Goals are a very important part of achieving what you want out of your life.
If you don’t have priorities for your own life, you’ll never know what to do with your money and where it should be spent or saved.
Money should be saved, but it should also be spent and enjoyed.
2006: Got a job
- Graduated $60,000 net in the hole
- Spent my last $2000 from my line of credit on renting an apartment
- Started at a very healthy salary of $65,000 gross
Result: Got a degree! Also realized that having to dip into a line of credit to pay for rent is stupid and I should really figure out my money situation.
2007: Figured out my money
- Built The Budgeting, Expense Tracking, and Analysis Tool
- Learned that it would take me 10-15 years to get out of debt if I paid the minimums
- Started saving for retirement (employer matched contributions)
Result: Got mad at myself and my debt. Started knocking my debt down, estimating I would be finished in less than 5 years based on my plan; was hoping to be done in 3 years.
2008: Cleared my debt
- Wasn’t expecting to clear my debt or be in the black
- Ended up quitting my corporate job and freelancing
- Refined The Budgeting, Expense Tracking, and Analysis Tool after a year of making it
Result: Cleared the outstanding $15,000 in one fell swoop, making myself totally 100% debt free with about $30,000 to spare in the bank.
Photograph I took in the Beijing museum of a reclaimed statue
2009: Wanted to reach $100,000 net worth
- Was a bad year for freelancing — the recession hit
- Lived off savings and started to bite nails near the end of 2009
Result: Failed at reaching $100,000 net worth but thanked my lucky stars I had saved enough money in my emergency fund to weather the unexpected economic storm.
2010: Really reached $100,000 net worth (Take Two)
- Reach $100,000 net worth and stay there!
Result: Reached $100,000 net worth by July 2010.
I actually saved $130,000 net in total for 2010, putting me in a very comfortable position financially, and hit about $200,000 net worth.
2011: Relaxed and Traveled for 1 Year
- Originally, I wanted to reach $250,000 in net worth as my goal but I decided to…
- …relax instead!
- Go to Asia — Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore,
- Go to Europe — Stockholm, Brussels, Vienna, Evora, Salamanca
Photograph I took in Paris, France
Result: Achieved what I wanted; couldn’t go to Japan because of the tsunami, but I put the money I would have spent in Japan towards helping them rebuild their lives. My net worth dropped about $50K in this year because I didn’t work and I spent it flying around the world.
2012: Rebuilt Net Worth back to Pre-2011 Year of Traveling
Reach $200,000 net worth and stay there!— Completed February 2012 Revised Goal #1: Reach $220,000 in net worth and stay above $200,000! Revised Goal #2: Reach $225,000 in net worth and stay above $200,000!
- Revised Goal #3: Stay above $200,000 — Completed December 2012
Put a halt to spending — the impulse buying is starting to rear its head again *sigh* I won’t bother. I am $$$ secure, so why not, if I am reasonable?
- Spend less than $1000 a month, except for the months of travel — Failed miserably…
- Concentrate on my career and positioning myself for the future — DONE
- Create all the essential documents I need to have on file — DONE
Result: Got right back up to $200,000 (my highest point of net worth BEFORE I took a year off to travel). Took the year to reflect on where I wanted to be, and where I wanted to live in 5 years, 10 years and a lifetime. Contemplated moving to Australia. Nixed that idea.
2013: Net Worth To Finally Reach 1/4 Of A Million ($250,000)
- Reach at least $250,000 in my net worth by the end of 2013
- Spend no more than $30,000 net on living expenses this year (including travel)
- Freelancing for some side income for $300 a month
- Stop buying cheap things — Plastic and/or Made in China as much as possible
- Read all the books in my library I’ve been getting for free with Swagbucks money