For some, whittling down every expense to the bare minimum would turn those years leading up to financial freedom into a miserable slog. If that's you, go ahead and enjoy your avocado toast breakfast and Monday morning lattes. Instead, sweat the really big stuff, such as the biggest purchase you've likely ever made: your home.
We're not talking about some real estate magic or renting out extra rooms. The trick? Avoiding lifestyle inflation. Instead of being tempted by open houses in fancier neighborhoods featuring homes with extra rooms and more curb appeal (because you'll be able to afford it eventually as you progress in your career, right?), stay put.
Then apply banker math to your housing costs. For example, if you'd qualify for loan payments of 30 percent of your household income, start making those payments on your existing mortgage. On a $200,000 home with mortgage payment of less than $1,000 a month, a couple who brings in $100,000 a year and increases their payment to $2,500 a month would pay off that mortgage in eight years.