How to Overcome Lifestyle Creep For Financial Freedom

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(This post was first published on ThinkSaveRetire. Thanks a lot to Steve for the opportunity of guest posting.)

My personal goal is to become Financially Free as soon as possible. As a software engineer in Switzerland, I am earning about 130’000 USD per year. As such, I am viewed as a high-income earner.

People think that earning a high-income makes it easier to become Financially Free. And on some counts, it does. But most high-income earners are not financially free and a lot of them are not even wealthy.

People believe most high-income earners are wealthy. Indeed they generally show signs of wealth such as a very good car, a large house, and very good suits. But, a lot of these people do not have any savings and accumulate large amounts of debt. They are not wealthy at all!

The main reason for that is Lifestyle Creep! In this post, we are going to see exactly what it is. I am also going through my own experience with it. And more importantly, how high-income earners can overcome lifestyle creep for Financial Freedom!

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How to Build a Simple Kitchen Cabinet for 30$

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We needed a small cabinet to save some space in our kitchen. Instead of shopping for one, I decided to build a small kitchen cabinet. I really like building pieces of furniture. It is a lot of fun and it is quite cheap.

In the end, I was able to build a nice and simple white kitchen cabinet for about 30$. I only used some simple tools because I do not have a workshop. The result is not perfect but it is not too bad either. And it is much more satisfying than if I bought it.

I am going to go over the various steps of the project as well as the possible improvements. I am also detailing the cost of the entire project. Finally, I am going to talk about all that I learned during this project. Keep in mind that I am a beginner! I am still learning a lot with each of my DIY projects.

But if I was able to do that, everybody can build a cabinet at least as good as this one. And probably better if you do not do the same mistakes I did!

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The Best Phone Plans in Switzerland in 2019

Categories Frugality, Switzerland16 Comments on The Best Phone Plans in Switzerland in 2019

I think we can agree that everybody wants to pay as little as possible for their phone bills. Even though you may think your current phone plans is the cheapest available, there could be new deals since you started using your plan. It is always important to keep up to date with the latest offers.

Very recently, one of my reader, MrBeardedGuy, let me know of a very cheap phone provider, Mucho. I had never heard of this. And it looked very cheap. It had been too long since I had a proper evaluation of my phone bills. So I decided to do a full comparison based on my personal usage. And I figured it could help my readers as well to reduce their phone bills. I am almost sure I am not the only one paying too much for my phone bills.

The Swiss Phone plan market is quite diverse these days. 15 years ago, it was almost only Swisscom and everybody was content with it. Now, there are many other providers using one of the three major networks.

In this post, I am going to compare the phone plans and prepaid cards for 7 standard phone usages. For each of them, I will show the cheapest options available. Keep reading if you want to save money on your phone bill!

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The Best Websites For Online Shopping In Switzerland

Categories Frugality, Switzerland6 Comments on The Best Websites For Online Shopping In Switzerland

These days, a lot of shopping is done online. It is so practical to shop for something online. It can save you a lot of time. And it allows you to easily compare many different websites to get the best deals. This can also save you some money.

Of course, online shopping also has its dark side. Since it is so convenient to shop online, some people are buying many more things than they should. It is so easy to press a button and get things delivered at home. I am sure it happened to many of you. At least, it happened to me!

If you are only buying things you need, online shopping can be a great thing. But you still need to know where to shop online. Even in our small Swiss country, there are hundreds of websites where to shop. And let’s not forget that sometimes online shopping is not cheaper than shopping in a normal shop!

In this post, I am going to list the best online shopping websites in Switzerland. This should allow you to shop for the best prices!

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5 Frugal Tips from Swiss Finance Bloggers

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Everybody likes frugal tips. These tips help you save more money every month. I wanted to share some of my frugal tips in this article. But I realized it would be even better if I collected some of the best tips from other Swiss Personal Finance Bloggers as well. When you live in the most expensive country in the world, you need frugal tips!

These tips can help you save more money.  There are many things you can do. We have already covered some of these things on this blog. But today’s tips are not only coming from me! They are coming from some of the best Swiss Personal Finance Bloggers!

Stay tuned if you want to learn how Swiss Personal Finance Bloggers are saving money in this expensive country!

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Transferwise vs Revolut: Which Is Best For You?

Categories Investing, Frugality52 Comments on Transferwise vs Revolut: Which Is Best For You?

TransferWise and Revolut offer services that are quite similar. They are both proposing cheap money transfer in many different currencies. I now have both cards. But, I am mostly using my Revolut card. So, many of my readers asked me why I was mainly using my Revolut card, where I could have only used my TransferWise card. Today, I am going to answer the question: Which is better between TransferWise and Revolut?

