Historically, we have been spenders. And not just any kind of spenders. Spendy spenders. Other than our pre-tax retirement contributions, we’ve spent every dollar we’ve ever made. Lesson learned. Many lessons learned.
Related Post: Cutting Our Spending in 2016
Our goal is to be completely debt free in 2016, and in order to do this, we’re cutting spending and increasing our income so that every dollar outside of that $30k goes to our debt. Simple, right? It seems straightforward, but then again, it’s only January. 🙂
What’s Appropriate to Spend and When?
Mrs. Mad Money Monster highlighted that spending money doesn’t always come naturally when one has a laser-like focus on FIRE goals. It’s a long road to financial freedom, and most of us can agree that we need to relish the moments we have with loved ones. A day in Philly with family doesn’t have to derail our journeys!
Similarly, Vic at Dad Is Cheap writes about how his family spends money freely and cuts ruthlessly where spending isn’t valued. Like so many of us, Vic spends more on experiences and less in areas that are of lesser importance.
Spending…it’s about necessities first, then priorities. Many of us living with a budget or spending plan see buckets like housing, food and transportation as necessities. If there’s room in the budget for priorities, like trips to museums or sporting events, consider adding line items for priorities, too! Our budget is about 80% necessities, 20% priorities for 2016.
What About Spending Time? What’s Appropriate?
We often wonder about how to spend our time because we saved time by downsizing our home.
Miss GF has some opportunities to leave work early this month due to the nature of her job. With FIRE goals, should we take days off, unpaid or otherwise? What is the value of a vacation now when we could wait a few years and end up on a permanent vacation? Miss GF makes a good argument for enjoying the freedom a day off from work affords us today.
Our Next Life looks ahead to what time provides post-retirement. We have had many of the same questions about what we’re supposed to do with our time, now and later. With many actions verbs planned, “adventure” seems to be our dominate theme. Should we prioritize spending time and money on adventures now, potentially delaying FIRE?
Time…there’s a fine line between enjoying life now and planning for the future! We’ll have to put our frugal thinking caps on for this one to try to maintain the balance. We have a few trips on the books for this year, so we’ve started saving a little each month by way of the priority portion of the budget. 🙂
What About Earning?
In recent years, Garrett and I took jobs that offer regular bonuses as part of the compensation package, which we have been able to apply to our debt. Oh yeah, and we like our co-workers! I work with a lot of other millennials, so the atmosphere tends to be more light-hearted than in other places I’ve worked.
As frugal as we try to be, our W-2 earnings won’t get us to our Financial Independence Day. Thus, we have one foot firmly in the “frugal living camp” and the other foot firmly in the “increasing income camp.”
“You can’t frugalize what you don’t earn” — a reminder from Stefanie O’Connell via the Frugalwoods blog.
In order to achieve FI, we’ve been side hustling since we started our PF journey in spring 2015. Side hustling, combined with frugal living and our deflated lifestyle, means that we’ve put more $ toward debt than we ever have before.
Digital marketing as a side hustle is something we do in our sweats in our free time–and it is lucrative. Since there are millions more small businesses than we could possibly help in one lifetime, we’re launching online courses to teach others what we do to start their own digital marketing side hustles and achieve their financial goals.
Update: Our online digital marketing courses are live!