Meet Kraig From Young Cheap Living

A little while back, Kraig from Young Cheap Living reached out to me by email to say hi and strike up a conversation. It seemed that we have a lot in common – we both save over half of our net income, invest regularly in the stock market (he through index investing), we’re both young guys (I’m 31, he’s 29) and both of us are intently looking forward to a future full of time and free of any recurring obligations that do not bring us great joy.

We’ve been friends ever since and we fairly regularly talk by telephone to keep each other motivated, talk about the things that are working or not working right now, investing, the future and opportunities to do even better than we already are. Kraig is debt free and enjoys living below his means, but we’re both looking to constantly improve ourselves or strike up new ideas.

So, it was obviously fantastic when I found out that Kraig wanted to fly down from Minnesota to vacation here in sunny Sarasota with his girlfriend and carve out a little time to meet up with me. One of the many, many benefits to what I’m doing is that it has put me in a wonderful position to meet new people and develop relationships and friendships that I otherwise never would have had. I think there is a great group of young investors and savers that are looking to change their lives for the better, and hopefully change others’ lives as well. It’s great to be a part of this wonderful group of like-minded individuals.

Anyway, Kraig came up with the great idea to interview each other while he was down here. He brought down some high quality video/audio equipment and we filmed an impromptu interview session at the hotel Kraig was staying at – The Helmsley Sandcastle. Kraig had some questions already written down, but we decided to just wing it and film what came out. What you see below is just two young, excited investors that are so motivated and charged up about changing our lives for the better that we decided to sit down and try and capture some of that enthusiasm and some of our ideas on video. What you see below is an attempt at such. We’re certainly not professionals at this, and it’s not easy to start spitting off ideas off the top of your head while you’re being filmed, but I think we did a pretty good job.

In the end, we’re just hoping to bring a little value to you readers and hopefully you enjoy the content! Our interview as follows:

Kraig also interviewed me, and if you’re interested in part 2 you can view that here.

I hope you enjoyed the videos and for more on Kraig please stop by his blog at Young Cheap Living. He is a passionate young man who is doing everything he can to ‘live below his means and change his future’.

Enjoy the videos? Do they add value for you?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: YoungCheapLiving


    • says


      Haha! I actually called Kraig my “mini-me” a couple times. It wasn’t a slight against Kraig, but rather simply because we look alike both being bald and all, are similar in age and attitude and he’s just slightly smaller in stature. Good stuff!

      Best regards.

  1. Onassis says

    You both look the same.
    Sunglasses, bald head, similar clothing – like the Men in Black :-)

    A very nice video – I have seen it in resolution 1080 HD.
    I don´t understand everything (my english is not very good) – but it was still great!

    Two men – one goal!

    Keep going, Jason and Kraig!

    Best regards from Germany!


    • says


      Sorry you couldn’t enjoy the entire video with the language barrier. I hope it still provided some value to you.

      We definitely look a lot alike! It’s cool to have a lot in common with someone and then actually find out you look like them too. Long lost brothers. :)

      Hope you enjoyed some of the interview even with the language barrier. :)

      Best wishes!

    • gibor says

      Onassis, you’re from Germany?! Last summer our family spent 3 weeks in West-South Germany. Beautiful country…. we really enjoyed.

    • says

      The Kechi One,

      I guess it’s something in the water? :)

      That’s very funny though. I guess there’s something minimalistic in shaving one’s head, perhaps? I just happen to dig the look. Never a bad hair day, and it makes riding a scooter very easy! :)

      Hope everything is going great from your side of the world.

      Best wishes.

    • says


      Actually I’ve found head shaving to be fairly expensive. I use high end razors (Gillette Fusion) because the cheap stuff messes my head up. I spend around $30/mo to shave my head, so I think it’s just as expensive as having hair, or even more so (if you sport a buzz cut you can give yourself at home).

      Best regards.

