Doesn’t the answer to that depend on the return on investment of the equity you’re not putting in a property? Especially if buying the most home you can afford prevents you from investing in tax-deferred accounts invested in securities.
Plus for me, having most of your wealth in just one property seems like it runs counter to the theme of asset diversification. Whatever real estate market (not to mention a bit of luck) you have available to you is certainly gonna impact your returns in ways you don’t control easily.
Finally, it may also depend quite a bit on your work. If you have to move every 3-4 years, your returns are gonna be hurt by the transaction fees.
That said, I totally agree on cars. Buy a reliable used car (aka let another sucker take the initial depreciation loss) and run it into the ground is a very good way to go. Especially now that many cars are very reliable. Our last one cost us $13k over 17 yrs (and would have kept up fine if someone else had not totaled it). Plus, you’ll also save on insurance in the process. Very hard to beat although you have to be fine with not keeping up with the neighbors’ midlife crisis $60k Model 3.
Another one way to scrimp is food costs. Cooking all your meals, packing lunches, and almost never dining out means real savings that only get bigger the larger your family gets. For us 5, going out to anything non-fast food is basically a $100 affair with two teenagers and a tween. Comparatively, our grocery shopping bill is about $700/month. Dining out twice a week would double that.