Where super savers scrimp

I’d want to know how the question was asked exactly. What qualifies as high interest? >10%? >5%?
Or maybe they asked people if they have oustanding credit card balances and counted that as equal to being in debt.

Or it could just be that there are that many people who simultaneously carry debt and savings even though thats not too logical.


For decades havent the “experts” preached how it’s essential to have a cash reserve? I assume a lot of people find security in having thousands in the bank, even at the expense of having outstanding credit card debt.

I did, but I was single and bought a cheap condo on a FHA loan with a 3k down payment. Total cost 50k in the early 90s. Basically lived off my initial salary and put all raises into the 401k match until it was maxed.

Spending money just wasn’t in my dna back then, and the COL in Nashville was nothing like it is now.


It’d be completely backward and an indication that those people do not really understand personal finance. The case reserve emergency fund is exactly for the purpose of not having to go into high-interest debt in case of unpredictable high expenses. Maintaining an emergency fund while keeping high-interest debt would be ridiculous.

I’m guessing jerosen is probably on the right track that it may depend on how the question was asked.

Another question about super savers vs. non super savers is how do people who were super savers fit after they reach financial independence. It makes little sense to keep saving like crazy once you’ve reached your goal of being financially independent. But I imagine it could be hard to change habits after decades of aggressively saving. Unless you’re goal for financial independence dictates a continuation of this self-imposed reduced lifestyle.


From the actual study it says that 47% of the ‘super savers’ consider themselves financially independent. So theres a LOT in that situation.

My guess is that means those people are often wealthy enough that they have assets or businesses which generate more income then they need. They are possibly ‘super savers’ not necessarily from frugality or saving towards a goal but because they’re stinking rich or simply don’t have much they want / need to spend money on.
Also being frugal is a habit that doesn’t end easily. I know people who have been frugal their whole lives, saved up a lot of money and end up retired with more than they need. But they’re still cheapskates and really can’t even bring themselves to spend more.

I’m sure its a mixture of people in various situations.


I was wondering if some of the non-super savers who declared being financially independent (25% of the non super-savers) may have been ex-super savers who just relaxed their saving rate after becoming financially independent.

Either way, I was assuming the frugality was a tough habit to break from one of my relative’s behavior. He’s in his 90s now and still hunting down bargains even though he owns many rental property units including several properties worth 7 figures, and still ask his kids to cover his bill at Bob Evans when they go out together. I’d never met someone with a solid 8 figure net worth (entirely made himself via patent rights and real estate investing) who was this cheap so I was wondering if it was just old habits dying hard.

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It’s sort of easy to be a super saver when you don’t have many mouths to feed. A gay couple or hetero DINKs. I suspect most people want to start a family and end up devoting most of their resources to that.


About to send our second kid to college next year. Am I very aware of those costs? hehe

You can still be a super-saver even with kids. Some of those savings are just going to their college education instead of your retirement. Empirically, I’d say each kid is about a 5 years hit on our early retirement target.


That jives with my experience

I guess those people with 10 kids could have just retired when they were 15 if they had no kids?


No, but they could’ve retired at their own birth, as long as they un-retired for the ~15 prime earning years that made early retirement a consideration.

My kids are my retirement plan. :smile:


I like the way you think!:+1:

You’d think, but I’m amazed at how many families, including childless couples, spend an inordinate amount of money on dining and take out. Even while single, I didn’t dine out as much as they do. That has to be a big hit on the budget.


Which is to say, it doesnt have to be hard to be a super saver even with additional mouths to feed. Which is also why I’m skeptical when it comes to complaints about being unable to make ends meet. Dont get me wrong, there is something to it, but I’m not so sure it is quite as bad/hard as people make it out to be. There’s a lot of blurring of the lines between wants and needs, and to some extent the struggles are merely a consequence of choices that were made.


At some point in my life, I thought I wanted and needed cable. Examining what I considered the cost/benefit ratio led me to realize that I didn’t really need it. Now, I don’t want, or need it. :upside_down_face:

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Only German cars are expensive to maintain, cause they suck. :wink:

I don’t think there is any evidence to this. They are expensive, in America, for a number of reasons:

  1. They’re imports
  2. They’re perceived as luxury so they’re treated as luxury
  3. The people that buy luxury often aren’t DIY on maintenance

I have had German cars and they were the cheapest to to maintain of all the vehicles I had before I went all EV. I did the maintenance myself, as I did for my American cars. They’re also much easier to service; someone thought, “a person with the normal number of elbows is likely to be changing the oil on this vehicle.”. Always much easier.

OK, then you never have owned a Cadillac Catera! :rofl:

Lots of MBs are made in Bama, and BMW’s in S. Cackalaka.

I disagree, and site the VW Diesel Rabbit of the mid-90s rear brakes as an example … one of the few times my wife thought I’d been in the Navy.

There are only 4 expensive things in life:

  1. Rent/Real Estate (this matters most in the large expensive cities)
  2. Health Care
  3. Private Education
  4. Eating out

Control those 4 costs and not much else matters. Clothes, food, electronics, and even cars are not expensive. As mentioned, 1 family meal at a restaurant is easily $100. Once a week comes to $400. Think of how much more expensive a car you could have for and additional $400.