5 things extreme savers refuse to waste money on – CNBC

Financial blogger Matt and his fiancee, who asked to withhold their last names, went from living paycheck-to-paycheck to banking more than $50,000 in 2016.

The Chicago-based couple upped their savings through various strategies, but if they were to pinpoint the most effective one, it would be to live big in a small home.

“Our choice of living has been, from a numbers perspective, the biggest factor when it comes to doubling our savings rate in 2016 and helping us build wealth rapidly,” Matt writes on his blog, “Distilled Dollar.”

“We live in a neighborhood where most of our neighbors are paying a higher percentage of their income towards rent,” he writes in a separate post. “Of course, we could pay the same percentage and upgrade to a nice two-bed/two-bath, but we’re more than happy with where we live today.”

They pay less than 15 percent of their income for their 700-square-foot condo in Chicago. They estimate that they save about $12,000 a year, “seeing as how we could easily afford paying an extra $1,000 a month,” says Matt.

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