We are big fans of lists. To-do lists, grocery lists, etc. They keep us on-task and functioning. In blog-form, lists are practical and easy-to-read, and we all know I like easy reads.
If you want more money to spend on something specific (*ahem* paying off your loans *ahem*) but your income is static, the only way to get that extra money is to save money on other expenses. In other words, you need to spend less money on some things so you can spend more money on other things. Sometimes you need that money tomorrow.
Have you seen the recent announcement about Amazon’s new grocery store, Amazon Go? I’m a sucker for technology, and the concept is awesome: You go in the store, take what you want, and… go. Clever, huh?
Inside the typical looking storefront is some amazing tech. Amazon has an advanced array of motion detectors and cameras that are able to sense what items you pick up and leave the store with, versus which things you put back on the shelf. Walk out with your basket-full of stuff, and Amazon will automatically charge your Amazon account. How cool is that?!
I read an article recently by Live Free MD, via the White Coat Investor. It was about Financial Indpendence being a continuum, not a specific number. In other words, it’s not something you reach all of a sudden; as your portfolio grows your goals should grow with it.
I like Live Free MD’s philosophy on money, and you should head over to his blog if for no other reason than to read about how he paid off $400,000 in debt in a few short years.
His post on Financial Independence being a continuum was a fun read. It laid out specific goals he has at different stages of his net worth. He is absolutely dedicated to reaching FI, and it was interesting to see how he laid out specifics for what he would do at each stage, especially in regards to how much vacation he would allow himself if he was at $0 net worth vs. $500k net worth and beyond.
Saving money on stuff really isn’t that hard. Honestly, it’s not. It’s a matter of looking at what you’re spending money on, deciding what matters and what doesn’t, and cutting out the stuff that doesn’t. It’s not a magic formula, but it takes a little introspection and some discipline.
Some things aren’t really optional. Life and disability insurance, rent or a mortgage, food and utilities; these are things that you really can’t live without. There are certainly ranges of costs that you can choose from in those categories, but the bottom line is you’re going to spend some money on those things because you have to.
It’s the other things in life – the vacations, the dinners out, the entertainment – that are harder to reduce or eliminate, because we just aren’t wired to give up things we like. Still, grown ups have to make tough decisions sometimes, and we did that when we decide to cut the cord (and yes, I realize that giving up cable is not a life or death decision, but still… it was tough for us!).