Personal Finance

8 Lifestyle Changes to Make Now to Build Wealth in 2020

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate News & Commentary, Personal Finance, Real Estate Investing Basics
133 Articles Written
Closeup of Ben Franklin on a one hundred dollar bill

You don't need a six-figure income to become a millionaire.

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In fact, the first time I earned a six-figure income, I didn’t build much wealth, because I spent most of what I earned. It was only later, when I was earning far less, that I got serious about saving money and building wealth.

It’s possible to save a down payment for an investment property within one year on a teacher’s salary, or to save $50,000 in two years on the median US income. You don’t need couch surf or eat ramen noodles every night, either.

But you do need to throw out your old budget, and draw up a new one from scratch. And the faster you want to build wealth, the greater the lifestyle changes required.

If you want to reach a seven-figure net worth quickly, here’s a quick roadmap to get you there as fast as possible.

A Brand New Budget

Your budget is going to be a work in progress. There are some changes you can make immediately, to start the ball rolling in the right direction. But the largest changes – with the greatest impact on your wealth – will require time to implement properly.

A good budget starts with two numbers: your current revenue, and your target savings rate. For your monthly income, write down four weeks’ take-home pay. That’s what you can count on in any given month, and no more. (Your occasional bonus paycheck can go straight toward savings and investments, but to include a fraction of it in your monthly budget is deceptive and counterproductive.)

Next, declare a target savings rate: the percent of your take-home income that you want to put towards savings and investments. I recommend no less than 15%, and ideally far more. List this as your first and most important “expense.”

Related: 5 Smart Ways to Start Investing in Rentals Later in Life

Then you can list out all your expenses. Those come in four varieties: regular monthly expenses (like your housing payment), irregular monthly expenses (like groceries), regular annual expenses (like insurance premiums), and irregular-but-inevitable expenses (like holiday, birthday, and wedding gifts).

Don’t forget all your myriad subscriptions – even those that you pay annually, rather than monthly.

Your expenses probably add up to more than your income. Don’t fret, that’s what we’re aiming to change.

young people silhouettes jumping with sunset in background and water in foreground reflections of silhouettes clearly visible in water

Form an Execution Plan

You now have a target, a destination to work toward. With it you can map out exactly how to get there.

Bear in mind that the average American spends between two-thirds and three-quarters of their budget on just three expenses: housing, transportation, and food. These, therefore, are where you have the greatest opportunity for savings.

But housing and transportation require major lifestyle shifts to reduce or remove. Those don’t happen overnight; we’ll come back to them shortly, but first let’s review some changes you can make right now.

Immediate Expenses to Cut

1. Stop Eating Commercial Food

Restaurants mark up food and beverages between three and five times their cost, at least. They’re in business to make a profit, after all.

Their profit comes out of your wallet. If you’re serious about building wealth, stop eating food prepared by someone else. That includes not just sit-down restaurants, but also fast food, take-out, delivery, and weekday lunches.

The good (and bad) news is that you get to learn how to cook. I’ve become a much better cook, since committing to becoming a millionaire. I started by learning how to make all my own favorite meals. Then I asked all my friends and family to send me their favorite recipes. On the rare occasions that I now let myself eat out, I scour menus for good recipe ideas – and then I learn how to make them myself.

I make enough at dinner to have leftovers the next day for lunch.

You can still eat well without eating out. You just need to commit to doing so.

2. Ditch All But 1 Subscription

When you listed all your subscriptions, you were probably shocked at how many you had. Cable TV subscriptions, video streaming services, music streaming services, monthly or weekly “box” delivery services, computer backup services. The list goes on.

You probably even forgot a few.

Pick one that you just can’t live without, and keep it. Cancel all the rest.

The end.

3. Cancel Your Gym Membership

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of gym members never go to the gym. Fully 82% of gym members go less than once a week. They just keep paying for them because to cancel the membership feels like admitting defeat.

If you don’t go to the gym at least once every single week, pick up the phone right this second and call the gym to cancel your membership. The rest of the article will still be here waiting for you when you hang up.

The young guy in casual clothes is cycling on the road in the evening city

Gym memberships are a privilege earned by working out religiously. You build the habit of working out first, then you pay for the gym membership.

Start with home workout routines like running, bike riding, yoga videos, and other home workout videos you can find for free online. When you firmly establish the habit of working out every day, or at least three or four times a week, you can consider applying for a gym membership again.