  2. gibor says

    Ha-Ha , if you call Kraig my “mini-me”, you should be Doctor Evil :)

    btw, very nice interview… earlier I was thinking that it’s only me who is looking for financial independence ASAP.
    Unfortunately I had a late start, I was able to leave USSR in 1990 when I was 24 and was allowed to take with me only $160 :)
    Now I’m 46 and hope to retire by early-middle 50’s , as we own house, don’t have any debt and free (to some degree ) health care. The major and hopefully last expenses… university education for my kids , son going to study this year , daughter in 6 years….

    • says


      I think that very few of the people your age that stayed in USSR between 1990 – 2013 probably have been able to live the lifestyle you are enjoying in the US.

      I do think also however that Kraig and Jason look alike. Very interesting..

    • says


      Doctor Evil? One million dollars! Haha. Too funny.

      Great success story there. To be able to leave your country with just the clothes on your back and be able to actually retire early in life is truly remarkable. Just goes to show how ridiculous all the people out there making a healthy salary and unable to retire at a reasonable age really are. There’s excuses and then there’s solutions. I prefer the latter. Keep up the great work!

      Best regards!

    • gibor says

      Dividend Growth Investor, actually we live in Canada from 1999, from 1990 to 99 lived in Israel. We (actually my wife) had invitation to move to California 3-4 years ago, but decided to stay in canada…. imho, it’s much easier to retire here :}

  3. Anonymous says

    i have done what you do for 30 years dividends are way above my job income i like what i do so i will keep on working for awhile last month for fun i cut out driving my car about 60% i took the bus and walked i was much more relaxed and saved a little money i cut back on other stuff as well like my bad soda habit i had some top ramen which i have not had in years that stuff is good i mean real good i really like your site

    • says


      Congratulations on getting to a level where your dividend income exceeds your job income. That’s amazing. I know I could get there one day if I kept working well past 40, but that’s definitely not the plan as it stands now. I’m hoping just to get to the point where dividends exceed my expenses. I’ll be jumping up and down the day that happens!

      I have a bad soda habit as well. I’d consider that probably my only bad habit. I think there are certainly worse things in life I could do than drink soda, and besides I’m supporting Coca-Cola and PepsiCo! Everything in moderation. :)

      Stay in touch!

      Take care.

    • Larry says

      Good ol ramen noodles. I remember those cost $.10 each not too long ago, now they’re $.20 at my store. :-/

  4. says


    It was a blast hanging out with you this week down in Florida. Thanks for lighting up my blog today!

    I still believe you and I could do a podcast that your readers would enjoy. You certainly have the passion and the know-how and you’re an entertaining guy. I now know just how awesome your reader base is. Today alone, you’ve sent me 200 visitors. That’s a testament to how much of a leader you are.

    It’s a pleasure to be featured here, Jason. Thanks again. Next time we meet up, let’s invite others to join us in hanging out and talking shop. What do you say?

    • says


      It was a lot of fun on my end too. I’m honored that you took time out of your vacation to hang out with me and exchange ideas. Great time!

      Yeah, a podcast could be very cool. I’m definitely open to it! Anything that readers would enjoy and find value in is something I’m interested in.

      Glad your blog received some traffic and I hope you have a new fan base! I’m definitely up for doing some type of big meetup next time. Maybe we’ll meet up at FinCon13 if I go.

      Take care!

    • Spoonman says

      I think a podcast is an AWESOME idea! I’ve looked and looked and I haven’t been able to find a full fledged FI podcast. I think you guys could set something up via Skype and sort chat about common topics. You guys could also invite people (i.e. MMM, Jacob, dividend growth investor, Dividend Ninja, Dividend Monk, etc., etc.).

      As Denis suggests (below), a podcast would elevate things to a whole ‘nother level!

    • says


      Kraig is amped up for the podcast idea. I’m definitely up for it too. I’d have to buy a little equipment, but I’d be more than happy to do so if readers would enjoy it. I’m going to have to really give it some thought.

      Thanks for the thumbs up!

      Best wishes.

  5. says

    I enjoyed the interview a lot Jason! I’m so glad you are no longer hiding behind the moniker, and doing innovative stuff here!! Cool. It’s onwards and upwards.

