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.