To those of us who live paycheck to paycheck, the idea of being able to save $150,000 dollars in just a few years, seems about as likely as finally getting that letter to Hogwarts we’ve all been waiting on since we were 12. Like you’d have to be a wizard to pull it off. However, when I talk to an actual wizard (though not the magical kind…unfortunately), I’m assured that it’s the kind of savings anyone can manage with a moderate salary, and some research/tips. Though if you’re able to master alchemy, it wouldn’t hurt.
Last week, I spoke to The Money Wizard, (a blogger who goes by the pseudonym, Sean) about how he saved over $150,000 by the age of 26. Mostly, I did this because when I think of even saving a couple of thousand dollars for a summer trip, I get depressed, and end up ordering take out (pro tip: take out is a real bank account drainer, but SO DELICIOUS).
“I’ve always been interested in money,” Sean tells me. “The joke is that when I was really little I talked to my mom about how I wanted to retire because I had this epiphany one day where I realized you pretty much work your entire life towards retirement.”
Even as a small child, Sean was disheartened by the rat race that would keep you working until your 60’s or 70’s. Sean wanted to be able to enjoy his retirement when he was still young, a goal that by elementary school he was obsessed with, and by early high school was already working towards.
“When I got my first job around age 15, I saved as much money of that as I could,” he says. “I opened my first savings account at 16, and then at 18, I made my first investments into the stock market.”
This ambition and drive to save carried into Sean’s first job out of college. He wasn’t making an exorbitant amount of money, about 50 grand a year, but he made the most out of this salary. By 25, the Minneapolis resident had already saved 100,000 dollars. And he insists this kind of saving is possible for anyone without sacrificing fun like travel and adventures.
“I travel a lot actually,” Sean says. “In 2016, I took 12 roundtrip plane flights. I went to Florida, Skiing in Utah and Lake Tahoe. I flew in to New Orleans for a couple of days. I did a weekend trip to Cape Cod. And I went on a summer national park road trip to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier, and up into Canada a little bit.”
Along with trips to Denver, Seattle, and more than one jaunt to Texas to visit family, Sean finds that he’s able to get away quite a bit. While he’s committed to saving (he’s currently on track to retire comfortably by age 37), he finds you’re still able to splurge on fun by doing so affordably and making smarter choices thoughout the year.
While we talked, Sean shared some advice on how he enjoys his life while also saving like a boss. With his tips, you’ll be banking away your money and making the most of summer ’17.