHO am I trying to impress? WHOSE "American Dream" am I trying to live? What does success mean, to ME? Am I doing this because I feel like I "should" or because it is truly who I am? Why do I feel so lost and empty?

When I was 16, an old gentleman I met on the golf course said to me "Shrouds have no pockets." Those words have stuck with me ever since. To my way of thinking there's nothing wrong or evil about money... the key seems to be to develop an understanding of the difference between "more" and "enough." Obsessively "collecting" money, power and stuff is usually just an indication ("symptoms") that we have a "hole" inside ourselves that we have not dared to look at. A hole that can't be "filled" or healed, no matter HOW much stuff we jam in there.

As one-time Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman once said (insert Texas drawl here!) "Money can buy you a fancy dog, but only love can make him wag his tail." Or, George Carlin's famous "Trying to be happy accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body."

I live up the coast a bit from you, in Port Townsend, with my wife (2nd marriage) whom I've known since we were kids. I basically "play with my hobbies" for a living. She follows her calling, too. We do what we do, because we love to... the fact that we happen to get paid is just "gravy." We have no debt. We (not "the bank") own our house.

What IS "happiness?" Ask someone in their 80s to look back, and they will tell you about experiences, things they saw and people they connected with and loved... not figures on a balance sheet, or "things" they owned.

Sadly... it takes most people till their 40's to figure out that our culture has sold them a bag of goods about what "should" make them happy.

Again, a great hub... off to look at some of your others.

Bright blessings,


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2012:

Beachbumaxp, I was in that cubicle with you for a number of years. I had to get out for my sanity! Sending my best wishes to you, and hopefully, one day soon, you will escape and travel.

beachbumaxp from Denver, Colorado on July 12, 2012:

This is a well-written and thought-evoking hub. It really hit the spot for me this morning as I sat down in my cubicle, trapped in the typical corporate ladder atmosphere, not even knowing what the American dream is. All I care about is traveling and sharing those experiences with others. Reading stories like yours helps me escape from the monotony. Good stuff!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 09, 2012:

CBartelmey, a quality comment from a new visitor to my site. Thank you for a very detailed comment with considerable depth to it. I appreciate you stopping by.

CBartelmey from Colorado, United States on July 09, 2012:

I agree, I think that yellow brick road doesn't always lead you where you want it and happiness can be elusive down that path because as you mention, while the accumulation of more ‘stuff’ may bring a fleeting happiness, a life filled with memories of time well spent, things accomplished and relationships made, the things that really matter, those can represent a lifetime of happiness.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 09, 2012:

Adam, best wishes to you and your wife. I hope your transition goes as smoothly as mine did. Best of luck on HubPages! It's a great community!

adamsak1 from Cranston, RI on July 09, 2012:

Good for you on taking that step! I share the same thoughts and am in the same situation as you were previously. My wife and I are looking to make our change soon. Very inspiring!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 09, 2012:

Cris, I just saw that as I woke up this morning...thank you!

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on July 08, 2012:

P.S. I forgot to tell you. I voted up and sharing it as well. (:

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 08, 2012:

Cris, it sounds to me as if you are headed down a much happier road. I wish you well my friend, and thank you so much for the visit and great comment.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on July 08, 2012:

I couldn't agree more on this hub. Been there and I am now learning to live the frugal way as well. Less is more and that's why this summer, I am downsizing, freeing some space in the house and turning some of my dust accumulating stuff into cash. So, I have less stuff to clean up and more time to hub (: and enjoy life. I'd like to buy more experience than those depreciating material things. Yay, me! Material girl is gone! I wish you enough sir billybuc. What a commendable hub!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 08, 2012:

Oscar, I believe there is a new day dawning, and there will have to be wholesale changes in society and what we consider important in our lives. Thank you for visiting and I truly hope things work out for you.

Oscar Jones from Monroeville, Alabama on July 08, 2012:

I agree with the downsizing and being happy with less. I have recently moved south and the differenceis that these men I work with expect to work hard and to work long hours.. long enough hours I am unbelievable still!.. and now I have concerns about being able to just keep the things I have, without having to suffer..

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 08, 2012:

Thank you Peter! My life has never been better and I'm glad you came to realize that your health and sanity are oh so important.

Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on July 08, 2012:

Dear Billybuc

I joined the club just last week and echo your sentiments. I realised that with all my knowledge and expertise - what was it all for. My health and sanity suffered and its been a long struggle back to reality. Now I spend my time doing what I want and what I think is important. I wish you great luck and to enjoy what you have and what you want.

