One of my goals for 2021 and one that I had for the last 4 years is to increase my income by x amount. The last few years I have focused on minimizing my expenses through minimalism and trying to do most things myself. I managed to save almost half my income the previous years and I plan to increase that the coming year. Through minimalism and decluttering I gained a greater insight in what I value and what I “need”. A lot of things society or the media tells you you need you really don’t or you might already have it, just a lesser version of it.
This year I would like to push myself a bit further and really ingrain that philosophy. I set multiple financial goals: 85.000 net worth, spend less than 16.000 and save more than 55%. This may seems like three goals but it actually is just one. To get to the net worth I would need to save around 55% of my income, give or take a few percent based on the stock market. But to save the 55% of my income, my expenses would need to be less than 16.000 anyway. So to make it a lot simpler for myself: “Move my net worth to 85k by not buying stuff this year”. During reviews of my goals I noticed that the simpler systems always triumph, James Clear mentions systems over goals in his book Atomic habits
What am I spending?
If I look at what I spend this year on the “wants” categories (tech, stuff, clothes, entertainment) it is around 1150 Euro. This does include something I did in fact “need” but most of it I could do without. If I compare it to previous years:
There is a declining trend(I got a job in 2018 so spending went up) so at least that is positive. With the above mentioned changes this will certainly go below 1000. Focusing on continuing this declining trend will help me get of the hedonic treadmill.
No challenge or philosophy is complete without rules. After all you do know the first rule of Fight Club.
- Not buying clothes, shoes, games, software or decorative items. With the exception for replacements but I will first have to check if I could re purpose something else I already have.
- Not buying or acquiring more (e)books. I have a digital library of around 350 books, most of which I haven’t read. I will be content with those for this year. View my reading list to see what I am currently reading and find my reviews.
- Not consuming more services such as social media and streaming services. I already don’t use the latter and certainly don’t plan to. I am working on letting go of most social media.
I am a huge of free and open source, not just software but also knowledge. To keep myself accountable and to keep readers interested I will share my monthly overview on this website. In these overviews I will show where my money goes and how the net worth growth is. Hopefully these will be straight forward and boring, which will mean I am keeping myself to the challenge.
The last 3 items come down to me saving a bunch of time by not wasting it looking at things I don’t even want to look at, let alone buy. I’d rather save my money now so I can let it work for me later on. The next step would be to figure out why I waste so much time on those things, besides the engineering that goes on behind them to make me look at them. Eliminating those things also helps me get rid of all the accounts, emails and notifications for those services.