One of the only real goals that has any weight in my life is retirement because the idea of having all the time in the world to have nothing to do is my ultimate fantasy. However, as a millennial with no qualitative grasp on how economics or politics work it is abundantly clear that there will be no social security by the time I reach the age of 65 and my 401K is all but certain to be decimated by the next great economic collapse.
Enough hard facts though, let us pretend that I am a criminally underpaid desk jockey who hates both his job and the idea of taking even the slightest risk to improve his quality of life. In this entirely hypothetical situation this person does not appear to be on the fast track to retirement. However, there are two tried and true options to cross that metaphorical retirement finish line sooner:
- Make more money.
- Spend less money.
If you are able to pull off both options then what are you doing reading this? Your life is swell and you have no reason to be seeking (hilariously unqualified) financial advice from some sociopath on the internet. If the first option is not possible for you because you provide no discernible value to a company or society as a whole and/or lack the thirst for blood necessary to rise to the top, much like our aforementioned hypothetical hero protagonist character, then option two is right up your alley.
Budgeting is key if you want to spend less money and for the low, low price of free, albeit unsolicited and unsubstantiated, I will teach you how to budget your way to an early retirement:
Entertainment is the first category as it is often the most superfluous part of most people’s expenses. Things like going on going on vacations, ticketed events, and partaking in hobbies are entirely unnecessary expenses. Once you have resolved to give up having fun from now until you die (assuming the cause is old age not self-inflicted gunshot wound) you will be amazed at how much more money you will have to spend on things you are no longer physically capable of doing.
Food is the next category that typically tends to be rife with excess spending. It is pretty common knowledge at this point that tactful grocery shopping and cooking is much more affordable than eating out over the long-term. I am here to do you one better, it is scientifically proven that humans can go up to two weeks without food. If you stick to a strict diet of water and a bi-weekly dumpster diving session then your bank account won’t be the only thing looking good because you will be beach-body ready in no time.
Housing is the last category that we will cover in today’s installment. This one is tricky because it is notoriously expensive, but also indisputably necessary for long-term survival. One of the biggest debates in this arena is whether it is better to rent or own. Assuming you live in a major metropolitan area this debate is entirely irrelevant because gentrification is already well on its way to pricing out renters and homeowners alike. If you don’t live in a major metropolitan area then consider yourself warned of the dangers of gentrification. You will not be feeling so high and mighty when the local saloon becomes a Cross Fit gym/coffee shop. In either case, whether you live in a cow town or a sprawling city, I have a nifty little life hack for you. If you commit enough non-violent felonies you will earn yourself an all-expense paid trip to jail.
Of course, most of this incredibly sincere advice is contingent on having a job that pays more than minimum wage. If you are in the minimum wage club I offer my condolences and wish you the best on your journey of being fucked forever. That just about does it for the No Onions, Please financial advice hour. Tune in next time to find out why saving is futile because of inflation and your investments are going to crash and burn so badly that you will think you have stock in the Hindenburg. In the meantime, keep saving and try not to agonize over the futility of the life you will spend working in its entirety.