Time to feature a bunch of y’all who are killing it lately! Gotta show everyone that this stuff we talk about every day here is possible and that we’re not just blabbering on for nothing :)
So please to enjoy – a bunch of wins sent over to me across the year from readers of this site accomplishing things big and small, whether they’re in their early 20s or their early 60s.
Let these inspire you to keep going and know that it’s never too late!
Money is waiting for you! 💰💰
The Cash Queen
I want to tell my recent story here because I don’t feel comfortable telling anyone I know.
I’ve been driving a ’95 Mustang for the last 19 years. For the last 10 years I’ve been saving up money for a replacement vehicle. The Mustang was becoming unsafe to drive, so I finally pulled the trigger.
I bought a 2016 Camry with only about 8K miles for under $18K. I was able to pay with cash!!! I’m so stupid excited to have worked all those years to accomplish this.
Ya, I know all about how I could have invested the money and took a loan, but I did not want to. I wanted a solid car and no payments.
It’s all because of the financial journey I started around the time I found Budgets are Sexy! Thank you J Money and all the other bloggers who have helped me stay focused on my goals!
– Ellie M.
The Interlibrary Lover
Thank you for introducing me to the idea of spavings. I’ve been tracking just how much I have been spavings on books alone, and it’s $68!
I’ve discovered Interlibrary Loan and have used it so far this year to read: Simple Path to Wealth, Never Eat Alone, 4-Hour Work Week, and I’m waiting on Early Retirement Extreme. Prior to doubling down on this, I would have just jumped on Amazon and presto — book delivered two days later via Prime.
I wouldn’t have guessed it, but there is something a little magical about the delayed gratification of Interlibrary Loans. It’s as if you almost forget about it and then CHRISTMAS MORNING when I get the email that my book is waiting for me at my local branch.
Any extra money from spavings is getting plowed into my 3-month emergency fund. As of today, I’m 92% to having that fully funded. Awesome feeling! :-)
– Lauri L.
The 50 y/o Comeback
I am coming at this from an older perspective as I am 63 – but for all of those older folks – it is never too late. I was 49 before I could really afford – or let’s be honest – paid enough attention to this whole financial thing – to get started.
I really started getting it together when I started actually tracking my every penny (yes I was and am still occasionally that nit-picky). It was amazing to find out how much I was “letting float away through my fingers”.
First thing I did was automate savings – it was really hard to do at first -but after a short while, you really do adapt. Premise is, if I don’t see it, I don’t spend it – lol
My net worth in 2004 when I started was $65,544.07 and it is now $780,485.26.
So – my 2 biggest contributions to this discussion are that
1) it is never too late (or too old) to start!
2) even a couple dollars saved is more than you had before
The Financial Stubble Grower
I always thought I would have these loans forever you know, the American way…consume. But after many years on autopilot I thought, wait, let me look at things differently. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Found J$ on a Google search, read through his blog and became INSPIRED! Through him found Mr. Money Mustache and started growing a little stubble, and Jacob at Early Retirement Extreme. Now Jacob is a true savage beast. I won’t ever melt the last bit of my deodorant stick to put in my new deodorant stick so as not to waste it, but damn, who ever would of thought of that. However, I do find his musing on human behavior both fascinating and hilariously spot-on.
I never read Dave Ramsey, however thanks to J, MMM, and ERE I now go to the LIBRARY to borrow the books I’m interested in instead of BUYING the books at Amazon. I no longer buy a luxury vehicle to carry my ass 4 miles to work, cut cable, cut XM radio, cut lawn service, cut gym membership (good old iron at home, bicycle, jog through park), cut out buying a new iPhone every year (oh my God I was so stupid, buy $1,000.00 of your favorite Mutual Fund every year and invest $120.00 a month that you would pay for the service instead of buying that crap.)
I could go on forever here. But basically, these little daily savings which I thought would never add up to pay off any major debt or grow wealth, over time, actually do!
The Mortgage Hacker
We just cut our 3.75% mortgage interest rate to 1.96%. NO, we did not rob a bank or refinance or pay a penny in extra fees to do it either!
Here are the details: A year ago we bought a house & now have that 30 year ball & chain around our necks paying 3.75% interest. We immediately signed up for bi-weekly payments automatically withdrawn from our checking account every other Friday (so 13 payments are made in 12 months–one extra payment per year). This reduces our mortgage to 26 years.
Our retired neighbor has a Masters degree in finance & just spent 3 hours with us making suggestions to pay off this debt faster. He showed us website FinancialMentor.com which calculated if we pay an extra $300 a month in principal, our mortgage will be paid off in 15 years 7 months.
