Pursuing Financial Independence Without Extreme Frugality

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Pursuing Financial Independence Without Extreme Frugality

A question that we often get asked on our journey to financial freedom is around frugality. For one reason or another, many people assume that being intentional with our money automatically means that we’re also extremely frugal.

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This could not be further from the truth. While financial independence is a major goal for us, it’s not our only priority.

We look for ways to boost our incomes, both in our careers and through side hustles. We track our expenses to make sure our spending aligns with our budget. And we find ways to reduce our spending when it won’t impact our quality of life (ex. cancelling unused subscriptions).

But one thing we will never do, is cut our expenses back to a point that allows no room for enjoyment, be it travel or dining out at restaurants.

One of our key motivations for pursuing financial independence is to have more time and money for the things we love — so we’re not about to give them all up just to get there sooner.

While we certainly don’t like to waste money, frugality is not our driving force. Our key focus when it comes to spending money is on being intentional. We want to know where our money is going and that it aligns with what we value.

After setting our savings goals, we spend time at the start of each year reviewing our budget and deciding where we want to spend more (or less) money. Some expenses, like the cost of our mortgage, are fixed. But many others, like travel, are driven by our personal interests and needs.

When deciding how we want to allocate the money we have available to spend, we try to optimize the value and enjoyment we’ll gain.

For example, prior to COVID, we made a point of allocating a significant amount of money towards travel each year. It was something we both loved doing together and it never felt like a waste of money to us.

Now that travelling has become more difficult, we’ve scaled back our travel budget (although not completely, as we’re planning to make up for lost time with the extra money that’s been accumulating).

Rather than putting all of that money back into savings, we decided to bump up our food budget. Between rising food costs and restaurants being one of our only forms of entertainment, it’s felt like a worth while expense.

While we may adjust our individual spending categories, we rarely change the total amount. This isn’t spending for the sake of spending — we don’t go looking for a new way to spend money when one expense disappears. We’ve just found that our enjoyment in life and desire to save tend to balance out around the same amount.

CONTRIBUTED BY Financially Free 2033

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