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There's a certain amount of misery I can tolerate in my life, and my job was giving me plenty of it. It just felt too hard to be restrictive in the rest of my life, and I didn't have to be, so I gave up on it. I came to a certain balance in my lifestyle. For example, I pay almost no attention to the cost of food. If I feel like getting a high-priced drink at Starbucks, I do it without thinking. Ditto for renting a video. Ten years ago, I was extremely conscious of each purchase, but now they just seem like drops in the bucket. It's hard to see them making a real difference in my retirement plans.

Well, if you could cut your food and discretionary purchases by $15 a day, that's $5475 a year. Compounding at 8% a year, assuming you do that for 5 years, it's another $33k added to your net worth, or nearly 10% 0f your current net worth. So, it's not necessarily a lot, but it can add up.

I get that you feel like tracking all of this stuff is restrictive, and that you think it adds misery to your life. What I don't get is that if you reach your goal of retiring on as little as possible, you are going to need to track every penny and restrict your spending, thereby trading your current misery with your job for the misery of budgeting/closely tracking expenditures.

Sounds like you are setting yourself up for just another kind of unhappiness in your hurry to get to retirement.

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