I feel like a bit of a slacker as I started reading The Tightwad Gazette - which lead to Your Money or Your Life - when I was 18 years old. Still, I made all the mistakes: student loans, overspending etc. in my 20s. Luckily, I made some great decisions, too: bought a decent condo for a low price in a good market, paid off all our debt.
One of the things that derailed us for awhile was having a family and being a SAHM. My husband also had a child from a previous relationship so we paid a hefty child support payment as well. We got by for those years but it was super challenging and I am so glad I had a frugal mindset. I ended up starting to take contracts from Sept-May when my eldest was in kindergarten and I took the summers off to spend with the kids. I did that for 5 years and then last year I was hired full time in the federal government (renewable term) so with it comes generous benefits and a pension.
Now that I am working full time and my husband and I know we can live off one salary, we are stuffing the other salary away for early retirement. Our plan is to have him retire in 5 years and I will probably follow a few years after that. I do love my job though so I may stay longer, and when I stay longer my pension goes up significantly.
Right now we have a plan to buy the house we are currently renting from a relative in 2018. Because of a combination of factors that I won't delve into, if we save 50k we will be able to buy it mortgage-free. Also, I have the limited-time opportunity to buy back 3 1/2 pension years but it's only open to me until November so I have to save that money as well. It's going to be an extremely tight year for us but it is do-able. Other than that, we have savings and investments as well to jumpstart our financial independence goals in 2018. That is the year where we will throw all our energies in building our nest egg.
So, while I would say we are only about 1/4 of the way there, we play to be much closer, quicker if we stay on this course.