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December 17, 2021

50% to 10%: Why We’re Happy Saving Less as Part of Our FIRE Journey

The Hill Family

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When you've been saving around 50% of your income for a decade on your FIRE journey, it's hard to save less. Our family hit some incredible financial milestones over the last 10 years including becoming debt-free, mortgage-free, achieving Coast FIRE, and accumulating a million-dollar net worth. And now we're ready to enjoy more of our money today.

Depending on where you are in your FIRE journey, this message can be a tough one to hear.

Recently, I received a comment on my Facebook page from Justin:

“It's been extremely difficult to listen to the podcast the last few months with Andy's dramatic shift away from FIRE and saving a large amount of money.

I think the issue I'm having, is you are basically there now with you doing only your podcast and you guys being millionaires now. But now, you don't push saving large amounts of money as much, even though you guys did it and actually enjoy it?

I really enjoy the podcast and enjoy both you and your wife, so please don't take this the wrong way. I'm just a bit at a misunderstanding I think.

The way you were for the last 5 years is why you guys are sitting so comfortably now and it just bothers me a bit that you both didn't like that you saved so much money, while you're reaping the rewards of it today.

To summarize, Episode 281 hit me hard. Lol

Justin, as you and I have talked about on Facebook already, I appreciate your candor and feedback. 

I usually get three types of comments on email or social media:

  1. Super supportive, positive and grateful for the work we’re creating
  2. Rude, name calling, sometimes swearing about how I’m a moron who doesn’t know what he’s talking about 
  3. Comments like Justin’s 

These are comments that are honest and constructive criticisms that make me think about what I’m doing with my podcast.

FIRE and YOLO Collide

For Justin, it sounds like he feels that Nicole and I have abandoned the FIRE Movement or are villainizing saving. 

First off, I apologize if I came across that way during our “Die With Zero” episode (281). That was not my intention at all. 

Andy Hill & Nicole Hill
Bread & Wine Episode 281 – “Die With Zero: When YOLO Meets FIRE

Bill Perkins's book hit me hard. 

We only have so much time on this earth and if we’ve done the hard work, saved enough to Coast into retirement, have zero debt, have no mortgage, and two careers that support our lifestyle … I think it’s okay to slow down your savings and enjoy more life today.

After all, what are we doing all of this for?

If I were to find the book Die with Zero 10 years ago, would I have enjoyed it as much as I do today? No way!

I was in accumulation mode. I was all about the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover way of life! “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else”.

Live Like No One Else

But now, I feel like we can live like no one else. Isn’t that an important part of the story to see?

Not just the …

  • Hustling
  • Grinding
  • Saving
  • Sweating
  • Side Hustling

You gotta have the …

  • Peace
  • Relaxation
  • Time with family
  • More vacations
  • Part-time working
  • More hobby finding
  • Reconnecting with friends and family

I realize that not everyone is in our season of life. As Justin and I talked about it further, I learned he’s working hard to FIRE in his 40’s. I absolutely love that goal. 

If we didn’t put in all of the work (that he's currently doing) we wouldn’t have the options we have today. I completely agree with him.

In that spirit, I believe it’s important for me to not only share our journey but also the journey of others in the family financial independence space. 

Everyone's Journey is Different

That’s why I love highlighting the stories of others who have become debt-free, erased their mortgages, hit Coast FIRE, accomplished a million-dollar net worth or even those who are simply tracking their net worth for the first time. 

Because, as I’ve learned, this is a journey! It can take decades of dedication to achieve your goals. It definitely did for us. 

And now that we’re in a new phase of our lives, our goals are changing. 

  • Investing 50% of my income into retirement when we’re already going to have more than enough by the time we retire, feels excessive to me. 
  • Saving more than 6 months in an emergency fund after living through a pandemic and we didn’t that much, feels like overkill. 
  • Buying a rental property just so we can build more wealth and die with a larger pot of money, feels like stealing time and resources from my family.

Saving 10% of our income feels fine. It’s probably in line with most Americans honestly. 

If I end up making more money in the future, perhaps we’ll save and invest more, but I’m really happy. I’m afraid of grinding harder and harder at my small business that I’ll chip away at that happiness. 

This plan feels right.

We have money for vacations, summer camps for our kids, giving 10% in our own way, and all the important things that keep us happy and healthy. 

While we may not be the inspiring financial characters you’re looking for at this time in your life, I will definitely be highlighting folks of all backgrounds, incomes, cultures in the family financial independence movement to inspire you where you are today.

What do you think of our change in goals? How about our change in perspective with regard to our savings rate and life path?

Please let me know in the comments below.

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.


  • Hi Andy, found this from your email newsletter and I’m planning to digest each of those links you’ve shared this week.

    Im so glad I read the book Die with Zero because although we are already having a 50% savings rate, I was still very hard on myself for not saving more. I understood that family is priority and that life should be enjoyed at any time especially with kids BUT I was still beating myself up. So when I read that book, it reminded me the limited time I have with building memories with my kids! And that there’s no need to have excess in retirement.

    We also joined CampFI last July and got to meet a family who served as an example that it’s is perfectly ok to SLOW FI with kids.

    Love to know more families are doing the same! Hope to meet your family on one of the FI events!

  • I find this inspiring. In a world where we are told “more is better” – it’s refreshing to read your perspective on why you don’t want to save too much and enjoy your life now (after you did the work to be where you want to be!). I also have young children, and I don’t want to miss out on their youth simply by grinding for something 30 years away yet! It’s such a balance and it sounds like not only have you achieved that, but you OWN it. Congratulations. You may lose readers, but you will also gain readers by being authentic.

    You might like the book DO NOTHING by Celeste Headlee. It has a lot of information about American work culture and how we equate “time as money.” She suggests in the book that people should find more leisure time – and that it goes a long way in overall health. I read it and was totally inspired, but like all bad habits, I find myself feeling that any leisure time I have, I am losing out on earning potential. I continue to work through that shift in mindset, thanks to that book!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and book recommendation! I just purchased it on Audible :)

      Here’s to embracing more leisure time, fun and making memories now!


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