Living costs are increasing rapidly across major economic cities globally, be it SF, NY, Sydney, Shanghai, Bangalore or London. A key reason is concentration of knowledge opportunities in specific centers in each country, with other cities lagging behind in new job creation and salary growth.
At the same time, professionals in these geos are also searching for more flexibility compared to previous generations — things like remote work, ability to travel frequently, taking sabbaticals to work on a personal mission, more involved parenting etc.
In order to reconcile higher living costs with more life flexibility, I think an under-rated superpower is keeping your household cash burn low. It means proactively living below your means & cutting unnecessary expenditure, essentially as a trade-off for more freedom. It’s very similar to a low burn startup, which always seems to have much more runway & options of building the business in an agile way, compared to its extravagant peers.
With all our careers exposed to so many external risks that are frankly, uncontrollable, having a ‘low burn’ life provides the necessary resilience to manage uncertainty, tide over tough times and still live with the freedom you want.
As one grows older, one realizes that true success is actually freedom to make your own choices. So the next time you are about to take on an expense that increases those monthly payments, think about it as a trade-off with your overall freedom to make life choices.