A few months ago I started to really get into podcasts. Mrs. ROB was initially the one that really turned me onto the idea of listening to more programming. However, I had always been resistant until about Thanksgiving of last year. For whatever reason, I started to download some podcasts that I had heard about, particularly, regarding personal finance. Since that time I have been hooked. I probably listen to 2-3 episodes a day when I am in the car or walking my dogs.
One of my favorite podcasts is the ChooseFI one hosted by Brad and Jonathan. They have some fantastic interviews with some of the leading personal finance bloggers and minds in the personal finance space.
Anyway, the reason I mention this is because one of the episodes discussed how they were being selectively hardcore about something regarding personal finance.
I don’t know what it was but that phrase “selectively hardcore” but it really resonated with me.
When you are selectively hardcore it means that there is something in your life, not all things, where you go all out with.
I guess one of the reasons it resonated with me is because a common trope from a lot of personal finance blogs is how they saved all of this money and retired at the some early age of 40 or something of that nature.
In order to accomplish that task they saved over 50% of their income, cut cable, downsized a house, didn’t have any kids, etc.
And those kinds of stories are AWESOME, in my opinion. However, a lot of people don’t believe that is possible for the average American to do something like that. The trolls will try to poke holes in their story by pointing out how much money they made, or they didn’t have a lot of debt, or they got a head start, or they don’t live in this area or whatever other reason you can think of. Most of the the time I think the trolls are just trying to bring everyone down,. I also think a big part is that those people who retire early are really hardcore about their saving and spending and the trolls just can’t imagine being that hardcore. They can’t imagine saving more money or going without a nice car or a bigger house or whatever it is.
And then when I heard the ChooseFI episode about being “selectively hardcore” I realized that when it comes to personal finance that ALL of us could probably be selectively hardcore in our financial lives that to some level.
I mean I am not one of my hardcore compatriots with most things. We haven’t cut our lifestyle that much, we probably eat out way more than we should, we have lots of student loan debt, and we are not the poster family for early financial independence. It will probably be another 8-10 years before I am financially independent.
That said, there are things in my life that I am selectively hardcore about and there are more things I could probably be more hardcore about that would yield benefits? So I started to think about what is it that I do that is selectively hardcore when compared to the average person?
For me, there are a couple of things. First, I probably save much more than the average American does for retirement. I save more than 20% of my income. And if we include debt payments in that you could say that my savings rate is probably closer to 40%. I am definitely wanting to increase this further because I want to reach FI quicker, so my larger savings rate is something I am pretty hardcore about it. I am certainly not hardcore about our spending because if I showed you the budget each month you might be asking where all the money goes.
I am also selectively hardcore about small things around the house. I set the thermostat at a low temperature during the winter. I turn off lights all the time when I leave a room. Those small things when people don’t do them irk me. I try to be hardcore about wasting food. I hate wasting food and want to make sure that we eat everything and don’t waste it. It makes me uncomfortable to waste food, considering how much we have and how much others don’t.
Those are some small things.
I hope to do more selectively hardcore things in the future like saving more diligently for travel, getting the most of my cars (e.g. not getting a new one mine is driven into the ground), travel hacking and some other behaviors.
Ultimately, I am more interested in what behaviors, financially speaking, are you selectively hardcore about? Why? How has it helped your financial life? How has it helped your life?
What Does It Mean to Be Selectively Hardcore?