The Power of Getting By On Less

by David Bakke

getting by on lessI want to tell you a little story. It is about my parents. They are both retired, and they live in a house on the water in Florida. They live a very comfortable retirement. There are no summer homes in the mountains, private jets, or trips around the world, but they have all the money they need to enjoy retirement the way they want to.

My father worked until the age of 60. Health problems forced him into retirement. He never made more than $40K a year.

They had four children and my mother was a “stay-at home Mom” until all of us kids were 16. Then, she worked until her retirement. I guess she spent about 18-20 years in the workforce. I don’t know what her salary was, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. They put two of those kids thru college.

The point I am getting at is this–I always marvel at the way my parents are able to enjoy their retirement, considering how much money they didn’t make during their working years. Raising four kids, putting two thru college, and everything else, on the salaries that I just mentioned. Its surprising that they could even afford to retire, much less enjoy it.

Well, the reason for all of this, as far as I can gather, is that they were able to get by on less. They were able to stretch dollars where they could, to make the most out of certain financial situations, and so on and so forth.

I bring this up because I think that there are people that question why I do the things that I do. Meaning, why do I do what I do to save money, to spend less money and so on and so forth. Well, after I thought about it for awhile, this is the answer I came up with.

I do not consider myself to be a selfish or greedy person. I really only want to make enough money in life to do just what my parents are doing–to provide for my children in the best way possible and to be able to comfortably enjoy my retirement. Obviously, if more money comes my way than that, great. But, there is also the chance that I am only going to make a certain amount of money in life. And I know that if I continue to live my life the way that I do, then I am going to have more than enough money to enjoy retirement and provide for my ids.

My parents are probably living the retirement of a couple who had twice the income they did during their working years. And its because of how they spent that money that they are able to enjoy their retirement the way that they are. I can think of no better reward in the world than that.

To learn more ways to improve your personal economy, stay tuned for my soon-to-be-published book, “Don’t Be A Mule: A Common-Sense Guide to Saving More, Spending Less, and Generating Extra Income in Your Everyday Life.”

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