I have been on this site quite a bit since stumbling upon it while researching Traditional versus Roth IRAs. Sites like this and jhcollins are extremely refreshing to visit when compared to the established stuffy financial blogs. I wholeheartedly agree with the general premise of this site, as I have longed believed in the "It's not getting what you want, but wanting what you've got" mantra.
Although my wife and I have paid off our home, and have always been diligent savers through our work 401k plans, we have typically adjusted our lifestyle upward to dispose of excess cash(!) We figured that since we were both in excellent financial shape for (traditional) retirement, we might as well enjoy the rest. The idea of FIRE never really occurred to either of us until reading deep into this site. The funny thing is that we determined that we could actually retire today, as we already have a reasonable stash, however, we are not quite ready for the financial diet that we would need to make to live at this reduced level. BUT, we have begun to make changes, and the idea of FIRE has really begun to set in with my wife. We are generally much happier knowing that we could leave our jobs at any moment to take up more satisfying, but probably lower paying careers. The idea of complete freedom is absolutely intoxicating, and like many others have said, is strongly addicting!
To start, my wife traded her $40 YMCA membership for a $10 Planet Fitness membership. As a bonus, if she checks in at Planet Fitness so many times a month, her work picks up the $10 fee, for a total monthly fee of $0! Next, I ditched our stupid expensive US Cellular Plan for 3 smartphones. The base rate was $155/month, but the bill came to $180 after taxes! This one always pissed me off, but I never felt like there was a suitable alternative. Enter Republic Wireless with the Moto X. Yes, I spent $900 to get 3 new phones, but I also sold my old Samsung Galaxy's on CL for $650, so I actually only spent $250 for 3 new Moto Xs. Next, I decided that we would each get the $25 plan, but upon arrival, my awesome wife told me that since she had Wifi at home, work, and Planet Fitness :-), that she would be fine with the $10 plan! My base rate went from $155 down to $60 for 3 smartphones! But that is not all, as cellular taxes are just plain nasty - I went from paying $25/mo to $8/mo in taxes. (I can't believe that I was paying $300/yr in cell phone taxes - WTF!) So, in the end, my bill went from $180 down to $68, for a $112/mo savings - $1344/yr! So within the period of a month, we are now saving $152/mo, or $1824 year, and we aren't missing anything. In fact, with Republic Wireless, we have experienced a few improvements, such as a strong cell phone signal in our house due to availability of Wifi calling, and free unlimited text, in which my $180 plan would charge a quarter for each message (we used heywire for free).
And now for some BIG changes....
I have been an avid boater most of my life. I grew up around boats, and I owned an 18' Bayliner outboard for 14 years, and as part of the my ritual of disposing of a cash surplus, two years ago I decided that I was going to sell that boat, and move into a high end 20' boat. The good news is that I did well with the sale, having only 'lost ' $2800 in depreciation for 14 years of boating. In the world of boats, that is next to nothing. On a similar note, I picked up a great deal on my dream boat - a 20' Cobalt, in which I paid cash for. It was February, the boat was seven years old, and needed some TLC to bring it back to glory. That said, since I enjoy working on cars and boats, I spent that spring disassembling and thoroughly cleaning and polishing away the neglect, and ended up with an absolute beauty. But after less than ideal summer weather last year, I began to think that maybe I was just done. I still enjoy boating, but Wisconsin is not a good state for the hobby. Also, I began to realize that I really wasn't enjoying boating anymore than previously, but my expenses had increased dramatically (storage, gas, insurance, maintenance), along with the worry factor. That said, even before I found this site, I created a CL ad during the winter boat show season to see what sort of interest I could gather. I had many hits, and several very interested parties. Being that the boat is stored offsite,and I cannot get it back until the snow is gone, I explained the circumstances with each of the highly interested parties, and all have requested that I contact them once I have the boat back home.
If I do sell it, I will no doubt miss it, but I figured that I could rent a brand new version of my boat at a local lake several times a season, and still be significantly ahead, but with none of the hassle or worries. In addition, I could also sell my tow vehicle (Nissan Titan), as I currently daily drive a Ford Focus. This would save me registration, insurance, maintenance, and a huge amount of gas on 2 vehicles - seems worth it in exchange for 6 to 10 boat rides a year!
This is a huge change for us, but it would be great to cash out of these assets, and significantly reduce our monthly spending. Heck, even if we only saved half of our new monthly savings, and blew the rest on vacations and such, it would be so worth it!
In closing, I probably won't be a large contributor to this forum, as I am much more of a lurker, but I just wanted to thank everyone for their great advice and positive attitudes, as this has made a significant impact on my outlook for the future.