Deprivation: the best thing you can do in 2019!

You know I’m having a hard time without beer when the title of the first post of this year is as follows. Deprivation: the best thing you can do in 2019! Neah, just kidding, or am I?

But before we dive into this topic of less is better (Rich certainly won’t approve!). First a friendly reminder about our upcoming FIRE meetup in Haarlem (January 26). If you have not signed up, please do! We can always use more people to make it even more fun πŸ™‚ If you have never been to a meetup, you have no idea how great it is to talk about money/FIRE/life and people don’t look at you as if you are delirious! I can highly recommend coming to give it a try πŸ™‚

Deprivation: the best thing you can do in 2019!

So why is deprivation one of the best things you can do in 2019? Or any year for that matter. One word: limits! Nothing let’s you explore your personal limits better than deprivation. How else can you find out when you have gone too far? You need to cross over your limits to find out what your limits are. Depriving yourself from something (temporarily at least!) can be a extremely valuable lesson. It is THE thing to find your balance and become happy and free.

Deprivation: the best thing you can do in 2019!
Deprivation: the best thing you can do in 2019!

Starting with your FIRE journey

I had a conversation a while back about the journey to FIRE and deprivation. It turns out I’m not the only one that deprived himself for a while to find out what the sweet spot is. In terms of expenses that is! I’m one of those people that either goes for it, or doesn’t. Doing something in moderation is not my thing.

It thus goes without saying that we cut down on our expenses big time when we first discovered FIRE. We went pretty far in cost cutting. To the point that we were living pretty bare-bones. Not yet Jacob bare-bones, but very basic still. Once you get (very) uncomfortable (and unhappy) you know you have gone too far. That’s the point that you easy off a bit and start to spend a bit more money. Just to find that sweet spot that makes you happy.

This “level of deprivation” will be different for everyone. I can thus highly recommend trying to find your limits. Many people (still) think we are depriving ourselves (in our daily life), but we now know better! We are just right in what we do and want to be doing (and how much money we are spending on it).

Lifestyle Changes

The same principle applies for your lifestyle. It took us only about 2-3 months to for from a standard western diet to a Whole Foods Plant Based one. This was not easy, but doable. That being said, I have a big sweet tooth and love (some) processed foods. Who doesn’t! You are biologically programmed to πŸ™‚

I went full in, but are now slightly backing off a bit. Not because I don’t know it’s the best way to lower health risks. But I also want to be happy and tickle my taste buds on occasion. That being said, we are striving to eat 85-90% WFPB. The rest is still processed (albeit not too badly, most of the time…) or contains minor amounts of animal products.

The #yearwithoutabeer falls into the same category. I have to do this full on. Just stopping a couple of weeks or a month is too short for me (and too easy). Doing it for a year is more my kind of challenge. After the year if over I will start to have a few beers again, but only the really good stuff that is worth accepting some health risks for. Man, is that first beer of 2020 going to taste really good (or not, but I doubt that)!

Another one, social media. Man, those are addictive. Twitter, slack, etc., they are horrible! Just because they are so much fun. I sometimes go overboard and get absorbed. That’s usually the time I cut my online time off, drastically. Only to start back in moderation a couple weeks down the road and with more care. Albeit with social media I still find it hard to control myself.

Try it!

I can hardly recommend you giving this a try too. You can pretty much pick any topic in your life and deprive yourself from it for a while. Slowly let some of it back into your life and find that sweet spot and enjoy!


How about you, what have you done similarly to the above in your life?


  1. Yup…totally agree with this outlook. Ive been trying to cut back on everything last couple of years, but really stepped it up in 2018. Consuming less – not just material stuff, but also food intake. Going for a more richer LCHF diet, which is more sustaining has helped me a lot there.

    Also giving this alcohol deprivation a try lately πŸ˜‰


  2. You do realize you’re crazy, right?!? πŸ˜‰

    I’m actually on the bus with you – mostly. My gluten sensitivity seems to be a real thing, so I pick my spots when it comes to enjoying a good microbrew. After reading “Sapiens” I want to pack up the family and move into the woods to subsist off foraging nuts, berries, and mushrooms. The edible kind.

  3. I know where you’re coming from on this. The problem that I have is that I a quite good at the deprivation bit as I know that it is time limited. But, what that means is that when I stop all of those good habits disappear and I indulge all the more.!

    What is your secret to being able to go back to those things in moderation…or do I just need to get some willpower!?!?!

    1. Willpower is useful indeed! A change in mindset is also very helpful. The point is to go from a 100% where you are now, to say 50%. Maintain this for a while, but then try to not let it go above 75% for the rest of the year. If you can be comfortable and happy with it, continue. If you are not, then that 100% might be the sweet spot after all and you need to find other things in life that you can reduce to limit finances and risks. It’s a big balancing game for sure. But you don’t know until you try, right?!

  4. Good luck Cheesy, I’m sure it’ll get easier. I’m trying to limit my alcohol to only social drinking (i.e. no habitual glass of wine at home in the evening). It’s taking some getting used to but it’s a worthy cause so I’m sticking to it.

  5. The social media point is key. I don’t think much positive comes out of social media use, and it’s such a colossal waste of time for so many people. Something I’m going to try to cut out as much as possible this year.

    “Deprivation” sounds so negative, doesn’t it? You should call it “The Austere Year,” that sounds more fun. Good luck!

  6. Personally I think deprivation is a bit too much change for me (or maybe; Mrs FireMe ;)). For me it’s all about creating awareness and keeping ourselves accountable for the changes we did or didn’t make. As you know we switched to WFPB diet as cold turkeys, it has worked out wonderfully well. I won’t join you on the beerless year, but will definitely cut back and think about you whenever I feel the need to drink some holy water. You know where to find your first beer in 2020, I’ll make sure it’s a good one!

    1. Right, so you switch to WFPB diet cold turkey, but a little deprivation is scary πŸ˜‰
      That being said, if you do drink the holy water, make sure it’s awesome stuff!

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