Budgeting, Saving hacks, Family life

Sune is saving up for early retirement: “I want to quit the 9-5 life”

Caroline Sølver 27-11-2019 - 4 min read

“Back when I was a student, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to be stuck in a 9-to-5 until retirement. I began to contemplate if there was another way to make money than just work. That’s how my ‘retiring as a 45-year-old’ project came to live.”

Early alarms and no room for snoozing. Tight deadlines. Working overtime. Long lines in the supermarket. These are all part of the typical 9-to-5 life. And when we turn off the computer and retire, we can look back on all the hours spent working in order to live.

32-year-old Sune lives in Aarhus, Denmark with his girlfriend. He works 37 hours a week as a business and digitalization consultant at Aarhus University. However, his plan is to end his 9-to-5 lifestyle in just 13 years. He’s planning to get off the hamster wheel and to live off of his savings that he’s currently building and retire at the age of 45.

Time over money

“I’d like to escape the 9-to-5 grind and turn my wealth into more time. Time to prioritize quality over quantity. Time to be me… without a job,” Sune explains.

To Sune, the classic workweek of 37 hours and the norms, rules, and demands connected to this lifestyle is way too inflexible:

“In Denmark, it’s tricky to design your own way through work-life as there are fixed schedules,” Sune says and continues:

“It’s no wonder that stress has become such a common illness. Although we make more and more money, we never reduce our work hours. Why not? Maybe because work is such an ingrained part of our lifestyles that we don’t really know what to do or who we are without the identity of a job position. I don’t see a reason to hang on to this system if I’m actually able to do things differently and in my way. I truly hope that my plan works,” Sune explains.

The recipe for financial freedom

In order for Sune to wave goodbye to the job market, he’s following a simple recipe that will ensure a fairly good cash balance for the rest of his life:

“I live after a so-called wealth formula that aims to save more, consume less, and then invest whatever is in between those two”, Sune explains.

“Every month I spend 60 percent of my salary on investments and savings. This means I live after the same standard as when I was a student. My spending hasn’t increased although I’m making more money than I did as a student.”

So far, Sune has managed to save up 60.000€ + pension, and he’s planning to quit his job when he’s succeeded in saving up between 335.000-670.000€.

Planning is key

Sune’s paycheck comes out to about 2.700€ every month after taxes. That means that after paying bills, savings and investments, there isn’t a lot of money left. But that really doesn’t bother Sune:

“If I’m hit by an unforeseen bill, I’m able to pay it without loaning money, and I’m perfectly able to buy a round of beer for the guys when we go out. It’s not a problem for me, because my finances are in a tight system”, Sune explains.

“I live in a great apartment in the middle of Aarhus, I mostly buy organic groceries, I walk to work, and I don’t have expenses like cars, cigarettes, kids or other things known for being expensive. Honestly, I don’t feel that I’m actually saving up more than half of my salary”.

To keep track of his money, Sune uses Spiir. The app gives him a simple overview of how much money he is spending on bills, a beer with the guys, food, and visits to the dentist. That’s the overview that Sune values when he’s budgeting and analyzing his spending:

“Planning is the key to financial freedom. Planning will give me the freedom to spend my money exactly how I want”, he says.

Gone with the 9-to-5

Retiring won’t necessarily mean that Sune will start playing golf, grow potatoes in his garden or go on a luxury cruise in the Caribbean with all the other retirees:

“This is not about living the classic retirement lifestyle. It’s about not being dependent on making money through a job”, Sune determines and continues:

“I haven’t made a plan for what I’ll do when I quit working. Maybe, I’ll be spending time sharing my experience with others and advice people working in the same industry as I did. Maybe I’ll take on a new hobby. Maybe I’ll spend more time with my family, contribute to cleaning, cooking, and gardening. Fundamentally, what the goal is that I’ll be able to spend time doing what I feel like without being forced to make money off of it”, Sune concludes.

At the moment, Sune is working on a book about simple investments, and on his blog, Frinans.dk, you’ll get insights on his journey towards financial freedom.

Spiir guides you towards the life you want

Are you dreaming about quitting the 9-5 and go on early retirement like Sune?

Spiir helps you get your spending in order, and through different features, you’re presented to your money in an easy and simple way.

Maybe you’ll find out that you’re spending a teeny bit too much on shopping and that some of that money would suit your savings account. Maybe you go grocery shopping every day and end up splurging on snacks because the supermarket tempts you.

Spiir automates all the numbers for you so you can relax and spend your time and money on the things that make you happy 😊