Speaking of living with less, techie Rick Jelliffe reports on his year-long experiment of "living smaller" in 2008—a year in which he worked less, made less, and stressed out a lot less.< Jelliffe writes:
I caught public transport only. I got rid of extra lightbulbs. I baked my own bread. I froze my own dumplings. I didn't buy any gadget. I didn't buy any CD. I didn't get a flatscreen TV. No home phone; no home internet; no cable TV; no new art; no gin. I only took one international trip (which was quite important) and two domestic flights (to my dear parent's 80th birthdays) but turned down several work opportunities that involved flying, even though it meant less satisfactory participation at SC34 WG1. I let my passport lapse. ... This leads to a very placid lifestyle: I don't think I have ever been less engaged with the rat race, and at the same time, less restless (outside office hours.)
While Jelliffe's approach was pretty extreme (no home internet! or working contact lenses!) the concepts behind the experiment are solid and timely, given the current financial meltdown. Jelliffe says the experiment is over for him in 2009—he's getting new contact lenses.