The things we’ve chosen do make up 50% of our financial independence strategy (working at high-paying jobs, investing in stocks, maxing out our 401(k), etc.), but equally important are the things we’ve deliberately left out from our life to help us expedite our path to FI. We don’t just succumb to doing things because everyone around us does it and it’s culturally the “right” thing to do. We evaluate everything we do under a strict lens of “does this make sense?” and “does this fit with our financial goals?”
Don’t just do it because everyone else does it. Think about it first. Does it match your financial goals?
Here are some of the critical non-essentials we’ve decided to leave behind forever:
WE DON’T CONSUME ANY ALCOHOL, LIKE EVER
We run a clean system here at Frugal Hackers HQ. Alcohol is not required for your system, so why bother poisoning your system with crap your body doesn’t need? Plus, it saves us a bunch of money since alcohol is rather pricey. These days, we just drink tap water, orange juice, and sometimes La Croix + Sparkling Apple Cider.
WE DON’T FINE DINE
We prep meals at home. We only go to fancy restaurants if we really want to be part of a close friend’s birthday celebration. We never go fine dining out of our own volition. Groceries are surprisingly darn cheap here in San Francisco, and cooking is next to free. Our building even covers the cost of cooking gas!
WE DON’T EAT MEAT OR SEAFOOD, AT ALL
Both Mr. and Mrs. Frugal Hackers are ardent vegetarians and have been so since birth. We don’t really know what we’re missing out on, and we certainly don’t intend to find out 🙂 Meat and seafood are rather expensive compared to veggies, fruits, rice, quinoa, beans and lentils, so we’re glad this is out of our budget automatically.
If you’d like to learn why we’ve remained vegetarians all our life, take a stab at this Netflix documentary Cowspiracy. If you have the appetite for something more gruesome, check out some disturbing videos of how animals are being treated inside large-scale farms (Warning: that video is very disturbing).