A blogger who retired at 30 shares 2 strategies that helped her leave full-time work in just 5 years

  • The blogger behind A Purple Life reached her FIRE number after just five years of saving. 
  • She slashed living costs by moving from New York City to Seattle.
  • Then, she analyzed her spending and directed every dollar she didn't plan to spend to her savings and investments.
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In the online Financial Independence/Retire Early community, reaching your FIRE number and leaving work is a coveted status. For many people, it takes years of saving and investing to reach their FIRE number, or the amount  you need to live on investments and savings alone.

A Purple Life, an anonymous blogger who shares her journey on her blog of the same name, didn't just reach her FIRE goal. In December 2020, she reached it five years sooner than expected. She left her career in marketing and retired at 30 with over $600,000 in savings and investments.

She talked to Insider about two of the strategies she used to make this goal possible even faster than expected. 

She cut her living expenses by leaving Manhattan for Seattle

When she started saving for early retirement in 2015, she planned to retire by 35 (10 years later). But by December 2020, she'd reached her FIRE number. One of the reasons she was able to save so much so quickly was a move across the country.

Around the time she started saving five years ago, she moved from Manhattan to Seattle. "I cut my living costs in half just by moving out of Manhattan," she told Insider by email. "Compared to New York City, Seattle doesn't have a high cost of living."

Her move freed up cash to accelerate her savings. 

She used a budgeting software to watch her spending and saving carefully

A Purple Life credits the popular budgeting software You Need A Budget for her success.

She used YNAB to analyze her spending based on the previous year, then directed all of her expected extra cash to her savings and investments. She invested her money in index funds, a relatively low-cost investment vehicle that tracks a certain market index.

If you want to save more, A Purple Life recommends understanding your spending first, and making adjustments. She told Insider, "My biggest tip would be to figure out how much you spend. Before I started this journey and using YNAB, I had a vague idea, but didn't actually know."

By analyzing your spending, you can make strategic cuts and direct more of your money to savings and investments, and hold yourself accountable to your set spending limits.

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