“Super saver” is a loosely defined term that describes the most zealous financial hoarders who prioritize saving and investing for the future over their current standard of living. They’re not misers and they’re not miserable. They’re motivated by a laser-focused mission to achieve financial independence and early retirement, even at the expense of important here-and-now amenities like quality housing.
They account for every dime and never say the word “just” in reference to even the smallest amount of money. Each moment is a mission to turn 50 cents into $1, $1 into $100 and $100 into $1,000 while embracing frugality in its severest form.
They live a life of vacations never taken, tech gadgets never owned and streaming services never watched — but they know why they do what they do. Super savers embrace privation because they choose to save for money, wealth and their future financial security over the trappings of today.
The Most Important Habit Is, of Course, Saving Like Your Future Depends on It
According to Principal’s annual Super Saver Survey, the primary habit that sets super savers apart is right there in the name. They save relentlessly no matter the circumstances — and the proof is in the pandemic.
A late-2019 pre-COVID-19 study from TD Ameritrade showed that super savers socked away an average of 29% of their income compared to just 6% for the general public.
Despite two years of Earth-shattering change, super savers just kept doing what they’d always done — banking as much money as humanly possible regardless of the circumstances.
The Principal study — released in September — showed that nearly 60% of super savers plan to bank at least $20,000 in 2022, up more than 50% from 2021.
Their Commitment To Sacrifice Is More of a Lifestyle Than a Habit
The salary range of the Principal survey respondents started at less than $75,000, and while some were high earners, most had to dedicate themselves to a life of self-deprivation to earn the title of a super saver.
They tend not to travel, or to travel much less than they’d like. They’re typically renters, and those who own homes purchase only modest houses — in many cases, they slash housing costs by taking on roommates and many choose to live with their parents. When their houses need work, they do DIY repairs whenever possible and never hire help to perform household chores they can do themselves. Super savers drive older vehicles, keep their cars longer and opt for secondhand goods whenever they can — and they’re never concerned with keeping up with the Joneses.
They’re Always Evaluating and Adjusting
The Principal study revealed that super savers do not bring a set-it-and-forget-it mentality to their quest to grow their dollars. It’s been a remarkable economic year defined by inflation, recession fears and market volatility — and super savers showed once again that they can roll with the punches.
Nearly 7 in 10 adjusted their spending to deal with the economic realities of 2022, with most cutting back on fuel, groceries and travel. More than half opened a Roth IRA to sock away after-tax savings to complement their 401(k) plans. About 40% of Gen Z super savers diversified their holdings with investments in crypto, NFTs and other digital assets and other super savers updated their retirement holdings to account for changing risk tolerances.
They Are Eternally Optimistic
The Principal study showed that super savers are not deterred by high inflation, the threat of a looming recession, rising healthcare costs or an ongoing market downturn — and they feel like they’re in control of their finances. That’s because their net worths grow with every passing year and, despite spending so much time obsessing over saving, they don’t lose sleep over their finances and they feel confident about their own financial futures. Perhaps most importantly, when you starve yourself, even a small bite of food tastes really, really good, which is why super savers almost never feel guilty about their rare splurges.
Crazy as the lifestyle of a super saver might seem, how many people do you know who share the same positive outlook on their own lives and futures?
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