2. Restaurants: I looked back at my pre-financial independence spending levels and cannot believe what I spent on eating out. That is coffee in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, eating out all three meals a day over the weekend and sometimes more during the week. I was spending easily $500-$1,000 a month. I get it man. Eating out is fun, simple and enjoyable. Not when its costing you your freedom. Every meal and coffee enjoyed puts you that much more under the thumb of the man. You need someones money desperately to keep up the eating out. If I can stop, I promise you can too. I do give myself an eating out budget. Yes, many in this world see it as a waste to eat out at all but that is their prerogative. I am saving over 60% of my income. I budget one meal out a week. It usually comes to around $25-$28 with tip included. That means I spend around $100 a month in eating out. Probably 15% of the old Josh. The rest is being invested into low cost index funds.
3. Pets: Oh man this is dangerous. So we have two cats. We love them. However; i do not under any circumstances buy them sweaters, or other stupid costly toys. I have seen people spend hundreds of dollars on animal clothes and food when they have no emergency fund. There are some exceptions but general rule, if you do not have $5,000 in the bank and a monthly contribution going towards retirement-NO PETS!!! Exceptions are people with disabilities or extreme loneliness and or depression. Pets can be great pals and nobody should have nobody. For the rest of you who are not saving for retirement but spending $150 a shot at a pet store, no compassion from me.
4. Boozing: Oh man, this is another one of my old weaknesses. I used to go out with friends and drink 5-6 old fashions on a Saturday night at $10 a pop. Looking back at old credit card statements I found that every Saturday had $80-$100 nights when it took into account booze and then the munchies that come along with getting drunk. I rarely drink anymore. One reason is health but the other is I just don't need to spend that type of money. I will have some drinks here and there but usually when I invite people over and can drink from the bottle of vodka in the freezer.
5. Unneeded Clothes: You ever go into a store and just see something that looks pretty nice and buy it? You did not fucking need it but you still came home with it. Again; I am not sitting in judgement. I was there with you. My wife and I would go in Macy's for the hell of it. I would walk out $50 lighter in the pocket. Yes, you will probably need to buy new clothes here and there but think it through. Can you grab some stuff at a used goods/clothes store? Can you get a little more time out what you have? A great policy is to stay the hell out of the stores to begin with unless you absolutely need something and then have a strategy. For those of who think this sounds like misery because you need to, "look cute", just remember being broke and penniless is not cute.
6. Unnecessary Food and Beverages: This one comes straight from my wife. Soda, chips, cookies and junk in general. We are not talking about never eating this stuff but wasting al ot of money on it every week. I worked for Coca-Cola and fucking Pepsi! I used to drink a 24 pack of soda a week or more. Again, if I can conquer this weakness so can you. Soda is not cheap like when I worked for the soda companies. a two liter in Seattle costs at least $2 and a 24 pack is around $10. That is an expensive and unnecessary habit. Bad for the waist line and health too. Do not take all the fun out of life but keep it in check mate. I bought a 2 liter of ginger ale last week. I love it but I do not drink it every night.
Conclusion: My wife just told me I am taking all that is fun in life away. I disagree. I still eat out, I still drink alcohol, we have two pets and i even drink soda occasionally. I am saying what could be a fun every once in a while treat can turn into monstrous blood suckers if you do not watch it. Vlad Dracula also called Vlad the Impaler for his torturing tactics left his victims no choice but to die horrible painful deaths. We inflict these wounds and blood loss on ourselves. If you are not saving a sizable amount towards retirement, take a look in the mirror and make a plan.