Net worth is your total assets minus your total liabilities. Changing your mindset from thinking about financial decisions in terms of “Can I make the monthly payments?” to “How will it affect my net worth?” can help you make wiser financial choices, and improve your financial health.
In the last post, I shared my family’s actual expenses for Q1 and Q2 of this year. For the current post, I compared some of my basic expenses from my first year of post-doc to my current expenses 8 years later. Within that time, our family grew from 3 people to 5, and we moved from a two-bed/one-bath apartment to a four-bed/two-bath house.
So how did I do at avoiding lifestyle inflation? Here are my numbers as a percent of take-home pay.
For years, I’ve been tracking every cent I spend and looking for ways to reduce my expenses. You’d think I’d have found every shortcut by now of what to not buy. But I continue to add to the list of things I don’t buy.
I’ve previously written about budgeting, but there are a number of other things you can do to stay in control of your finances.
Internship was a Tough Year
I just moved to a new state for internship. My husband left his job to move with me. When we arrived I found out that I was pregnant (panic!). After 5 years of graduate school, would I be able to graduate? How would I pay the medical bills? We had no family nearby – who would help with the baby? Continue reading The Debt Shrink’s Story
I’m often asked how I paid down massive amounts of debt. When I start talking about reducing monthly costs, some people think I’m skirting the question. But reducing monthly costs is the answer! Continue reading Top Tips for Cutting your Monthly Expenses
Maybe you’ve recently moved to a new area and want to explore the city for free with your equally broke friends. Maybe you have a large family and even relatively inexpensive activities turn into fifty dollars for you all to just walk through the door. Or maybe you’ve been living a Fancy Pants lifestyle and are getting bored with the high-priced trendy speakeasies and want to experience what it’s like in the exciting life of the Debt Shrink. Continue reading Free Events: Museum Day and Every Kid in a Park
Post-doc can be one of the most financially challenging times in your life. You’ll be making more money than in grad school, but not as much as a staff position. Student loan payments start six months after graduation and you will have a number of other expenses as you start your career.
Want to know the secret to how I paid off my student loans (and car loans and medical bills)within three years of graduating while also being the sole earner in my family? The answer: I avoided lifestyle inflation and focused on one thing at a time. Continue reading Avoiding Lifestyle Inflation is Key to Getting Out of Debt