Living in New York City might be a dream to many people but with the city being one of the most expensive in the world, that dream is easily crushed by reality – that even if you make a lot of money there, the chances of actually having a lot of money are really slim!
But a true blue New Yorker has proven that such is not always the case because frugal people can still survive the Big Apple with a lot of cash in the bank! In fact, JP Livingston was able to achieve that at a young age – and retired at age 28! Unbelievable, right?
So, how did she do it?
Well, she earned a good amount of money from working in the finance industry, to start with. But $100,000 a year is not much in New York City, considering the high cost of living there! Yet Livingston wasn’t tempted to splurge.
To achieve her goal of financial independence, she saved more of her money than what she spent – choosing to save 70% of her salary and living on the remaining 30%! When her salary increased, she did not increase her spending; instead, she increased her savings.
While her high salary and status at work could afford her extravagant apartments, she chose to live in a $1050 flat with a roommate; that rate is quite ‘budget-friendly’ in the Big Apple.
She went to thrift shops to buy second hand furniture and chose to live frugally by going to cheap coffee shops to hang out with friends, instead of going to ‘branded’ and definitely more expensive coffee shops. She also takes advantage of the shop competitions in the city, going to cheaper restaurants.
When tempted to buy something out of her budget, she calculates the cost of the item based on how many hours she needs to work to buy it. For instance, for a $700 iPhone, you need to work about 35 hours if you are paid $20 per hour. Is it worth it? Most of the time, Livingston realizes it’s not worth the extra hours; so, she doesn’t buy expensive lifestyle stuff.
But is it her savings that made her rich and ready to retire at 28? Partly, yes; but Livingston emphasized that she invested a good amount of her money and that’s where her wealth grows.