I'm Dragon. I love the idea of retiring early. My wife doesn't get it. We have 2 small kids, are in our late 30's.
We have always done a good job of saving (maxed on 401k, Roth); live in a house we can easily afford; drive older cars. Neither of us grew up with a lot of money.
In the last few years though, as my income has increased, I've allowed our lifestyle to increase: new car, private school, summer camps every week for the kids, 25 cases of good wine in my home, eating out, lots of travel...
I've been reading the blog for 3 weeks now, and we've done the following:
Bought bikes for everyone - I haven't driven my car in the 2 weeks since we got our bikes (80 miles on them so far)
Cut out unnecessary insurance (removed LTD, lowered the term life policy, removed UM auto coverage) - this was 4,000 in annual savings with 2 phone calls.
Going to the Library for books now (Food Rules, The Life you can Save); learning to use Cragslist.
Now we are attacking the discretionary expenses that weren't tracked very well. I'm trying to spend as little as possible in the month of August (no eating out, no Amazon purchases - just because something looks cool).
I make good money, and based on the first draft of an adjusted budget, I think we can get savings to be 75-80% of income this next 12 months.
With the stash we already have, I think we can be FI in 2 years.
I have a teaching job on the side (online course), so I plan on continuing to do that for a few years. It's only about 300 hours of work a year, but more than covers our new expense level; so I could let the stash grow untouched for a while.
I'm looking forward to having time to volunteer, spend more time with the kids, sit around and contemplate, read, cook more; travel more (in a frugal way), and maybe become half as handy as MMM. I'll be glad to have the stress of a job removed.
It's no understatement that this site is going to be life changing for my family and I.