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Bryan and Katie Phelps

#FrugalSuccess Story – November 4th, 2013

Last week, we had a little fun and created a post titled, ‘10 Signs You’ve Taken Frugality Too Far.’ But, since then, we’ve stuffed our bellies with Halloween treats and are back to looking more seriously at the incredible #FrugalSuccess stories around us.

Learn How One Couple Has Saved $175,000

This Monday, we came across a story worthy of applause. A young couple, Bryan and Katie Phelps, have saved a grand total of $175,000 after 5+ years and they continue to add about $2,600 to the pot every month. This may have taken longer than some of our other #FrugalSucess stories, but their consistency and dedication are simply outstanding.

Bryan and Katie Phelps

Let’s take a closer look at their situation, how it evolved, and even where they “splurge” / reward themselves today:

  1. Bryan and Katie marry early – at age 21 – when Katie is just a senior in college and Bryan is working full time and taking night classes. They realize even at this early point that they need to start being smart money-wise and establish a budget and savings target.
  2. Katie gets her first job as a graphics designer for $35,000 / year. Smart move: Katie makes sure to max out her 401K contribution. Bryan is earning $25,000 at a data-entry position. Smart move: Since Bryan’s company does not offer a retirement account, he opens a Roth IRA and contributes the full amount.
  3. Bryan moves to another career and ends up with a higher salary, at $80,000 / year. Smart move: Both Bryan and Katie track their expenses using Mint.com and plan ahead knowing they wanted to live off of one person’s salary.
  4. Katie gives birth to their first sons and quits her job, as discussed and planned. Bryan additionally took on extra consulting work to being in extra money.
  5. They save a total of $100,000 after 5 years of marriage, which they say was the hardest milestone. Frugal, but they still splurge: Cars are Bryan’s major weakness, and the couple owns two cars – a 2012 Audi A6 and 2011 Ford Explorer. However, Bryan explains they paid cash for both vehicles which free them from making car payments. Smart move: The couple set up subaccounts in their online savings account in order to regularly direct money towards their passions (e.g., cars, home décor, crafting, etc..).
  6. Today, Bryan and Katie have about $127,000 in retirement accounts and $50,000 in liquid savings.

To read their full story, click here. Hopefully their #FrugalSuccess story has given you some ideas or inspiration.

How are you currently working towards your savings goals?

About Jessica J.

A native New Yorker, Jessica left behind the Big Apple almost 4 years ago to pursue new adventures around the world. Powered by caffeine and a relentless curiosity, she has now settled in Tel Aviv Jaffa with her husband, American cat, and a new appreciation for budget management.

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