Recently some of my fellow bloggers have written some excellent posts about lifestyle inflation and the impact it has on savings and finances over time. My friends over at moneyonfire.blog have a great write up on the subject which you can find here.
This got me thinking about the subject and I came to the realization that over the next year we will be entering a period of significant lifestyle deflation. This has always been the plan as you can’t live full time in an RV and have a lot of stuff. However, the fact that we are now within a year of making this dream a reality is very surreal.
This realization is already starting to impact our decision making and spending habits. Several times this past week we passed on purchases because it wouldn’t fit our future lifestyle. We have had more discussions about things that we need to figure out how to make work in the RV, like computer equipment, as well as things we are going to need help getting rid of.
Then you have those personal moments that come up such as this will most likely be our last Thanksgiving and Christmas in our home. Well, at least Christmas since we have spent the last three Thanksgivings on the road. We are staying home for Thanksgiving this year, but that is not by choice. It will also be our son’s last holiday season before he leaves for college and we become empty nesters. After that is when the lifestyle deflation wheels really go in motion.
So what does lifestyle deflation look like for us? Well, first we will be selling most of our personal possessions. If it can’t fit in the RV it goes in the sell stack. Then we have another car that will be sold since it will no longer be used by our son. With that comes lower insurance rates and one less car to register. And of course we have the house and all of the expenses that come along with owning it. Once sold, there will be no more bills for gas, electric, homeowners insurance, mortgage payment, HOA fees, property taxes or other house related maintenance bills that might pop up. We will also no longer have any RV storage fee since we will be living in it.
Now on the flip side there will be some new expenses that come along with our new lifestyle. However these expenses are all subjective and controllable. We will have to pay a monthly fee wherever we stay. But that amount is something we make the decision to incur or not. And no matter what we choose it will be much cheaper than all of those bills I just listed above. Some places choose to charge electric fees for long term stays so we could have that expense as well. We will have to fill a propane tank every once in awhile and we could see an increase in fuel costs. Not for the RV, but for our daily driver since we are probably going to be a little farther from places we need to get to.
We plan to continue working while our son is in school so we can help him with expenses. We also have our goal to reach of $1.5M in cash and investments to achieve F.I. Once we sell our home and most of our possessions that money will take a nice bite our of the remaining $500k we need to save. Additionally, a preliminary budget I created for our future lifestyle reflects nearly a 50% decrease in expenses from our current lifestyle. Hopefully this decrease in spending and market increases over the next 4 1/2 years will allow us to hit our goal so we can enter the R.E. side of the plan.
The next year is going to be a whirlwind and filled with challenges and obstacles. Lifestyle deflation is a key component in achieving our goals and obtaining long term stability. Once we reach F.I.R.E. it is what will allow us to be more mobile in our travels and provide us peace of mind in our finances. For us, lifestyle deflation is the path to, and the lifeblood of, our future.
What are you doing to control lifestyle inflation? Or are you like us and looking to move into a phase of lifestyle deflation? Leave us a comment with your ideas or any plans you have to downsize your lifestyle.
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Until next time………..