You’re bougie but you want to be rich too. You realize you must cut back on your lifestyle expenses to increase your wealth. The anxiety sets in. You’ve grown accustomed to a luxury lifestyle and worry you’ll be miserable making cutbacks.

There’s also the option of keeping your luxuries and finding ways to increase your income significantly, but this is Sleepy Gurl Finances and I suspect you’re sleepy too. Us sleepy people benefit from making the most of our situation first before looking to expend energy to increase our income.

When I first started focusing on my wealth, I was bougie too (I still am) and had to slowly transition away from the high-priced lifestyle items until my wealth machine was strongly established.

Real quick, what’s a wealth machine? A wealth machine is a collection of assets that provide income that you automatically reinvest into buying more assets, which means it’s a machine that grows itself even if you don’t add more money to it. A simple example is if you buy one share of a stock that produces a dividend, when you receive that dividend, you have it reinvested to buy more stock. Your number of shares will go up even though you didn’t use new money to buy more shares.

Alright, let me tell you some tips I learned while dealing with my lack of luxuries while I was building my wealth machine.

Realize the lifestyle downgrade is temporary

If you’ve seen some of my recent articles, you know I’ve been upgrading my lifestyle again. It did take a long time, about six years before I felt comfortable making lifestyle upgrades.

At one point, a couple years into my downgrade, I remember having anxiety thinking I was just going to keep creating more austere lifestyle choices that never end. I calmed myself down by promising myself I would allow some upgrades at a certain point. Your certain point could be whatever you want it to be. I started upgrading again after I was debt free, had an emergency savings, and had a certain net worth.

The downgrade will end and when it does, you’ll have a nice bit of wealth built up. It will be worth it.

Downgrade in stages

It can help to downgrade in stages to not stress yourself out too much. Consider downgrading one thing at a time and seeing how you feel. In my opinion, luxuries make life a lot nicer, so taking them all away at once can be shocking to your mental. Try to find affordable alternatives to luxuries you really enjoy.

Focus on your biggest expenses

If you can get a roommate or move into a much cheaper living situation, you may not have to worry about your other expenses much because our housing is usually by far the most expensive expense.

Utilize downgrades that don’t make a difference on your quality of life

Your cell phone carrier, depending on where you live, can reduce your monthly expenses by $50 or more and your quality of life won’t change at all. Same thing goes for insurance, toiletries, and many more.

Appreciate the life experience of living simply

Most of the world lives a non bougie lifestyle and they’ll live like that forever. You’re just cutting back temporarily. It helped me develop empathy when I lived very simply. I attribute my journey to build wealth as one of the reasons I became so progressive, even though I wasn’t raised progressive. I was cutting back to grow my wealth, but lots of people must cut back like that to just stay alive. I was cutting back for five or so years, lots of people have to cut back like that their whole life.

In conclusion, it’s hard to build wealth with a bougie lifestyle and being a sleepy person, but with these tips it can help you utilize the wealth building potential of a simple life so that you can enjoy even more luxuries in the future.


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