No one likes to hear that. Which is why there are so few millionaires, not to mention so few adults out of their 20s with six-pack abs.

4. Quit Smoking

A one-pack-a-day cigarette habit costs nearly $2,400 per year in the US.

Which says nothing of the health costs, both medical and financial in the form of added healthcare expenses. Or the shorter life expectancy.

Quit smoking and put that money toward building wealth. You’ll be healthier, happier, and richer.

5. Go on a Cash Budget

One of the best ways to slash your spending and live on half your income is to physically part with every single dollar you spend. It makes them real, tangible, visceral.

Try the good ol’ fashioned envelope budgeting system for the next year. It’s a little inconvenient, but guess what? Getting rich is inconvenient. It’s a lot easier to eat out every night, sipping margaritas and gobbling enchiladas.

Related: The Foolproof Monthly Budget: How to Save Up Money to Buy Investment Properties

First, set aside your credit cards in a drawer somewhere, and delete all saved credit card data from your frequent shopping sites. They’re off limits.

Pay cash for everything you buy physically. If you absolutely must by something digitally, use your debit card.

You’ll be amazed at how much less you spend.

6. Explore More Alternative Budgeting Tips

There are hundreds of ways to save money.

Buy everything but consumables used. Buy generic brand products and groceries. Turn down your thermostat. Hang your clothes up to dry, rather than putting them in a dryer.

Get creative and stop spending so much money.

Structural Changes: Housing & Transportation

My wife Katie and I haven’t paid for housing in five years. For the previous four of those years, we shared one car. This year, we’ve gotten rid of even that one car.

And we’re saving around 60% of our household income.

Doing it required major lifestyle changes, but I don’t miss our old lifestyle one bit. Our life is far simpler and easier now, even aside from the financial savings.

7. Cut Your Housing Payment

There a dozen ways to house hack.

The traditional model involves buying a multifamily, moving into one unit, and renting out the other(s). Your neighboring tenants pay your housing costs for you, so you get free housing (see this duplex house hacking case study for more details).

But that's not the only way to house hack. I've brought in housemates before to cover most of the mortgage. My co-founder Deni Supplee has house hacked suburban homes no fewer than four different ways. Her latest: she hosts a foreign exchange student, and the company pays her a nice monthly stipend.

Another friend of mine rents out a room on Airbnb, usually 10-14 days per month. It covers most of her housing costs.

Katie and I currently get free housing through her job. Don’t forget: some employers provide free housing!

Most Americans spend between 25-50% of their income on housing. Imagine how fast you could build wealth without those costs?

Friends watching tv and eating popcorn, rear view.

8. Ditch a Car

As you’re exploring how to house hack, look for homes where you could get by without a car, or at least with one fewer car in your household.

That could mean moving to a walkable neighborhood, or to within biking distance from work. Or it might mean living near public transportation, or somewhere convenient for using ridesharing services (like Uber) or carsharing services (like ZipCar).

Perhaps you could carpool to work with a colleague?

Don’t ignore the option of changing jobs. If your current job requires a car, you could always move to a new employer. Or switch fields entirely.

I designed my current business and side gig around living overseas ten months out of each year. I still don’t earn as much as I did working for an established company, but so what? I love what I do, and I get to travel the world.

Without a car.

Automate Your Savings

Regardless of your current savings rate, you should automate your savings so it goes out the door before any other expense. Every single paycheck.

That could mean having your employer split your direct deposit to go into two accounts, so your savings go directly in to a savings account. Or it could mean setting up automated transfers, scheduled for every single payday.

If you have outstanding credit card debt or student loans, schedule automated payments for each payday to ditch your debt fast.

You can also start using automated savings apps like Acorns or Chime Bank.

Or if you’re currently investing heavily in stocks, it could mean setting up a robo-advisor that automates the transfers for you, then automates the investments.

Discipline will fail you sooner or later, and usually sooner. You can’t count on it to make you wealthy – so don’t.

Final Thoughts

People don’t get rich because it’s convenient. Quite the opposite. People get rich because they’re willing to inconvenience themselves and spend less now in order to have more later.

No one says you have to get rich. By all means, keep living like the average American, spending nearly all of your income on conveniences and keeping up with the proverbial Joneses. You want to show off how successful you are to your friends and family, right?

