August 24, 2018
Living cheap has a lot of advantages. It means you can be more selective about your work, because you don't need the check. It also means that if things blow up (product/department gets cut, product cancelled, company gets acquired) it's an unexpected vacation, not a two-checks-from-homelessness crisis.
It's doesn't matter how much you make; it's the mindset that counts. I've been this way since earning a $1600/month graduate school stipend.
But I realized yesterday that there are sociological benefits of living this way, too. Refusing to blow the bank on housing means you'll live among a broad cross-section of people. And selfishly, that's just more interesting. I much prefer living in a place with a bit of everything—teachers, cable guys, retirees, architects, manufacturing engineers, a guy who works at the DMV—than a tech-law-finance gated community for miles in every direction. That seems to be where things are headed in today's Bay Area unless we keep building.