Savings Tip: Make Time Your Bitch

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 32 years of my life, it’s that TIME passes on quicker than you can say David Hasselhoff. And it’s best to take advantage of every last minute you have on this earth while you can! Whether it’s in the life department, the career department, your love life, or in the case of what we all like to talk about here – the MONEY zone! If you haven’t realized it as yet, learning how to make time work for YOU is a wonderful task to master.

The trick to it is first coming up with a game plan, and then STARTING. Whether it’s saving, investing, cutting out debt, it doesn’t matter – you always have to start *somewhere* and then let it ride allllll the way until your goals have been met. Sometimes that means 6 months from now, and other times 6 (or even 60!) years from now! But once the ball gets rolling, you let TIME take it from there and just hold on for the ride and keep doing your thing (AKA keep saving/investing etc month in and month out until you’re completely done. Or Happy :)).

Much easier to say than do, of course, but if you realize that the days will keep on coming in no matter what’s going on around you (and that you really can’t do anything about it anyways!), it’s best to take advantage RIGHT NOW and know it’ll all carry into tomorrow. And then when you get old like me, you can look back and see how you’ve been progressing over the years :) It truly is amazing.

I also believe that every thing valuable in life takes time (well, most things anyways). So whenever I need a good kick in the pants, I think of the following list to help keep me on track and motivated. I can remember the very first day of ALL of these so vividly, and look how long they took to accomplish!

  • Graduating college: 4 years.
  • Blogging full time: 3 years. And for the first 6 months I didn’t make a dime!
  • Hitting $250,000 net worth: 6+ years! (I made and spent money throughout my life of course, but it wasn’t until I was about 26 that I actually started KEEPING some of it! Haha…)
  • Wooing my wife: 2 years ;)
  • Completely paying down our mortgages: 9 years? We’ve already gotten through one of ’em! ;)

Again, none of these things I did over night, but slowly over time – every single month – until we reached that magnificent finish line. And really, I’m STILL working on some of these guys! As un-sexy as it is, it’s MUCH easier to take on this stuff in pieces than in large chunks like we always want to deep down. It just doesn’t work that well. Not only for financial reasons, but also for mental ones. Don’t burn yourself out! Spread your goals out and continually work on them allowing TIME do the hard work for you. It all builds up, I promise. Just like that compound interest stuff.

So that’s your reminder for the day: Take baby steps and don’t get bogged down! Every morning you’re gonna wake up and start a brand new day all over again, but no matter how hard you try, each one will end and start you right back into the next one.  It’s a never ending cycle (hopefully!), and there’s no way you can ever freeze time. So make the best of it!!

Now tell us: What types of goals are YOU achieving right now with time? How long have you been going for so far? Again – it’s not always that easy or fast, but we gotta keep sticking to it! Don’t let them tire you out and win, okay? You can do it! :)

(Photo by JanetR3)

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  1. Carl Lassegue June 20, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    In our fast speed society it’s hard to stay focused on a goal especially for a long period of time. So articles like this (that remind us that the best things in life take time to achieve) are always helpful. Out of all of the goals you mentioned, which one gave you the most satisfaction when it was finally done (other than wooing your wife, of course).

  2. Michelle June 20, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    You’re doing good! We’re trying to pay off student loans and our house. Can’t wait!

  3. Lance@MoneyLife&More June 20, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Let’s see. I have been saving for retirement since I started working after college a few years ago. I have been saving for my next car for two years since I bought my last one. My girlfriend began paying off her student loans when she graduated about a year ago. We still have a long way to go on that one but when it is over we will feel great!

  4. J. Money June 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    @Carl Lassegue – Going out on my own to blog was the best feeling hands down – wayyyyy more than the money, if you can believe that! I feel like anyone can grow their net worth to $250k and beyond (which is a GOOD thing), but it’s much harder to build something from scratch and create a career out of it like that. So that accomplishment will always hold a special part in my heart, even if I ever go back to the real world again ;)

    @Michelle – Great goals!! I hope you reach them both in wonderful time, my dear! :)

    @Lance@MoneyLife&More – Heck yeah! Having no student loans will be killer, y’all keep that up!

