Mr2P and I are planning our early retirement for our early 50’s as we will have enough money to do so. But we don’t have anything like a million pounds in savings.
Our enough will allow us to live quietly and fully without working.
We will have enough, not because we earned a lot but because we saved a lot. Our enough may not be your enough – your enough could be more or less than ours; it’s certainly nowhere near my brother’s enough.
But our enough is enough.
What does enough look like?
Our enough will allow us to swap our house in Hampshire for one in Cumbria with a bigger garden, to run and replace a car every 6 ish years, to take a holiday or two in the UK and most importantly, not have to work!
The not working part is optional because you just never know if something comes along that you want to get involved in.
Our enough will allow us to commence our early retirement before our state retirement age of 67 because we will have enough money to live on before those pensions kick in.
We can do this because we have chosen to live without the latest gadgets, without full cable/sports packages, without regular beauty treatments (Mr 2P cuts my hair).
These are things that don’t float our boat so why spend our money on them at the expense of saving to finish work early?
What our enough isn’t
It won’t pay for 2 holidays abroad but that’s ok because we aren’t planning any. It won’t pay for a brand new car every 3 years but we’ve never had one of those or changed our cars that often.
We have enough for what we need but many of our things are not the latest style. For example we both have laptops but we bought refurbished.
We have had them long enough for both to need new batteries. What we won’t be doing is buying a new laptop, this one works fine thank you very much!
In our younger years we definitely lived to our means (and beyond at times). When your mortgage rate is 12%, you have full time child care to pay for and 2 cars it’s very hard to save any money at all when you don’t earn much.
We couldn’t afford to have the heating on for long when we first got that 12% mortgage and certainly didn’t have holidays abroad.
When you are working hard and seeing all your money go on bills it’s very easy to think about treating yourself because you deserve something in return for all your hard work.
For many years we treated ourselves every month by spending our money. Like so many people as soon as we got paid we treated ourselves with things like:-
- New clothes – to make us feel good
- A meal out – because we deserved it
- Family trip to the cinema – because that is what other families do, right?
- More expensive food from the extra special ranges at the supermarket – because they taste better
Having splurged on that first pay day weekend we then had little money left for the rest of the month. Needless to say we weren’t saving any money then!
Our Early Retirement Lightbulb
As we slowly thought about what we wanted for our future we realised that perhaps what we deserved was to move to the country, to work less, to chose when and if we worked.
And if that is what we deserved, treating ourselves by buying stuff every month wasn’t really a treat was it? Those treats were getting in the way of what we deserved.
Building our enough pot by saving money every month became our treat.
When I got a promotion at work I decided that I didn’t need to spend more. I felt I deserved to put all of my extra salary into our savings, indeed it’s one of the reasons why I went for my last 2 promotions, chasing the money to increase our savings and my eventual pension.
Don’t get me wrong, we still buy ourselves treats, they are just not expensive treats and they are not at the expense of our savings.
Our go-to treats are white chocolate (me!) and chilli peanuts (Mr2P) but not simultaneously!
Build your own savings pot
The more you spend, the more money you need to earn and the less you are able to save. When you stop working you need more money to continue to live in the style you are used to.
Conversely, the less you spend, the less you need and the more you can save. For over 12 years we have not spent all our wages, we have not allowed lifestyle inflation to creep into our spending.
Lifestyle inflation is when your lifestyle increases in cost to keep pace with your earnings, living paycheck to paycheck.
If you want an early retirement, or switch to part time work, or maybe start your own business then start building your enough pot because you deserve it.
You deserve to have these ideas and you deserve to spend your hard earned money by treating yourself and help make them come true.
Start treating yourself by saving a little every week/month and watch your enough pot grow.
On the cusp of enough
We have almost achieved our enough now although we continue to work and save for a little while longer. Every penny we save helps our savings grow that little bit more.
Our enough is not your enough and is nothing like a million pounds but it will get us what we want and when we want it which is nearly now.
Mr2P’s chilli peanuts are not going to stop our dream from becoming a reality!
Do you know your enough? Have you changed what see you see as a treat over the years? Do you spend less than you earn? Could you make small changes to save more?