Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Say hello!!
Post Reply
Ledimir
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 11:22 am

Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by Ledimir » Mon May 20, 2019 4:09 am

Hi there,

My name is Ledimir. I am new to the Early Retirement Extreme forum. I found the site and forum when I started reading Mr. Money Mustache’s site and learned that early retirement is possible by doing two things, increasing your income and decreasing your spending. Increasing your income requires skill, a bit of luck, but also patience. I wanted actionable steps that I could follow immediately, so I focused on the decreasing spending portion. What can I do today to make progress toward never having to sell my time for a couple of dollars? Because my time is finite, I’d rather do with it as I please. So let’s run more, let’s explore more, let’s be curious instead of managed, monitored, and limited.

And so, about me. I am 26 years old and 20 days. I am in a serious relationship with my girlfriend and living with my mother and sister in New York City. I am an INFJ. Thankfully, I have no student debt and no credit card debit. New York is very expensive, but I manage pretty well and am able to keep expenses under $800 per month. I don’t own a car, I use the train and metro service. I want to begin biking to work, a cool 2-7 miles depending on the station I’m at on a given day.

$400 - Rent
$45 - Phone and Internet Service
$140 - food
$200 - miscellaneous expenses [including metro cards, girlfriends gas, etc.]

The journey is long, but I am very excited. I can do so much better and get so much smarter financially. I will work to continually improve and cut expenses whenever possible. Joining this community will be so important because having people with similar goals suddenly makes this the normal and rational thing to do. No longer will I feel crazy for choosing to live cheaply and expensively in perhaps the most wasteful city in the world.

wolf
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by wolf » Mon May 20, 2019 11:35 am

Welcome Ledimir!

Have you already had a look at Jacob's "21 day makeover"? Living with under $800p.m. in NY is pretty frugal. That's a great start!

bigato
Posts: 2163
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by bigato » Mon May 20, 2019 1:44 pm

Welcome. You are pretty low on the expenses front already and will probably need to focus more on increasing income soon. Your misc category is too big of a percentage of your total. You should categorize it better to help having ideas on reducing it further if at all possible. For example, transportation expenses definitely should not be inside misc.

Frita
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by Frita » Mon May 20, 2019 5:46 pm

Way to go keeping expenses low and finding ERE! Is anyone else in your household on a similar path? Are you in the closet with friends and co-workers?

@bigato
Do you think some of us group lots of small categories into the miscellaneous category? DS (ISFJ) and I (ENTP) see it differently. He likes lots of categories where I like the flexibility of a looser classification. I also lump eating out and alcohol with groceries. (Gasp, I know.) Over the years we each taken turns tracking the budget and done it out own way. Jacob’s average daily spend is terrific once habits are engrained.

bigato
Posts: 2163
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by bigato » Mon May 20, 2019 5:59 pm

I believe that a very significant part of the value derived from tracking expenses is in programming your brain to pay attention to it, and helping you see exactly where the outflows are going. Misc does not tell a story, does it? Once you correctly classify it as say, transportation, or food, or fun, you open up a lot of new ways to look at it. In the OP case, paying for GF's gas is clearly transportation. Maybe there is a cheaper way to get to places that they both can agree to? Or maybe it happens rarely enough that it's ok, not worth it to try to reduce it further? In any case, seeing for what it is clearly helps thinking about it. In your example, I'd group eating out together with food, and alcohol with fun or social categories depending on how you use it.

I'm not saying "misc" or "other" should not be there at all. Stuff that happens rarely enough or that is cheap enough and don't easily fit anywhere else, is perfectly fine in that category. If misc starts growing beyond 5% of monthly expenses, maybe there's some work to be done there? This analysis is where you gain the most value. Everything that you keep unclassified represents potential gains in your understanding of your expending patterns and your education in reducing expenses.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed May 22, 2019 12:37 am

Normally I'd agree with bigato. In this case, $800 a month in NYC is so unbelievably impressive, I don't think OP would have much to gain. S/he is well past the need for strict budgeting. Although it might help the rest of us learn from the awesomeness.

bigato
Posts: 2163
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by bigato » Wed May 22, 2019 5:32 pm

I don't correlate precise tracking and categorizing with strict budgeting, but with self education and learning instead. Those records are very valuable when planning for the future.

thrifty++
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by thrifty++ » Fri May 24, 2019 2:58 pm

How is your rent so low in NYC?

User avatar
Stahlmann
Posts: 611
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:46 pm

thrifty++ wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 2:58 pm
How is your rent so low in NYC?
good question, anyway congrats for nailing it.

also, are you Russian emigrant?

thrifty++
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by thrifty++ » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:32 pm

Stahlmann wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:46 pm
good question, anyway congrats for nailing it.

also, are you Russian emigrant?
No. Was this question for me or the OP? I am curious about the rent though. Not that I live in NYC. But live in an incredibly expensive city so wondering if a transferrable hack exists.

FIRE 2018
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:32 am
Location: Florida

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by FIRE 2018 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:13 pm

Don't get married or have kids is a good start to FIRE early.

soundboy22
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:05 pm
Location: New york
Contact:

Re: Early Retirement - Leaving the Start Line

Post by soundboy22 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:14 pm

congratulations, as you said its a long journey but we're all in it together

Post Reply