One of my favorite metrics at the end of the year is to calculate how much we saved per day. This metric counts every day of the year, whether we work or not. In 2016, we fell a few quarters short of $100 per day. Then I thought about how crazy that was. We saved almost $100 day per day into various retirement accounts and we paid off all of those medical bills from chemo and radiation and working on our significant exterior remodel.
This year my medical bills are significantly cheaper so far (I am only up to $1,600 compared to the $8,0000+ that hit in November 2015 – February 2016, most of which were paid in 2016) and I managed to snag another raise in 2016 when I changed jobs internally so my expenses are cheaper and my income is higher. This leaves some extra room for saving money! Yes, I feel no strong desire to spend it (except I want a new bathroom, so maybe I do there have some desire to spend it). Just for kicks, I did an estimate based on our contributions so far (fully funded IRAs plus retirement accounts through work and a taxable account) and found that we are on track to save (in investment accounts, not counting other cash funds) about $130 per day! That’s more than some (a lot) of people make per day. So how do we do it?
I haven’t ever posted our income on here, nor do I intend to yet, but I will say that combined we make below $125,000. This is still an excellent income, don’t get me wrong, and part of the reason we got here was due to two significant raises for me in 2016. But usually when you read finance blogs and forums, you’ll find the average person there is on the other side of $125,000. So no, we aren’t low income people, by any means, but we may make as much as one software engineer or two entry level engineers or…well, a lot of other jobs. So our income is the first big help.
The next big help is that we buy affordable things. Our home isn’t fancy or big, although sometimes we think it would be nice and easier if it was. We don’t treat our grass with fertilizers or weed killers (we live very near a body of water that our yard drains into and protecting that body is important to me). We buy food we will eat when it is on sale and stock up, but we don’t let it go to waste. We keep the thermostat turned down in the winter and up high in the summer. But mostly, we are just “tight with money” as my mother-in-law says.