Most people live like that. And most people don’t build real wealth. If you want to create abnormal wealth, you need to buck the trends and live abnormally. That’s the price of getting rich, and it’s one you get to choose, consciously, whether you’re willing to pay.

What’s your current savings rate? What about your target savings rate? What’s your plan to get there, and what are you willing to change in order to reach it?

Share below in the comments!

G. Brian Davis is a landlord, personal finance expert, and financial independence/retire early (FIRE) enthusiast whose mission is to help everyday people create enough rental income to cover their ...
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    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied 8 months ago
    For those looking to quit smoking, by the way, I highly recommend Allen Carr's book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great tip Andrew, thanks for sharing!
    Ryan Swift Rental Property Investor from Irving, TX
    Replied 8 months ago
    I second that, his book helped me quit as well. Over 2 years now!
    Dave Rav from Summerville, SC
    Replied 8 months ago
    Good stuff. And very useful and easily implemented. The eating out thing is definitely a truth. Your markup is correct. And maybe short in some cases, such as soft drinks. A 16oz soda costs a restaurant like $0.12, yet they charge you $1.75!! That's a 14.6x markup. A return of 1400%. Stupid insane. Thankfully we're only talking small money here, unlikely to break the bank. I just wanted to illustrate a point
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Well put Dave, and it's true: the commercial markup on food and beverages can be extraordinarily high!
    Terry Lowe
    Replied 8 months ago
    Learning to cook and eat at home saves money, energy, time, health and builds relationships and family. Make a weekly plan and stick to it. Easy, healthy breakfasts (no boxed cereal), leftovers for lunch the next day, and even a glass of wine or beer is much more affordable at home. Have family dinners and occasionally, candles and music. You will find that you and your family are healthier, happier and you have more time to spend saving money. It’s the best thing that ever happened to our family. When we had our own business, we brought our lunch, or even ate canned soup while all of our employees ate out everyday.... hmmmm!
    Christa S Rickard from Tampa, Florida
    Replied 8 months ago
    I would never normally post this on a website like this, but I'm going to do it only because of the topic of conversation regarding lifestyle changes and how to save money. When talking about food, cooking your own food is substantially cheaper than eating out. But if you want to cut costs even further, try cutting out meat and dairy for most of your meals. I went vegan almost 20 years ago for personal reasons and was surprised at how much money I saved on groceries when I wasn't buying meat or dairy products. Now, if you just replace meat products with vegan meat products, you're not going to save money. But you don't need meat products for delicious, healthy meals. If you want them, you can just make your own, which is still cheaper than buying meat. I cook during the week, but I always spend at least one weekend a month just cooking large meals. Once they're finished, I portion them out into small containers and put them in the freezer. I can usually get 4 to 6 meals for each item I cook. I like this because it's easy to have healthy lunches during the work week or if I'm too busy at home in the evenings to cook, I just throw one of those in the microwave for dinner as well.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    So true Terry! Cooking at home and having family meals brings everyone closer together. Too bad more people don't do it!
    Lemar Allen from Elizabeth City, North Carolina
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great read! Currently I'm trying to maintain being able to save anywhere from $1000-$1500 a month after expenses. Eventually, however, I'd like to be able to put $5000 a month or more away after expenses. In order to get to that point, I plan to obtain a few rental properties in my hometown. It's a very good market for landlords... lots of discounted properties in the area.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Glad to hear it Lemar, it sounds like you're off to a great start, and moving quickly in the right direction!
    La Mancha Sims
    Replied 8 months ago
    This should be a must-read for a lot of people! It provides a real-world need people should start thinking about in order to build not only long term wealth but overall happiness.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thank you so much La Mancha! Always nice to hear as a writer, and I agree about these changes building not just wealth but also happiness. Most people spend far too much energy chasing the wrong things!
    Julian Gonda Rental Property Investor from San Francisco, CA
    Replied 8 months ago
    Another great personal finance article, Brian! If I'm honest with myself I've been enjoying my decision to live more frugally since the last half of 2019, and I met my investment target to begin the new year! My main driver is finding a way to house hack and eventually have that as my first rental property (I'm in an expensive market, but nothing that can't be done with the determination and will, right?) Thanks for the insight and solid read!
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks Julian, and congratulations on your progress over the last six months, that's fantastic!
