Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 4, 2008
I really do like getting emails with questions from people. Some things are certainly specific enough that they can’t really be brought up in the blog. Yet here is one from a reader, Trevor, I thought I would share.
“I was just wondering when you started saving. “
My response went something like this:
I’m not sure I completely understand your question, so if I don’t answer it let me know.
I’ve been saving since I was a little kid. So during high school I got the chance to go on a school trip to France I paid for half the trip myself. Then when I got to university I drained all my savings again on classes and books. So I really didn’t start saving for retirement and paying down debt seriously until about six months after I got my university degree (age 22 1/2).
I find it rather interesting that it seems I’ve always been saving. So by virtue of that fact I’ve never had a major problem with debt. I’ve only ever had a balance on my credit card for a few days when a expenses cheque from a work expense was late. So obviously this behavior has helped on my plan to retire at 45, yet I feel it can be learned.
For example, I’ve met many people who start off in life not doing so well with money and manage to turn it around. It really is a matter of deciding what you want and making the choices to get there. Will power is more important than your salary when you are planning early retirement. You need to be able to say no to the things that don’t matter to you (but may still matter to your friends, co-workers or neighbours) and say yes to what does matter most: freedom.
So when did you start saving?