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Chapter 24. The Freedom Plan > 7. Look good, take great vacations, and don’t fe...

7. Look good, take great vacations, and don’t feel deprived.

Saving and investing aggressively does not have to come at the expense of enjoying yourself in the present. From the time I started working, I bought myself a gift with every paycheck. Maybe it was just a new handbag or blouse in the beginning, but it was something. As my income grew, the quality of the gifts improved and though I kept the savings percentage of my gross the same (20 percent), I added a large part of my incentive payouts or bonuses. My disposable income grew as my income grew and I was always able to have nice things and great vacations, within my personal value threshold. I never felt deprived.

The secret is to live below your means and without debt, beyond your mortgage, if you can. I chose to keep my apartment and to fill it with things that I love rather than buy a bigger spot that would demand four times the monthly cash outlay. Keeping my monthly expenses low allowed me to save and invest for my freedom plan and have anything else I wanted in the meantime. Make a promise to yourself to pay your credit cards in full monthly. If you can’t afford to pay something off, don’t buy it. If something extraordinary comes up and you must charge it, do yourself a favor and try to find a credit card promotion that offers no interest for an extended period (e.g., six months). Work hard to pay the balance off within the allotted time to avoid heavy interest payouts at the end.


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