I retired 4 years early by doing a few simple things.
My husband and I give ourselves a small cash “allowance” every week. Whatever we want to buy, like clothes or a haircut, comes out of this budgeted allowance. This helps us keep our credit card spending down.
We have lived well below our means for years. We live in a modest house, drove used cars (and never bought one we didn’t save the cash for), took inexpensive vacations, and saved everything else. We paid off our mortgage in 15 years instead of 30. We hired a financial advisor – best money I ever spent and I highly recommend doing that if you are 40 or older. We are now reaping the benefits of our smart handling of our money.