I’m a 24 year old guy from Scotland, and I’ve known about this site for a couple of years and I lurk on the forums from time to time and I started posting a wee while ago so figured I should introduce myself properly. I’ve recently taken a more active interest in the idea of extreme early retirement as I’m finally starting to figure out what I want to do with my life and realising that it is to have the time and freedom to pursue my large and ever-growing set of interests, experience the world, and generally enjoy myself without being tied down geographically or financially. Or in other words, yes, “to travel lots and be awesome, as most people in their 20s want to”, to paraphrase one of Jacob’s recent blog posts ;). I don’t yet have an exact plan or goal amount or target age, I’m still trying to figure a lot of this stuff out, but in any case the earlier I start the better so once I do know what my concrete goals are I’ll be well prepared to reach them.
While I’m keen to save plenty money and eliminate unnecessary spending, I’m trying to find a balance between enjoying my life now when I’m young and in my prime, and enjoying my life later, so I may not be able to go to as extreme measures as some ERE people and as such I accept that the journey will take me a bit longer because of that. Unless I get a very highly paid job or move somewhere cheaper or come up with a great business idea or get lucky on speculative investments or win the lottery or make it big as a musician, a full-on early retirement in 5 years is looking unlikely, but I’d be quite happy with a semi-retirement situation where I only work some of the year or do some part-time/freelance work for a few years. And the last two ideas are a joke; I don’t buy Lottery tickets and I play extreme metal music.
I should mention that I’m an odd one out here - an ENFP - although I can happily spend hours working on solitary activities before feeling the need to be around people, and I also suffer from shyness (currently working on that of course!) so I'm probably often mistaken for an I. I guess I have the best, and worst, of both worlds :).
I've always been fairly sensible with money and I've been saving since a young age, had it drummed into me by my parents and now I'm grateful for it :). Now I guess I'm just getting more organised about the whole thing.
My progress so far:
- Made a proper budget. As I say I was never a big spender, but this was very revealing and made me think a lot more about where my money is going and whether each expense is actually adding value to my life. As a result I've already made some cuts, such as eating more cheaply, using the bus less often and walking or cycling instead, and...
- Started drinking less. Sacrilege for a Scot perhaps, but the cost of these pints really adds up, and I need to learn to be confident, interesting, and fun without the aid of booze.
- Started saving regularly every month rather than just every so often when my bank balance happens to look high.
- Moved to a different bank get better interest rates and benefits.
- Got a new job. Slightly higher salary, more progression opportunity, more to learn, more enjoyable.
I very much feel like I’m at the bottom of the ERE mountain - my savings, while impressive for my age especially as most of my friends don’t have savings, are a small fraction of any realistic goal amount, and my savings rate isn’t going to get me there very quickly. My current plan is pretty much to keep doing the career thing for at least the next few years, try to reduce my spending more, keep thinking about ideas for side income and career advancement, and keep solidifying my plan and goals.
Shorter term goals for the moment:
- Reach a 50% savings rate. 75% still seems unrealistic, but 50 would be a good start.
- Learn more about investing.
I'll probably use this topic as a log and update it in future with more detail.