There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the world today.
Here are some emails I’ve saved over the months which can’t help but get you to smile and be proud of your fellow man :) None of this money stuff happens over night, but it’s amazing what a little patience and just plain CARING will do once you set your mind to things!
Let this inspire you to keep on pushing through yourselves, and if any of you have a good comeback story please do share it below (or shoot me a note privately).
I have always lived from paycheck to paycheck until sometime in 2015 (yes that is how late I was to the ‘savers cult’) I came across an article on Forbes about a blogger who socked away 400k in 7 years.
I brushed it aside at first and told myself, ‘I’m not making much a year so I can’t save. I was born in a poor family so I will never be rich, blah blah, excuse after excuse. Didn’t save the whole of 2015.
In January 2016 I looked at my account and I had -$20 in my checking and $200 in my savings. I then became serious and religiously read your articles. I was making $34k at the time. I signed up for my work 401k and IRA. Started working hard, got a raise and now I’m making $37k/year before taxes (which is not a lot of money in Chicago).
Last year I saved $10k. This year I’m targeting $20k in savings. I started side hustles and right now I also work as a dishwasher on weekends (I use the dishwashing money for utilities, transport and food). For my rent I use money from my 9-5 job. I now have 18k in savings after 15 months.
(Hope I make sense, English is my second language.)
I have been a long-time fan of your website and your monthly “Net Worth Tracker” posts inspired me to start calculating my own….
I finished medical school in 2008 and resolved to have a 7-figure net worth by the time I hit 40 (which will be in 2024). This was no small goal, given the debt level I accumulated at that time (~$100,000).
Fast forward to 2009 when I started tracking my net worth at a grand total of $0. I worked diligently during residency (advanced training after medical school) to moonlight and retire all of my student loans. I managed to do that by the time I finished in 2011.
Fast forward again to August of 2014 and I hit my goal of a 7-figure net worth 10 years early. Finally, this brings us to my most recent net worth calculation which doubled from 3 years ago to just over $2 million (woohoo, multimillionaire status!!) at age 33.
All of this to say that I did not accomplish this with a get-rich-quick scheme or investing everything in Google’s IPO. Low expense ratio ETF’s, healthy savings in tax-advantaged 401(k)’s and IRAs and an absolute fear and loathing of debt truly are the paths to wealth.
The Change Saver
I have been reading your fine blog for roughly a year, and first took notice after reading an article on your blog about saving spare change. I had just begun the endeavor and kind of made it an experiment to see how much I could save in a year.
Lo and behold it amounted to over $1,600.00!! I don’t intend to ever stop my coin saving now! Saving has become addictive for me!
Next I read your article on unclaimed property, and BOOM! – I have two claims totaling $3,500.00!!!!!….. man, it gives me pause because its SO GRATIFYING!….
I also have another trick to save money which is also like a little hobby too – I save and collect $2 bills. [Editor’s Note: me too – they make great gifts/tips!]
The Conscious Spender
For years I have been telling myself that since I can’t afford big ticket items right now, I may as well make myself happier in the short term by spending whatever amount of discretionary income I have.
When it dawned on me that I could save most of that money instead – albeit in small amounts at a time – the thought actually terrified me. I felt like I was just pissing in the wind whenever I turned down some kind of instant gratification (eg. picking up lunch, drinks after work, seeing a movie) in favor of the big picture. Tbh I didn’t even know if there was a big picture, putting $5 and $10 dollars into savings at a time.
Funny how the big picture suddenly looked a lot clearer when I saw my savings hit the thousand dollar mark for the first time! I realized I wanted to do a lot of things I had told myself I could never do: own my own home being the biggie. I still have times when I doubt what’s possible, but I’m too scared to give up now as I never want to go back to how I did things before.
Another spinoff? I am now way better at managing my income overall, have trimmed the budget on everything, and find myself being a lot more creative with the small amount of personal expenses I do still allow myself. I actually think I have more fun and get more stuff I want… because I am forced to think consciously about things!
(I’ve also gotten better at saying No to things like social events that I don’t really want to attend. I’m learning how to put my own needs first, and I enjoy it more when I do want to go out now, as I know I’ve chosen to and can afford it (instead of resenting it, which was too often the case: not a great basis for one’s social life!))
The takeaways today?
- First, you have to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
- Then you need to just *start*
- Then hustle
- And have patience
- And stay motivated
- And record your milestones
- And, ultimately, want it bad enough to keep going
Almost all of these people starting with nothing, and in a matter of time completely changed things around – both in their wallets, and more importantly, in their minds. And without your mind right, there’s no way your money will follow!
So keep on learning, doing, and dreaming y’all. One day after the next. You got this!
More motivational boosts:
- Proof you can live off 50% of your income
- Proof you can get rid of all your debt
- Proof you can become a millionaire