Early Retirement Extreme

As explained by Jacob Lund Fisker, blog host of Early Retirement Extreme,

If you’re new here, this blog will give you the tools to become financially independent in 5 years. Here’s how I did it and here’s how I currently do it. The method is robust and replicable (no need to win the lottery, start a blogging business, or win at real estate), but not easy; much in the same way that a diet results in weight loss but is hard to follow persistently unless you set your mind to it. The key is to save 75%+ of your net income and invest it in income producing assets (bonds and dividend stocks). There is a “21 day” step-by-step plan for how to get beyond 75% in the left side bar.

Early Retirement Extreme is one of my favorite blogs (and I’ll eventually get around to ordering Mr. Fisker’s book). The key word in his early retirement plan is “extreme.” He cut his expenses back to a point that most people wouldn’t be willing to do. However, if you want what most people don’t have, then you have to be willing to do what most people won’t do.

Even though I’m not willing to cut back on my creature comforts and pleasures to the degree that he did, his ideas have greatly helped me streamline my expenses. I fall into the “Expeditioner” category the Sovereign Man blog host talked about in his post The 7 Expat Categories:

EXPEDITIONER: You are a classical traveler in the mold of British merchants and explorers– you want to make the journey overseas, but you want your amenities too, complete with a triple mocha latte.

You want to storm the plains of the Serengeti… with an armed guide. You want to see India up close and personal… then go back to your five star hotel.

I want my hot cocoa whenever I want it . . . and my pillows fluffed up “just right” with a chocolate mint left on them. I don’t want to cut my own hair or give myself manicures. I want others to do that for me. I’m not into “roughing it” sorts of lifestyles. Nevertheless, it IS possible for people to combine:

  • the creation of multiple passive income streams, and
  • the tips and strategies for reducing expenses described in great detail at Early Retirement Extreme

to create a lifestyle for themselves in which they DON’T have to trade their life for money with the daily grind of a 9-to-5 job. At minimum, it’s possible to significantly reduce one’s dependence on a job.

As Sojourners, we already know we can create our own “luck.” And make our daily lives more about what we want to do, as opposed to what we have to do. Take a look around Early Retirement Extreme.

Tagged as: 

70 Responses to “Early Retirement Extreme”

  1. APA says:

    This website was mentioned in one of the recent posts, and I’ve been reading it ever since. ERE is especially useful for young people starting out because we haven’t become accustomed to a lot of the luxuries grown folks are, since we’re use to roughing it on a limited income. The advice that my mother gave me recently was to live the same way that I did in college, so I can save as much money as possible.

    I’m like you. I want to streamline my spending, but not to the point to where I’m living out of a trailer, eating beans and rice everyday, and only shopping at thrift stores. Jacob of ERE did all those things because doesn’t care for many of the comforts of life. However, I do, so I going to need to work a little longer and save a lot more than Jacob before I think about retiring.

    Fortunately, I’m leaving school without any debt and have a job offer for a pretty good amount of money, so I know that I’ll be able to save several thousands of dollars within a year, if I cut back on extraneous spending. This means no eating out except for special occasions, no cable, checking out books from the library rather than buying them, no more shopping sprees at the mall, joining a natural food co-op, buying used, quality furniture, and driving my current car for the next couple of years. The plan is to invest the money that I save, so it’s working for me once I (hopefully) start medical school. After I graduate from medical school, I should have a nice nest egg, and I’ll be making pretty good money, so I can save and invest some more. Hopefully, this puts me on the path to being able to retire around 40.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for the ERE link, I will be sure to check it out. I don’t know if I can do his extreme plan, but I’m open to small, long term sacrifices to achieve my retirement goals. I still have a long way to go before retirement but I’ve already started saving for it. As mentioned by APA, I think it is a little easier for younger folks-who haven’t been spoiled and are prudent with their money- to live more frugal. The current recession has really forced many young people to re-evaluate how they spend money, their career goals and overall lifestyle. Unfortunately, with the current economic situation in the US, I think our generation will be headed for a lifestyle/wealth downgrade from what our parents had. I’m an avid follower of Sovereign Man. I’m an internationalist expat- a hybrid between the expeditioner and pioneer, though I tend to lean more on the expeditionary side.

  2. I’m going to check out this site now. One of the biggest goals I have for this year is to save enough money to move abroad during 2012. I’m already saving about 40% of my take-home pay but I could probably bring that amount up even more if I cut back certain luxuries (buying expensive lunches, cosmetics, snacks from Starbucks.) I think that to go really extreme for a limited time, like for a month or two.

    I’m particularly interested in the investment vehicles that the blog author recommends. Bonds and dividend stocks are more stable investments than some others I can think of, right offhand. I think that this information, along with the Dreamline Calculators mentioned on Tim Ferriss’ site, could help anyone quickly create their dream lifestyle.

  3. CeeGeeR says:

    Sojourners can be married with children. Living a fabulously interesting, happy and adventurous life does not end after marriage and children. It might be a juggling act though. I’ve been reading Miserly Moms and other books to get ideas on saving and investing too. I will look at Mr. Fisker’s website. One of my biggest distractors is confusing the times to relax with wasting time. I will check in later. Khadijah thank you for your brilliant ideas and for sharing them. I sincerely appreciate you and your blog.

    • Anilia says:

      This is a good point. I’ve been struggling mentally with my desire to be a nomad and my desire to have a husband and children. It seems that the likelihood of meeting a man who’d enjoy this type of lifestyle with me is rare… I’m probably just telling myself that without any evidence to go off of though.

      • Anilia,

        There seems to be an ever-growing international subculture of grown folks who want to be location independent and/or digital nomads. Not all of them are 20-year old college kids.

        I’ve noted the numbers of fully-grown, single men—as well as grown-ups doing the nomadic thing with their small children—in this increasing “tribe” of people. Check out the following blogs:

        Location Independent and the comments in response to the survey question asked during this post at Virtual Business Lifestyle.

        It seems to me that the location-independent “tribe” is forming. Meeting up with them is probably a matter of going where tribe members go online, and attending the real-life gatherings that tribe members attend. [Attending things that would be of interest to location-independent folks and location-independent wannabes in your area.]

        Expect Success!

