Saving For My Dream Goal

goalIt’s Monday morning as I write this, and I am chugging as much coffee as I can get down.  We got back from our cruise yesterday afternoon and I spent the better part of the evening catching up on laundry, bills, and mail.  I woke up this morning exhausted.  I mean, I literally cannot think straight right now.  Yet, I still have to put in a full day’s work because, as we all know, nobody is going to do it for me.

Unfortunately, I would rather be doing anything else on this EarthAnything.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love self-employment and I never want to go back to the 9-5 grind.  My worst day working at home is still better than my best day at my old job for a variety of reasons, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Still, I’m longing for the day when I no longer have to work.  You know- the day I reach financial independence.  The day when I get out of bed and do whatever I want for each of my waking hours- the time of my life when I no longer have to worry about earning money on a daily basis.

Saving For My Dream Goal

So that’s my dream goal in a nut shell.  A Jaguar F-Type or waterfront mansion would be nice, but I really want is to wake up each day without having to work or worry about earning a living.  I want to sip hot tea and read books, sleep in until noon, or go for a leisurely walk without worrying about all the things still on my to-do list.  I want my freedom. 

Here’s how we plan to get there:

  • We’re saving regularly- I share my monthly budget breakdowns in order to be fairly transparent with what we’re trying to do here.  The good news is, we’ve been saving at least $2,000 per month for retirement (including my budgeted savings and Greg’s which I do not share) and socking away some cash as well.
  • We’re paying stuff off- I was seriously killing my mortgage for a while there.  That was, of course, until we sold our house and moved which basically messed everything up.  Fortunately, I am killing my mortgage once again- just at a slightly slower pace.  We’re also making some additional payments on our rental properties by applying all of our rental profits to their respective mortgages.  At this pace, our house and rentals will all be paid off in less than 12 years.
  • We’re refusing to go into debt- Reaching financial independence requires a staunch anti-debt stance in my eyes.  Not only are we paying stuff off, but we’re also refusing to go into any kind of debt ever again.  The only exception might be a business loan or the purchase of another income-producing rental property.
  • We’re combating lifestyle inflation- Well, kind’ve.  I don’t have a problem spending money on vacations, but we’re mostly keeping our spending in check.  To us, that means driving older cars, buying used whenever we can, and not adding any additional services or hobbies to our lives that cost money.

It’s taking forever but I know we will reach our goal of financial independence one day.  Until then, we’ll just keep plugging away and waiting for the day when our dreams become reality.

What is your dream goal?  How are you saving for it?

About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. Here here on the paying stuff off! We are also in major debt repayment mode right now, although we have also got student loans to tackle in addition to our mortgages. We cannot wait to have the debt gone! It will feel so great and also be a major step on our journey to financial independence.

  2. We’re doing all the stuff you’re doing, Holly. For us it’s either go big or go home! Our goal is to be able to stay at home in 5 years. 4 more years of debt repayment when everything single bit of debt will be gone, then one year of working to pay for home renovations.

  3. Great stuff Holly! That’s the kind of attitude you need to achieve great things – getting on with it even when you don’t feel like it! I could certainly use a dose of that dedication – I’m on a similar mission, but often feel like cheating – cutting back my hours at work, just enough to get by, and enjoying life whilst working less hours. Great to see posts like this from hard-working people like you to get me inspired to keep pushing ahead with my goals!

  4. Financial independence, along with some long-term slow travel is definitely our goal – and our main motivation to try and keep our expenses from inflating unconsciously. Hopefully we’ll get there sometime in our 30’s. =)

    • Hope so!

      I think we’ll get there in our mid-40’s. The kids slow us down. I’m still not sure I’ll quit working until the kids are through college at least, but it will be nice to have the option!

      • Are you hoping to pay for their college? I know that’s hotly debated in the FI world. For my part, my mom did pay for my college (along with lots of scholarships I earned — she had to cover 40-50% of total costs, depending on the year). It was the best gift ever, as not having debt gave me the freedom to explore life before settling into my career AND the freedom to start saving for retirement right away once I got into solid jobs.

  5. Great plan! My biggest weakness is my clothing or travel spending getting out of control. My dream goal is owning a home again, I’m saving part of my income each month and trying to remind myself when I want to buy something I need to be frugal and not spend my house away.

  6. Dream goal? Move home to Ireland… We put aside some money each month. But to be honest the real thing that is holding us back is family. We just don’t want to make it hard for grandparents to see their grandkids. We also don’t want to make it hard for our kids to see their grandparents. I know some of my best memories are spending random weekends over at my grandparents house and I wouldn’t want to rob my kids of that.