    Darwin Crawford Rental Property Investor from Scottsdale, AZ
    Replied 8 months ago
    This is fantastic. I'd add one thing though - devote as much energy to learning how to buy cash-flowing assets as you do to cutting costs. Saving $100 per week on food is great, but buying a 4-plex at a 100k discount to market will get you much further, much faster. Oh, and learn to DIY a few property projects too! Exercise, and self-satisfaction at a job well done. Win-Win.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks Darwin, and I 100% agree about investing your saved cash to create more income. And I wish I were handier with the DIY stuff myself!
    Jerry Minney
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great Ideas. My biggest savings has been house hacking. Rents more than cover the mortgage and utilities. Learning to let go of the unimportant things. Currently listening to an audio book "The subtle art of not giving a f**k". Nothing to be afraid of, were all going to die. Accepting responsibility for our lives and enjoying the important things in our lives each day. Not stressing over trying to impress others.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks Jerry, and that book is actually on my list to read this year!
    Aaron Mosher
    Replied 8 months ago
    i just googled the book to get more info. I definitely prefer physical books over audio, so i was happy to see a link to borrow it from my library. I've never seen that before with google - usually it's just an Amazon link. Three clicks (literally) and it's on its way from another library in the state to my local library. For free!
    Patrick OToole Rental Property Investor from Philadelphia, PA
    Replied 8 months ago
    This was a great reminder to stay on track! Thanks! It's so easy to say "just this one time" or "I'll start tomorrow". I appreciate the great advice on money saving tips!
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks Patrick, much appreciated!
    Alexandra King Real Estate Agent from Santa Barbara, CA
    Replied 8 months ago
    Well, do you have any suggestions for an artist? I don't eat out; do not have no disposable income; do not own a home, do not smoke; live on cash only; have no credit cards; have no subscriptions; am not a member of a gym and I need a car to carry props and costumes from gig to gig.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Hi Alexandra, I do as a matter of fact :-) In your case I'd add a side gig to generate more income, which you can put toward income-producing investments. It's hard at first, working the extra hours, but once you start bringing in passive income from investments you get into a virtuous cycle. Each additional source of income helps you afford another, to keep snowballing income. Sooner rather than later you can abandon the side gig if you don't enjoy it (although you might find you DO enjoy it and want to keep doing it). Best of luck!
    Wenda Kennedy JD from Nikiski, Alaska
    Replied 8 months ago
    Yes, I agree. You can REALLY cut your expenses while you are investing the money that you save out of those cuts. What's funny is that it becomes a lifestyle that lingers long after that need to raise cash. When my step-children were little, they complained that their dad and I were the cheapest people on earth. Now, as young adults, they think that we're smart and they tend to see money as we do. Like I've always told them -- Why spend it on stuff that means nothing? The other important point is actually designate that money that you save to be used for something specific that will mean something in the end. It may be paying off your mortgage -- buying an investment property --- buying the materials to make an improvement --- Whatever moves you, just do it. It's a rare person who actually makes the decision and then makes it happen.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    So true Wenda, and great point about designating money for specific goals - it helps keep you motivated and your vision clear!
    Jake Hottes
    Replied 8 months ago
    Good article, I definitely need to add a couple of those to my routine. But I have a few critiques. I do eat out but I pay for that out of an "entertainment" budget as it's often a social function which is important to many people. Definitely dont use those food delivery services too! They charge you extra to bring you expensive restaurant food AND you have to clean your own dishes. I also use a credit card for everything because I like to build up the rewards points. However, I always pay my credit card in full each month because I prebudget the money.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks Jake. Credit cards can be powerful tools, and work in your favor if you pay them in full each month. The problem isn't the cards themselves, it's that the average person doesn't know how to wield them properly. I too use credit cards, and I too pay them in full each month.
    Darby Neil from Bend, Oregon
    Replied 8 months ago
