Trent Hamm of Simpledollar.com suggests a middle path for people who want to achieve a life of financial freedom in this article. There is a general perception that you have to be either a complete miser or have to strike it big in some startup to achieve early retirement. What Trent points out is that it is possible to seek early retirement with normal income and normal lifestyle. Some interesting tips he gives are
1. Focus Your Frugal Efforts on Things You Don’t Care About (or Barely Care About). Do not deprive yourself of something that you really like.
2. Learn How to Cook Well Enough So That It’s More Convenient to Eat at Home. Do not waste food.
3. Scale Back Treats Until They Become Treats Again.
4. Be Organized in Your Thinking and Planning Every Time You Would Spend Money. Cut down on impulse buying. Always question every purchase.
5. Intentionally Move Your Hobby Time Away from Accumulating and Towards Doing Instead. As an example, read books rather than just buying books.
6. Do not look at your career as drudgery. Look at it as an opportunity to express yourself.
In short, a frugal life is a life driven by common sense that allows you to be more intentional, more active and more creative. Frugality is the bi-product of such a life.