3.5 Years

When July rolls around, that will be the 3.5 year mark since I freaked out about my debt.  Since then, I’ll have paid off $132k in debt, and put $56k into savings (retirement, Lending Club), for a total of $188k.

Take home pay according to my tax spreadsheet was $82k, $87k, $101k, and probably $47k for the first half of this year..  $317k total.  59.3% savings rate.  By age, the savings rate is typically more like 16.75%.  By income, the savings rate is typically more like 27.34%


Roughly speaking, I’m doubling the typical savings rate for my income.

Let’s say my spent cash per year is $36k.  That isn’t bad.  I can’t pretend that money has held me back during this time from enjoying myself.  It sounds like a lot compared to the US average, and it’s hard for me to understand where it all went based on my spending in the past few months.  It is a very middle class spending level for the bay area.

Some questions:

  1. Is paying money into a 401(k) less depressing than paying off debt?  Is paying off a mortgage less depressing than paying off a credit card?  By how much?
  2. Do people admire a low expenditure amount more than a high savings rate?  I.e. is the suffering admirable or is the earning admirable?  Is suffering available to everyone while earning is only available to the privileged?
  3. How do people think about the number of labor hours when they consider this situation?  E.g. had I done through passive income vs. 15 hour work days?
  4. If I have hermit months and luxury months, do people consider it different than if I have a constant spend rate throughout the year?

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