I chose entrepreneurship as a way to solve hard, relevant questions. Doing a startup requires funding and well funded startups are better able to scale faster. Given seeking funding ultimately deals with economics and control, maximizing economics before hand adds leverage.
I've come up with some hacks to allow me to better save and give me as much runway as possible. Yes, the lean startup book doesn't recommend to lean budgeting as you miss out on being able to move quickly since you're too caught up saving, or from what I remember reading back around 2013. I remind myself that it is ok and necessary to still make business purchases that can be quite expensive, assuming it's justified.
This list is more personal lifestyle hacks. Food is one of the most significant ways to impact ones quality of life outside of exercise, as such this list is slanted towards food.
I wanted to find cheap healthy replacements for ramen, and soylent. I haven't tried soylent but need to be (nearly) soy free. Pea protein can be added to soups to add protein to a meal, and it kind of makes a miso-like consistency. Add in some fresh veggies, and noodles (gf optional) and curry powder, garlic powder or salt, tumeric, salt, and one can make it like ichiban ramen, only healthier depending on the noodles.
Pea protein, noodles, gelatin powder, veggies, spices, (split pea + noodles or miso like + noodles, that's more like a bone broth. Animal gelatin is still from animals, but this should have less impact than say a full animal based soup.)
Frozen fruit allows me to have fresh fruit, with a decent vitamin and nutrient profile. I do try to buy locally where possible.
Rainbow hued fruit and veggies in most meals, as I want vitamin A, Bs, C, E, K, and Ca, Mg, Cu, Si, S, Zn, etc.
Ground turkey, veggies, black beans and spices. Can go curry or chili or both. Non-ruminant animals are preferred to lessen carbon impact. Yes, full veggie is better, but I'm not there (yet).
I do fish oil (DHA extra w/EPA) and vitamin D3 supplements so I can cut back from eating fish many times a week. I do eat Alaskan salmon (as I'm California) at least once a week. I found that mail ordering supplements works fine except for fish oil. That was spoiling by the time I received it. Instead I now get it at a supermarket where they have high vitamin/supplement turnover.
I have to cut back on chocolate, but buying 70% baking chocolate does make it slightly better.
Motorcycle instead of a car. I needed something to zip in and out of the peninsula or North Bay if I was coming from Sonoma County or where mass transit isn't well served at all hours. I don't skimp on the safety gear, it may be bought on sale, but none of it is budget. Know the safety ratings and shop around, same goes for tires! I rock all season rain tires in dry California, as the Golden Gate Bridge is mostly cloaked in heavy fog, even while the rest of the roads can be completely dry. These tires are likely more expensive than most, but it's less expensive than Shannon pavement spackle or an ER/Morgue trip.
Living in a high walk or bicycle score area. Walking or bicycling is a great way to just keep blood moving while running errands.
Finding sale cycles for cyclical items: batch dry cleaning to the few times per year the dry cleaner emails me coupons, buy consumables like bicycle tubes during the bi-annual bicycle store sales, same with motorcycle oil, buy seasonal clothing during opposite season sales, shop a thrift store. Buy functional expensive pieces during winter or summer sales.
I did buy all of my professional wear before starting my startup. If I had to buy it again, I'd still look for one good wool suit in a basic color that goes well with my skin tone. What's the value of a good suit? My wool black suit jacket has been to more than 10 countries, has over 100K of air miles, and still photo finish after a dry clean. It was on sale, but over $150. I did have it altered, both sleeves and cuffs. It's now 11 years old. I'm in California I usually wear dressy jeans, however I do have the matching slacks. The set was heavily discounted, yet somewhere just shy of $300.
Cut out eating and drinking out. That latte budget really adds up! Buying movie tickets (pre covid/post vaccine) at reduced cost. (This may not be offered post covid, no idea.)
Pre-covid I had a gym membership. Unknown, when I can get back to one. I may have to convert a bench and get some (more) free weights. (ugh)
These seem odd, but each has given me that extra bit so I can stretch while I go work on hard problems deciding like to do science or engineering to ultimately get a product out the door.