How I Cut $1050/Month From My Budget With No Change To My Life

Welcome to the Path of Modern Freedom newsletter! Why Modern Freedom? Because financial freedom is worthless if you are working 100 hours/week. You won't have time to enjoy it! That is why modern freedom is the combination of free time + free money that enables you to live a life of signficance. 

I Cut $1050 A Month From My Budget With No Change To My Life

"The permanent results come from you having to suffer." - David Goggins

I had decided that things needed to change. We were skimming by on a month to month basis. Most of our money was going to paying off $265,000 in student loans. 

Everything was tight and I knew we needed to free up cash.

I was scared to go to my wife. We had only been married a year. I didn't want to tell her we needed to cut back on our lifestyle more.

Especially, since I had already asked her to do it so we could pay off the loans in 5 years.

How The Conversation Went

I sat her down and we talked about what was important to us. We didn't have kids at the time so we liked to go out and do things. 

So I proposed this question. "What are 2-3 non-negotiables we have that would make life miserable without and what doesn't matter to us?"

This is the list of things we didn't want to give up.

  • Fancy, steak dinners
  • TV (for sports mainly)
  • Vacations

This was the list of things that didn't matter to us at all.

  • The car we drove
  • Multiple subscriptions
  • What we ate during the week at home
  • Going out to lunch

 How We Saved $1050/Month

People give up on their financial journey too many times because they make themselves miserable going after an arbitrary goal like "saving $30,000" or "buying a house" because they think that's what they're supposed to do. 

By allowing yourself a few precious things, it makes them more valuable to you and eases the pain of the journey.

We knew we could have almost anything, but we couldn't have everything. So this is what we did.

  • We didn't end our date nights at fancy restaurants, but went one time less a month (saved about $200/month)
  • Reduced going on small vacations every 3 months to 4 months (saved about $1500 so $125/month)
  • Decided not to buy a newer car I had budgeted for and kept driving an older one (saved $350/month)
  • I stopped eating out for lunch by 75% and making lunch at home (saved $150/month)
  • We made cheaper (and somewhat healther) meals at home instead of ordering out so much (saved $225/month)

What We Did With The Money

I started this with a quote from David Goggins, former Navy SEAL and ultra-athlete who used to be 275lbs and well out of shape.

These cuts equated to about 10% of our income at the time. After the first month, we both talked about it and realized that we had all this freed up cash and we weren't even "suffering". 

We then decided that getting out of debt was even more important and we decided to make it hurt a little more and we cut another 10%.

That we felt for a little bit, but we weren't miserable and it was extremely motivating.

All that money we used to dump more on debt and other random treats along the way to lighten the journey. 

Sure, there was some "suffering" and I use that word extremely lightly. But as the cliche goes...

No pain. No gain. 

Fast forward to the end of this story and we paid off $265,000 in debt in 4 years, not 5 years. 

This enabled us to get a nicer house than we ever thought about owning and it was still our allotted budget. 

That allowed us to invest more money.

That helped us cross $1M net worth in our 30s. 

The point, is all these small things can have a massive impact over a 10 year period. In our situation, that all happened in 7 years.

Suffering produces gratefulness, endurance and steadfastness. Give it shot.

Until our paths cross again...

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