  4. CC says:

    Khadija,

    Thank you for this website! I am also unwilling to go to such extremes, but I desire to streamline and reduce my spending and I would like to eliminate my debt.

    Maybe I can work on a 10 year retirement plan!

  5. APA,

    You said, “I’m like you. I want to streamline my spending, but not to the point to where I’m living out of a trailer, eating beans and rice everyday, and only shopping at thrift stores. Jacob of ERE did all those things because doesn’t care for many of the comforts of life. However, I do, so I going to need to work a little longer and save a lot more than Jacob before I think about retiring.”

    Yep. I’m willing to do extreme cut backs for an extremely short period of time (oh, say around a month or two). But NOT as a ongoing lifestyle. I know that waking up tomorrow is not guaranteed to anybody. Which is why I would never deny myself all pleasures in the expectation of some distant future goal. Everybody’s mileage varies with these sorts of things.

    You said, “…Hopefully, this puts me on the path to being able to retire around 40.”

    Good luck!
    ___________________________________________________

    MissGlamtastic,

    You said, “I’m going to check out this site now. One of the biggest goals I have for this year is to save enough money to move abroad during 2012.”

    That sounds great to me! Good luck!
    ____________________________________________________

    CeeGeeR,

    You’re welcome! Thank you for your kind words; I truly appreciate it!
    ____________________________________________________

    CC,

    You’re welcome!

    Even though I’m not willing to go to Mr. Fisker’s extremes, his ideas have been very useful in cutting back some of my expenses. His posts have helped focus my thoughts about which creature comforts are truly important to me, and which ones aren’t. I’ve been eliminating the ones that aren’t so important to me.

    Expect Success!

    • SweetIslandGirl says:

      I comepletly agree with this. I read this post and had to think about it for a moment. I lived my life denyingmyself things I wanted till it became habit and I would talk myself out of things I needed. Then disaster struck and I realized the money I saved and the money I was hoping to save meant nothing because it would never be enough to buy me the things that are most valuable in life. Health, love(from a SO or most importantly for yourself), and family is whats important. So now I dont deny myself anything. If I want or need something I either save for that short term goal, or seek ways to achieve it without breaking the bank or I just make up my mind and get it. I’ve been much happier a person for it. Life is not guaranteed, happiness is within my reach today so why not take a moment to experience it?

  6. Formavitae says:

    Thanks for the referral, Khadija. I’m not married yet, but I think much can be accomplished with two earners. I’m focused on completing my education, for advancement in my career. But, fortunately, my parents have established some property for my future. So, I can focus on making other “sacrifices” to build wealth. I’m glad I don’t have to start from the bottom, and I want it to be even better for my kids.

  7. joyousnerd says:

    I will check out this blog for sure. I think that combining a side-income with frugality strategies can allow serious wealth accumulation in a short time.

    One tip I’ve heard that I agree with is for newly married women to save all of your take-home income, and ensure that your daily financial needs (mortgage, loan payments etc) can easily fit within your husband’s income. In this way the wife’s income is a protection, not a burden. How could income be a burden? When couples need both incomes to meet the monthly bills, they are headed for trouble if any hiccup in either spouse’s employment occurs.

    Also, women who automatically assume they will be fine with putting an infant in daycare may be shocked to find themselves emotionally distraught over being separated from their newborn. If you have money saved up you won’t NEED to put the baby in someone else’s care at 6 weeks.

    Off to check out the ERE blog…..

    • Osun/Aphrodite says:

      Good points and unfortunately this is what too many BW are set up for.

      “When couples need both incomes to meet the monthly bills, they are headed for trouble if any hiccup in either spouse’s employment occurs. “

  8. miss cosmic says:

    Khadija,
    thank you so much for these links. i’m trying to become financially independent; still working on alternative income streams and i’m grateful for any ideas i can get, as i tend to get depressed thinking i have no way of making my own income other than doing what i already do – teaching.
    so thanks again for the links and for your site in general.
    be blessed.

    • tertiaryanna says:

      Miss Cosmic,

      I’ve met a few people who supplemented their main income by acting as private tutors for things like AP classes or the college entrance exams. They were able to do this because they could prove they had experience in teaching. They charged by the hour, and met in public places like libraries, so there was no overhead.

      The key was getting dedicated clients and making them pay in advance for a set of lessons (like say they pay for a month’s lessons, up front) and having a clear cancellation policy. What I hear is that people will allow makeups, but no refunds, and a no-show gets charged for the missed lesson.

      If you are a teacher, especially in the sciences for upper grades, or reading in the lower grades, you can use your professional expertise to get a side-thing going.

      if you are able to write lesson plans, you may be able to tap into the homeschooling system and sell your materials, which would be a passive income stream for you.

      • miss cosmic says:

        tertiaryanny, i was tutoring, but i have just moved to a new country and i’m trying to figure out the education system as it is very different to the one i know, and helping my child adjust as well.
        however, teaching is something i do well and as soon as i am on my feet i will be looking into tutoring once more.
        thank you so much for your reply, as i had never thought of actually writing my own materials.

        be blessed.
        🙂

  9. Formavitae,

    You’re welcome!
    _________________________________________

    JoyousNerd,

    Yep, there’s some good info over there!
    _________________________________________

    Miss Cosmic,

    You’re welcome! I’ll email you with some more detailed information about the online business options that you might want to look over and consider.

    *Addendum*
    MissCosmic, please check your email inbox when you have the time. I’ve sent you the email I mentioned above.

    Expect Success!

  10. Duchy says:

    Thanks for the ERE link, Khadija. I remember you posting about it sometime ago. I went on the website last night and he has a lot of radical ideas challenging the way we are made/taught to think about the world and our duty to society. These are things I have been thinking about for a while, especially since I started working full-time.
    A lot to think about so I’m definitely ruminating.

    • Duchy,

      You’re welcome!

      Yes, the blog host of ERE raises a lot of important questions about how most “normal” American adults have their lives set up:

      Spending the lion’s share of our waking moments working at unfulfilling jobs. And since there’s very little to no fulfillment from work, we then spend a lot of money on various material toys to make us feel better. So then working becomes about making the money needed to sustain/keep buying the material toys to make up for the numbness (or outright pain) so many people feel at their jobs. Rinse and repeat. For decades until retirement.

