About me Budgeting Early Retirement Journey Fall 2018 Investing

#1 Way to Save 100k in Your 30s

I have been in the PF blogosphere for awhile now and have gorged on net worth updates and debt payoff stories. Much to my own chagrin I even published my own debt payoff story. I harbored some reticence because I didn’t think the story was really much of an underdog story, but other bloggers had it as cornerstone content, so I did it too.

Lately, I’ve been stumbling on a few more how I saved x dollars by y time and while enticing at first when I close the post I find myself a little disappointed. It is all starting to get a little sententious for me, I suppose.

Case in point, when I did my post on selective poverty, I hoped to compare FIRE budgets with poverty and be surprised that wow, these people really are living on so little. The data didn’t really show that. Then I remembered my own life. My aunt raised 4 kids (none of us were her biological children) on a max income of $40,000.   She did that because that was the best job she could find even after getting her doctorate. She faced a lot of discrimination and eventually went into substitute teaching and staffing group homes until she retired at age 62.

But while she was raising us, we ate free and reduced breakfast and lunch at school because we qualified for it; we had hand me downs and home-made clothes because before reaching her max income that’s what we could afford. When things got better, we took lots of fun road trips around America with our pb and j kits in the back; sneaking into hotel rooms when they wanted to charge for each kid; splitting extra value meals at McDonald’s; and getting Dairy Queen blizzards in the middle of winter when they were free.

So when I went to write my How I Saved 100k by Age 34 post, the idea stuck around in my draft list for two months because I couldn’t in good conscience tell my 10 readers that the way to six-figure savings was to live simply- buying second hand stuff, using credit card rewards, getting a cool side hustle; oh and save 90% or more of your income.

No, I can’t do that. I know better. So here’s my #1 tip to saving $100k by your next milestone birthday…

#1 Find yourself in a position to earn $100k/ year and then don’t spend half of it. Do that twice.

MERJ out!

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10 Comments

  1. Love it! A pure bit of honesty from a finance blogger.
    Now saving hard on a lowish income CAN work – I am testimony to that but we DO live on less than £20k a year and it has taken YEARS to get to the point of being financially free AND we have final salary pensions to look forward to.
    All very different from many of those blogs that tell us to save 70% of our income. Not possible for us mere mortals.

    1. #preach. This post took me about 20 minutes on a Sunday after some net worth update binge. Good gracious! You are on 20 pounds a year! That is amazing… I didn’t know you guys were swinging that low. Wow!

  2. Ha! I hope you realise I said £20,000! But it’s low because we have no mortgage or rent to pay. If you take off your rent I bet you are under £20k/$20k or not far off given your takeout habit 🙂

    1. Yes 20k… whoops typo. Yeah without housing i’d be about $12k or less… without student loans…i’d be about $6k! But let’s not think about that. I think I forgot that you were already at your frugal best and ready for retirement!

  3. I enjoyed reading this post. Growing up I didn’t have much either but I’ve worked very hard to get to where I’m at. It’s not easy to make a great income, and then save most of it, but it sounds like you know what it requires.
    My blog is starting to grow, and one day when it starts generating massive income I’m still going to live very frugal. Besides, money to me isn’t about buying things but instead, about buying more time with the ones I love, and taking care of them.

    1. Hey, Andy, I couldn’t agree with you more. Even now when I’m still pursuing FI, I feel like the most benefit I get with my income is time to spend the way I want. Isn’t it weird that we have to use money to buy time when time is free?!

  4. $6k living expenses excluding housing costs and loans is AMAZING! That’s why you will reach your version of FIRE quickly.

  5. Love the honesty!! It definitely makes it easier to save when you have a larger than average income.

    1. So true! Thanks, Mary.

  6. The more you earn the easier it is to save!

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