    Are you guys identical twins? I mean you never know – right? Just asking… :)

    The Dividend Ninja

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by!

      Glad you enjoyed the interview. It was fairly off-the-cuff. I had only a vague idea of what I was going to ask just seconds before the camera started rolling. I actually prefer it that way to something scripted and rehearsed. It’s all natural.

      Identical twins? That’s too funny. I guess we’re long lost brothers or something. He’s doing a great job and I wish him the best, especially if he decides to go after some entrepreneurial ventures.

      I hope the interviews added a little value to the blogs, and I think putting a video up there is a great way to make it all a bit more personal.

      Best wishes.

  6. Spoonman says

    Thanks for posting the videos! I really enjoyed them. Blog posts are great, but videos are sweet too.

    It’s incredibly inspiring to see you guys openly share your journey and experiences with the world. It’s great to see kindred spirits (like myself and others here) connect.

    In the video one of you guys said that there’s only a small portion of the population that’s committed to pursuing this type of lifestyle. That’s why I think it’s important to connect with kindred spirits because we are few and far between.

    I think these videos can serve as a good FAQ of sorts for people curious about what pursuing FI is all about. You guys are just two normal dudes in search of a better life configuration.

    • says


      You nailed it. We’re just two normal guys looking for a better way – something better than the work-spend-work cycle that seems to consume everyone.

      I think the connection between like-minded people is really the best part of blogs like this one and forums where we can all share ideas and mutually inspire each other to further growth financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

      Glad you enjoyed the videos.

      Best regards!

  7. says

    Nice interviews (I watched both parts). I think the videos do provide some added value because they allow you to express yourself in ways that can be difficult to achieve in writing. For example, I think it’s easier to convey enthusiasm in a video than in a blog post. In addition, seeing and hearing you talk about your goals and strategy — rather than just reading about them — may be beneficial for new visitors to your blog.

    • says


      Glad you enjoyed the interviews and found some value in the video. I agree with you that excitement and enthusiasm is much easier to capture on video.

      I think it’s cool to add something like this every once in a while as a supplement to the writing.

      Best wishes!

    • says


      Haha! It seems like a lot of people think we look alike. I can see it, especially with the similar haircuts. By haircuts, I mean lack of hair. :)

      Glad to see that you enjoyed the videos. Hope they brought a new perspective to the table!

      Take care.

  8. says

    Uh oh, i can see where this is leading too, a youtube subscription series..that will get NBC, ABC, government spenders, still over-consumers, etc all worked up about from such a viral, successful frenzy!

  9. says

    Great stuff Kraig & Jason!
    I work in video production down in Miami & always advocate to bloggers & writers for newspapers/magazines to extend their reach & connect to their audiences even more via videos. this is a good start. i enjoyed it & would certainly suggest you produce a weekly segment. startup costs wouldn’t be much to be honest & potentially you could create additional ad revenue through the videos. just an idea.

    • says


      Hey, glad to hear that someone who does this for a living actually enjoyed it. That’s a big compliment. Appreciate it! Although our questions and answers probably could have been better thought out or more thorough, I enjoy the genuine nature of it. It’s fun to wing it!

      A weekly segment could be cool. We’d both have to get some high quality video/audio equipment as Kraig borrowed this equipment from his work.

      Thanks for the idea though! I really appreciate it.

      Best regards.

  10. gibor says

    Mantra, as per your comment, imho USSR was a good school in order to plan your budget.
    Just some points from my owm experience (excuse my English…it’s my 3rd language lol)
    Investments: forget about mutual and especially segregated funds. They’re bad. 90% of them underperform index and just logically thinking all those fund companies exist only from commissions they charge “poor” investors. i understood it just several years ago, however, I have excuse – we din’t have stock market in USSR and learned in Unuversities “socialist” economics :)
    As for life style… Don’t buying things just to show off or impress somebody. Buy what you really need and can afford. As an example we can easily afford some Ferrari, but why do I need it…. I have Honda Civic and pretty satisfied.
    We spend out money (except savings0 mostly for food (but not restaurans!), travel (esp oversees) and sport/recreation….
    All clothes , furniture, home electrical devises and so on we buy that convenient, and not “cool” and luxurious

    • says


      Great thoughts there. Couldn’t agree more. It’s all about realizing what you value in life and trying to focus in on those things. Ignore all the noise and everything out there trying to get your attention to divert you away from what really brings you enjoy. I’ve found a mission life: buying as much time as I possibly can. So far, so good. I’m really blessed!