    Every dime we spend has been taxed. Therefore saving money is as important as making money, depending on your tax load. A fireman friend here in CA recently told me he's never made so much and had so little. According to his accountant his tax load is 41%. (That includes everything; Income, sales, car registration, prop tax, etc. total.) Divorce is a bad financial decision. I had recently sold my career business but after the divorce I had not enough money left to execute our business plan (or motivation) and no job prospects. In 2015 I had a small home and about $100, 000. I rented the house, put the cash into another rental, bought a 24' trailer for $8,500 and became a full time RV'er. It was lonely and hard to get used to at first. I heard someone on a bigger pockets interview say, "Be willing to live a few years how most people won't to live the rest of your life how most people can't". That's still posted on my refrigerator door. Now I can't imagine how I EVER lived so long in the 9-5 grind, in one place stuck to a schedule. It makes me sick to think about it. I am free and I live rent free. I stay on National Forest or BLM when I travel and explore or on a job or on one of my properties. There are some good write off's too when you're looking for properties or "doing maintenance" on those you have. Needless to say I make very little in wages but I work enough to live on. I put the rental income into savings and then into more properties when I have time to look for and acquire something new. I acquired 2 more commercial properties in 2019 and some land. One is a duplex that will close tomorrow which will meet my income goals. Conventional lenders are starting to like me again. Now that I've had opportunity to search out where I'd most like to live I've bought some land and am planning my home, living on the property rent free in my RV. However, I'm still many years from giving up the travel lifestyle or acquiring real estate! I'm leaving this weekend for another month long adventure. When I get back, after my building plans are submitted, I'll start looking for another cashflow property. I'm spending a little more money on fun stuff. But most of my money will go into the build for a year or two. Financials aside, the "homeless" journey has been priceless. I am forever grateful for the experiences I've had, the places I've seen, to the people that make the experiences priceless and who have become the real friends like family that make life worth living. This is by far the most precious reward of all.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Love that you're walking your own path and having adventures Darby!
    Nathaniel Cherubini Rental Property Investor from Hernando FL Stationed in Murrieta, CA
    Replied 8 months ago
    This is an awesome post Darby! Keep on rockin' it!
    Tom McCaffrey
    Replied 8 months ago
    WoW Darby! Good for you!!
    Tushar P.
    Replied 8 months ago
    Is being a millionaire a big deal in 2020? Do you think being a millionaire in 2020 is as difficult as being a millionaire in 1920? Or does this article belong in the 1920s...
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Don't be snarky just for the sake of being snarky. Having an investable net worth of over a million dollars puts you in the top 10% of US households. If your goal is to be in the top 1% before you consider yourself wealthy, more power to you, but that takes more than the basic budgeting tips within the scope of this article.
    Geoff Thompson
    Replied 8 months ago
    Lots of good advice here. When I got married, not eating out was one of the biggest changes my wife forced on me (grudgingly). BUT - I've become a MUCH better cook (I do about 90% of our cooking now), and have gotten to where most restaurant dishes pale in comparison to my own. No one was more surprised than me. I still love to eat out, but we save that for mostly special occasions. The other thing to eliminate is Starbuck's and other expensive coffees - that could be $100 a month or more that you're wasting. Get a Yeti (or a cheap imitation) and BREW YOUR OWN for your morning commute! If you get a Grind n Brew, you can enjoy freshly ground coffee every single morning. Some of these aren't as practical for us - especially the car thing. But for those that can make that work, more power to you!
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great tip Geoff about eliminating store-bought coffees! Such a huge money waster for so many people.
    David Kitfield, Jr
    Replied 8 months ago
    Good article Brian. I've been house hacking since I was 30 years old and am now 65 and retired. I always bought a used car and paid cash for it. With my house hacking completely paying the mortgage and no car payment, I became a millionaire at age 50, so it can be done. Keep spreading the word!
    Don Taylor New to Real Estate from Raleigh, NC
    Replied 8 months ago
    I'm 31, so that statement motivates me even more
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks David, and congratulations on your success! Living proof that frugality does help create wealth, contrary to what some naysayers spout.
    John Mahady Investor from DuPage, IL
    Replied 8 months ago
    I suggest a valuable tool I reference everyday for my RE business and personal finance. Create a spreadsheet with two tabs. One for income and expenses: runs vertically with repeated income and expense items and then a income for that month highlighted to standout. Copy and paste the monthly grouping out for 1.5 years. Each month should have the same categories. These categories should be listed at the top and each month categories link to those same values. Example categories, my gross rents collections, mortgage payments, utilities, HELOC payments, home expenses. Another tab for assets and liabilities: This tab contains all my properties itemized by rents, expenses like insurance, HOA, taxes, loan payments. As i add properties i add a line to my property lists with same columns. I can then calculate each property and all cash flow and ROI BENEFITS: I can forecast accurately out over a year and plan accordingly. I can also do what-ifs when considering new properties or expenses.
    Don Taylor New to Real Estate from Raleigh, NC
    Replied 8 months ago
