Founder of Millennial Money. Grant Sabatier went from $2.26 to $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. He pointed out on his website that average Americans spend from 63% to 70% of their money on housing, transportation, and food (not including income taxes and Social Security).
Saving enough over a 40-year career to maintain your lifestyle in retirement is challenging. But there’s a lot to be learned from the people who have managed to hit their savings goals well before that point, even if you haven’t been bitten by the early retirement bug yourself.
If you are part of the one-third of Americans who overpay for housing, start by looking for a place that meets the standard measure of affordability:
30% or less of pre-tax income. However, to really make progress on your savings goals, you will want to limit it as much as you possibly can.
After housing, transportation is the next biggest household expense, according to the BLS data.
Having a reliable car is important, but you don’t have to commit to paying $500 a month for the next six years to get one.
When shopping for your next car, make sure you can either pay cash up front, or pay off the auto loan in three to four years at most.
Eating out accounts for 43% of the annual food expenditures for the average family — an obvious area to save some cash.
One area that might be easier to target, depending on your social life, is cutting back on “miscellaneous” grocery expenses such as premade meals and snacks.
For Sabatier, who was able to amass over a million dollars in five years, cutting back in these three areas has been more than worth it.
“At the end of the day it comes down to a personal choice, but I was happy moving to a smaller apartment closer to my office, eating out less, to bank the difference. And I definitely was able to bank the difference — saving at least an additional $13,000 per year by cutting back.”
Lauren Lyons Cole