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Personally, I moderate the ratio of income/expenses so that I don't need to work. When I need more money, I do more work. When I need less, I do less.
There's a certain number out there that you need to hit just above. That's how I go about it.
Otherwise, I don't have a phone, internet, cable, car, parking. I spend $20 US on food a day or under. I pay very little for electricity as I only use the lights. Water is gas and shared by all of the tenants on my floor.
If I had to lower it, I would move out of the city. Rent is the big one. Food is second. With no subscriptions there's very little costs. Rent/Food are the big ones for most of us and take some hard work to reduce down to bare minimum.
At the bare minimum you will be saving quite a lot.
Live in a shoe box apartment. Have no extras. Eat cheap. Do 'drinking dates' only. =)
After maxing out his 401k and putting a substantial amount into a Roth IRA and always eating out (minus Google's catered food, I think) he makes about $1500 a month disposable. Check his site for exact numbers.
My disposable is about the same, living in similar circumstances (I live in a box), but minus money towards a car and clothes (which I consider baseline at this point and not disposable), it's more like $500 a month - conservative - to spend on truly random shit.
I live in Oakland which will be $500 /m for a loft with roommates that family owns and probably $800 - 1,500 for a similar situation (ie no house rules), non family owned, downtown. It really comes down to vetting the room you rent for cool roommates & there's always the big city non - kitchen / possibly shared bathroom appartments if you're okay with balling ghetto.
I work in sf. Not sure how they do it but I'm pretty sure my manager said something about her parents paying her phone bill lol
Also, as far as disposable goes, there is some defining needed there. I live in NYC and could be paying half as much for my apartment, but I pay more for a nice building with no roommates. Shouldn't that difference be considered disposable?
Edit: Google engineers make a hell of a lot more than 120k a year. Don't downplay how awesome those jobs are. Even if you dont have the "location independent lifestyle blogger" level of freedom that everyone on these boards want (and sometimes get) a few years at one of those jobs well make you a more valuable freelancer than most
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