Author Topic: Refusing lifestyle creep  (Read 2747 times)

rhrgrt

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Refusing lifestyle creep
« on: January 04, 2018, 09:00:12 PM »
In December, after a year of working my ass off above my paygrade, I got a 32.5% raise. My boss, at the end of my performance review that led to this raise, asked if I was going to move out of my matchbox (I live in a 180 square foot micro apartment, because there's no other way for me to pay $655 a month to live in downtown Seattle).

I'm proud of my badassity not only because no, I'm not moving out, but mostly because it didn't occur to me to do so until he mentioned it. I had to take a second to say "hah, no, what?" To which he asked, "Well what are you going to do with the money?" Thankfully I was prepared for this. The raise amounts to enough for me to effortlessly fill out a 2017 tIRA before tax-time and a 2018 tIRA. He called me boring.

Also, it's been a month since I got the raise, and while I expected my December expenditures to remain the same as November's, I'm still very happy now that I have the finalized numbers: $1123 in December, compared to November's $1371 (my projected budget is $1341 monthly).

Plus, with 401k contributions and the raise paychecks in December, I made it from a net worth equal to my cash buffer (1-2k) last January to now over $20k of investments. The market was so productive this year I have $19.9k in my 401k after my first ever year of contributing.

I don't like to toot my own horn, but I'm happy with how 2017 worked out and I'm pretty sure I worked really hard to make this happen for myself. I think getting a raise was my first real challenge after discovering mustachianism, which means this might have some great sticking power for the rest of my life. I'm also just pleased to report that at the end of my first year of saving over half my take-home pay, I'm not miserable. I don't hate my life or feel like I'm wasting it or giving up my youth as a sacrifice for the future.

If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.

TaxChick

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 09:03:27 PM »
Great job!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 02:53:38 AM »
Thats awesome! and boring is paying off! lol
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Aelias

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 03:38:33 AM »

If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.

Nice to see a Kurt Vonnegut fan!

Well played.  Congrats on an awesome 2017, and here's to many more to come.

Lordy

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 11:09:03 AM »
Smart move!

Around 5 years ago I managed to double my income, luckily after finding MMM.
Instead of moving to a nicer flat, buying a nicer car and eating out every day, I decided keep my budget as is.

This has two upsides:
- You can save a lot of money
- You have the freedom to return to a job paying less

Once you inflate your lifestyle going back becomes much, much harder.

former player

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 11:12:23 AM »
Badass, not boring.
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

hoping2retire35

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 11:25:50 AM »
Well done.

Astatine

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 03:01:07 PM »
Awesome!

Slow road to freedom

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 03:08:05 PM »
Badass indeed.

Imagine the look on the same face in 10 years when you say ĎI have enough money to live without needing paid work - good luck for the futureí

Oh to be a fly on the wall in those circumstances...
I really want to do things other than work... :-)

eliza

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 07:19:54 PM »
Super badass.

If you don't mind, how did you track down the micro-apartment?   I'm in DC and live in a shared house with roommates, but my initial search for micro-apartments when I moved here turned up nothing.  I'm still not sure if they don't exist here or if I just didn't find them.

Malkynn

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 08:52:23 PM »
I hear ya.

Weíre doing an extra frugal year for 2018, trying to establish what our true happy baseline is, ie: the level of spending at which we donít waste at all but still donít feel deprived.

I was going over our numbers and realized that weíre living on less as dual high-income professionals than when I was in dental school making no money at all. Thatís not including tuition.
I went to school in a higher cost of living city, where all neighbourhoods near the university were even more expensive, and I lived on convenience food (no time to cook) and drank a lot more wine, which is heavily taxed here.

If you are used to being frugal, thereís an incredible power in resisting lifestyle creep.
I spent 11 years in university totally broke. Being able to afford a used Corolla AND a bicycle is pretty serious luxury for me even though Iíve had some years where my income has exceeded the price of my house.


ardrum

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 09:20:30 PM »
Sounds fantastic!  Great job!
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rockeTree

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2018, 12:30:09 PM »
Badass! Amazing making it work in a pricey city!


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rhrgrt

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2018, 01:23:21 PM »
Thanks all, for the positive words and personal anecdotes. I love the combination of the "boring is paying off" and "Badass, not boring" and I think both are right--it's boring (but pays off) to those who don't live this way, but badass to those with values more aligned with mine =)

Super badass.

If you don't mind, how did you track down the micro-apartment?   I'm in DC and live in a shared house with roommates, but my initial search for micro-apartments when I moved here turned up nothing.  I'm still not sure if they don't exist here or if I just didn't find them.

I found it on Craigslist, sorting by price low-high for rents under $1000 a month. That and other apartment aggregators if you search for only apartments and only studios and look for the absolute cheapest options. Some also let you set a max square foot measurement. I don't know the DC area but a quick search shows there are some hovering around the $980 to $1100 area (holy shit that's a lot of dough). I don't want to endorse a particular site or listing on the open internet here but I can help you further if you're still having trouble =)

Badass indeed.

Imagine the look on the same face in 10 years when you say ĎI have enough money to live without needing paid work - good luck for the futureí

Oh to be a fly on the wall in those circumstances...

I try to be polite, and my boss already knows I'll be 'a man of means' within the next 7(ish(hopefully)) years. Our financial approaches might be incompatible, but at least professionally we are very compatible and I don't feel like I'd ever have to break this line out =)

I hear ya.

Weíre doing an extra frugal year for 2018, trying to establish what our true happy baseline is, ie: the level of spending at which we donít waste at all but still donít feel deprived.

