How We Saved 70% of Our Income To Retire Early - 9 Money Saving Tips
As you guys likely know, Amon and I are BIG savers. On our F.I.R.E. journey, we were able to save (and invest!) an insane amount of money because we dedicated around 70% of our income to saving.
Now, I know 70% might seem ridiculously ambitious for many, but we’re proof that it’s definitely possible if you follow a few basic tips.
1. Join a “Buy Nothing” Group
These groups are more of a movement than anything else. The Buy-Nothing Community is composed of people who are passionate about breaking the cycle of consumerism by encouraging people to share, recycle, and give away goods for free. A by-product of the movement, which itself is focused on limiting the amount of waste that people produce, is that you can end up saving A LOT of money by limiting the amount of new items you purchase. By promoting a shared-economy attitude, it's possible to go a really long time without needing to buy a lot of things.
Looking to join a Buy Nothing Group? Check out the Buy Nothing Project website, linked here. This website provides links to numerous different community-based groups that are part of the Buy Nothing Network. We’ve also found that joining Facebook groups make it really easy to participate in this waste-free lifestyle, but if Facebook is not your thing, there are other options as well. 2. The 72-hour Rule
The 72-hour Rule is something that we practice with our kids all the time - and it's REALLY effective! This is how it works: If there is something that you want, wait a full 72 hours before you purchase it, after which point you re-evaluate whether or not you still want it. If the answer is ”yes,” then go ahead and buy it. But oftentimes you’ll realize that you don’t really need the item and choose not to buy it. Or, like our girls, you just forget about it altogether!
This is an incredibly effective way to identify the things that you really want while at the same time avoiding frivolous, wasteful spending. You’ll have the opportunity to think about whether the item will actually bring any real value to your life or if wanting it was just a spur of the moment impulse.
3. Skip Name Brand Goods and Buy Generic
Buying generic brand items when grocery shopping can save you a HUGE amount of money, without really sacrificing too much in terms of taste. Many of the items are located right next to their name brand counterparts, and can save you up to 50%! Translate this to all of your cooking and the savings are impressive!
To illustrate this point let’s look at a few recipe examples. When making spaghetti with onion, ground beef and tomato sauce, using the generic brand brings the total price of groceries down from $9.41 to $6.72. Similarly, when cooking creamy chicken and rice casserole, generic brand ingredients bring the price down from $17.56 to $9.62! And the same holds true for loaded tacos, where the price goes from $22.95 to $14.14!
So, these recipes are just an example of how on average, you can save around $6.67 per dinner. Over a month, that is $210. And over a year, that’s almost $2,500 saved - just on dinner!
4. Pay Yourself First
Though we all know the value of saving, not everyone knows the best way to keep on track with our monthly savings goals. And while most of us view savings as a priority, this is not always reflected in our actions, despite our best intentions. What I mean by this is that most of us make th