The BIGGEST EYE OPENER: the equivalent interest rate is reduced from 3.75% to 1.96% !!!! We just made our first extra $300 principal payment & arranged to have the $300 extra payment automatically withdrawn from our checking account & applied to the principal each 1st of the month.
I highly recommend this website to people wanting to pay down their mortgage. It has a unique 4 column format so you can compare scenarios side by side with an amortization schedule too. It shows thousands of dollars saved in interest as well as cutting our mortgage length almost in half!
EDITOR’S NOTE: As a personal friend of Financial Mentor’s, I second Debbi’s recommendation here. Todd genuinely wants people to get their $$$ on track!
The Stealthy Wealthy
I love my stealth ride. Despite a net worth of just north of $5M, I drive a 12-year-old Prius that shows every one of its 265K miles. I don’t wash it in the summer time for added effect. (Where I live it doesn’t rain between May and November.). And while I live in a high-crime city, I have had exactly zero car break-ins.
We also live in our 1,100 sq. ft basement and we rent out our main floor unit to a family because we would get more income from that unit. We were inspired by real estate investor, Scott Mcgillivray from HGTV, so we followed what he used to do.
Our family, friends, and coworkers question why would we do such a thing. They always tell us that we should be living in the main floor unit. But honestly, we don’t care what they say or think because living in the basement apartment doesn’t change the quality of our life, especially when we’re rarely home (it’s reno’d and cozy too, so we don’t feel deprived).
We just tell everyone “meh.. times are tough.. we’re poor a$$ bums” hah.
The 5 Year Net Worth Tracker
Just wanted to drop you a note to say that this New Year will mark 5 full years of tracking our net worth in a spreadsheet that I was inspired by you to create. My husband is an excel whiz and I barely know how to use it, but I am proud to say that it was ME 5 years ago that created and designed our spreadsheet modeled after your net worth updates.
Last year we celebrated our net worth becoming positive and this year we will be celebrating finally paying off around 75k of student loans. Watching our financial picture improve and grow incrementally has been so fun and I truly could not live without this spreadsheet. I don’t know how people who don’t track this stuff sleep at night!
– Catelin S.
Your blog and Rockstar Finance have been very helpful in changing my life around. In the last four years, I have:
- Paid off Jeep and sold it.
- Got a free car with better gas mileage.
- Got on a family plan for cell phone decreasing bill by $50/month.
- Paid off $10,000 in student loan debt.
- Started Roth IRA and am contributing monthly.
- Started 529 and am contributing monthly.
- Got life insurance
- Completed tax preparation certificate and Associates in Accounting.
- Quit my day job and work for myself.
So thank you and keep up the good work.
The Proud Renters
We are also *gasp* renters! We sold our home of 18 years at the height of the market this past summer and became renters. Yay to no home maintenance costs!
We sold the house, my husband retired, I went down to PT at the hospital, and we rent from my mother in law (we pay her fair market for the area, no breaks in rent). Oh and both our cars are 6 years old – ancient for the area we live in.
So what it looks like on the outside is we lost our house, husband got fired, mother in law is giving us free place to stay and I can barely get enough hours at work to buy food! HAHAHAHAHA. Little do they know we’ve been in the double comma club for a few years now and the nest egg keeps growing.
To be honest sometimes it bothers me what people think but I’m getting better at it.
The Reinventer :)
I am at $600 in cash and want to make it to $1,000. It will be the first time in my young life of 50yrs old to have saved this amount of money.
As I begin to reinvent myself, I look at accomplishments like these as significant milestones towards reaching my new self. I want to be a role model to my 3 daughters and prove to them that it is never too late to succeed.
Background: divorce after 20yr marriage, left a job of 29yrs, living paycheck to paycheck. My journey began in 2017 when my husband left me and a truckload of debt. I have scraped and read hundreds of financial blogs, books, financial peace university and began the journey of changing the relationship I had with money.
I grew up poor and knew only to live paycheck to paycheck and always say I can’t afford things. I now view money as a tool to get the things that I love in life and enjoy this with my 3 girls.
Who would have thought that $100 would be symbolic of having comfort in controlling money to achieve peace in life. Ironic.
BOOM. So many good lessons in all of these.
And I bet every one of you reading this have had some good wins lately too, yeah? Even if they’re nothing too hardcore? The beauty with this stuff is that every last accomplishment moves the needle further no matter how big or small, and more importantly *gives you the confidence* to keep going. The hardest part sometimes with this stuff.
If you’d like to share some of your own recent wins with us, please do so below, otherwise keep on pushing forward and we’ll hear from you when you hit the biggie – Financial Freedom! No way you can keep that one to yourselves ;)
For more inspiration, check out any of the below articles we’ve featured here:
- #Money Motivation
- Proof you can live off 50% of your income
- Proof you can get rid of all your debt
- Proof you can become a millionaire