      Only now, increasing numbers of employers have stopped holding up their end of the bargain—the jobs that American adults require in order to maintain the above shopping-based hamster wheel are disappearing (and going overseas).

      I say that since the above model of work is falling apart anyway, now is a good time to rethink that entire model. And seek out ways to reverse that model. Seek out ways to spend the lion’s share of one’s time on meaningful things (which can include work that is meaningful to the person involved), and less time on absolute drudgery.

      Expect Success!

  11. Yellow Moon says:

    It’s like the decision about eating, isn’t it?

    Should you eat small portions of delicious food (that has a lot of calories and fat in it) and get enough exercise so that you don’t get fat, or, eat the food that is low in everything bad (sugar, triglycerides, salt, starch, saturated fat, meat proteins, etc.) and is also pretty low in taste and enjoyment, while getting that exercise?

    You’ll probably live longer if you stay away from all that delicious food, even if the exercise is the same.

    But I’m willing to trade a few years less on this earth for a much higher level of enjoyment while I’m here. I have no interest in an asetic lifestyle. I want to like my life. I’m not talking about an all-out hedonistic orgy of excess, but I want nice things, I want to look reasonably good, I like delicious food, etc.

    I believe in the premise of frugality, but a high level of daily sacrifice is anathema to me. I want to extract some small measure of enjoyment from my life every day, not be in a constant mode of denial over the smallest of things.

  12. LMH says:

    Thank you for this post and the links! Your post are always seem to speak to the direction or plan I am mulling over. While I am not ready to be “extreme” the site has me thinking budget, finance and goals.

  13. geekgrl says:

    I’ve been digging through his achieves for the last two weeks. Using some basic excel budget forms, I just found out last week that I am living off 40% of my income without really trying. (I read Your Money or Your Life and some of other frugal/anti-consumerist books, during college which helped me curb the spending creep. For the last eight years, I’ve basically spent as much as I did my last years at college.)

    I’m trying to set up a game plan to get more extreme. I want to minimize my ‘stuff’ by having a yard sale or two this year. I already donated 8 bags of ‘stuff’ to the Salvation Army last year. I just realized last month that buying staples in the bulk bins is so much cheaper than the packaged stuff. I have done some research but, I still haven’t started a passive income stream and need to strength my portfolio.

    There was a study years ago about the psychology of savers and spenders. The study found that savers save not necessarily because they care about the future, but because spending money is emotionally painful. Savers don’t get the high, fun feeling some spenders get. This is where I am at, so I never enjoyed getting manicures or buying clothes. I am a foodie, so going from using 40% of my income to 30% (I don’t think I can get to 25%) is going to mean less time in restaurants and more eating at home.

    I’m toying with the idea of going extreme for 10 years, then becoming an Internationalist. Maybe traveling Central and South America like the blogger on Bacon is Magic.

    Khadija, are there books or websites you would recommend for passive income ideas?

  14. Palmwater says:

    Thank you for the links to the virtual business lifestyle!

    Chris’s blog has a lot of great posts that I will have to go over. I’m working on a second income stream now (it’s partially virtual) but I haven’t figured out how to make it completely virtual (if it can). It seems daunting creating a completely virtual business but there are so many great examples of people doing it.

    Location independence and “not having to rely on a 9-5” is a definite goal of mine in the future. To me that is early retirement, since I certainly want to have the option of working, compared to being forced to work to survive.

    Thank you for all of the great work you have been doing to empower bw! I certainly hope that in the future you will have a donate button on your blog. So that those of us benefiting from your work can reciprocate!

    • SweetIslandGirl says:

      This is my goal as well. I’m working on a few ideas for a virtual income stream and I’m kinda stuck on how to bring it to fruition. I don’t want it to be labeled a “black site” because that will limit my audience and income potential. I’m going to continue researching. There is a saying that goes the best way to be successful is to imitate someone successful which brings me to my question:
      How does one go about picking a professional mentor? Obviously the same process of vetting applies (I’m hoping) but doesn anyone have any additional tips?

  15. Faith Dow says:

    This is one of the reasons why I’ve tried to see what I forgo (even for the short-term) and not wind up crazy over giving up. I’ve found quite a bit more than I’ve realized. It really helps one focus on taking measures to make dreams into reality. Many will not have a choice with the way the economy is going anyway.

  16. YellowMoon,

    You said, “It’s like the decision about eating, isn’t it?”

    Yes, it has many of the same emotional dynamics as food choices. 🙂
    ______________________________________________

    LMH,

    You’re welcome!
    ______________________________________________

    Geekgrl,

    You said, “Khadija, are there books or websites you would recommend for passive income ideas?”

    Yes, but I’m not going to dispense that sort of information in public with the trolls and perpetual lurkers listening. Since New Year’s Day, I’ve been making some shifts with how I do my BWE work.

    Time is short, and I’ve decided to start applying the 80/20 rule, in addition to putting the core BWE values of “vetting” and “reciprocity” into action with how I handle the blog. My attention is shifting away from non-reciprocating, nonparticipating audience members. And toward reciprocating, participating audience members (the regular commenters who receive the Sojourner’s Passport Confidential posts). Most of all, toward reciprocating audience members who are ready and willing to go beyond selling wolf tickets and take action.

    What this means in terms of the blog is that:

    (1) I’m reducing the number of public posts to 2 blog posts per week (1 post plus the weekly Friday Finishing School), in order to spend more time researching the Sojourner’s Passport Confidential posts, which will be sent out approximately twice a month.

    (2) I’m not going to do “tidbit” posts alerting the general public to when the Sojourner’s Passport Confidential posts have been sent out to regular commenters. I’ll just send out the confidential posts.

    (3) I’ll give 1-on-1 attention and mentoring to specific readers about their online business questions. I’m already doing this with a couple of folks. Geekgrl, since you’re a regular commenter, I’ll email you in a few minutes with some preliminary feedback about online passive income ideas.
    ____________________________________________

    Palmwater,

    You’re welcome! You said, “I certainly hope that in the future you will have a donate button on your blog. So that those of us benefiting from your work can reciprocate!”

    No, I won’t have a button for donations on the site; but thank you for your kind words. What I’d prefer that people do is buy an extra copy of the book and give it away as a gift, or donate it to their local public library branch. I want the message to spread.
    _________________________________________________________

    Faith,

    You said, “Many will not have a choice with the way the economy is going anyway.”