  5. Laura Brown June 20, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    I just finished my master’s, and that was 2 years in the making. There are lots of things I want to do – mostly house stuff (painting, new kitchen counters, get rid of stuff and organize) and I know it all takes time, which is limited when you work full-time. Having 2 small children doesn’t help the time issue either. Then there’s all the financial goals we have – paying off student loans, saving for college/retirement (although I’m just about convinced that I’m never going to retire), paying off the house, and saving money for a business. Again, they all take time, and right now, planning is the most important step, because we haven’t made a path to start down yet. :)

  6. John @ Married (with Debt) June 20, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Time is your biggest gun when it comes to getting ahead. If you can master it and live with the long amount of time that some things take, like debt freedom, you can do almost anything.

    Sometimes we forget that life is really long.

  7. L Bee @ Money Tree June 20, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    I think it’s important to always emphasize how much TIME paying off debt and savings for things takes. It can be easy to get discouraged in a culture full of 24 hours news and “instant” everything. Great post!

  8. June 20, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Getting my PhD – Six years (two down)
    Paying off student loans – $10,000 by the time I have my degree conferred (4 years)

  9. LB June 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Paid off my home in 4 years (instead of the planned 5)

    Going to school for way too long (at this rate I should just go straight into a Master’s or Doctorate and be in school until I am 40)

    Paid off debt fully in 4 years (instead of planned 5 or more!)

    In process of painting and remodeling home. Hope to have done by 2014, but should be done this year if I have my way HA!

    Been with husband for 7 years in July! No offense hubby, but never planned for that. I am planning on it going for 100 more years!

    Planning on having kids after school. Hmmm I might need to rethink that and have them while I am in school, otherwise that might never happen.

    I need to rethink school and kids otherwise I might not ever finish either. Thanks for reminding me goals should always be reevaluated and time is of the essence :)

  10. Kurt @ Money Counselor June 20, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Time is the most valuable commodity, I think, what I cherish most and get cranky most about when I’m forced to waste it! Did you ever think how you’d manage your finances differently if you learned you were immortal?

  11. Brian June 20, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Our main goal is to pay off our car “loan.” Of course we loaned ourselves this money from the car fund, so at least we gave ourselves a good interest!

    The only other goal is we are working getting the entire family (both sets of parents, both sets of siblings and kids) to go on a family vacation. We are thinking of doing a cruise, since that way meals and lodging are already taken care of. We are still in the feeling out stage, but everyone seems to be onboard with the idea.

  12. DebtsnTaxes June 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Man, if there is one thing I am horrible at it would be time management. I actually have a post started about it but haven’t found the time to complete it (ironic huh).

  13. Evan @ HSA Edge June 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Great post – the big picture is important. This really is about goal setting and being cognizant of your life, or your mortality. What are you going to do with your life? What do you want to accomplish in the next 30 years? 10 years? 1 year? Start now.

    Your daily actions should align with those goals.

    At the same time, John Lennon noted that “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”

  14. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager June 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Looking/buying a house: 18 months.
    Currently into a 3 month remodel.

    I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  15. SavvyFinancialLatina June 20, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Finished college, finished master’s, got a job :). Next year I should have my MBA completed, savings established, and just living life. :)
    Goals are extremely important. I always reevaluate my goals every six months, and see what I have accomplished. So far so good.

  16. Budget & the Beach June 20, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    I love this! A good reminder to be patient with myself, and that as long as I’m moving forward (albeit slowly), it’s still moving forward.

  17. J. Money June 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Glad y’all liked this :) Want to hear the funny part about this specific article? It took me TWO YEARS to finally finish! I’ve had it in draft form forever, haha…. LAME.

