18: Spending Habits of a FIRE’d Woman Physician

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Many people equate high incomes with wealth. While it is true that earning more money can be a driving factor in creating wealth, income isn’t everything. In fact, many high earners find themselves living paycheck to paycheck. The problem is that our spending often goes unchecked. I sat down with Dr. B.C. Krygowski to learn her tips for spending more purposefully to reach financial independence faster.

For most people, there are three main categories that eat up most of our income: housing, transportation, and food. In this episode, learn how to dial back your housing and food costs to make strides toward financial independence. 

When it comes to housing, the American Dream might have us believe that bigger is better. McMansions certainly have curb appeal. But people rarely need or use all the space inside of larger homes. Never mind the huge commitment that comes with having such a sizable mortgage. B.C. suggests that physicians buy a house that feels comfortable and meets their needs. She also recommends making sure that your housing expenses fit within a single earner’s income, not both. That way, your family finances are more resilient. 

In addition to housing, food is another big expense that can derail your plans for financial independence. One of the reasons why food accounts for so much of people’s income is more of a time problem than anything else. When we are short on time, we don’t grocery shop effectively and we don’t meal plan. That leads to issues with food waste, which is the same as throwing money in the garbage. Other times, people feel so exhausted, they don’t even attempt to prepare food at home. Exploring options like meal services, personal chefs, and meal kits sounds pricey. However, you can actually save a lot of money by simply being more intentional with how you feed yourself and your family. 

Growing wealth and achieving financial independence isn’t about feeling deprived. Instead, you want to make sure that you spend money intentionally. Tracking your expenses and adopting some of these purposeful spending tips can free up more money for things you love and push you farther down the path to financial independence. 

In this episode, we also explore:

  • An in-depth discussion of the American Dream related to housing 
  • How to track the lowest unit prices on grocery staples at different stores
  • Meal planning options for busy physician families
  • The pros and cons of personal chefs and other options
  • Food waste reduction strategies

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