If you are looking to improve your financial situation, you should consider lowering your housing costs. While housing is the single largest expense category, it is also unique in the sense that it is more permanent than other categories. Figuring out how to lower your housing costs will depend on your unique situation.
My personal decision to pursue financial independence (FI) is hard to put into words. It’s difficult to describe because there is no single defining moment. Instead, it is based on a collection of incremental mental shifts spread out over a few years.
Growing up, my family lived in Costco. As a child, I would spend my weekends at baseball practice, hanging out with friends, and on a family trip to Costco. I learned quite a bit about buying food in bulk from my childhood. Because it’s what I’ve always known, it was not until recently that I came to appreciate the value of buying food in bulk.
Liz Thames published her book Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living. It took me a while to get around to reading it (for reasons that I’ll mention later), but I’m glad I finally did. I discovered several things I did not previously know about their journey that impacted me in a meaningful way and that will inform our journey for some time.
Too often the narrative around financial independence focuses on depriving oneself of purchases so that you can increase your savings rate. While I agree with the essence of this discourse, it has a gaping hole of HOW. How do you go about reversing some of the most ingrained habits and behaviors? In my opinion, there’s no better way to help you change your behavior on the journey to financial independence than to leverage gamification.