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You said something about needing the big picture to succeed. I disagree, unless you plan to get into mgt, which never appealed to me (I find managing myself and my household to be sufficiently challenging ;-) A former hippy, I never had any interest in business, but I was really good at my job and helped others succeed in theirs. STEM/business/law are not the only routes to FIRE--and avoiding Apple products is totally irrelevant!

Sorry to jump on your wannabe fest--you do have worthy notions, but your arrogance and certainty...grate. Between us, my husband and I have 6(!) Apple products. I save more money by cutting my own hair and not coloring/perming/highlighting it and by doing my own housework than I would by canceling my iPhone or iPad--and I know which is the better deal for me. My 3-yr-old original iPad is the cheapest way for me to get fairly reliable Internet access on the road--and I'm grandfathered at $30/month unlimited data (we RV 1/2 the year since retiring, 1/4 of the year before retirement--yeah, we have an RV AND Apple products, and had an original Prius until a few months ago--which we intend not to replace but manage with one car that doubles as the RV toad, plus our bikes and walking shoes). My husband's MacBook, a hand-me-down when I switched to the smaller, lighter MacBook Air 5 years ago, is 8 years old.

Like you and your wife, we're also not into jewelry. I wear my grandmother's wedding ring (and her mother's before her) so we didn't even buy wedding or engagement rings. In fact, we were married by a Justice of the Peace in our condo for $25, played our favorite CD for mood music, and went out to a Chinese restaurant with attendees afterwards. I made my own bouquet from houseplants and a few supermarket flowers and bought a skirt and top off the rack for about $50. I think our whole wedding cost 1% of the average! our honeymoon was another story...I had children already, and we took them to DisneyWorld.

Big-ticket items like houses, furnishings, cars, weddings, divorce, and frequent expensive vacations can prevent FIRE, not occasional new iPhones and MacBooks--as long as you can afford to pay cash for them and afford the monthly fees besides. There are many ways to skin the cat--One size does not fit all, other than generally LBYM. Even people with fair to middling income can FIRE, especially if they invest successfully (not my strong suit, alas, I used the brute-force method of saving hard).
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