Budgeting is Like Backpacking

I’ve been updating my backpacking loadout and learning from the “ultralight” backpacking community. I was struck by the parallels between backpack-packing and budgeting and how backpacking wisdom can apply to finance.

Being Frugal vs Being Cheap

I used to think that “being frugal” and “being cheap” were basically the same thing. Along my saving journey, however, I found out that the two are very different. To me, In a nutshell, “being cheap” means trying to spend as little as possible and “being frugal” means to spend as thoughtfully as possible. What do those concepts really mean?

Frugal Groceries

It’s surprising, but keeping food costs down was a big part of sticking to our budget and ultimately retiring early. Food is the third highest spending category for US households (after housing and transportation), so it’s a big part of most budgets. It’s easier to change your food choices than to move to a new house or...

Our Retirement Withdrawal Plan

After you retire, you need to decide how much you can spend each year, which investments to take the money from, and when to rebalance your investments. Collectively, this is called your “withdrawal plan”.

How Much Stock vs Bonds

How should you split your retirement investments between stock and bonds? How do you make this decision? Your chosen split is called your Asset Allocation, and you’ll often see it written as two numbers; for example, 60% stock and 40% bonds is written as “60/40”. Let’s dig into it.

How We Kept The Same Budget for Eight Years

Learning to budget and invest put us on a path to retire early, but our choice to keep the same budget for eight years (adding all of our raises to saving) enabled us to retire really early. In this post, I’m going to explain how we accomplished that.

Getting Retirement Money Out

Once you retire, which accounts should you take your retirement spending from first? If you retire before age 59.5, how do you get IRA money out at all? Are there any retirement tax surprises to watch out for?

Retirement Account Types

You’re ready to start saving for retirement, but there are several different accounts you could use. Brokerage accounts, IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s. Where should your retirement savings go, and why?

How Long Until You Can Retire?

In “How Much You Need To Retire”, you learned that you need to save about 25 times your retirement spending to retire. When I first heard that number, I thought saving that much would take forever. Fortunately, there are two giant tailwinds to help: compounding returns and decreasing spending.

How Much You Need to Retire

So, you’ve decided to start saving for retirement. How much money will you need to save up?