    As various wise folks have said all along, it’s better to make adjustments before circumstances force you to adjustments.

    *Addendum*
    Geekgrl, please check your email inbox when you have the time. I’ve sent you the email I mentioned above.

    Expect Success!

  17. Miss S says:

    How often does one need to comment to become a regular commenter, and receive the Confidential posts?

    I would love to learn more about additional income streams, and I’m sure I could add to the conversation. I’m working and saving now to implement an idea I have this year, and pushing law school back by a semester or year. My undergrad is in economics, so I would also love to help out however I could.

    As far as saving, I have a few tips. I just recently found a job, but prior to that I was an unemployed college grad with very little money.

    The dollar tree is my best friend 🙂 Not the dollar store, the dollar tree- where everything is $1. I get my medicine (excedrein, allergy, ibuprofen, etc) from there. I also get stuff for my bathroom (toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, toothbrush, qtips, cotton rounds), cheap decorations like vases and candles.

    I buy my water bottles from there, iced tea, tissues…. you name it, I buy it there. That helps save money.

    Depending on where you live, growing your own fruits and vegetables can save alot, and they taste so much better. 🙂

    I buy my coffee from wawa now instead of Starbucks (actually, I’ve been doing this for awhile). $1.39 compared to $3-4 adds up.

    Saving on what you buy leaves you money to either put away, or spend on something really important.

    • Miss S,

      I’ll email you about what “regular commenter” means in the context of the confidential posts.

      Expect Success!

      • Melissa Q. says:

        I am also interested about the definition of “regular commenter”. Is it possible if I can get an email as well?

    • Osun/Aphrodite says:

      “The dollar tree is my best friend 🙂 Not the dollar store, the dollar tree- where everything is $1.”

      Co-sign. I switched to this about last year and I buy in bulk. Only a few things I buy name brand – everything else generic, bulk, and offbrand.

      I found a nice generic brand of bathroom tissue- soft double rolls 24 pack for about 5.00. I bought two and they have lasted over several months.

  18. Coffy says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post Khadija, your passion for sharing is very much appreciated. I’d also like to know what “regular commenter” means in the context of the confidential posts. In the past year I’ve been researching passive income options and would love to share potential resources and bounce ideas off of individuals with similar goals.

    I find it’s much easier for me to save money when I surround myself with like minded people. Once I started hanging around my current bestie and her family , who happen to be immigrants, I really curbed my unnecessary spending and came to realize that I was wasting money on a lot of clutter and junk that I did not need. I plan on hunkering down these next few years as I pay off my student loans and save money to attend graduate school overseas. You make a good point about tomorrow not being promised and not denying yourself all pleasures–I’m still struggling to find this balance, however I’m focusing on developing a minimalist lifestyle in terms of material things, but then allowing myself to spend money on experiences. This is said to be the formula for happy spending, as the high we get off of material purchases fades much more quickly than the long-term memories formed by experiences such as a concert or a vacation.

    In addition to learning web design, I’ve recently started an e-business and am in the process of drafting a business plan for an additional one. My goal is to have at least 5 side hustles in action by the end of the year–I’m still working out how I can make most if not all of them passive as opposed to active income, so that I can execute them properly and still have time to enjoy life.

  19. Everybody,

    Coffy’s question about what “regular commenter” means in the context of the confidential posts is the last one that I’m going to respond to for a while.

    Some of you in the audience have been lurking FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS—since the previous blog. In other words, the perpetual lurkers have been taking from the blog conversations without ever giving anything back in return FOR YEARS.

    Now that some standards are being enacted, let’s not have a bunch of people playing dumb and pretending that they have no clue whatsoever as to what the phrase “regular commenter” means.

    Expect Success!

  20. MsMellody says:

    Hi Khadija,

    I just spent about an hour and a half over at the ERE website.
    As I have been accustomed to this internet I spent about 10 minutes at each of the articles I was interested in and specifically concentrating on the comments section there.

    I really am impressed with this young man and his suggestions for books, websites, farmers market listings, and other things.

    It is unbelievable in a very good way the amount of information out there for people who REALLY WANT to retire early!!
    There were ideas there that I had not thought of in anyway, there were amazing ideas about sacriface- some that I had already been doing ( dividend stock purchases/ direct share stock purchases ), but some that I medically cannot get with – eating on such a restricted diet to reduce my food costs.

    I already shop at Pete’s Produce for the main STAPLES of our food budget. I only shop at Jewel or Dominicks ( much more expensive) for items that I cannot find at the produce store. I want to share with the readers here that as a result of shopping at the produce store for the main/majority of our household’s food requirements I cut my food budget in half. On a weekly basis my husband and I eat 3 meals a day well balanced meals for $100-110, at Pete’s Produce. As compared to Jewel/ Dominicks where we used to spend on average $200- 230.

    I really am enjoying learning and sharing with all the readers here. Thank you.

  21. MsMellody,

    You’re welcome!

    For those who aren’t familiar with Chicago-area grocery stores: These mostly fresh produce stores Ms Mellody is refering to (particularly Pete’s Produce) are almost exclusively located in immigrant (for the most part Mexican) neighborhoods.

    Unlike AAs, immigrants generally AREN’T eating a diet mostly composed of dead, processed “foods.” Unlike AAs, immigrants generally aren’t living off of Mickey D’s. These other people still want to eat fresh fruits and veggies. And so there are fresh produce stores that cater to their wishes.

    Now, Pete’s does have a small produce store off of 87th and Stony Island in a South Side AA neighborhood. But the full-service, fresh produce AND everything else you’d find in a grocery store type of Pete’s Produce is in Mexican neighborhoods.

    Expect Success!

    • geekgrl says:

      My strategy is also going to stores aimed at immigrants. I usually browse the weekly circular (i.e. http://superiorgrocers.com/LocationsWEEKLYSPECIALS/tabid/57/Default.aspx) and buy the loss leaders and fruit and veg.

      I generally go to switch from two Mexican stores (superior and another local one), one Korean store (good prices on organic fruit/veg/seafood/and marinated meat), and two healthier stores (Trader Joes and another local).

    • MsMellody says:

      So true Khadija!!!