  7. I feel like that on so many days. Seriously on some Mondays, like yesterday, I’d rather go out and poke everyone in the eye so I don’t have to give eye exams. Then I remember how lucky I am to have the schedule I do. It would just be great not to have any schedule!

  8. Dream goal would be to move to from NY to CA. We are working on our immediate goals of getting out of debt and building wealth first with hopes to be able to do that some day soon.

  9. My dream goal is also not having to go into work everyday as well. I may want to work in some fashion, especially in winter because I don’t have any winter activities that I really enjoy. But the luxury will be being able to choose when and what. Who knows, if I build up even greater wealth I could consider more long term travel – but that depends on alot of factors. If we have kids that are in grade school at that time, we can’t necessarily leave whenever unless if it was summer, which is another reason I wouldn’t mind humming along and working a little to help pay for an extravagant vacation along with learning about credit card rewards for traveling. We shall see where life leads me in the meanwhile.

  10. Looks like you’ve got a good plan: Pay down debt and create multiple income producing assets/investments. I’m in the same boat, and about at the same place (it amazes me as I read your posts how similar your situation is to mine). It’s a long road, but will feel great to get there! :-)

  11. My dream goal is and has been to just reach a point where anything goes. I can do what I want, sleep in, and travel where I want. I have a long way to go, but I am slowly getting there. It takes time and I think you have a good goal!

  12. For us, the lifestyle inflation is the hardest to keep in check. Obviously, you’re closer to your goals than we are, but still, it’s tough. Plus, I don’t think the vacations you take count as spending more money, really……you’re killing it churning credit cards!

  13. We have the same dream goal! People always ask what I’m going to do with all that time and they don’t like my answers. Oh well, they can spend their time as they want, too.

  14. I love reading about your progress. Sometimes it seems so tedious or like you will never get there, but the end result will make Everything worth it.

  15. Financial independence is the goal for us. I would love to just do my own thing. No performance reviews with goals that I don’t set. So we’re saving away our money, trying to keep lifestyle inflation low and just chugging along. I’m hoping we get there by the time we’re 40. Although 40 seems like a whole lifetime away.

  16. I am hoping to purchase another property or two in the next 5 years and move forward on my become a millionaire journey. I love your plan-work it!! And I also like that you’re still enjoying yourself along the way.

  17. I don’t want to stop working. But I do want to never have to worry about money. I want to have more than enough. Most recently, I want to take a sabbatical (which means taking a break from teaching and going to another university to do work, usually unpaid).

  18. Spend money on vacation! Experiences trump possessions and I don’t understand the point of living in a deny, deny, deny culture — even if you’re saving for early retirement. I’d rather delay retirement a few years if it means going on trips in the short-term, but I’m also a travel addict. I guess my dream goal is similar to yours. Having no “have to” about work and doing what I want to from day-to-day. Or just be able to keep moving around every few years to a different country each time.

  19. My dream goal has changed a few times, owning a Mercedes Benz G Wagon used to be my achievement goal, if I can buy this car then I have made it, that has done a tornado like 180. Financial independence is the goal, the projected pace is exactly 6 years at the end of August, we want to be able to choose if we want to work or donate our time, play golf with my Dad for a month or sleep on my best friend’s couch and have a take your bf to work day. My dream goal beyond that is to own a professional sports franchise, just need a few more hundreds of millions;)

    • OMG, you need to talk to my husband about that. We don’t even watch sports but he wants to own a team as well.

      • Haha, I have even thought about owning a smaller independent team, something like the D-League for the NBA or a Summer College wood-bat league, golf course is also on the list but I’m sticking with pay off debt, become FI, and retire early. In that order.

  20. Sounds like you’re doing everything right, Holly. We have the same goal as you: financial independence baby! Hoping to get there in 3 years, but who knows how it’ll shake out exactly. We’re just staying the course of saving, earning, and investing. Know that you’re not alone!

  21. I’d love to be able to do just the type of work that I truly enjoy part-time. And, definitely sip tea :-)

  22. My DH and I are definitely on the same train to FI that you wrote about! We’re currently maxing out all retirement accounts and are now looking for alternate investments. We also want to move from NY at some point to a lower COL state. Based on projections, we should hit FI in about 12 years if not sooner.

  23. Financial freedom is my goal as well and I have my eyes on the prize pretty firmly. Our biggest step was adjusting our lifestyle so that it will not take as much to support our financially free living, and we can save faster to get there. We estimate that we are about 14 years away from this goal, and some days it seems like a long way off, but if we didn’t start focusing on this as much as we have been, it probably would be 20+ years away.

  24. My goals are very similar, financial independence so I can wake up whenever I want (I still wake up early on the weekends and I don’t know why. Why, body? why???)

