At 26, I didn't have a choice. I gave up a lucrative career in finance/audit to run my own business. So with that mind, I benchmark my peers who are climbing the corporate ladder. Then, my calculation was using the median income of my friends at $X,000. I would need $X,000 x 12 months ( + 2 months bonus) x 1.17 (additional 17% in CPF from employer) x 1.2 ( 20% Risk premium for selfemployment) to make sense for me to stay in business. Otherwise, I should go back to my corporate career. Now I can't turn back. Did I shortchange myself? Perhaps at the initial 2-3 years, but I still went for my holidays (regional to start with), invest in $4,000 courses to master business skills and bring my mom overseas every single year. At 34 this year, 10 years since I graduated, my newly wedded wife and I both hit FRS, maxed MA and have a decent warchest ready for equity investments. I'm nowhere near FI but with the exact same planning - savings and low consumption, I'm on track. If the economy tanks today, my home (bought cheaply) can be paid for with CPF OA for the next 10 years. We can choose to travel on the cheap when there's blood on the streets, all because of savings. #genxyolo -- I'm sharing with you this because I graduated in the ashes of 2008 financial crisis and have made several boo-boos in investments along the way, loosing tens of thousands. The biggest saving grace is that in the midst of it all, high savings help corrected all the mistakes I've made and give me the bullets I need that will propel me to FI when the next financial crisis come. If I chose to consume inordinately, I won't be able to sleep with a peace of mind as my responsibility as a family man grow bigger. Nothing is forever, esp good jobs and good economy. So a good savings habit keeps you dry on rainy days. You also don't need to suffer for FI. Just live below your means.