When we first got married, we were full-time students and worked part-time to pay our tuition fees.We lived from paycheck to paycheck for a while, but in the meantime — I still can’t believe we did it — we were able to save money. And that’s what we did:
Spent only for the most necessary money: I particularly stress this absolutely.For a long time we only had one bowl, which we used alternately. It’s hard to hold the penny together when you’re poor and want to move forward. It was a challenge because we had to think about how to redefine “need”. Sometimes I thought, “I have to buy eyelash estouchwhen we go to the store.” I paused and wondered why I was thinking about why I “needed” eyelash ink.
We never ate outside. I remember forgetting to take my lunch to university a few times.I was hungry those days. It was simply not an option to buy something in the cafeteria. We had a strict food budget to make ends meet.
We have shortened purchases: We spent 60-70 USD each week on purchases.A typical dinner for the whole week consisted of 2 whole chickens. One evening we ate half of the chicken with rice, the other half on the second night and made soup from the leftovers on the third evening. With 2 chickens were the 6 dinners, then we made for the last night, pancakes and eggs. Breakfast consisted of oatmeal and an apple, and lunch consisted of yoghurt and a sandwich.
That may sound hard, and it was.But after a while we got used to the lifestyle and it became normal. There were times when things were nimbly planned. My car had a breakdown twice and I needed an emergency doctor’s visit uninsured. But because we were so diligent in saving, these things didn’t completely get us out of control. They threw us back, but we just started saving again.
Here we are so happy that we are on the way again —that we can do it!
I found the dress in a second-hand shop for about 5 dollars.
We sometimes indulged in something.
EDIT: Jawwad A made me a great suggestion to tell about us and what has become of us.I think I was too busy explaining how we managed to survive from one salary to the next, so we forgot the best.
So here it is:
We did this for three years.Until we had both jobs in the areas we chose. I am an X-ray technologist and he is an electrical engineer. We were determined to pay our way through school and finished our studies with zero debt.
As soon as we had full-time jobs and no more tuition fees, the money flowed in.We felt like we had won the lottery! Luckily, we stuck to our old penny foxes, and we saved and invested (in mutual funds) half of every paycheck.
We will retire at 40.
Looking back on this time, I am so proud of what we have achieved. I wouldn’t change one.
I would like to stress that we have escaped life from paychecks to paychecks and made sure that we had money in the bank even in these difficult times.I know that a lot of people don’t just take their time to graduate with well-paid jobs. But the fight to save is still worth it, because money opensdoors.
If you want to know exactly how we can retire at the age of 40, read our blog post How to RetireEarly: My three-step plan with all the details.