Kind regards Peter

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 08, 2012:

JustCrafty, you and I would get along smashingly great! :) Love your attitude! Thank you for the visit!

JustCrafty on July 08, 2012:

I agree with you and the changes you have outline.

I just turned down a job that was going to be fulltime (every waking moment) with full benefits to give my life to a boss who didn't care that you might need to take a moment to breath. The American Dream is not worth the toll it can take on you sometimes and when you realize this you can live happy with less.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2012:

Thank you Glimmer! I appreciate your kind remark!

Claudia Porter on July 07, 2012:

Really well written hub and I like the way you laid out your life story. Thanks.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2012:

Molly, it took me a long time to realize that simpler is better for me. Man oh man, I wish I would learn lessons quicker. :) Thank you Molly!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2012:

Janine, my pleasure!

Mary Strain from The Shire on July 07, 2012:

Bill, I notice that many people our age are now moving back to the country -- perhaps in an attempt to recapture the comparative simplicity of the world of our childhood years. And I second what you say here. Simple has lots of advantages over complex. Great hub!

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on July 07, 2012:

I am so not sure Bill, but again totally agree with you on this one. You are very welcome and again thank you for all your support as well on here.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2012:

Janine, I wonder why it takes us all so long to learn this very simple lesson...the best things in life are free. Thank you my friend; I appreciate you greatly.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on July 07, 2012:

So true Bill, money can't buy happiness. I have been out of work for almost 2 years and we definitely have less money coming in, but being able to be home with my 2 little girls has meant the world to me and no amount of money in the world could buy that for me. So totally agree with the message of your hub. Thank you for sharing this and of course am sharing and voting up!!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2012:

Annie my dear friend, thank you! I think you said it far more eloquently than I did in the hub! I love second-hand things because they do have character...and credit cards...I will never own another one. Thank you!

Annie Fenn from Australia on July 07, 2012:

You make some very relevant points here, how can happiness come from working ourselves into the ground, forgoing family time, time for self and for sanity; for more material 'things'. I truly believe what they say, 'less is more'. I no longer hanker for 'things' either, Bill. I really don't know why I ever did!! Why do we go further and further in debt, credit cards, hire purchase, bank overdrafts to buy more!!! Second hand treasures have far more love and character to them than anything you can buy new!! Simple needs have been expanded to include the latest and greatest of everything. Time with family is far more precious than raking up hours at the office.

Very relevant hub in this crazy consumer driven world. My votes and best wishes to you Bill and sharing!!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2012:

Julie, thanks! I changed the name around so that maybe they would have more hits on google, but I miss having Lifestyle Choices first...silly I know but oh well. Anyway, I really appreciate your support my friend.

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on July 07, 2012:

Bill, I keep coming back to your Lifestyle Choices hubs - just to remind myself that reflection on my own life is worth the effort .

Great hubs, this is one of my faves.

Voted up and shared.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 05, 2012:

Pooja, ....always!

poojasd7 from India on July 05, 2012:

It's all my pleasure Billy.

Thanks for sharing wonderful and insightful pieces of writing. :-)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 05, 2012:

Pooja, it is, indeed, flattering! I am being silly with my remark. I am humbled by the number of people who not only follow me but leave such beautiful comments...such as yourself. Thank you my dear...sincerely...thank you!

poojasd7 from India on July 05, 2012:

Cult thing is not good? A set of people just get addicted to your hubs. That's cult, right?...still not good? Okay! :P

Anyway, Thanks a lot Billy for your wishes. :-)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 05, 2012:

Pooja, I'm laughing at the cult concept. I'm not sure that would be a good thing. LOL...thank you my dear. I can relate to the illness you experienced. We all need to be happy and I believe sadness and stress over a job can affect our well-being. I am happy that you have found a job that you enjoy. Sending you peace and well-wishes for the future.

poojasd7 from India on July 05, 2012:

I can connect to this hub so much. I worked in corporate world for 3 years. I was so unhappy and the rewarding experiences were very few and far between.

I was not happy with the way I was being dragged in the rat race. Falling sick due to high fever and the following health repercussion led me to mull over my way of life.

I tried many other paths which I thought could be rewarding and enriching. I have come across one recently which is really what I want to do.

Really Billy, your hubs rock! And I feel you are getting a cult following ;)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 04, 2012:

reThinkRiches, best of luck to you as you leave college and begin a new chapter in your life. Exciting times for sure; I hope you find happiness down the road you choose. Thank you!

