Some mornings, before heading into the office, my son looks at me with a sad face and asks:
Mini WPF: Daddy, do you have to go to work today?
Mini WPF: Why?
Me: I go, so that I can pay for our house and food.
Mini WPF: And toys?
Me: Yes, and toys.
I work so that I can provide for my family. My dream is to have the flexibility to spend more time with my family and know that our needs are taken care of without my employment. Having enough resources that you don’t have to work, is how I define being financially independent. I’m striving to achieve that goal about 11 years from now when I’m in my mid 40’s.
What is your dream?
To win at personal finance, you need to define success. Once it’s clear what you are trying to accomplish, you can evaluate your save vs. spend choices within the lens of winning. Those winning decisions optimize your chances of achieving your dreams.
Your goals can be big or small, short term or long. It does not matter. In order to win, you need to define winning and I can’t do that for you. You need to do it for yourself.
Here are a few potential goals to get you started:
- Pay off debt
- Buy a home
- Stay home to raise your children
- Spend less hours at work
- Take a sabbatical
- Become financially independent
- Retire in your 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s
- Pay for your children’s education
- Leave an inheritance
Mrs. WPF and I have accomplished a number of our financial goals already. We have purchased a condo and sold it to buy our home. We paid off student loans. We made some strategic lifestyle decisions so that Mrs. WPF could leave her job to raise our children.
In addition to our primary goal of being financially independent by 2028, we also plan to finance the equivalent of state tuition for our children’s undergraduate education.
For now, that’s enough about me.
This article was written to be a call to action for you. Have you set your goals? If not, stop reading and start writing. Yes, writing. Don’t just think of your goals. Document them so you can’t cheat yourself. Then, discuss them with your spouse (if you have one) and together see if you have the same priorities. Once settled, talk about them with your good friends and family. In my experience, the more people that know about your goals, the more accountable you hold yourself. Friends and family that know your goals will help keep you motivated and accountable. They may even help cut your spending by making more cost effective social plans or helping you find new ways to earn and save.
Want to take your goal sharing to the next level? Leave them in the comments sections below.
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