In early 2014, one Cambridge, Massachusetts couple made a bold lifestyle change: Underwhelmed by their nine to five jobs, they set an accelerated retirement date of 2017.
The 31-year-olds on track to retire at age 33 are not inheriting a fortune, or even making a fortune as a software engineer and IT manager — rather, they’re cutting back on expenses and saving a lot: 71% of their take-home pay.
“Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwood,” the alias they have chosen until they quit their current jobs, plan to be retired comfortably in the backcountry of Vermont by 2017 with the help of one key habit: diligent research.
When it comes to buying anything, they’re “methodical and ruthless,” they write on their personal blog.
“We observe, price compare, research, deliberate, investigate used options, consider if we already own something that will suffice, determine if it can be borrowed, and then carefully make our purchase,” they write. “In this way, we find the best product at the best price.”
Even the self-admitted “frugal weirdos” have to make big purchases — they just put in the time and effort to ensure the big purchases are worth the added expense. For example, Mr. Frugalwood rides a $US500 bike, but the savings he reaps by not having to pay to commute far exceed the initial cost. “Knowing when to pay for long-term quality is a key element of living the successful frugal life,” they write.
When it came to buying a house, the couple looked at over 270 open houses before settling on their place in Cambridge, Forbes reports. They even put extensive research into dog breeds before buying their greyhound, and they’re already planning ahead for their next car, even though their current minivan likely has 100,000 miles left on it.
This attentive planning and careful buying not only saves them thousands of dollars on big ticket items; it also alleviates money stress that many of us face.
“[We] don’t suffer buyer’s remorse,” Mrs. Frugalwood writes. “I’ve never been sorry that we waited to make a purchase. Time always lends perspective and a better deal. It’s a proven frugal fact.”