Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. In 2023, my family will deliberately save less money. We’ll put the money we would have saved toward childcare and investing in our business. We can make this choice because we’ve avoided lifestyle inflation and kept a high savings rate. Loading Something is loading. Thanks for signing up! Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you’re on the go. download the app The biggest shift we’re making to our household finances in 2023 is to mindfully choose to save less. This might sound sacrilegious coming from a financial planner. But there are a few reasons we’re deliberately making this decision, and some specific ways we’ll change our money management to accommodate it. We’ll reinvest in our businessThe biggest way we’re “spending more” in 2023 is by reinvesting in the financial planning firm that my wife and I run together. We currently have three other team members, too, but we’re hoping to grow and expand further in the new year. While it means taking a hit to our own income, we’re excited about adding more staff so we can better serve existing clients — but also provide our strategies and approach to more clients. We’re viewing this move not just as more spending, but as an investment in a valuable asset that we have a proven track record of managing and growing. As an investment, we also expect to see a return on that in the future. We’re spending money on childcare for the first timeIn 2022, my wife was the lead parent to our infant daughter. Throughout the year, she worked as the full-time caregiver … but she also managed a part-time role handling operations for the firm. “Overall, it was the best decision for our family,” she told me of that time. “But it was a really, really challenging year.” She went on to explain that although it was hard, it also, in a way, gave her the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. “I wanted to be the full-time, lead parent for our daughter,” she said, “and I’m grateful for the fact that I work remotely for a business I have an ownership stake in. That meant I got to spend her first year at home together, and I didn’t have to put my career on hold to do that.” The fact that we didn’t have to pay additional money for childcare did help our budget last year. But, my wife and I both know playing both roles of working parent and stay-at-home parent without outside support was never going to be a sustainable arrangement.In 2023, we’ll spend $250 a week for a few days of childcare support So my wife can have the time and space not just to focus on her work but also have time back in her day just for her, too. The cost means an added $13,000 per year to fit into our budget, but we don’t plan to cut costs to accommodate this new line item. This will simply be an added cost that will increase our total spending.The money moves we made in the past made the present plan possibleThere are a few strategies that we’ve used for years that allowed us the freedom to make this choice for the upcoming year: We avoid lifestyle creep Our base level of spending has changed very little over the past several years because we try our best to avoid plugging in big fixed costs into our budget. When we bought a house, for example, we set our price range so that the monthly mortgage would be less than what we were paying in rent. When we bought a car a few years ago, we planned ahead and saved for three years before paying in cash instead of financing the purchase and adding a car loan to our balance sheet. And when it comes to day-to-day spending, we pay very close attention to how we use our money. If something doesn’t align with our values, we’re probably not going to buy it. It also helps that we are naturally more savers than spenders, and don’t have much interest in accumulating material things. The better you know your core values and priorities, however, the easier it is to use your money in a way that actually makes you happy (and to easily say “no” to anything else!). We work to increase our income year over year (rather than focusing exclusively on spending less) There’s nothing wrong with being frugally minded — but there are also only so many expenses you can cut. That’s why we prefer to focus on the other side of the cash flow sheet: earnings. Theoretically, your income potential is unlimited. We put our energy into increasing revenues and growing the business rather than scrimping and penny-pinching. Earning more is a harder path than spending less, but it’s the path that provides you with the most power for having more flexibility and freedom with your finances. We set a really high savings rate goal for the last decade We’ve spent almost a decade saving very large percentages of our income each year. We usually take upwards of 40% of our earnings and invest that money into long-term investments including our 401(k)s, HSAs, and brokerage accounts. Putting away that much money into investments in the past has allowed us to have a lot of choice in what we do in the future. That includes having the wiggle room in our financial plan to make an adjustment like saving less, at least for this year. We still plan to save a minimum of 25% of our income into long-term investments for growing wealth. If we’re able, we’ll save more. We evaluate our cash on hand on a quarterly basis to identify what’s available, and move that money to investments as soon as we can. This 25% guideline is the same benchmark I suggest for our financial planning clients who earn six figures, and we use It is for a reason: At that level of income, saving 25% is not just realistic and achievable but very powerful. If you can maintain that level of savings consistently each year, you set yourself up with a high probability of long-term success.”Saving less” does not translate into “saving nothing.” It’s important to strike a balance between living well right now, and still saving responsibly for a secure future.