How Much Money Can You Save by Being Frugal? Find Out From These 12 People

A Quora user wanted to measure the effectiveness of being frugal by asking people to mention how much they saved by living frugally. Here are some of the best responses.

Over 7 Million by Being a Disciplined Spender

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Shawn says he is worth more in retirement than when he was working, “Over 7 million USD.

Much discipline is required to live “frugally” when all your peers spend most or everything they earn. However, the rewards for being the exception and not the rule are many. I retired at 51 instead of 65–67 like most of my peers. My income (due to investments) is nearly 4 times more in retirement than when I was working.”

$100,000 by 30

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Maria managed to save this by denying herself a lot of stuff, “ I made laundry detergent, dish soap, baby food. No lawn service. No lavish vacations. No cable. No internet. No newspaper service. No car payment. Going out to dinner was a rare treat, and even then, I usually used gift cards that were given as gifts during holidays. I was probably earning about $40,000 a year back then. I socked away close to $100,000 by the time I was 30.”

Over 4K a Year Saved by Not Smoking

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Alice Folk saved a lot when she quit smoking, “Forty years ago, I was buying cigarettes, but they were too expensive, so I quit smoking. Now I am not spending about 4K a year smoking, so over 40 years, that would be 160K just from that one thing.”

Over $30,000 on a Minimum-wage Salary

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Josh has saved a nest egg despite earning little, “I am 30 years old and have a very low-paying job: working full time in a supermarket for the last 8 years (making less than £15,000 a year) …I have very slowly built a small nest egg of a little over £20,000 (about $30,000) plan to keep growing it.”

Time Is More Precious Than Money

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“That would be hard to put an exact figure on,” says Daniel, “But the most important thing about being frugal to me is the ability to take large chunks of time and just travel. .. No one knows how long their body will stay healthy, so it is important to do stuff while one still can. My old boss worked until he was 73, rarely taking time off. He retired and took a trip to New Zealand, dying of a heart attack while there. Yep, time is more precious than money, and being frugal gives you more free time.”

Turned $124,000 Into $452,000 After Saving for 20 Years

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Katherine was able to flip property for a tidy sum, “For 20 years I saved $22.90 a month in an RRSP through being on welfare, mother’s allowance and poorly paid temporary jobs and raising 2 kids alone. Doesn’t sound like much and there were times when I would have needed it for bread and milk but I did it. At 42 YO I bought a townhouse with $10,000 down from that RRSP it was $124,000 and sold it when I retired for $452,000. Now I’m mortgage free and comfortable.”

$1,000–1,500/Month After Expenses

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Ashley’s frugal living helps her save a tidy sum every month, “My take-home pay after taxes is between $1600–1800 every 2 weeks. I contribute 10% of my income to a retirement account. The $1600–1800 is after that contribution. I can save at least $1000–1500/month.”

Over $1 Million

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Doug has been consistent and managed to save a lot over the years, “I managed to hang on long enough, that I turned 65, and applied for Social Security. Today, my assets are over a million. I still drive my 22-year-old Ford truck. I rarely eat out. I have no sense of materialism. I bought and live in the house my grandparents bought in 1949 when it was brand new. How much have I saved? Over my lifetime, over $1 million.”

$109K for Buying a House

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“We were watching our money and being very frugal when we paid off our $53K+ consumer debts in 11 months over a decade ago. We have not been frugal since, but that does not mean we spend without regard. Now every dollar and penny has a name in our budget, and we know where it goes. We also stopped all borrowing and only buy things when we have saved money for them. Our next big money goal is to buy a house with cash. We are $109K into savings toward that goal,” notes Toma Gonzalez

$45K for Buying a Car

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Adlai saved enough money to buy his favorite car outright, “I bought a $45K Jeep Rubicon with them, outright. It’s good to save money for a dream.”

Over $350,000 for Living Frugally on a Farm

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Harold’s farm has provided him with enough supplies to help him save over time, “I built a new 3000 sq ft home 15 years ago with the money from selling my last home I’d built. It sits on 70 acres of land that I bought cheaply and paid off before I retired. I worked in construction for forty years and never made a lot of money. Now retired I drive an eleven-year-old truck and fish out of an 85 McKee craft boat. My garden supplies much of the vegetables we eat. Chickens produce eggs. Ponds produce fish. The wife and I live comfortably on our SS benefits and a small pension I receive. We have around 350,000 in savings that we rarely touch to maintain our standard of living.”

$150,000 for Travel

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Littleton points out that over 20 years, he saved enough to enable him to travel the world, “Well, I drove two (2) old mechanically sound autos for twenty (20) years. Never broke down; one needed repairs and drove the other. People I worked with drove new automobiles/trucks yearly. I saved $6,000 to $10,800 a year. I saved $150,000 in twenty (20) years and on my third (3rd) trip around the world.”

$12,500 for Saving $2 a Day for 25 Years

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Jeff says the small things add up, “Add it up. Take leftovers to work for lunch daily instead of using the company cafeteria. Save $2 day X 250 work days/year x 25 years=$12,500. Buy used cars. Go to community college for the 1st 2 years, then transfer to a state school. It goes on and on.”


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9 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually a Waste of Time and Money

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.