How To Become A Super Saver In 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  No doubt you’re seeking areas of your life to improve during 2016.  Am I right, or am I right?  🙂  The first post of 2016 here at Mad Money Monster is going to explain how some people have become Super Savers.  Super Saver is a term that describes someone who is fanatical about saving the money they earn.  In preparing for this post, I was scouring the web to determine the exact savings rate it takes to be considered a Super Saver.  I was unable to find an exact percentage; but, it’s pretty clear that some of these so-called Super Savers are stockpiling 50%, 60%, 70%+ of their TAKE-HOME pay.  Yes, you read that right.  They’re saving upwards of 70% of their pay AFTER taxes and AFTER retirement contributions!  I know it sounds extreme, but so does retiring decades before the traditional model tells us we can.  If you’re looking to shake things up in the new year, read on…

What Sets Super Savers Apart From The Pack

super saver 1The difference between Super Savers and regular savers is their goal-oriented modus operandi.  The most common goal is early retirement.  And by early retirement I mean retirement in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.  According to these folks, anyone with an average to above-average income can save enough money to retire in about a decade (see Mr. Money Mustache).  Super Savers work to increase income AND cut expenses.

Super Savers don’t just cut out lattes and fast food.  They examine the big expenses.  They examine their choice of housing and cars.  They also follow through on making some drastic changes to reach their financial goals.

They are on a mission to widen the gap between their earned income and their expenses.  The gap is what they save.  The wider the gap, the faster their money grows, and the earlier they gain financial freedom.  And guess what.  YOU can do it too!  Read on to learn how Super Savers operate in certain areas of life.

Debt

Debt?  What’s that?  Enough said.  Super Savers do not live with debt.  It is completely counterproductive.  Super Savers do everything possible to not take on any debt.  And if it is unavoidable (think college), they make paying off debt their biggest priority.  That goes for student loans, car loans, and especially credit cards.  If you’re in debt, get out of it.  Fast.

Where Do Super Savers Live?

Super Savers live everywhere.  You could have a Super Saver neighbor and not even know it.  In fact, you probably wouldn’t know it unless they told you.  They look and act like everyone else; this is what makes them so dangerous.  Just kidding 🙂  Super Savers live in houses and apartments alike.  They are extremely intentional about keeping their living expenses low and saving the difference.  A Super Saver will live in a much smaller home with much smaller taxes and utility bills than their co-worker with the same salary.  They don’t define themselves by their “stuff“.  They define themselves by the quality of their life and the company they keep.

A Super Saver, or someone becoming a Super Saver, will examine their living quarters.  If they deem their pad is holding them back from reaching their financial goals, they’ll move.  They will actually take a stand against American consumerism.  And so can you!  Don’t worry, after doing it a couple times it’ll start to feel good!

What Do Super Savers Drive?

hummer-h2_

NEVER

Don’t expect a Super Saver to be driving a gas-guzzling H2 around town.  You’re much more likely to see a Super Saver driving a pre-owned, fuel-efficient Hyundai than a flashy BMW.  Many Super Saver households have gone extreme and cut their vehicle arsenal down to one pre-owned car.  That’s right, some families live with only one vehicle in their driveway.  Just like grandma and grandpa used to!

In fact, some Super Savers keep driving to an absolute minimum.  They use a bicycle instead.  They bike to work.  They bike to the grocery store.  They bike to…well…you get the idea.

Housing and cars are just two major categories that Super Savers will examine and adjust, as needed.  They also examine EVERY OTHER AREA of spending money.  Their goal is to save and invest as much as possible.  This will free them from having to devote 40+ hours of their life each week to working for someone else.  Instead, they will have the freedom to spend that time pursuing other interests and spending it with their friends and family.  The short-term sacrifices, in their eyes, are worth it.

2016 In The Mad Money Monster Household

It’s no surprise that Mr. Mad Money Monster and I are Super Savers.  We are set to have a savings rate right around 60% this year, NOT including our maxed out retirement contributions.  Last year we made a conscious shift in our way of life.  We ditched consumerism to live a better life.  We decided against buying the big, expensive house, we maxed out our retirement contributions, we worked feverishly to pay off residual debt, and even cut the cord!  We’re looking forward to seeing the progress we make towards our Countdown Goal in 2016!  Go Team!

Do you plan on becoming a Super Saver in 2016?  Are you already a Super Saver?  Tell us your story.

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Mad Money Cat NOT loving his photo opp

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Lisa is the creator and resident writer at Mad Money Monster. She's a mother, scientist, and financial guru on a mission to save Generation X from working until they die!

