I think many of us are overly frugal and will die with too much money. But because of our lifetime of frugality, it's been very hard to spend more. 2019, I'm committed to spend $1500 more a month on things that may improve the quality of our lives.
Here is my ongoing record:
January 2019: $1,200 mattress to replace 15 years old one, $200 house cleaning, $180 inhome massages for two.
Perhaps you'd like to join me in the good life project by forcing yourself to spend more money as well.
$200 for house cleaning is well worth the cost in my family! Cleaning/chores was responsible for 80% of the arguments I got into with Mrs. couchfi. That's now just 20% since getting a hand held vacuum cleaner, a floor mopping robot and hiring a cleaner to come once a months.
As for this year, we're still in the accumulation phase of FI here, so don't want to increase my budget too much, but categories I under spent last year that I plan on spending more on:
1. Health & Fitness - going to take a few ski-trips and either sign up for some classes and/or do more hiking - I want to spend $2000 this year on health & fitness between skiing and classes. Last year I spent just ~$500, and half of that went to buying a fitbit and some dumbells!
2. Relationships - having a newborn (now toddler) has put a toll on my relationships with friends. I plan on spending more on going out with friends and hosting gatherings - I didn't categorize this last year, but I estimate I spent less than $1000 on this for the whole year based on a few gatherings we attended or hosted, and half of that probably went to buying a rounds of drinks for friends the 3 or 4 times I went to a bar last year. I want to do more activities like road trips with friends or visit some friends in another city this year. Budget $6000 (traveling ain't cheap!) for the year, which is more inline with what we spent in previous years.
My budget has already increased for childcare which barely registered as a category the year before, hoping not to have to increase this until she is ready for daycare/preschool in a years time.
Good stuff CouchFI! - Yeah... we might as well spend the money when we need to the most.
The first 5 years of life is like super crunch time where we need the most help.
Ironically I was thinking about this morning...at what point do we cross from being frugal FIREs to being plain out Scrooge-like misers? As much as we want to be free from being enslaved to a job/debt, what if we never get there because a drunk driver or accident got in the way? Then all the work was partly in vain, your family/legacy will be better off but you never got to enjoy it.
Personally, I spend too much time (28 days a month) in the middle of nowhere trying to frac oil out of the ground. Due to not having a life/home, my monthly expenses are around $500. To avoid burning out I'm doing the following:
- Attend music festivals. It's a fun way to make friends and be social, I'm a bit of a hermit who loves music and want to develop a personality/find myself. Attending ADE, ACL, Coachella, Corona Capital, EDC Mexico, Stagecoach, and Ultra. Doing all in VIP for one year is a bit expensive but at least I'll get it out of my system in one go. Well just say ~13K for the entire year including flights/AirBNB.
- Take cooking classes. I can't make eggs so I figured have some fun and learn new skills. Sur La Table has classes for ~60 bucks.
- Health is wealth, so I bought a bike I love to ride around and exercise. 1500 but I expect this bike to last me a decade...or until it's stolen.
Also, what do you call someone who is in FIRE? Firecans, FIREmen, FIREs?
I was really hoping there would be more responses because I'm looking for ideas especially those that help save time. My kids are in elementary school so that hinders our ability to go out. Our lives revolve around the kids' schedules, but I don't feel comfortable outsourcing that job.
One area where we do spend more on are live performances--which are quite pricey. We even bring the kids sometimes. These include:
3. Cirque shows
4. Stand-up comedians
6. Sporting events
Sometimes, for a special occasion, if I can find a deal...I'll even splurge for the good seats.
First, @TacosAndBurritos: Consider tacking on extra days or a weekend before/after ACL in Dallas or Houston. The same bands play those towns during the before and after weeks. There are some worthy venues, lower prices, and fewer people. If you've got too many bands on your hit list for ACL it's a great way to maximize the time or hit a show twice.
We love having family visit, but we have some guests that don't value cleaning up the way we might. We're planning to spend on house cleaning services during those months to remove the need for unlikely to work and high stress family interventions over something so small. Maybe $500 this year?
Biggest change in life recently is becoming a skiing family. Next year we'll need 4 season passes to the local spot and a trip or two to some fun places to visit. Skiing with family friends ain't cheap, but comparing to a recent trip to Disney it ain't too bad either. $4000-5000 this year and more for the trips next year.
I'm still in accumulation process so can't spend too much.
My good life projects are eating out and travel.
My line of thought is when I'm old I may not be able to eat what I like to eat or travel due to health limitation
So I may just enjoy it now then wait until I FI. :D