A shocking truth: Not every American craves a high-powered job, big house, luxurious vacations and stockpiled cash. In fact, some not only eschew such things, they've consciously chosen to both earn and spend far below their capabilities. For them, living on the economic edge is neither a brutal nor shameful experience. It's a preference.
Here are just a few who have willingly -- and happily -- ignored the dangling financial carrot. Unencumbered by debt and excess, they now enjoy freedom and contentment. Sound appealing? A flat net worth can be positive as long as it's done for the right reasons.