  25. That’s the thing people don’t understand about writing/blogging: It’s real work, in some way harder than most. It’s just you and a screen, nothing else. It can be pretty darn scary wondering if you can come up with something useful to write day after day. I’m fortunate that I don’t depend on my blog’s revenue, but it’s still a bit intimidating.
    As far as savings go, we don’t go out of our way to save for retirement. I do put in enough in my husband’s 401(k) to get employer’s match. And I do put $2k (that’s it) per year in Roth IRA in my name. That’s it. We focus on living our life now, and staying out of debt. It’s not for everyone, but it works for us.

  26. It sucks to come back from vacation doesn’t it? :-( It takes a while to get back in the groove. You guys are on your way to FI, saving more than you spend. Time does fly too, and you will get there before you know it .

  27. i’m with you, Holly.. but what would you do with your time if you didn’t have to spend it hustling all day?

    perhaps you just are imaging a time where you can just invest it in a passion project instead of having to work on “less fun” projects all day..

  28. We’re wanting to reach financial independence as well. That is a BIG goal of ours, and we really need to start working on building up some passive income.

  29. You guys are doing so great!! It’s really amazing and I love reading about your progress. My dream is to retire early and travel the world with my husband when we’re still young. Due to pensions, we will most likely be able to make this happen. In the meantime, we build up our lifestyle to where we’re comfortable. For the most part, life is pretty good.

  30. I’m with you 100%, Holly. Financial freedom is definitely our biggest goal and we’re closing in it. We may have been able to reach it a bit earlier but since we had children later, we decided it made sense to continue working while they are at home and it helps that we both enjoy our work!

  31. My husband used to say, “Our needs rise to meet our income.” And it was always true of us – until the income went down. Now that it’s heading up again, we are very adamant about not allowing our “needs” to rise with it. It’s not that we tried to spend more money whenever a rise in income occurred before. We just did without thinking about it. Unconscious spending is a pretty powerful thing. As long as our heads are out of the sand, our eyes are open, and we’re conscious of money-in and money-out, we’re on our way to debt-freedom and financial freedom.

  32. I have a similar dream goal as you, but when I hit financial independence – or even somewhat before then – I hope to launch a business with my wife. It’s a dream we’ve had recently and it actually seems realistic. We’d like to start a counseling clinic. I would manage the business side and grow it as much as I can, and she’d be all in on the clinical side. It will take a lot of money so all we can do now is slowly work towards it.

  33. It can be frustrating for me sometimes because of how long it takes to get there. Patience isn’t always my strong suit :) I really think that’s how it is for most people, though, and that’s why most people just spend now, because they don’t want to wait forever to reap the benefits of saving. But we’ll be the ones laughing then!

  34. That is definitely my dream goal, too. $2,000/month for retirement is amazing. I can’t wait until we pay off our student loans so I can get there someday =). Other than that, I’m following the same steps as you. It’s a simple plan, but can be difficult to put into action at times, especially where lifestyle inflation is concerned.

  35. I think many of us bloggers are chasing that same goal: financial freedom. I would love not having to work. The two main obstacles are my benefits/pension at work…kind of a golden handcuff that I don’t want to leave. The other is living NYC, the cost of living is extremely high…if I want to retire early, staying here may not be possible.

  36. Ah – financial independence is my dream goal, too! But first, I have to get rid of my debt!

  37. I just want to sip hot tea and read too!! We’re paying off debt and trying to save half of our income every month. We won’t reach financial independence in the very near future, but we’ll get there soon enough. Just gotta keep an eye on that prize….

  38. I can’t wait until I can just wake up and do whatever I please! We’re working on getting there by keeping our expenses low, paying off the mortgage early, saving, combatting lifestyle inflation… all the usual, boring things you listed that everyone overlooks. Hopefully we’ll be there sooner, rather than later and I can enjoy all of the rewards for the sacrifices :)

  39. Our goal is to get this effing debt paid off then save save save for retirement and, like you, vacations! I also look forward to the day I don’t have to bust my balls and can work at a much more leisurely pace.

  40. It astounds me at times how much our life has inflated over the years. Some of this cannot be helped but much of it is just due to bad financial decisions. We haven’t projected our financial independence day…it’s just too much right now to focus on. Baby steps are being taken here.

  41. Our dream goal sounds similar… we’re trying to retire (mostly) in our forties. The more extra income we can bring in now, the sooner that can happen!

  42. I try to think like this but I just can’t. I save a lot but honestly I like to have too much fun and buy stuff to save more than 30-40 percent of my income. With maturity I think I’ll get there.

  43. Sounds pretty nice. I was meditating the other day and thinking about this, about how great it would be to have a certain amount of money where I never had to stress about it ever again. Where I could peruse whatever passion projects I wanted to whether I got paid or not. I keep hoping for that breakthrough moment!

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