Nathan from Midwest on July 04, 2012:

Billy - this is truly inspirational. As someone just leaving college and starting my career, this is a great piece of advice from someone who has been there. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. Great piece.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 24, 2012:

Kate, I will try my best. Thank you!

Kate Dineen Perry from Bradenton, Florida USA on June 24, 2012:

I agree with Jools99 keep'em coming

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 15, 2012:

Thank you Jools and I plan on doing just that. :)

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on June 14, 2012:

Bill, don't worry, I know you're not preaching; your hubs are based on your personal experiences and as such, they have more authority. Just keep 'em coming :o)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 14, 2012:

Thank you Jools! I don't do them as often as I once did because I'm afraid it sounds like I'm preaching, like I'm standing behind some bloody pulpit. LOL...that's not my intention and I'm happy if you like them.

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on June 14, 2012:

Billy, I love this series of hubs, I just get so much out of them and can read and reread them at will. I get this one totally!

Voted up and shared.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2012:

Screaming, you and I are lucky people, aren't we? Thank you!

screaming on June 11, 2012:

I agree, most of us think we need stuff to achieve success. I also, paid off the debt and live a much happier life with just what I can afford. Enjoying life and not working my self to death to buy that stuff and to keep up with the Jones!voted up!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 09, 2012:

You are welcome Kate and thank you!

Kate Dineen Perry from Bradenton, Florida USA on June 09, 2012:

Thanks I am trying to get this blog out there but not published yet lol. Thanks for the follow and the good luck. Backatya :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 09, 2012:

Neeles, there is a lot behind that "yes" and I appreciate it.

neeleshkulkarni from new delhi on June 09, 2012:


this yes is all i have to say.why say more when you know even less will communicate your thoughts equally well.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 09, 2012:

Kate, congratulations! I wish you the best from this day forward and thank you for stopping by.

Kate Dineen Perry from Bradenton, Florida USA on June 09, 2012:

I agree, for me one day at a time 3 years clean and sober Aug 9th 2012 when I get there. Love thinking and now try bloging.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 07, 2012:

Andy, all excellent points and I thank you for sharing them. Your comments are every bit as valuable as this hub. I fear that others will continue to learn these lessons the hard way until they are forced to change. Thank you for taking the time to leave a meaningful comment.

Andy Aitch from UK & South East Asian Region on June 07, 2012:

Nice Hub Billy ;-)

I sometimes wonder why we humans have to go through so much crap in order to wake up and smell the coffee. Money per se doesn't make us happy, but what it does do is give us more choices in life, and those choices, if chosen wisely, can help make us happier.

The world, it seems, has got a bit arse about face in the last 2 generations. Too many of us have focused on our WANTS and placed them ahead of our NEEDS!

For example, we all need a place to live, somewhere to call home, yet I know of one young lady that wanted a Mercedes Benz convertible so badly that she sold her only home to get it, and then moved back in with her mother. Btw, this particular young woman was a financial advisor if you can believe that!

It's the same with health. We NEED good health to live a content and fulfilled life, so much so that we're not much good without it. Yet so many people the world over (including me in the past), have WANTED to indulge in self destructive eating, smoking, drinking, borrowing, and spending, just to satisfy those wants.

I now life in a predominantly Buddhist country, and despite over 90% of the population claiming to be followers of Buddhism, their desire for the material (which contradicts the teaching), is insatiable.

Nowadays, when I wake in the morning I ask myself if I have everything I could possibly NEED for the day ahead. Fortunately, every day so far the answer has been yes, and that in itself means the day has gotten off to a very good start ;)

Finally, having a job one loves is so, so important, and I would personally prefer to make do with a smaller salary in order to attain job satisfaction. When you think that 5 or 6 days out of every week are spent working, it's an awful long time to be miserable.

If people can find a job they truly love doing, then they'll never have to do another days work for the rest of their life ;)

Andy Aitch

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on May 28, 2012:

Theresa, you are so very kind. Thank you and I hope you enjoy my oldies. I'll be by to visit you shortly as soon as I make a customer happy.

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on May 28, 2012:

Hi Bill- A terrific hub, full of insight and common sense advice wisdom that many of us would do well to think about. How much better to live a good, solid and happy life inexpensively, than to pursue expensive "things" and be exhausted and miserable. Well-written.

Today I decided to take a look at some of your earliest hubs. I didn't start following until you had been here quite a while. And besides you are so prolific and such a quick writer, I can never keep up! :) This was a very good hub to begin with. Sharing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 24, 2012:

Gemini, I remember well those first few weeks. I questioned everything I wrote wondering if it was good enough. Now it's just heck with it, here it is, like it or not! Thank you for returning.