      Glad you have found what also makes you happy!

      Take care.

  11. Anonymous says

    ive wrote to you a few times about not wanting to retire even though i can i ask people that look retired what they do all day. most give answers like i read take walks travel put a fews hours voluntering at meals on wheels ect. this is what one guy told me last saturday. i go to mcdonalds eat breakfast read the paper listen to saun hanity then i go to the park and throw pine cones at the ducks i sure i hope i dont end up like that besides i like little ducks

    • says


      Certainly I can think of things that I would rather do with my time than to throw pine cones at ducks and listen to a radio show, but if that makes you happy I say more power to you. I’d certainly rather engage in activities like these than spend 10 hours per day working. That’s just me.

      Best regards.

  12. gibor says

    Anonymous, it’s OK if you like your job…. but what if you hate it?
    If you are financially independant, you can just work part-time with low salary , but doing stuff what you enjoy.
    The other thing…you can spend much more time with your kids or grandchildren (obviously if you have them :))

  13. says

    My dad is retired and he does so much more then go to McDonalds and read the newspaper. Mostly he spends time hanging out with his grandchildren, fishing and shooting BB guns. He suggested that we read the book, “Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence: Your Road Map to Exiting the Rat Race and Living Your Dreams” by author Usiere Uko. It s a compelling read, you will not stop until you get to the last page! We are starting to see the difference in our road to financial freedom.

    • says


      Thanks for stopping by!

      I’ll have to check out that book. I appreciate you mentioning it. Always interested in reading a great book!

      Best of luck as you continue marching toward FI!

      Take care.

  14. Anonymous says

    There are days I enjoy my job and there are days that I hate my job. I started dividend investing in 2009. Im 44 and I could cover my basic bills at this time with my dividend income, I own/paid cash for my home when I was 35 and now I have a good steady dividend income stream. I have 2 reasons for dividend investing, retire at 55 with money to spend and not having the stress of how to pay my bills should I not have a job tomorrow. None of this came easy, while everyone was living it up in good times, I saved. Prior to 2008 I did not have a good plan on how I was going to accomplish the goal of retiring at 55 or being able to be independent should something happen to my job. It was reading pages like this that helped me decide to start dividend investing. Keep up the good work.

    • says


      I hear you on the job enjoyment. Although for me it seems that more and more often lately the days where I hate my job outnumber the days where I enjoy my job. It’s not just the job itself but the hours. My work/life balance is out of whack right now.

      Congratulations on being able to cover basic expenses with dividend income! That’s really fantastic. I’ll be jumping for joy the day that happens for me. Great job saving when it wasn’t easy to save. Certainly it’s much, much easier to take excess capital and go out and just blow it. But the results of saving that money instead speaks for itself.

      Keep up the great work!

      Best wishes.

  15. gibor says

    @Anonymous, not like you , I started dividend investing just 2.5-3 years ago (and on the way did some mistakes). Even though… we own house, no debt and dividend income is enough to cover very – very basic bills… Also, I’m pretty conservative and keep about 40% of the money in HISA (mostly with 2% interest)…
    I’m turning 47 now and also planning to retire at early-middle 50’s, even though it not depend on me and can happen earlier as out company got outsourced to India and I’m “day-to-day” like in hockey :)
    My wife is 9 years younger than me, and most likely will be working longer…. so my plan is (when I retire) convert all my RRSPs into RRIFs in order to get minimal non-taxable income and all proceeds my wife will be investing into another Spousal RRSP for a 2nd time… Don’t know if it’s gonna work in practice, but in thoery it looks neet :)

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