If you take home $4,000 a month and want to attain financial flexibility (or freedom) ASAP, it begins and ends with your expenses. I keep my expenses — fixed and discretionary — below $3,000 (generally around $2,500) most months. If I were earning $4,000 a month, this means I have between $1,000 and $1,500 left over each month. Remember those numbers.,So, if you were living paycheck to paycheck, having to count every penny, you’d likely count each dollar until they added up to, first, your rent or mortgage and, second, your car payment. You’d worry about paying everything else last. You might tweak first and second, but I feel safe in thinking there might be general consensus here.,Chips, pop, and other packaged goodies are easy to plow through during the workweek in front of your latest show. But they are an expensive habit and not exactly the best thing for us. (Unless you’re really into wearing stretchy pants.),So, what’s for dinner tonight? Don’t laugh. I did find cauliflower on sale— 2 for $4.00. I’m roasting one of them for an hour on a beat-up old baking sheet with olive oil and rosemary salt and the other is headed for a big pot of soup tomorrow.,But switch it up. Save one or two treats (or buy them the day of) for Friday or Saturday night. You’ll look forward to the small indulgence and probably find that your favorite salt and vinegar chips become special again.,It’s a big red flag when companies are unwilling to prioritize reducing technical debt. When they don’t prioritize developer experience. Poor CI setups, difficult and slow release cycles, buggy Gitlab instances. All of these lead to a poor developer experience and slow you down.,If you took on the aforementioned rent and car payment mindset for your monthly investing habit, you’d be well on your way to $1 million in 20 years. If you operate from the position of financial strength illustrated here, there’s no reason why you should not have an extra $1,000 a month to invest each month. It’ll be tighter if you “only” make $50,000 a year. If you make more than that, there’s probably no excuse other than overspending for not having an extra grand at the end of the month.,From our privileged positions, many of us don’t think this way very often, if ever. We make money. We pay the rent. We pay for our transportation. We pay other bills. We go out and eat and drink with friends. We buy plants. We take lessons. In some cases, we throw money around. Whatever.,Here’s how it can look on the ground. After establishing the cash flow part, it really is easy. So easy, in fact, it’s a wonder more of us don’t do exactly what I’m about to lay out.,Thanks for reading! I have loads of food essays (delicious recipes too) and thoughtful and quirky simpler living essays waiting for you. (Well over 100 of them!) And this story caught the attention of NBC News in New York!,I’m under no illusion. I write these articles about personal finance from a privileged position. There’s a good chance you read them with privilege fully intact. If we spend our time thinking about building wealth rather than how to make ends meet, chances are we were born on third base. We didn’t hit a triple.,I think most people treat their housing payment as the one thing they’re gonna pay no matter what. If you miss a credit card payment (and I don’t advise it), you might face consequences, but they don’t seem quite as potentially dire as missing your rent or mortgage payment.,Thanks for reading! I have loads of food essays (delicious recipes too) and thoughtful and quirky simpler living essays waiting for you. (Well over 100 of them!) And this story caught the attention of NBC News in New York!,So when I say it’s easier than you think to amass $1 million in 20 years, I say it from a position of privilege to an audience largely comprised of people on the same perch. This isn’t to say hard work doesn’t get you anywhere. It does. But, speaking for myself, I’m aware I have a head start. And it has little to do with anything other than my place in life. Hard work didn’t get me here. Luck and where and when my parents decided to have sex mainly did.,It sounds painfully impossible to “only” spend $3,000 versus $4,000 in monthly cash flow, or to “only” spend $4,000 versus $6,000 in monthly cash flow. It sounds tough to have a significant surplus left over at the end of the month. Except, it’s not. Not if you sacrifice a little and compromise a little more.
- Old keepsakes: It’s great to keep souvenirs or little gifts from family and friends, but do you really need to keep them all? Birthday cards, broken gifts, souvenirs from your first trip with yo