That’s right! We’re reaching financial independence without riding our bikes to work. Ever. First of all, let me say that I am in awe of people who put this much effort into their financial independence journey. It’s not only the effort that astounds me, it’s also one’s willingness to risk their life to reach financial independence a little bit sooner. I mean let’s be real, for most people, riding a bike to work is risking your life. It certainly would be for me. So, I can say with 100% certainty, at my not-in-my-20s-anymore-age I absolutely REFUSE to risk my life each day on windy roads, in all sorts of weather, just to save a few bucks each week. It just ain’t happening.
As I just mentioned, there is absolutely no way I will be forgoing the comfort of my economical car so I can start biking to work to save a few bucks. And that’s not the only extreme frugal thing we refuse to embark on in order to reach financial independence a little earlier. Read on to see what else we’re NOT doing…
Biking To Work
Again, let me reiterate how much I do admire those who take the initiative to embark on such an extreme activity to reach FI. For us, it’s just not worth the effort. Unless I’m missing something, this can be extremely dangerous, can it not? I have a 13-minute commute (by car) to my job each day. But to get there on a bike would mean facing harsh elements, navigating dangerous curves, and competing with cars. No thank you! I’m all for combining trips and even carpooling – but I draw the line at actively risking my life to save a buck.
Never Going Out to Eat
Mr. MMM and I have flipped and flopped on this one over the years. It used to be my biggest financial nemesis! We both absolutely LOVE going out to eat. Thankfully, we have significantly curbed our restaurant budget since the early years. However, we have decided that depriving ourselves of this huge pleasure should not be carried out in our family for extended periods of time. It just makes us grumpy. So, we nixed the act of ALWAYS cooking at home and never enjoying a dinner out. To be clear, we do budget our outings and constantly seek out the most frugal option.
Let’s be clear, I do love me a good batch of baked beans! In fact, baked beans are a rare treat in our house. But I can tell you this, Mr. MMM and I are not forcing ourselves to eat an over abundance of these little tasty guys in order to reach our FI goal faster.
That said, of course we watch our grocery bill. We purchase less expensive cuts of meat, stock up on weekly specials, and even order the majority of our groceries online to save money. Yes, we order our groceries online to save money. Not only does it save us money, it also saves us precious time. Check it out here!
Cutting Our Own Hair
Lucky for us, Mr. MMM shaves his head! And he does take it upon himself to insource this almost daily grooming activity. Yay! I, on the other hand, am not so fortunate? I have long hair and so does our little Mini Monster, which makes for less frequent haircuts compared to our shorter-haired counterparts.
We tend to find ourselves in a local, trendy hair salon once every few months or so. Having long hairs (and no color or highlights) means we can indulge every now and then and be treated like loyalty. And, the haircuts are amazing! I have suffered through many a bad haircut in my day just to save a buck. Those days are over. And, I’m not apologizing for it. And yes, I do have a glass or two of wine while I’m there. Thank you very much!
Freezing In the Winter And Roasting In The Summer
Nope. Not gonna do it. We live in a small house, compared to the national average, and I refuse to sweat my butt off in the summer or freeze it off in the winter. Our home is well insulated and we have a highly efficient HVAC system. Our bills could certainly be lower than they are – but I’m not willing to sacrifice my comfort to save another few bucks. So I assure you, there are no thermostat wars in our house. We set it and forget it and live quite comfortably all year.
Mrs. MMM, How Can You Call Yourself Frugal?
By now, some of my readers might be wondering how I could possibly claim to be a frugal activist. Not to worry, even though we splurge on a few things that we enjoy and value, we are quite the savers in lots of other arenas.
Here’s a list of things we continue to frugalize in order to reach our financial independence goal!
- We rarely buy anything new
- We’re a one-car family (even though we actually own two)
- We buy used cars and drive them until they’re toast
- Saving and investing is the first expense out of our income
- There is no debt hanging over our heads, except our 2.7% mortgage
- We don’t have cable! Psst…you shouldn’t either 😉
- Free dates and entertainment are all the rage around our house
- We invest found money – even if it’s just a couple hundred bucks!
- The only birthday bash around here is in our backyard
- We indulge in inexpensive staycations instead of traveling
- No gym memberships here – we get our exercise at home
- Eating out includes cheap stuff, like pizza
- We host frugal evenings with friends at home
And THAT, is how we’re still reaching financial independence without riding our bikes to work or eating baked beans for dinner!
What about you? Do you advocate extreme behaviors like biking to work to save a buck and reach financial independence slightly sooner? If so, let us hear why!