      Thank you again for this wonderful sharing of information. I just read GeekGrl’s reply below and I am amazed yet again …there is actually a site for immigrant grocery stores!! Who woulda thunk it?

      I also want to share with the readers that I went to my Nutritionist/Dietician appointment shortly after writing and posting my comment about Pete’s Produce.
      My Dietician appt was AMAZING. I paid $160.00 dollars for this appt..yeah one of those specialist appts that I am not even going to bother about trying to get reimbursed!! That is yet another post/rant about HMO’s.

      But I digress…this woman was amazing, enthusiastic and caring. She gave me a great compliment about the food program I am on, and that my husband and I have very nutritious meals. I couldnt help but think about how I had just praised the money savings that I enjoy from shopping almost exclusively at a produce store!

      I just felt so relieved and encouraged by this appt. You know sometimes it really feels good to have someone validate your efforts. I feel empowered to know that the choices I have been making have really made such a helpful impact on our health!!

      Mostly due to the fresh real produce we eat daily, vegetables that I peel and chop and eat raw and cooked. Real fresh meats & fish that we enjoy weekly. And just think my husband and I do all of that on average at $100 -$130 a week. And when I think to bring my coupons for the paper goods and household cleaning products we save even more!!

      I just am so thankful and grateful to have a place of social media to share these ideas and information.
      So much so that I am going to share one of the most important supplements with you all.

      Take a magnesium supplement to help with the sugar cravings and muscle fatigue pains that women often deal with. She also shared a website that she personally shops at and let me tell you the prices are AWESOME!! there.

      http://www.vitacost.com

      CountryLife Calcium/Magnesium Complex #CTL 4024811
      CountryLife Magnesium Caps CTL 4024750
      Giovanni Leave in Conditioner for low low prices also!!

      Thanks Khadija for letting me share. I know this has little to do with retiring early…I am just so excited about this information, I just felt compelled to share it.

    • Neecy says:

      Khadija,

      You are so right. In Los Angeles there is a store (exclusivley found in highly Mexican populated areas – usually lower income) called Valla Arta.

      You better believe these grocery store chains always have very fresh produce on their shelves FOR CHEAP. I usually shop for organic vegiges at Trader Joes or whole foods. but I also on occassion I will go to Valla Arta b/c their produce is always fresh. i don’t even shop for produce at the larger American grocery stores.

      And guess who invested in these stores – JEWISH people. AA’s are too busy buying fried chicken and shrimp dinners this and that from the numerous small Asian places on every corner in the Black neighborhood. or they are supporting Middle eastern/Indian/Asian liquor/conveince stores that provide no quality food or veggies.

      YET poor immigrant Mexican neighborhoods throughout the country have thier own grocery store chains that make sure the produce is always fresh and forthcoming. Everytime I walk into Valla Arta they are replenishing the produce.

      And this produce is VERY AFFORDABLE.

      Its such a shame how AA’s just don’t care or get it.

      My grandmother told me back in the day when the Jewish people had markets in the Black nieghborhoods they always had fresh produce etc. She said they even hired Blacks to work in thier stores etc.

      Then the Asian/Indian/Middle easterns came in and took over – treat the Blacks in those areas liek CRAP and Blacks still support and buy from them. All the while selling them GARBAGE.

      • Neecy,

        You said, “YET poor immigrant Mexican neighborhoods throughout the country have thier own grocery store chains that make sure the produce is always fresh and forthcoming. Everytime I walk into Valla Arta they are replenishing the produce.

        And this produce is VERY AFFORDABLE.”

        Indeed. The “food deserts” and “food wastelands” that exist throughout AA-populated areas aren’t actually about AAs being too poor to buy fresh produce.

        Expect Success!

  22. KimP says:

    I love ERE and extreme saving! I’ve done it before, but not as extreme as Jacob! (Oh how I love watching my account grow and grow!) I plan to adopt the majority of his savings tips, but I’m not so extreme with some of his other suggestions (mainly the living conditions); I know my limitations.

    With that said, if you play your cards right and move to a location with an exchange rate in your native currencies favor, you’ll be able to save even more money. This is how I plan to really ramp up my savings in the next year or two.

    Are any of you ladies gardening this spring? I’ve been fortunate to have parents who always plant year round and I only realized the poor quality of food other folks received when we ate out (i.e. tomatoes always tasted of cardboard from fast food, restaurants, etc. no matter the level of fine dining.

    Because of this simple thing, we always had extra money to go on trips, pay for tuition, etc.

    This year, I’m joining in on the fun by planting a few things of my own. I’ve always helped them each year I was home (moved away for about 6 yrs. due to school), but I never planted my own produce. This is an excellent way to save money if you have the space to plant and it’s great exercise too!

    It’s a shame how much food has skyrocketed and how cheap it still is to plant your own produce. For example, my mother purchased nearly 200 red onion bulbs (she only planted 100) for $1.50. One dollar and fifty cents!!! I don’t know about the other grocery stores around here, but we pay nearly that much for a single red onion.

    I’m even making my own fertilizer from common household items; besides, you never know what’s going into commercial fertilizer these days!

    Make Your Own Fertilizer

    Business Backpacker is another website that I enjoy and it’s geared towards those with the (Location Independent Professional)LIP lifestyle in mind.

    For those of you who think children and family will hold you back from the LIP lifestyle, read this story someone sent me of two parents who have managed to help their daughter excel well beyond her grade level as they travel the world. It’s beyond possible!

    • medley says:

      It’s a shame so many African-Americans got away from
      sustenance farming( growing kitchen gardens and other crops, raising livestock,etc.), when they “went up north”
      during the last big migration about 3 or 4 decades ago..
      ***

      Kitchen Garden Planner

      Everything you need to know to start your own garden.

      http://www.gardeners.com/Kitchen-Garden-Planner/kgp_home,default,pg.html

      Seeds
      http://www.burpee.com/

      • mobile68 says:

        Yea it is sad to see how AA’s just allowed opportunity after opportunity pass them by while in the same breath always blaming “them” (da white man & others I guess)for not “giving them an opportunity”. Those same opportunities that generations before me (i’m in my 40’s) tried to leave my materialistic generation.

        I give praise daily to the generations before me. In my generation you can tell who listened to their elders & who didn’t.

