Hi! I am quite new to MMM, and just joined the forums today. Everything I've read so far on MMM's blog resonates with me in unexpected, powerful ways. I'm not a numbers person at all; the word "algebra" makes me itch. So people start talking money and my eyes glaze over. But this essential idea -- spend less, save more -- that struck a chord.
The family is me (49), my husband (48), and our 12-year-old daughter.
We've been married 25 years and have always been good about saving. We never carried credit card debt and we were blessed not to have student loans to repay. But we also bought increasingly larger houses over the years. My husband worked with a MNC (multinational corporation) that moved us four times, and we moved from 1500 sf to 2500 to 3500 and finally to 4200 sf.
Just about five years ago, after 20 years with the MNC, my husband took a dream job at half the pay and we moved across the country. We sold our house in the summer of 2009, losing pretty much 20 years of accumulated equity, but at least we didn't have to come to the table with money (or lose the house to foreclosure). We now live in provided housing at my husband's new job.
On the surface, I'm sure it looks like that was a crazy move to make, but now I see that it was, in some key ways, a MMM moment for us. We moved into a space 1/3 the size of our previous house, sold 2/3 of our stuff, pay no rent or mortgage now, and live less than a mile from work. At the time, we felt we had "front-loaded" our retirement/education funds for the kid and could manage if we never saved another dollar. But he is still able to save 16% of his pay in a work-related retirement account, and I got a part-time job I can do from home that's helping to pay for some luxuries, like summer camp for our kid.
If Mr. begood weren't working so dang hard at his new job, I'd definitely think of this as a semi-ER. As it is, it's really a second career where we're given the opportunity to live a lot more simply.
We're still doing fine in terms of retirement income and education funds, so for me the "spend less" is more about reducing our eventual annual expenses than anything else, thus freeing up even more moolah to save, save, save. *rubs hands together in glee*
My approach to "spend less" has been to start small: I cancelled Netflix (we weren't watching the DVDs in any kind of timely manner and we can't use streaming video, but that's another post!), reverted my Pandora One subscription to the free version, cancelled a magazine we decided we don't enjoy enough to justify the expense, and on Monday, I plan to cancel the XM subscription in my car. Total annual savings: $250
Baby steps, but better than none, right?