I repeatedly try to encourage my readers to cut back on spending to enable a higher level of savings. It is best if you automatically deduct 10% of your income from your paycheck and immediately divert it to another account in a separate institution. This means that you effectively take a 10% income hit.
In order to afford that income hit, you may need to reduce your spending. I came across this article on Mainstreet.com on the 12 things to stop paying for in 2012 but I think it is timeless. You shouldn’t pay for this stuff in ANY year.
- Coffee Shop Visits
- Incandescent Light Bulbs
- Disposable Water Bottles
- Baggage Fees
- Subscriptions You Don’t Use
- Baby Food
- Credit Score Fees
- Landline Phones
- Cleaning Supplies
- ATM Fees
- Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself
You may find that this list includes things that are more frugal than you desire. This is false bravado. If you are not investing 10% of your after-tax income as I suggest in my book, The Confident Investor, then you are making a mistake. Do not be wasteful AND a poor investor!
You are very right on your quest. I still am guilty of spending on #8 &9, but that’s it. I saved 20%+ for most of my final working years, and retired early @48, 3 years ago. It’s really not that hard if you set financial priorities and stick to them.
Now, I’m 50, kids are gone, I’m retired, and I can afford to do whatever I want now. What could be better than that? So I wasn’t the first on the block with the smart phone or plasma TV. I think the trade was a good one!
Craig – Congratulations on your early retirement and ability to control your spending! That is wonderful. The choice on retirement age is a personal one but I wish that everyone would focus on spending less and investing more so that the choice is possible. Personally, I will work a while longer until I can get my children launched.