        I’m from the south, so it is in me to garden. When I tried to offer my associates in my age range bounty from my garden they won’t take it. But when I have a dinner party I’m complimented on my greens & other veggies. “Wow your greens sure are good & fresh. Where did you get these greens from?” I lie & say any grocery store. Then they would say, “I get my greens from there but they don’t taste like these.” LOL!

        But my older associates be waiting on my bounty & we trade & share anything from seeds to garden tools.

        So guess who always be complainig of being sick all the time? Even though my daughter has sickle cell disease, guess whose kids stay sicker than my daughter? She have her doctors baffled.

        I will be going back south this summer to tap into my aunts & uncles for more knowledge. IMO they & any other older folk who are from the south are the best ones to tell anybody how to be “green”.

        My dream is to live off the land but still be w/in 50 miles driving distance to enjoy major city living from time to time.

        Much appreciation as always to Khadija & all the ladies on this forum for the tips & links to beneficial websites.

        http://www.thegardenofoz.org/composting101.asp

        http://growingpower.org/chicago_projects.htm

        • Mobile68,

          You’re welcome!

          You said, “Yea it is sad to see how AA’s just allowed opportunity after opportunity pass them by while in the same breath always blaming “them” (da white man & others I guess)for not “giving them an opportunity”. Those same opportunities that generations before me (i’m in my 40′s) tried to leave my materialistic generation.

          I give praise daily to the generations before me. In my generation you can tell who listened to their elders & who didn’t.“(emphasis added)

          You ain’t neva lied!

          You said, “I’m from the south, so it is in me to garden. When I tried to offer my associates in my age range bounty from my garden they won’t take it. But when I have a dinner party I’m complimented on my greens & other veggies. “Wow your greens sure are good & fresh. Where did you get these greens from?” I lie & say any grocery store. Then they would say, “I get my greens from there but they don’t taste like these.” LOL!

          But my older associates be waiting on my bounty & we trade & share anything from seeds to garden tools.”

          I truly don’t understand that reaction—maybe it’s the “familiarity breeds contempt” silliness. I’m not from the South, and I never had any surviving relatives who had remained in the South. I didn’t grow up with any relatives whatsoever to visit in the South. So, the idea of fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables always sounded mysterious, exotic, and attractive to me.

          But I suppose a lot of AAs got it in their heads that anything that sounds like farming was to be avoided at all costs. {sigh} Why can’t we ever seem to learn nuances? {another long sigh}

          Yes, sharecropping is very, very BAD. But having your own source of food that YOU control is GOOD.

          You said, “So guess who always be complainig of being sick all the time? Even though my daughter has sickle cell disease, guess whose kids stay sicker than my daughter? She have her doctors baffled.”

          Yeah, I’m sure. And much of this is/should be common sense.

          I remember years ago, I overheard the 20-22 year old shampoo girl at my hair salon scolding her cousin (who was also a very young mother like her). It seems that the cousin was feeding her kids a nonstop diet of Mickey D’s and microwaved, processed “foods.” And then wondering why her small children were sick all the time. The shampoo girl told her off…(“You have to cook for your kids! You can’t always be taking them to McDonald’s—that’s why they be sick all the time!”)

          Expect Success!

          • mobile68 says:

            Khadija said: “I’m not from the South, and I never had any surviving relatives who had remained in the South. I didn’t grow up with any relatives whatsoever to visit in the South. So, the idea of fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables always sounded mysterious, exotic, and attractive to me.”

            I have yet to meet anyone from my age group here in Chicago will utter such. In fact I find it fascinating the attitudes of these urban folk here in Chicago. They don’t think nothing of constantly paying a car note & dropping bills on clothes, jewelry, & trips but mark me for driving the same car using coupons, growing my own food & shopping at Trader Joes. The mind boggles.

            May I give a few examples?

            When we sold our 1st home (running from pookie & ’em of course) the AA’s that came to look at our house would say when they saw me & the hubby, “When we pulled up to the house & saw all the flowers & the house was so neat we thought it was white folks who owned this house”. I aint going to go into what happened to the house since we sold it ok?

            Then da hubby took some squash & eggplant to give to a couple of his much older co-workers (who are from the south). He told me that another co-worker of his, who is around our age, said to him, “You must have a white wife.”

            And I can forget about trying to find a man under 60 y.o. here in Chicago who likes fishing once my dad & his friends pass on. My cousins in the south say it’s getting that the under 50 y.o. BM are getting away from farming & fishing on the regular too.

            For me I like a man who does those type of things because he is a hustler all around. I’m talkin in the sense that he have multiple streams of income coming in, in addtion to a regular job. I’ve noticed these men that are born here in Chicago (especially those rraised in the ‘jets) don’t have that drive like men who were born & raised in the south.

            I was born in the south but raised in Chicago. But spent a many summers in the south & I still go back when I can.
            Now since I been in therapy & reading the BWE blogs, it comfirmed what I always suspected: I’m out of my element. And when I go back down south this year I might look to stay there for a minute, then move on to the pacific nw.

          • I live in the South as well. I think some of the reaction to farming is about black folks wanting to get away from anything vaguely reminiscent of slavery, sharecropping or subsistence farming. I think a lot of people look down on farming as a profession and consequently think anyone who maintains a garden is ‘country*’.

            *Country = slow, backward, unsophisticated, stupid.

            In a few short years, when the price of fresh vegetables and fruit are hovering around astronomical being ‘country’ will ‘cool’, smart, and very necessary.

            I’m enjoying the ERE blog. While I don’t think I’ll cut down the way the blog host has, the blog has some great ideas for reducing ones ‘consumer footprint’.

            Thanks as always

            Peace

          • Mobile68,

            {shaking my head}
            __________________________

            SouthlandDiva,

            You’re welcome!

            You spoke of “reducing one’s consumer footprint.” I like that way of putting it! 🙂

            Expect Success!

    • KimP and Medley,

      Thanks for the info!

      Expect Success!

    • Lakshmi says:

      Thanks Kim P for the link about http://www.soultravelers3.com; very inspiring to see that families are living digital nomad/location independent AND parenting, schooling, all at once!

      • KimP says:

        No Problem Khadija and Lakshmi! I was simply fascinated by that family, especially the little girl! She’s so far ahead academically considering her age.

