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Lifestyle Determines Your Financial Future. Not How Much Money You Make.

by | Oct 11, 2021 | Money

One guy can make $3000 a month and be financially secure. Another guy can make $30K a month and be on the brink of financial ruin. Your lifestyle is everything — @FSFmoney

Luxuries are a bear trap.

Once you buy them you’ve got to maintain them. They’re designed to be replaced, so you’ve got to work extra hard to stay ahead of the game. The luxury game is one many of us fall for.

I fell for it. I’m a sucker. I bought a big man’s willy (BMW).

She purred like a kitten, and drained all of my excess cash. Who knew electronics like sunroofs could break so much and require parts from Germany to be airfreighted on the royal family’s magic carpet to Australia for a small fortune? Not me. Like I said, I’m a sucker. Take my money.

Lifestyle design is crucial. If your lifestyle gets out of control, no salary will be enough to keep up with the game.

Sexy minimalism isn’t the point

Don’t use minimalist rules to become a better minimalist. Use them to focus your attention where it matters most. — Julia Horvath

Minimalism is a trend. We’re expected to live in caravans and take our cardboard boxes full of junk to our parent’s place for safe storage. I disagree. The point of financial minimalism isn’t to be cool and hang out with Mr Money Moustache and brag about how many lattes you didn’t buy this week.

I am a financial minimalist because it creates enormous focus. I spend money where it matters. That’s why I don’t do luxury. Luxury is a distraction. If I buy a silly jetski then I’ve got to think about it.

Luxury items occupy space in your brain. Few people understand this.

I want my brain to be full of interesting people and writing ideas. Not big man willie BMWs that need to be taken care of like an adult baby.

Don’t dismiss financial minimalism because it’s good to be a rebel. Don’t become one of those demotivation, anti-self help people so you can get the likes on Twitter and sound like a super-smart contrarian who has all of life figured out.

Embrace financial minimalism because it makes sense. Where focus goes energy flows (as the saying goes).

The house upgrader nightmare reality

People will upgrade their house and increase their mortgage by 20% of their income, just for a small marginal lifestyle improvement. Yet, many find it hard to give up 20% of their income to work less and live more — a radical lifestyle improvement. — Daniel Vassallo

The biggest lifestyle creep comes from shelter. Homes and renovations drain the most money out of our wallets. Do extra bedrooms or a patio really make you happy? I doubt it.

Time is the ultimate freedom.

When you have time you can simply leech off other people’s structural indulgences. Friends and family have nice homes. The cafe is a nice building. Go hang out in these places instead of your own giant home that will take a lifetime to pay off.

The tragedy of buying bigger homes than you need or doing renovations is that most rooms will never be used. Underutilized homes are a financial natural disaster.

Formal living and dining rooms, according to research, top the list of underutilized rooms. 68% of our time is spent in the kitchen and family room. The rest of the home is used far less.

Consider this: Half the rooms in a home are never used. Yet we spend our hard-earned dollars to buy extra walls, plaster, and door handles for nothing. That enormous amount of money could buy you a whole year off work. That will give you far more joy.

The problem isn’t just you

Even if you want to live like a financial minimalist it’s going to be tough. Your partner, family, and friends are used to a certain lifestyle. They won’t admit it. But try and change expenses.

Like I double dare you to attempt to cancel Netflix. It will end up in a hostage negotiation. The police will probably be called. Babies may be thrown in front of tv screens as human shields.

People we love kick and scream if you suggest changing the comforts they’re already used to. That’s why you’ve got to bring them on the journey. Explain why you’re doing it. Reframe the benefits from their perspective.

“If we get rid of all these dumb expenses, I can actually spend time with you and do those walks in the park you love so much.”

It won’t be easy. But once you explain the ‘why’ behind lifestyle change, things will start to shift. Make the change to a financial minimalism with a death by a thousand paper cuts strategy.

Slowly dissolve dumb stuff. Start with small expenses. Then work your way up to the Mt Everest ones, like an oversized home or costly renovations to keep the grandparents happy.


A side hustle can help you make more money, although it’s pointless if your lifestyle creeps to the new dollar amount. Use financial minimalism to laser point your focus on a handful of things that matter to you.

When you work less and live more, you’ll never look back on those dumb purchases that keep you in a life of possession poverty.

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