Episode 69: When should a bootstrapped entrepreneur upgrade their lifestyle?

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You’ve probably had to adopt some frugal habits while bootstrapping your business and getting it off the ground – but hopefully you’ll be able to upgrade your lifestyle as your venture gets more profitable. When should you level up your lifestyle, and by how much? What should you splurge on, and how can you avoid going overboard in your spending? In today’s episode I’ll give you three “commandments” to help you make these decisions.


  • The one thing you MUST do in order to make healthy decisions (4:12)
  • Why “six figures” might not go as far as you think (7:35)
  • How to be selective about your spending priorities (12:32)


  • Stephen Leung

    Hey Shayna, this is Stephen the FB ads guy from Hong Kong. Not sure if you remember me from our previous convos … anyways, after 14 months of business, I hit my first 10k non-launch, evergreen sales month (actually close to 15k last month 😀 )

    I’ve been using weekly webinars to sell my always-open signature FB ads course, and just couple weeks ago made a record breaking $5k week. So excited about my progress.

    Anyways, so on the topic of splurging, I’m getting ready to move apartments. Few months ago before I started doing webinars, I was budgeting about $2k/mo for it, which gets a 500 sqft 2-bed apartment, super expensive rent here …

    Now that I imagine I can probably consistently hit 10-15k+ months, I decided to splurge and ended up renting a 3-bed 700 sqft apartment for $3k/mo, with a very nice open view too.

    And I see it as a good investment too, since I work from home, a spacious and nice apartment would give me more energy and motivation.

    Anyways, nice episode, thanks 🙂 good timing for me too ~

    • Wow, those rents are insane! But the general principle here is not to spend more than 33% of your income on rent, and you’re within that (even after subtracting out business expenses, I assume). I’m so glad you’re happy with your new place, and that your business is making awesome progress 🙂

      • Stephen Leung

        Thanks Shayna! Yeah, my expense is probably less than 20% of my revenue, and company tax rate is quite low here in HK, at 16.5%, so I’m probably still at at least 9-10k after expenses and taxes.

        Also my wife makes a very decent income too, so we are definitely below that 33% mark. I definitely agree there though, I would not be comfortable spending over 33%.

        The housing price is crazy here for sure. I think it’s actually THE highest in the world by far as far as income-price ratio. Median income here is actually only $2.5k/mo, but a decent apartment would cost $500k.

        If median income earners abide by the 33% rule and get a $800 apartment, it’d be about 100-150 sq ft, which is smaller than my bedroom when I studied abroad in the U.S., completely unfit to live with any dignity.

        They would actually need to spend 50% of income to live in a barely acceptable apartment … and it’s happening all around here in HK, very sad.