    @Laura Brown – You know it! Life fills us with tons of work and responsibilities, but luckily we get a lot of love and other stuff too :) Once you get a good game plan down, I’m sure you’ll feel a lot better and ready to start killing it. Before you know it 5 years will pass!
    @John @ Married (with Debt) – Oh yeah! And we forget how GOOD life is too all things considered :)
    @L Bee @ Money Tree – Thanks! It’s true – we all have massive A.D.D. and need instant gratification these days. It’s very hard for me at times too! – Work it! That’s great!
    @LB – You’re damn good!! No more mortgage??? Wowwww, I’m jealous! :)
    @Kurt @ Money Counselor – Oh jeez, that would be crazy! And I actually think I’d do things the SAME way for right now (cuz you’d still need money to survive and all that – unless you can never die? Of like starvation and what not?), and then once I’ve got things humming and growing, start enjoying life more. Man… that’s an interesting one though… maybe I should blog about it? ;)
    @Brian – OOooh I love that! I convinced all my family to go on a cruise this last December, and then the planned it and the dates were bad for me and the wife!! Who suggested it all in the beginning! So they went without us :( A cruise is still on my dang Life List now! Arghh…
    @DebtsnTaxes – Hahahahaa… you and me both ;)
    @Evan @ HSA Edge – Great quote indeed – I like that :)
    @Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Good!!! That’s exciting!
    @SavvyFinancialLatina – Awesome! 6 month checkups are smart – not many people remember to do that (myself included) so great job!
    @Budget & the Beach – Exactly. And as time goes on, that snowball will grow and you’ll be inching higher and higher even faster with the same amount of effort :) So keep going, friend!

  18. Jerry June 30, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    Time certainly does go quickly and when you have kids it leads to even more time gone! I think the insurance for making the best use of your time is to not waste it on stupid activities. We don’t have a TV anymore and I have not regretted it one bit.

  19. J. Money July 2, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Woah, blasphemy! ;) The TV is probably my last remaining habit/hobby that costs money, haha… but I hear ya on the kids stuff (at least from what people have been telling me lately). In a few days I’ll finally find out though once and for all!

  20. Kevin April 5, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    It’s been a long uphill climb getting over my anxieties, starting over a decade ago. Of course I had not written down plan, just my tenacity to “get out”.

    Completed goal: Getting my drivers license – 2003 (age 21)

    Something I wouldn’t live without today. It took me forever get over my anxiety of actually making the phone call to sign up to the course.

    Completed goal: Receiving my Plumbing Red Seal – 5+ years.

    I’m not sure how much I’ll continue with the trade but going off to study and learn the trade was a significant step in getting me where I am today. Going through the motions of actually signing up to the plumbing program (Sept. 2006 – March 2007) was still quite difficult and mentally taxing for me at this time. I creeped forward. Working as an apprentice (March 2006 – March 2011) was the first job I had outside the family farm. More life learning stress. It was great to finally get that paper.

    Ongoing Stuff: March 2011 – Present

    At the same time I finished my plumbing apprenticeship the company I worked for closed up shop. I decided to focus more time on the farm and start up my own plumbing business. You guessed right, I did minimal research when starting my plumbing business. Wing it as you go eh? (ha) Recently I was involved with a MLM company for six weeks, though I have since left that behind. Through various reasons my brief involvement with the MLM has led me to the wonderful world of financial blogs such as “BudgetsAre$exy”. Pretty sweet if I say so.

    As for the plumbing company, I’ve been thinking for a while now to put that on hold and revisit it some day down to road. I have the strong itch to seek out other endeavours and opportunities at this time. When your heart isn’t in something it’s hard for one to keep pressing forward.

    Women: A looooooonng journey. Still single, but learning. I know confidence in myself is the ticket there.

    Going through many trials and tribulations of life over the past six plus years I can see a compounding list of accomplishments and improvements I’ve made. Seeing that has allowed me to keep pressing forward (that and realizing I wasn’t the only one in the world walking in my shoes).

    Now I just have to start writing out my goals and I should be set.

  21. J. Money April 8, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Awesome though man, seriously! You’re *doing something* about your dreams and goals which is more than a lot of people can say – so keep that up :) It’s totally cool to change your mind and work on stuff as the heart and mind wants as well, but of course much easier/saner to do if you have enough money to hold you over in case any of them fail. The whole “work on your dream stuff on the side until it makes enough to replace your main job” type mentality.

    But yes – overall very interesting to see what you’ve been getting into and I hope you find something that sticks and excites you for a long time to come :) Thx for commenting.


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