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15 comments… add one
  • John Jan 27, 2016, 3:52 pm

    Paying off our mortgage nine years allowed us to move from SAVER to SUPER SAVER. Fortunately (I guess!) we were able to up our savings as the markets crashed in 2007 to 2009 so we bought a lot of shares “on sale”. Those shares, along with the others we already owned, have allowed me “retire” at 49.

    Setting aside other fun things you could do with the money in order to be a SUPER saver isn’t always easy, but if you keep focused on the long term goals it’s definitely worth it.

    Great post and good luck with your super saving goals this year.

    John

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 28, 2016, 12:42 pm

      Congrats to you! And thank you for the encouragement! It isn’t easy. There are so many competing priorities that it’s hard to decipher where the money should go, at times. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • ouellettem Jan 6, 2016, 12:58 pm

    This would be an ideal goal that I would really like to try and put into action. I would love to try this out but we are far down the rabbit hole. We too do not like debt but we are not saving as much as we should. Sure our retirement 401ks are maxed out each year and we save money in an HSA letting it grow in Index funds but we are far from saving any of our take home pay. Shame on us? We currently live in a great community, with a great school system for our son and in an ideal location. I do not think I could convince my love ones to move. Even I absolutely love the life I have where I am living but it is conflicting with my hopes to retire early. The Luxury pre-owned cars we drive get paid off almost right away and provide a pure enjoyment in driving to work each day to a job I love. I think we can cut much from our lives and save an additional 10%-20% from take home pay and still be able to reach financial independence by the time I reach my mid 50’s. I am not living the life of most Americans (spend and then spend more) but I am not a super saver like you describe. Is there hope for people like use that enjoy the finer things in life but still fit into the frugal lifestyle?

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 6, 2016, 1:12 pm

      Hope?! In my opinion, you guys are doing a great job! Not everyone needs to be a Super Saver. In fact, you fall into the Super Saver category by just doing what you’re doing with your 401k plans. It all comes down to what you truly value. If you and your family truly value the life you are living and are satisfied with retireing in your mid-50s, which, by the way, is still way earlier than most people plan on retiring, I think you’re doing just fine. Saving 50%+ isn’t for everyone. Unless your income is off the charts, there are definite sacrifices being made. I’m not going to lie, I would LOVE to drive around in a brand new BMW. But, for me, I get more satisfaction out of saving that money than purchasing the new car. That doesn’t make me right and someone else wrong. That means we assign different weighted values to different things. And, that’s ok. 🙂 Remember, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. You can make changes here and there that have a huge impact over the course of your life. You don’t need to sell the house, drive a junker, and commit to only shopping at the dollar store. Make small changes and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can pay off debt and build up savings outside of retirement accounts! Great comment!

  • our next life Jan 4, 2016, 8:15 pm

    Happy new year, you guys! We qualify as super savers in terms of percentage, but we certainly don’t act like super frugal people (we still drive plenty of places, for example, and we eat at restaurants sometimes). For us, the secret has been in automating our savings and hiding every raise from ourselves that we’ve received over the last many years so that our lifestyle doesn’t inflate. If, in your early years of work, you can find a comfortable level of income, you can become a super saver by just never inflating your spending from that point on. Auto-invest every cent of every raise, and sock away every bonus, and you’ll have tons saved before you know it!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 5, 2016, 7:41 pm

      Happy New Year back at ya! It’s amazing how easy it is to build wealth if you start young and stick to a savings plan. I had the foresight, but unfortunately, was derailed by a few poor decisions. It feels great to be back in the financial game!

  • Fehmeen Jan 4, 2016, 11:35 am

    I like to think of myself as a frugal person, a super-saver if you will, but when I read blog posts about people saving up to 60% of their income, I think I’m very much an ordinary saver. I don’t really have a saving goal though I am pretty frugal — most of the time, that is. I shop around for the best possible deals but I do know I sometimes make not-so-perfect decisions. It’s all part of the learning curve, I guess. But this year, a savings goal will be born!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 5, 2016, 7:33 pm

      It sounds like you’re well on your way to being a Super Saver! Don’t sweat not-so-perfect decisions in the past. The point is learning from them and moving forward. Make your 2016 goal and go after it like your financial future depends on it 😉

  • Howto$tuffYourPig Jan 4, 2016, 10:23 am

    This is an excellent post defining what it really means to be an effective saver! I shared this on both twitter and my facebook page.

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