After yesterday’s post, I started churning through our bank statements, trying to find these massive “leaks” that were threatening to derail our entire plan.
Interestingly, I didn’t find what I expected. At the same time, I stumbled across the philosophies of Mr. Gen Y Finance Guy (Mr. GYFG, going forward), whose financial perspective lines up with mine.
While I mentioned in the last post that I have a poor/bad/other negative judgy statement perspective on money, and talked about how I’ve always addressed the income portion of the equation, I failed to address why.
I believe in making decisions from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. I believe that you should be allowed to enjoy life – whatever that means to you. Frankly, I believe that I should be able to drink a $6 latte every damn day if I want to, because I feel like it SHOULD be an insignificant line item.
Mr. GYFG and his wife are the poster children of what I want for my life. They make straight up baller dollars, save 50% of their income, and live a mighty fine life while on track to achieve their goals. (In fact, I’m going to go ahead and paint a vision of baller dollars in my future, and claim that kind of income for myself, because holy hell it looks awesome.)
This led me to do some more math – what would it actually take for us to save 50% of our income? Hell, what is 50% of our income?
We don’t make baller dollars, but we do make a lot. Every time we get paid, I am proud of all of the hard work that’s led us here. Hubs and I have both worked really hard to get to where we are. Yes, we’ve made some poor financial decisions in the past, but we’re also on a much better path now.
So when I calculated what 50% of our income is, I realized that 50% of our income right now adds up to what we pay for childcare, credit card payments, and student loans.
That’s not even including my car payment. Or our mortgage payment. Or cutting out all of that obscene eating out and latte-drinking.
That means, once we’ve paid off our debt and both of our kids are in public school (all of which will happen within the next two years), we’ll have no problem saving 50% of our income.
That’s also not including raises, the quarterly bonuses I earn at work, any raises that will happen, any of my side hustle money, AND the amount of money we’re already saving in our pre-tax retirement accounts.
So while we could tighten the belt further, I have to recant on my last post a little bit. I’m not the crazy spender I was beginning to think I was – and maybe, even if my spending habits seem crazy, it’s not the end of the world. We’re already paying an extra small fortune on our credit cards to pay them off.
It’s really all a matter of pace, isn’t it? We could eat only rice and beans for the next year, see no one, buy no new clothes, etc., and would it be worth it? Maybe. For other people, the answer might be yes. But I think for where we are right now, the answer is no.
I want to push us a little bit – I want to push us to be more aware. I want to push us to try new things. Several PF bloggers had a challenge not to go grocery shopping for 30 days – I’d love to do that, just because I’m curious.
So now I’m curious: how do ya’ll decide how frugal you “need” to be?
I still have some emotional unpacking to do here: I admire the Frugalwoods. I love their blog. I’ve professed my love of Dream Beyond Debt multiple times. And yet I’m not making the same sacrifices they make – does that make me a hypocrite?
Really interested in hearing your thoughts!