I gave up a lot on my debt free journey, but I also gained a lot, and not just more wealth, but I gained a more nuanced and interesting perspective on life.
Really leaning into living within my means gave me a paradigm shift that I’m forever grateful for. Without further ado, here are three things I gave up on my debt free journey.
Expensive Gender Affirming Salon Visits
Nails, lashes, Botox, makeup, skincare, dying your hair, cutting your hair, hair products, waxing, maybe even filler or other cosmetic procedures. That’s rent right there. It’s expensive affirming our womanhood.
What can you cut back on temporarily? For me, I shaved my head. Well not completely shaved, but a buzzcut. Everyone was shocked, but I always wanted to try it and when I heard men only pay $15 for a haircut, I thought it was worth it. For 2+ years, I saved myself from paying my normal $400 every 8 weeks salon visit. That’s a $4,800 right there!
I also got the unexpected advantage of now having an edge. I was no longer the basic chick doing the same thing as everyone else. At work people treated me different, I was sort of one of the guys which felt advantageous. The most surprising thing for me was romantically I was wined and dined even more. Maybe my partners realized if I was willing to cut all my hair off, I was willing to cut them off too. This bitch ain’t nothing to f with.
What can you give up? Have fun with it; make it a challenge.
Middle Class Cuisine
Food is considered one of the biggest expenses most people have, which means if you want to find more money to invest or pay off debt, your food spending is a place to look.
I gave up eating out almost completely. I was unstoppable in my wealth goals and I knew it would just be a temporary cut. I also stopped shopping at bougie grocery stores like Whole Foods, Safeway, and Trader Joes and instead opted for Grocery Outlet, Walmart, and the 99cent store.
Take a look at your grocery and eating out spending. Can you cut back anywhere or shift where you get your apples from?
I gave up almost all sparkly new things. New things feel good, but it’s also satisfying not contributing to landfills as much and being able to stack your investment account. Goodwill became my first stop whenever I needed something. Occasionally, I’d use Poshmark for work clothes I needed to replace.
Giving up new things did more than save me money, it gave me an appreciation for what I have and helped me reduce my waste.
Before buying something new, ask yourself if you really need it, then if you do, could you get it 2nd hand? Goodwill often had the odds and ends I needed. Need champagne glasses, containers to organize your stuff, a belt, books, or a rice cooker? There is always a surplus of those things at Goodwill.
Do you have to give up these things to reach your goals? Absolutely not. Your situation is unique. There are pros and cons to each situation. For example, I may have promoted faster if I networked more at lunches and happy hours, but instead I was hyper focused on staying on budget. But I don’t regret my choices. I needed to learn how to nip lifestyle creep in the bud and not feel shame about living within my means.
Remember your path is the right path. Just keep your goals in mind and gently adjust your behavior if you see you’re not getting closer to your goals. You don’t have to do things exactly like me. I’m just here to motivate, inspire, and educate as much as I can.
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