You don't need to cut spending to increase your net worth.
In fact, I think it's the exact opposite. In order to reach financial independence you need to spend money to make money.
Way too may people, especially in the hustle, side gig, FIRE, community, focus on what you should be cutting out.
I'm not about that life. I'm here to live my life, not to do the bare minimum.
Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't keep your expenses under control. You should. But that doesn't mean you have to scrimp and cut out your daily Starbucks latte.
Focusing on what to cut out comes from a place of lack. Lack assumes that there is a limit to your resources. It's a money mindset of scarcity, worrying about how much you have and when it might disappear.
Scarcity and lack might get you part of the way. You can build a good budget, make sure your expenses are less than your income, and grow little by little over time.
But the real magic comes when you let go of that fear.
Should you ignore your budget? No. Absolutely not. What I prefer to do is practice awareness vs depriving myself. If you measure and track what's happening with your money, your spending behaviors will automatically change.
"What gets measured, gets managed".
The other side of that is to cultivate a sound mindset and mental health. Most wasteful spending comes from attempting to fill a void in your life or feeling the need to impress and "keep up" with other people.
If you can fill those holes and be aware of what you're spending money on, you wont have an expense issue. You can do this without depriving yourself of enjoyable experiences and purchases.
I would argue that buying for pleasure is an important part of a full life.
What would you spend your money on if you knew it would never run out? I'm not talking about the initial spending spree where you overcompensate for previous feelings of lack. I'm talking about after the newness wears off and you realize money itself can't buy happiness.
I'm talking about:
- gifts for others (charity, holidays...)
- experiences (travel, family time...)
- simple joys (books, music, games...)
- health (food, exercise, care, cleaning...)
- education (books, courses, resources, seminars...)
Spend money to improve yourself and to improve the lives of those around you.