Home > #FrugalSuccess > #FrugalSuccess Story – November 4th, 2013
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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  • sparsameLady

    This is really good, common sense advice. Set your goals and stick to them. We have planned to have all our houses (one regular, two rentals) paid off within the next 4 years and we set aside money for our retirement. We do splurge, but we make it meaningful spending of money and certainly do not feel that we have to compete with Jones’ next door.

  • Emma Craig

    Bryan and Katie sound like great planners, and the important thing is they followed through on those plans!

  • The Sages

    Great advice

  • Melinda Kuffler Dunne

    These are great tips. Right now we are just getting by and I am a frugal person and a planner but I am able to stay home with our son right now. I hope that my husband and I will have all our misc debt paid off when he gets out of the military.

    • Jessica J.

      Thanks for sharing, Melinda. It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice so one parent can stay at home. Wishing you the best.

  • Lauren Harmon

    I’m really needing to become a more frugal person, I spend everything I have and then some and all that’s gotten me is a lot of debt! 🙁 After I’m finished with school I’m going to have even more debt… Yuck! Thanks for these great tips!

  • Candy

    Thank you for these awesome tips!

  • Garf

    I consider myself a very frugal person. Most of the time, I only shop at thrifty stores. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips though!

  • Lexie Lane

    This is ABSOLUTELY inspirational. As much as I try, I can’t be frugal. I think it’s a lot of work, but most of all, I just like buying things. Eeek! I’ll have to print their story and post it on my fridge though to get me motivated.

  • Debi@The Spring Mount 6 Pack

    I am working hard to save up money and get my financial life back on track. This gives me hope

    • Jessica J.

      Great to hear! We wish you the best of luck!

  • Sheila Worthington

    frugality and saving money is definitely the hardest. you need self control and sometimes even if you trying to control and stay on the budget some circumstances inviting and provoking your to spend. This couple did great in saving. last year i have save ove 6k from blogging alone but i could do better if i have tried too, it’s just hard not to do some shopping. thanks for sharing this post. great one

  • Jennifer Williams

    That is amazing, especially when you realize how young they were when they started.

  • Laila Husin

    Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  • Teresa

    Wow, they are amazing. Good for them. It doesn’t hurt to have a job that pays $80K. You also have to know where your money’s going with a good written budget.

  • If I had no kids, I would be rich too.. lol but things always come up and 4 kids aren’t cheap..

    • Jessica J.

      Without a doubt, children are expensive. This particular couple have two kids, I believe; I can imagine how difficult it is with four!

  • Katherine Bartlett

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  • malia p

    Stories like this are always an inspiration!

  • Shanna

    Incredible! We are so bad at saving money.