    Could you DM me that spreadsheet template, sounds like something I need to do
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great hands-on tip John, thanks for adding!
    Ronnika Dillon Investor from Northeast Florida
    Replied 8 months ago
    Love this article! Spells out the easiest way to save and is a true budget 101. Forwarded this read to my husband to make sure we are learning together. Thank you so much for sharing!
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks Ronnika, glad to hear it was useful for you!
    Ron Gantt Investor from Chino Hills, CA
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great Insight Brian! Many thanks....
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks for the comment Ron, much appreciated!
    Blake Dailey Rental Property Investor from Panama City, FL
    Replied 8 months ago
    @G. Brian Davis I love what you said at the end, “People don’t get rich because it’s convenient”. I’ve been having this discussion with my wife about house hacking being inconvenient for her and trying to convince her otherwise - She coaxed me into shutting down renting out a bedroom on Airbnb. Any advice?
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    I know how that goes Blake! My best advice would be to show her the two scenarios side by side: one where you house hack, and one where you continue as is. Show her how much more money you'll have at the end of this year, and offer to put some of it directly toward a goal that's important to her (whether that's travel, saving for your kids' college, retirement, a home improvement, whatever). Best of luck!
    Lisa Byrne
    Replied 7 months ago
    May i suggest also seeing if you can Find out what her fear or the real inconvenience is ifor her? Is it having strangers in the house? is it about the extra work involved? Or.... maybe a medium term rental or rent to traveling nurses or exchange student would feel better ? Possibly you can find a solution there’s a solution that would work for her & alloow the savings too !? Good luck
    Jenny Li Rental Property Investor from Raleigh, NC
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great article. You have to sacrifice in order to build wealth. Heard this from multiple people. It’s sticking in my head... I’m trying.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks Jenny, and it helps to reframe how you look at it. I no longer see frugality as a sacrifice, I enjoy a simpler lifestyle as an end in itself. Nowadays, the idea of my apartment filling up with "things" stresses me out far more than the idea of going without a "thing" that catches my eye!
    John R. Schobel from North Carolina
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thank you for the information G. Brian Davis. Hopefully sending this to my wife will help convince her to stop smoking. Luckily when we first moved into a rental (her best friend owned) we moved to the side where 2 heavy smokers lived for over a decade. We were shocked when we started cleaning how much smoke residue stuck to everything and the smell. Since then she has always smoked outside or in the garage, but getting her to quit is the ultimate goal. Hopefully seeing you numbers that equate to dollars will go a long way. Again, many thanks for the informative article.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks John, and best of luck with your wife quitting, it makes a huge difference in overall quality of life!
    Tobias Ortega
    Replied 8 months ago
    Insightful Blog! I've been doing many of these habits over the past year and it has grown my net worth. The blog definitely gives ideas to save even more. Thank you.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks for the comment Tobias, and glad to hear you've seen success over the last year in growing your net worth!
    Stephen Hollenberg
    Replied 8 months ago
    When you talk about cutting subscriptions you mention cable tv. Do you include things like internet and cell phones to be subscriptions as well? If so I’d think those would be the ones to keep.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Haha, those are definitely ones to keep. I'm talking more about video streaming, music streaming, monthly box subscriptions, and other optional services.
    Aaron Mosher
    Replied 8 months ago
    Another easy money saving thing: your library! Think about how much you spend on buying books or movies/TV on Amazon. Almost all of it you can get at the library. You don't even need (admittedly very cheap) Redbox - your library likely has the DVD you want.
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Great point Aaron! I use my digital library from the US to borrow Kindle and audiobooks, even though I spend most of the year living in Brazil.
    Jai Fults Accountant from Charleston, SC
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks for putting together this post G Brian! I am currently living this and it is nice to get some validation I am on the right track. Goal set for EOY duplex purchase [also appreciate that link to the duplex hacks, are you reading my mind??] and have been networking with a couple local subs so I have some support for my 5 year plan execution. I will admit, if I had to add quitting smoking to this list, not sure where I would be. You guys out there who are/have done so...K U D O S!!
    G. Brian Davis from Baltimore, MD
    Replied 8 months ago
    Thanks Jai, and glad to hear you're on track for a duplex purchase this year! All I'll say about quitting smoking is you'll be amazed at both how much better you feel day-to-day and how much less money you spend. Best of luck!