When I started using Revolut, there was no way to top it up for free from my bank account since they did not have a Swiss bank account. Therefore, I was using a TransferWise card as an intermediary between my bank account and my Revolut account. Now, Revolut has a Swiss IBAN, and I do not have to use my TransferWise card anymore. Let’s see why I am using Revolut more than TransferWise.

Both companies will help you save money on foreign currency exchanges. However, they are still different in their fees and their offers. They both have some pros and cons. And that is precisely what we are going to go over in this post.

For this comparison, I am only going to go over the personal accounts, not the business accounts. Both TransferWise and Revolut offer accounts for businesses. But this is out of scope for this article. So, let’s compare TransferWise vs Revolut.

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13 Awesome Tidying Lessons from the Konmari Method

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Recently, I have read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up, by Marie Kondo. This book is about the Konmari method. I really liked the book and the method makes sense to me. It is really different from common tidying advice. In fact, several pieces of advice from the book go against many common tidying advice you can find on the internet.

After reading the book, I discovered Netflix made a series about this method: Tidying with Marie Kondo. I watched all eight episodes. In general, I liked the series. It is full of really nice advice and Marie is really full of energy on camera. She really makes the show much better. With another person, it could have been a very boring show. But with Marie Kondo, it becomes quite entertaining.

I have learned many things from the Konmari method. I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned from the book and from the show. To be honest, I am no expert at tidying nor at the Konmari method. In fact, I have not used this method on my entire apartment yet. I have just started using some of her tricks in my apartment. I hope to improve my tidying this year following her pieces of advice.

If you have any other tidying tips, please let me know in the comments below!

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Cars are not the evil of personal finance!

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A common opinion in the personal finance blogosphere is that cars are evil! If you read many blogs, you will have seen that opinion, sometimes vehemently. Especially, buying a new car seems to be a terrible idea for most people. Today, I am going to argue that this is not as bad as people want to make you believe. I personally own a car and I bought it new. And I am going to buy the next one new as well! I have already said that I am mostly using my car to go around.

I am going to compare using my car compared to using public transportation. Given where I live, it would be impossible for me to go to work by bike. But comparing a car against biking or other alternatives can be an interesting comparison as well if you can use other means of transportation.

There are several important factors when comparing two means of transportation. Money is important if you want to be frugal, but time is also important as well. And convenience can be important to some people. Finally, we should not forget about the environment either. As to the weight of each of these factors, it would be highly subjective.

In this post, we are going to compare cars and public transportation for my own situation. You need to do the same comparison to decide based on your own situation!

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How to Avoid Lifestyle Inflation in 2019?

Categories Budget, Financial Independence, Frugality4 Comments on How to Avoid Lifestyle Inflation in 2019?

You have probably already heard of lifestyle inflation? I have already talked a bit about that since I fell into this trap myself. It is a very important subject because many people are subject to it. And lifestyle inflation can ruin your financial life. It is important to learn how to avoid lifestyle inflation!

Lifestyle inflation is happening when your spending is going up and up. Many people when they get a raise or some extra income, they simply go with spending it all. They do not only do it for one month, but they also do it the next month as well. And the following time they get a raise, they do exactly the same. Some of them can afford it, but some people go into debt in that vicious circle.

The main problem is that most people do not consider everything there is to consider when getting some extra income. For instance, they do not consider that they will have to pay more taxes when they get more income. And they do not consider the upkeep costs of some of the things they buy. Moreover, they also do not think of their retirement. The more you spend each month, the more difficult it is to retire.

In this post, we are going to see all about lifestyle inflation. I am also going to talk about a few rules you should consider if you want to avoid, or limit, lifestyle inflation.

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The Poor Swiss versus the Average Swiss Household

Categories Frugality, Switzerland8 Comments on The Poor Swiss versus the Average Swiss Household

Frugality and expenses are difficult to compare between two different households. This is especially true if you compare different situations like family and children. And it is almost impossible to compare yourselves to people from another country. Therefore, it is important to compare with the average household comparable to your household.

If we compare our expenses with the FIRE community, we are not really frugal. In 2018, we spent about 5330 CHF per month. This is far higher than what most people trying to reach for FI are spending. I often read personal finance blogs where people claim to be living below 2000 CHF in Europe. We are being careful about our budget. And we are optimizing it to reduce it month after month. It is already much lower than before. And in 2019, one of our goals is to spend less than 5000 CHF per month. We will see if we can do it. However, we should also compare with the average household in our country.

I do not think we are spending too much. When I compare with most people I know, we are alright. But I wanted to compare with more data with the average Swiss household.

So, in this post, I am going to compare our current level of expenses with the average Swiss household. I have been able to find official data from the Swiss bureau of statistics. And I was able to compare in details how we fare against the average Swiss household. It is really interesting to do! If you can do the same for your own level of expenses and your reference average household, I would strongly encourage you in doing so!

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