I was going over our numbers and realized that weíre living on less as dual high-income professionals than when I was in dental school making no money at all. Thatís not including tuition.
I went to school in a higher cost of living city, where all neighbourhoods near the university were even more expensive, and I lived on convenience food (no time to cook) and drank a lot more wine, which is heavily taxed here.

If you are used to being frugal, thereís an incredible power in resisting lifestyle creep.
I spent 11 years in university totally broke. Being able to afford a used Corolla AND a bicycle is pretty serious luxury for me even though Iíve had some years where my income has exceeded the price of my house.
Nice, I'm proud of you. Everything in this comment merits its own post! Seriously: you're ratcheting down spending as an experiment, you've learned frugal > cheap, and you're also refusing lifestyle creep even harder than I am!

Smart move!

Around 5 years ago I managed to double my income, luckily after finding MMM.
Instead of moving to a nicer flat, buying a nicer car and eating out every day, I decided keep my budget as is.

This has two upsides:
- You can save a lot of money
- You have the freedom to return to a job paying less

Once you inflate your lifestyle going back becomes much, much harder.

Yeah, nicely done! This is exactly it, right here. Not only do you save money, but you also don't get trapped at a higher spending level and feel like you have to sacrifice to make it work if something bad happens. Although, even that isn't so bad! I've done it before, back when I didn't have the wisdom of Mr. Money Mustache to back me up.

eliza

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2018, 01:35:57 PM »


I found it on Craigslist, sorting by price low-high for rents under $1000 a month. That and other apartment aggregators if you search for only apartments and only studios and look for the absolute cheapest options. Some also let you set a max square foot measurement. I don't know the DC area but a quick search shows there are some hovering around the $980 to $1100 area (holy shit that's a lot of dough). I don't want to endorse a particular site or listing on the open internet here but I can help you further if you're still having trouble =)


Thanks --- I'm in a shared house (I split a single family 4 bedroom with three other young professionals) which is $537.50 a month.  I'm hoping to stay here until I FIRE and move to the mid-west.  Housing prices here are bananas.  But, I am jealous of your micro-apartment.

big_slacker

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2018, 07:04:30 AM »
Congrats! I also got a significant raise this year and I'm LOVING the ability to throw so much more into savings/investments. Although I'm over in Bellevue livin a more standard suburban family existence so it's already pretty luxury as far as I'm concerned.

180 sq ft? Do you have pics or anything of the layout? A lot of times the number sounds shockingly low but if it's a single room with kitchenette, separate bathroom and most importantly a sleeping loft it can be just fine for a single person.

Malkynn

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Re: Refusing lifestyle creep
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2018, 12:23:40 PM »




I I don't feel like I'd ever have to break this line out =)

I hear ya.

Weíre doing an extra frugal year for 2018, trying to establish what our true happy baseline is, ie: the level of spending at which we donít waste at all but still donít feel deprived.

I was going over our numbers and realized that weíre living on less as dual high-income professionals than when I was in dental school making no money at all. Thatís not including tuition.
I went to school in a higher cost of living city, where all neighbourhoods near the university were even more expensive, and I lived on convenience food (no time to cook) and drank a lot more wine, which is heavily taxed here.

If you are used to being frugal, thereís an incredible power in resisting lifestyle creep.
I spent 11 years in university totally broke. Being able to afford a used Corolla AND a bicycle is pretty serious luxury for me even though Iíve had some years where my income has exceeded the price of my house.
Nice, I'm proud of you. Everything in this comment merits its own post! Seriously: you're ratcheting down spending as an experiment, you've learned frugal > cheap, and you're also refusing lifestyle creep even harder than I am!

I didnít resist it as much at first.
I mean, I was living FAR more frugally than many of my classmates when we all started working, but I was also older and concerned right away about saving for retirement.
When I did the math on how little I could afford to spend, it was sobering to realize that it would be many years before I could live the way I had expected to live on such a high income and I would have to work until at least 70. Not gonna happen.

That said, I was still a lot spendy-er than I am now.

What got me to this level was realizing that going out to nice restaurants was really boring when done too often. I also realized that buying fancy expensive things is also really boring when you can afford them, unless they really add something to your life.

Beautiful designer things and fancy dinners out were so exciting when I was a broke student, but having the cash flow to easily purchase minor luxury was kind of anticlimactic. When I was broke, having my exís mom give me a hand me down Louis Vuitton bag was like winning the lottery and I carried that thing with such pride. Now that I could easily buy one for myself, itís nothing special, it sits on the floor in a closet and I carry a sensible back pack like a sane person who cares about their back.

Itís sort of like how I used to think going out to clubs was the most exciting thing ever when I was under age. I stopped going almost immediately after it became legal because the excitement was gone. It was like ďoh...anyone over 19 can just walk in here...well thatís dullĒ

It turns out I donít actually have a taste for luxury. I find most of it a waste of energy now.
So much fun can be had for free or cheap that paying a premium for certain types of fun just seems silly most of the time.

Itís like, I was dress shopping for a gala this year. I found a $16 great dress and a $400 also great but much more detailed and interesting dress. Both looked amazing in different ways.
Why on earth would I ever pay $400 when I could look just as good for $16?? It wasnít better, just different.

Sure, going out to a restaurant and having a great meal and good wine is nice, but why would I choose that at an insane premium over eating at home or at a friendís place and pouring my own wine? Sure, I will go out as a special treat, but not as a go-to social activity.

It was very odd slowly figuring out that I didnít want the life that I had always thought I wanted.