        Mobile68 & SouthlandDiva, I’m in the South as well! I do notice that my peers don’t exhibit an interest in farming, fishing right now, but I notice the 30-somethings ahead of us showing interest. I think as Southern-folk get older they then take up the skills they saw their parents and grandparents practice as kids.

        Now when I lived in the Midwest, most of my White school friends were farm kids. That’s how one of my good friends purchased her first car with cash! Her parents gave her and her siblings a pig to raise each year and sale at the end of the season, and she saved her profits from 8 to 16! How cool is that?

        Even though I didn’t grow up on a farm, we shared some common ground there. Whenever people talked about farming, gardening, etc. I could always join in and contribute to the conversation and I could tell most people were shocked that I could keep up!

        Now my Black friends in the Midwest have never, ever set food on a farm, in a garden, etc. and showed no interest in doing so; that’s just my experience.

  23. Vanessa F. says:

    The ERE blog is right up my alley. I’ve been working on getting my own diversified income streams together but bled money time due to the extreme commute of my day job (a commute of 40 miles each way by car or an hour and a half each way by train/metro). And this is on a good day! This lifestyle is not sustainable so I worked to find (and finally secured) employment 15 minutes from home. However, I realize that I cannot depend on an organization to provide my salary forever. Those days are fading fast.

    I plan to use the tips at ERE and a few of the others on ERE’s blog roll (I already check out Rowdy Kittens on a regular basis) in order to assist in making future moves towards an early retirement. I am shooting for 45 at the earliest because I am restless person! Thank you for sharing this resource.

  24. SweetIslandGirl says:

    I’m learning so much in this segment. Thank you ladies for the awesome conversation I think I’m going to sit back and take notes

  25. Melissa Q. says:

    I’ve read his blog, and he also talks about investing in alternative income streams as well.

    I think it is important that we stress staying debt free. Too many AA’s buy things they can’t afford, buy needless ‘fancy things’, and basically squander their money. There are too many AA’s that were affected by the mortgage crisis several years back, and already the media were attempting to use these AA’s as cannon fodder as the fault of the mortgage crisis. Especially with these expensive student loans.

    Also, we should stress on teaching yourself how to preform at home beauty services: doing your own hair & nails (while supporting black owned BSS of course). Also, using coupons to buy foodstuffs, even checking several stores before you purchase an item to see the competitive deals. Also shop online. I’ve found fantastic deals on items and clothing online that were actually cheaper than buying in-store. Research, research, research ladies!

  26. Duchy says:

    Again, thank you soo much, Khadija for this post. I have discovered a whole new world of ideas regarding income streams and it is inspiring to read about people who are unashamedly living the sort of life I want to live.
    Of course, I still have a way to go but OMGthere is a wealth of information out there that i didn’t know existed.

    I am so grateful to you.

    Blessings.

  27. medley says:

    Mobile68,
    Smart choice, with not only food prices, but gas prices and medical bills being what they are…Who refuses FREE food? SMH…

    Khadija,

    “But I suppose a lot of AAs got it in their heads that anything that sounds like farming was to be avoided at all costs.”

    Co-sign. Though, I will admit that Black Farmers who have tried to carry on have had it really tough trying to stay afloat. The USDA lawsuit for example, with whom a settlement was just reached:

    http://www.blackfarmers.org/

  28. Mariposa Linda says:

    This website is really interesting. I was excited to see that I’ve already taken some of the necessary steps he talks about have been strategizing about others. In the past I have definitely been more of a spender than a saver. It’s been a bit of a paradigm shift to really look see my stuff for the burden that it is. I don’t have a car and I don’t really want one, but it does expand my employment options along with other freedoms. I think I will compromise by getting an inexpensive used model. I’m hoping my next nine to five will be friendly to public transportation. I’m not willing to give up my passion for dance to do only free hobbies, but if I cut some other costs and make strategic decisions about which events I’ll attend, I think I can optimize my spending.

    I have been on a journey to get free of a lot of my stuff. Part of my financial plan involves moving into a much smaller space than I’m in now and this journey of down-sizing has made the idea of buying lots of stuff much less appealing. Getting rid of said stuff is quite a process. Some of it has never even been used/worn. I think it has been a great lesson for me though. I keep thinking, when I move abroad, I’ll only be taking things that are very important to me. Now, I think in terms of what I’m willing to move when I buy things. Is this something that I will use or is it just going to be one more thing going to the poor/thrift store/my friends/co-workers?

    Khadijah, I just want to say thanks. I’ve got a long reading list thanks to your posts and the various resources they’ve led me to and my to-do list is no joke. I’m one of the people who’ve been lurking for some time mostly because I didn’t really feel like I had to much of value to contribute, but I do appreciate your efforts and they have certainly made a difference for me! I’m still brain storming about suitable streams of income and as I’m quite persistent, I’m sure I will be able to create several opportunities for myself. 🙂

    And this ant definitely goes on with her work…..

  29. Sylvia says:

    Although we have the means to live exceptionally luxurious, my hubs and I choose to live significantly below our means – it is difficult, but it can be done. My hubs and I are living proof. For us, “luxury” doesn’t involve money. (We travel extensively (I am the self-professed queen of budget travel), are wine aficionados, attend many social events, etc.) One year, we lived on less than $30,000 per year (for a family of three paying mortgages, private school tuition, etc.). And in California – imagine that! Another year, we lived below the NATIONAL povery line (I believe it was $22,000). We live as close to debt-free as possible, except for our real estate mortgages. We save for rainy days, and we believe that good credit and home ownership are key in today’s economy. (Our mortgage is less than what most pay for rent in California. And we take advantage of low-rates afforded by our stellar credit.) I believe it is vitally important that one take control over their finances and live as frugally as one can comfortably tolerate. The world is in such a sad state that you cannot depend on anyone (government, programs, others, etc.)- you have to do it on your own and within your own resources.

    My hubs and I also grow much of our food and shop farmer’s markets where we can get close and personal with those who provide our meats (we eat clean, Kosher and slow). A website I would highly recommend to the readers is Off The Grid – invaluable information for today’s times.

    Love the forum Khadija!

  30. Shesthedifferencemaker says:

    Khadija: “I want my hot cocoa whenever I want it . . . and my pillows fluffed up “just right” with a chocolate mint left on them. I don’t want to cut my own hair or give myself manicures. I want others to do that for me. I’m not into “roughing it” sorts of lifestyles.”

