WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Wish you could have retired at 30? Here's how one couple is making it work!

Posted August 29, 2013


When do you think you will be able to retire? Don't you wish it could have been at 30?!  Well, for me, that was more than a few years ago, but for this couple, they are making it work. And they even have a 7-year old!  They have some great ideas on how to truly live within your means.

In an article from the Washington Post, Mr. Money Mustache (Pete) describes how he and his wife retired when he was 30 years old. They now live off rental income from a house they own as well as money from odd jobs here and there. 

Pete shares how his family lives on about $25,000 per year with a paid off house and no debt.  He talks about debt and the habits that put us into debt and those that can get us out of debt, as well.  The article is a good read about truly living within your means and being able to make the most of your time. 

In addition to the Washington Post article,  I recommend that you read a recent article that Pete wrote on his website,   It's called, "The Surprising Effect of Small Efforts Over Time" and it has prompted me to take a good, hard look at many of my current habits and the way I spend my time.  The comments and websites shared by other readers at the end of the article are also quite interesting. 

I have signed up for his website e-mails and I look forward to his next article. In the meantime, I plan to read his previous writings one by one as part of the small steps I plan to take in the coming months and years. 

What do you think? Are you on the path to early retirement? If so, what steps are you taking? 

What do you think about Pete's lifestyle? Could you do it?


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  • oldladykate Aug 30, 2013

    I understand the overall idea behind this guy; however, this guy still lives off of $25k! TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS! Without a mortgage or childcare, my family of four (not three, like him) easily lives off of much less - and that's including our SUV and truck expenses (fuel, maintenance and insurance).

    Before lay-offs my husband and I did well to save as we began our lives together but I came out of school with a Master's degree and made $14/hr with NO benefits for my first job in my career. Mr. M was an engineer. He was making well over $14/hr. Given his salary, I could have saved that and put it toward my mortgage easily.

    He has some good points but I would argue that my lifestyle is way more frugal.

  • meredith88 Aug 30, 2013

    Right now my husband & I both have newer cars. I got my first car in 2006 & it was a 1990 Olds. I bought it for $500 cash & drove it until the transmission went out a couple years later & sold it to a mechanic for $350, so I got most of my money back :) Then I borrowed my grandparents' 1989 Crown Vic for my last 2 years of college. It broke down weekly & was always in the shop so when I graduated I gave the car back in much better condition than I got it (it's almost all new parts now) and bought myself a graduation present in the form of a 2008 Rav4. The car payment is actually less than what I was spending on repairs each month & it will be paid off early.
    My husband's 1998 Mazda 6 gave out on us last year and after a new engine & a new transmission in the last 3 years we couldn't justify putting in another new transmission on a car that old. So we shared 1 car for 9 months & found a great deal on a 2009 Taurus for 25% less than the value. We plan on driving both cars til they quit

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 29, 2013

    10hummingbirds - 340,000 miles?? That's impressive! I am striving to reach that goal. Only 133,000 more to go.

  • 10hummingbirds Aug 29, 2013

    We don't get rid of our vehicles either. We keep them till they no longer run. We have 98 Camry that has 340,000 miles and my hubby still drives it to work every day. Sure it has some wear and tear issues like needing shocks/struts, brakes, etc. But mechanically runs great.

  • Save4more Aug 29, 2013


  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 29, 2013

    UNCW_Ash - you will probably be able to drive your Odyssey until at least 2020! Doesn't that seem crazy?

    3boys3 - Sounds like a fabulous family member!

  • 3boys3 Aug 29, 2013

    My car feels like "part of the family"...being with us now for almost 14 years...there are a couple window wont roll down, but I love that car and it has never failed me!

  • UNCW_Ash Aug 29, 2013

    Reading these comments makes me so excited! I have a used Odyssey (2007 bought in 2009) that is paid for with 136k miles on it I believe. I plan to drive it as long as I can as well. I LOVE my Odyssey. Just regular maintenance and tires so far!

  • Luv2Camp Aug 29, 2013

    I am glad those that have retired have a full and happy life. Personally, I am scared of retirement. I want to work as long as possible. I own my own business and enjoy my work. For that, I guess I am blessed.

  • Nanee Lion Aug 29, 2013

    contined: to keep it all clean and in working order. I am currently saving most of my retirement check so my husband can use it if I pass first. He did not have retirement funds where he worked. We are very blessed and we have enough to enjoy life. I told him this week, "I have enough food that you won't have to buy groceries for a long time if something happens to me". Of course, we have enough shampoo, deo. etc. too. Thanks to Faye we are blessed with abundance of everything! My pantry looks like my binder LOL.