What are some of the things you keep a closer eye on to manage lifestyle creep?

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  • #92404 Reply

      I’m in my early 20s and making a decent salary at 54k with a partner earning closer to 80k. We want to start our fire journey but are really just at the beginning.

      Where do you start? What do you find helps you cut expenses the most but still spend money on things that are important to you like traveling?

      #92405 Reply

        I’m 29, but didn’t start making a salary until I was 26 (went to graduate school first). I have YNAB and budget every dollar that I bring in. Then, every year I look at my total spending across all my categories and ask myself if that spending aligns with my values. I change my budget if needed to better reflect those values.

        I like YNAB because you can set “targets” for each month to spend. Easy to notice lifestyle creep when you keep having to replenish your eating out budget.

        #92406 Reply

          Don’t spend money unless you planned to spend money. Then you don’t have any unplanned expenses. Even plan for contingency expenses. If you don’t use that money out it intj your fire fund. Try to live like your lowest cost of living point in life.

          Most of creep is about spending money instead of spending time so ask yourself where you’re able to spend time to prevent spending money. Want to socialize? Hit a park.

          Invite over for tea and toast go for a bike ride. Buy used everything especially expensive things.

          Live in basic housi and share your living costs with others etc.

          I spend on my healthcare now more than when I was at my lowest cost point, and I have expenses in my home repairs but beyond that I don’t spend except on basics of living.

          #92407 Reply

            It starts with your own happiness, as corny as it sounds. You have to be happy enough to not fill any emotional or intellectual voids with spending.

            Once you’ve got that settled, start looking at your budget and sticking to certain amount each month or paycheck for going out or spending. This is where I’m at. Once you master this, you’re good to go!

            #92408 Reply

              Max your 401k. At this young age, that’s your biggest weapon. Lowers your taxable income and early saving and investing is key!

              #92409 Reply

                I’m 41 and still have never done many of the things my cohorts started unquestioningly doing over the past 15 years. I don’t order food for delivery. I don’t pay someone to get my groceries or clean my house. In general I don’t pay anyone to do something I am capable of doing myself.

                I still have the same car, the same TV, the same bike. I buy solid and durable clothes and gear, but nothing fancy or needlessly expensive. I pour coffee at home and have a travel mug, never stop at Starbucks like I see so many people doing. I pack my lunch every day—I regularly see colleagues, many of whom are in their 20s, dropping $15-$30 on lunch like it’s no big deal.

                I cut cable and have a budget-friendly wireless carrier. I shopped around for the lowest insurance rates for home and auto.

                This lifestyle works for me and might not be for everyone. I loathe shopping and don’t have any interest in fancy things or “luxury” brands. I like being outside, going to baseball games, spending time with friends, riding bikes, and investing aggressively, so those are the things I spend money on.

                #92410 Reply

                  Try to live on just the higher salary. Invest the lower salary.

                  #92411 Reply

                    Recognizing top values and where to spend money has been vital for me. And of course having friends/acquaintances with a similar money mindset is also helpful.

                    #92412 Reply

                      Having a goal helps with the intentionality behind your purchases. Also doing personally fulfilling things that don’t cost a lot of money, like reading, personal growth and development.

                      #92413 Reply

                        If I could go back…We spent a lot of $ on eating out and entertainment. We definitely could have reined that in. We had things we wanted to do but no plan in place to realize them. My advice: Be intentional with your dollars and goals.

                        Also, if you decide to buy, get the best house you can in a great neighborhood so you aren’t moving a lot. That’s gold.

                        And don’t get rid of your high mileage car because it’s high mileage. Wait until it actually has multiple non-maintenance issues before you make any big moves. Buy a good one and drive it until it dies. Save for the new one in an account you can’t see.

                        Stay off the credit card merry go round. Find free/cheap things to do if money is short and you still want to have fun.

                        And educate yourselves. Lots of good book recommendations here. Simple Path to Wealth made me realize we should have had a bridge account from the beginning.

                        #92414 Reply

                          Challenge yourself to a no spend month. Set aside a certain amount for important things you are saving for, like travel, then don’t spend money on anything else except necessities like food, medicine, gas, etc.

                          #92415 Reply

                            Read set for life by Scott trench. It’s sooo good at your age. And Rich dad poor dad. Next, I would focus MOST on your three biggest levers you can use to really build wealth: income UP, housing costs low or ZERO, and low maintenance cars (Toyota or Lexus). Consider house hacking or a live in flip— try to live for free. Nothing frees up your saving power like no mortgage or rent.

                            I love this way more for your 20s when they are flexible then cutting lifestyle down to nothing. Of course budget and don’t be crazy, but read and listen to a bunch of podcasts on FI.

                            It’s all about building your foundation.

                            I love EveryDollar for budgeting and empower for tracking net worth. Don’t worry what your net worth is today— in 10 years it is awesome to see where you started

                            #92416 Reply

                              27-year-old here.

                              I saved my first 100k by intention, while still seeing two new countries per year.

                              Sacrifice in your 20s by having roommates!, pregaming before going out with friends, driving a Toyota or Honda for 10 years, using credit card points for travel and splitting affordable Airbnb’s, NOT getting a pet, do your best to pay your credit card in full every month.

                              Find a side hustle, I did serving/bartending.

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