Four or five years ago a very good friend of mine showed me MMM. At the time we were still students and not earning a cent more than we spent - and that was not due to us spending much In fact, my costs of living at that time were ~500€/month. The lifestyle was unbelievably good though.finity
(uncountable) The state or characteristic of being limited in number or scope.
I read everything MMM had to offer and graduated to ERE within the first year, still not holding a real job. Some three years ago I started my career and was able to put aside around 40%-50% of my net income (now 60%). Since then I saved up quite a bit of money while my spending increased (moved together my gf, leaving my 10 sqm room, and added some insurance and few "luxuries"), but not by much. In fact, my raises and my dividend stream will cover my spending in ~1 year, so I will save as much as I made when I started working every month. My job net income is on average ~2300€/month ($2700) after all mandatory insurances in Germany (including health, unemployment and care).
I like my job, but I hate all the time I spend there. I'm still working on my final goals (full ERE? Semi-ERE? Taking long time off? I will get kids in the next few years). My employer is great and I can't think of changing jobs at the moment. Getting to know FIRE / ERE long before getting a job is a curse and a blessing at the same time. A curse, because I'm always thinking about how to get more time for myself and how to reduce workload (anti-work mindeset!) and a blessing because of the same reasons . Saving multiple years of living expenses gives me quite a good feeling and I can't imagine how it must feel to live paycheck to paycheck.
Jacob wrote that he believes the ERE book is a book that only needs to be read once. I have read it thrice and will continue reading it once a year, because I always seem to find something new of value to me. Thank you Jacob! You have provided so much value to me. I'm now working on my own web of goals and try to improve my many weaknesses, which include spending to much time in front of the compter. ERE has given me a good leg up to life, now I will tailor it around me.