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The $30,000 Goal

So, in the beginning of the year, knowing I wanted to quit, I calculated how much money I would need to survive a year without a job.  The total came to roughly about $30,000.

So, I went to my computer, opened up my word processor, typed out “My Goal: Save $30,000 by 06/2010″,  printed it out, then taped it in area of my place where I would be able to clearly see it everyday.  After I posted it up, I started thinking of ways to achieve this.  How much do I need to save per month to go from $0 to $30,000 in 6 months??  Well, doing some basic math, the magic number would be $5,000 per month on average.  Now how the heck was I going to save $5,000 PER MONTH??  Well, I could liquidate some investments, but I was still nowhere close to $30,000.  Even if I didn’t spend a cent from my paycheck each month on mortgage/utilities/food, I wouldn’t be able to reach $30,000 in 6 months!

I stepped back and just had to laugh and thought it was crazy of me.  Whenever my friends saw this sign taped on my wall, they would ask me how I planned to achieve this.  I would just have a big smile on my face and I’d say “I don’t know.  Even if I saved my entire paycheck, I still wouldn’t be able to reach this goal by June” and then laugh.  But still, I kept the sign up because I felt it couldn’t hurt.

By having the sign up, even though I wouldn’t read it everyday since I was traveling, it would provide me a minuscule spark of inspiration.  Here what it inspired:

  • I actively started saving money.  I made it a point to move a fixed amount of money to another savings account so that I don’t end up spending it.
  • I looked at my fixed monthly costs and determined what I could cut out and upped the fixed amount I was transferring to the other savings account.
  • I actively made sure I cleared out my credit card debt.

The above actions helped me get much closer to my goal, but I wasn’t going to be able to make $30,000 by June.  That is, until life found a way for me to help me out.  Remember the whole reason I decided to hold off giving my notice in February (if not, read “Should I Stay or Should I Go Now“)?  My bonus! That helped supply a good chunk of change that went into my savings.  Then there was birthday money from my mom! And then some light relief also came from my mortgage rate resetting to a lower amount, which allowed me to save about another $200 per month!

I am happy to say that I have achieved my goal of saving $30,000 (and then some) by June 2010!  I love telling this story to people.  It aligns well with what “The Magic of Thinking BIG” and “The Secret” teaches people.

I still have another month to go, but all the additional money I’ll be saving will be from my own projects.  No longer do I have a steady paycheck.

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  1. June 1st, 2010 at 14:42 | #1

    Congrats, that’s an AUsome (get it? har har har) achievement!!

  2. June 2nd, 2010 at 00:50 | #2

    Thanks! It felt great adding up the numbers and realizing that determination and faith are both important to achieving one’s goals. Charlene, we’re going to be extremely successful in our fields. I have no doubt about this.

  3. Mike
    August 31st, 2010 at 21:01 | #3

    This is what I did…

    It was very hard to save when you need the essentials to live, like meals, clothing, social, etc.
    This may seem a little weird but maybe this will work for some like it did me.

    Declare a savings goal and timeframe to hoard your clams
    Open a high-earning interest savings account, like ING Direct, Ally.
    Eat healthy buy shopping at Whole Foods so you don’t call in to work. You will always have your job and feel good. Please exercise and rest. You will get over big hurdles when you are healthy.
    I think it is OK to have a credit card with low interest and pays you back with a gift card to Borders, etc., You make more than the minimum payment during the time you are saving for the big day. The interest you earn on your savings account can be applied to interest payment on your credit card. It balances nicely. My card was 9%. Be frugal though and make sure you are only spending on essential life needs.
    Once you have reached the big day. Let your savings stay at that amount. Then every paycheck you get thereafter goes to pay your credit card debt. It took me 3 month of paychecks to pay off my balances. I had 6,000 in credit card debt after saving and buying essential things.

    I saved 65,000 dollars in two years to cover closing costs on a home, buy the home with a good downpayment, buy furniture and applicances, with 30000 as a rainy day fund which is still accumulating.

    Then I took a trip to Disneyland and looked back on how my plan worked. It was amazing.

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