    I am sooo an Expeditioner! Although I’m still in college, w/a meager pt job salary 🙁 , this post and the tips from the commentators I think will help out a lot of us who are in our teens and twenties. The sooner we put these strategies into practice, the sooner we reap the benefits. I especially agreed with the commenter from another post who said that they liked the idea of taking a couple months off every few years (like mini-retirements) instead of waiting until you are much older and less mobile.

    These discussions about early retirement remind me of the reasons why I took my parents advice and decided to add 2nd major (Management information Systems) in addition to my French major. I know the kind of lifestyle I am accustomed to thanks to my parent’s technical careers and I couldn’t lie to myself thinking it would be fine with less than I was accustomed to. The way i see it, I can do what I love AND be trained in a skill that is demanded all over the work (There are a plethora of jobs in countries like France who are looking for foreigners to fill these posts).

    Technology is in every industry and as my dad has said, numerous times, there are so many opportunities for black women to excel in these industries. Possessing those kind of skills (technical, knowing 2+ languages) at the undergrad and graduate level are not going to open doors, but tear walls down for me. I was surprised at my parent’s reaction at me working abroad as soon as I graduated whether it is a job or an internship. My dad still thinks the best place to work is the U.S. (sigh) It’s not that I wouldn’t get work here, but the need to travel abroad and work is too strong. It wouldn’t hurt that in the future I keep some of these plans to myself and not broadcast everything. These are great sites to look at to see what jobs/internships positions are available abroad:

    Going Global (http://www.goinglobal.com/)
    Idealist (http://www.idealist.org/)
    InternTown (http://interntown.com/)
    Transitions Abroad (http://www.transitionsabroad.com)-I love this site!

    On the matter of creating multiple passive income streams, I have so many ideas in mind and have attended local business courses for small businesses. I would encourage people to seek out organizations that assist current and future small business owners. I would mention the organization in my area but it would reveal where I live 😀 but a national organization like SCORE (score.org and podcasts are available!) are located all over the U.S. They are especially targeting women to assist them. Even people like myself who want to create online businesses can get a lot out of the local small business classes and I get to interact with like-minded people who are also taking destiny into their own hands.

    I feel like my comment is all over the place, but I DID want to take the time to THANK YOU Khadija for providing this platform for people like myself to seek out this much needed information that can be applied in our own lives. This is thank you is long overdue!! I know that I need to step up my game when it comes to being reciprocal. I have learned so much from you, Evia, Halima and Faith over these past few months, but I have done a poor job of showing my gratitude. I hope to change that behavior 😀

    • mobile68 says:

      Thank you for the links Shesthedifferencemaker!

      These links are definitely of use to what I’m trying to do.

      I know this may be off-topic, but I saw two things recently that got me so excited that I must share with like-minded ladies.

      I was out having dinner at a Mexican restaurant Saturday when a BF/WM wakled in so affectionate w/each other.

      Then I tonite I was watching the show Selling New York on HGTV. One of the R.E. agents showed an $8 million apt. to a BF/WM couple. He was also very publicly affectionate towards her.

      I noticed what these two women had in common were that they looked fit, neat & radiated confidence in their presentations. Nowhere near outlandish in their choice of outfits, hair, makeup & nails that some BW seem to think that is cute these days.

  31. Karen says:

    What we have been doing for quite a while:

    We only purchase used cars (pay in full, no financing)
    We have no consumer debt
    We only purchase fresh vegetables and have our own garden. It is not as big as I would like but every year we are improving it.
    We both are working on establishing multiple income streams.
    We pay close attention to our health and maintain our weight. I converted to the “Paleo Diet” after trying it out last September. I lost weight and have been able to maintain. I also have not had any colds or flu this winter season.

    We have significantly cut back on unnecessary expenses.

    There is always more to be done but we are moving forward.

    I can also not stress enough maintaining good credit. It impacts where you can live, your purchasing power, ability to negotiate terms, etc. Paying for things on time is a measure of character. No one likes to deal with people who cannot be counted on to pay their bills.

  32. Osun/Aphrodite says:

    @ Khadija,

    “While so many AA women are worrying about WM boogeymen with “fetishes,” many Asian women are positioning themselves to be with economically self-reliant (White) men who are prepared for the ongoing twists and turns in the economy.”

    This. I know this is not a dating post, but I am kicking myself for not doing this sooner. I am realizing that it is a numbers game. Without all of that DBR-ness involved it is easier to see men and move on when you don’t click, but I have been online seriously looking and I had over 100 matches in one month. Out of those 100, maybe 30 I was interested in. Out of those 30 only 15 had a mutual attraction. Out of those 15 only 8 answered the questions in ways that made me feel I was compatible with them. I am thinking at this rate I will have to cycle about 100 or so men at a time in order to get the 8 quality man group – which is really different bc I was always one maybe 2 men at a time.

    And I wanted to add that the whole competition thing or the saying that if a guy likes you you can’t get rid of him – I am finding to be true as well. I have never “rejected someone”, but since this is online and if I had second thoughts about the person I would close the match of end contact and my goodness- they would get “persistent”.

    At any rate I am doubling my efforts with appearance and this dating thing because I don’t think I want to be here anymore. I am seeing too much in this economy and I have got to get out of here.

  33. Sisterlocgirl says:

    The ERE site is excellent. Some of the things I can definitely do, but some of the more extreme measures are not quite my cup of tea. It has taken me quite awhile to browse through all the various links. I think what I have found most gratifying about this post are the plans of the college age young ladies. I ‘m learning different ways of looking at things from their posts. Shesthedifferencemaker, thanks for your links. You are on the right track and I applaud your efforts. Keep up the good work.
    Sylvia, I will definitely be checking out your recommended sites as well. I 100% cosign with the idea of maintaining one’s health. Believe me prevention is FAR more effective than treatment. Disease management, I mean Healthcare can be an astronomical expense later in life if you don’t make good, common sense decisions now. Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, increasing your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and whole foods will make the difference in how well you retire. Khadijah, thanks for the links and info provided in this post.

  34. Sylvia & Shesthedifferencemaker,

    You’re welcome!

    Expect Success!