Monday, May 5, 2008

Why I do what I do??

Some of you might have stumbled upon my blog and have been reading and wondering why I do what I do? Why do I feel like making or saving $1 here, or $10 there is important. Why do I get JUST as excited over the 50 cent saving as I do the $100 earned? Well, I have an answer for you! I am on my way to being a millionaire! And, I am doing it one penny at a time!

It was funny, recently, a friend was talking to another friend ( we all know how the gossip train works ) and made a comment that my husband must not make much money, because I do all these money saving tricks. Of course, I had to laugh that someone even tries to figure out anothers financial picture.

It is hilarious to me that people think they know what someone's financial situation is based on how they live. Believe me when I say, there are those that are living in homes that are elaborate and worth ALOT, but they are barely making it by because they have over extended themselves. And, then, there are millionaires living in the smaller, older section of town, shopping garage sales and using coupons.

My point is this, you cannot judge a book by it's cover, right? We have learned this from the time we were mere children....and it holds true in real life, too. Of course, sometimes you can, too.

But, I do all this because first and foremost, I have a goal. I have always had a goal. And, I would have a goal whether my husband and I were scraping by or whether we were millionaires. It wouldn't matter! I would still do what I do, and I would still have a milestone I was trying to reach.

When my husband and I first started dating, we hadn't been together long when we both knew we were meant for each other. And, coming from different backgrounds, we started discussing our future life together. I had grown up in a house with my mother choosing a career as a stay at home mother. And, I had that dream for myself.

On the other hand, my husband came from a family where his mother had always worked. He wasn't quite seeing eye to eye with me on the whole staying at home aspect of my dream. In fact, he couldn't quite understand why I had gone to college and pursued a professional career, if all I really wanted was to get married, have kids and stay at home. ( aaahhh..yes, wasn't that called the Mrs. degree ).

Over time, he finally understood my desire to go to college AND have a family and stay at home. First, I liked school and wanted to prepare myself for my life ahead. What if I hadn't met anyone and didn't get married? What if something happened to him tomorrow and I HAD to eventually get a job to support my 3 kids? What if I want to have a career of my own once the children are settled in school or out on their own someday? Because I followed through on my education, I am better prepared for my future...even if I am not choosing to use my education right now. And, when I was young, that was my goal. A college degree. I had always wanted that for myself.
So, since we didn't quite agree on this aspect of our future, WHILE still newly dating, we wrote up a contract with the stipulations for a one income family. In fact, I was cracking up laughing because I found it a few weeks ago when cleaning out our desk, AND I brought it to him to read again. Eleven years later, it was enjoyable to read our contract, with our two signatures and the date next to both of our names. And, it was fun to know we actually stuck by those stipulations.

For example, when my first son was born, I went back to work only part time. Why? Because we hadn't made it to our one income goal yet ( the one still working had to have met a certain threshold ). And, since it was originally agreed upon that whoever was making the least at the TIME of our first child's birth, would be the one to stay home ( I was sure hoping it would be me....but I was willing to let my hubby stay long as someone was home with our kids ), I was the one that went part time.

But, this is a great example of one of my first motivations in saving and earning money for our family, from the comfort of home. I WANTED to stay at home full was my goal, and I was going to do everything in my power to achieve that. If it meant cutting coupons, lowering my bills, earning a little extra here and there...I was going to do it all. We had debt ( outside of our mortgage ), a certain income level, a certain level of personal investment ( fully funding 401Ks, cetain percentage of our income saved, etc ) and a few other minor stipulations.

When my son was a little over a year, I was able to stay home full time. It felt wonderful to have reached that destination, knowing our planning, saving and hard work in our careers had paid off.

Once we reached that goal, we made new goals ( which is always important to do ). If you don't have a vision of where you want to be, how do you know how to get there? For us, we wanted to upgrade and build a larger home because we were hoping to expand our family. We also wanted to move closer to where my husband worked.

Once we met that goal, another one tooks it place. For example, our most recent goal met was that we wanted to have our kids college savings up to where they needed to be and be contributing monthly so that we would have enough to pay for all three of them to go without loans, etc. And, hey, if they get scholarships someday..bonus for us! And, we are finally there! So, now on to our next goal!

But, back to why I do this? We honestly did and do have a goal of when we want to reach that 1 Million Dollar mark. And, it is fun to see others have that same goal. Read Million Dollar Journey, it is an interesting blog. And, although we had originally thrown around the age of 30, we passed that by a bit. But, we are getting I feel like we are still on track.

And, when reading a recent issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance ( one of my favorite magazines ), I stumbled upon an article telling how people become millionaires. And, there were some numbers that motivated me further, and I hope will motivate you to stay on track and realize all these small amounts do add up.

Here are the highlights, from my point of view!

  • Winning the Mega Million Lottery - 1 in 175,711,536
  • Winning a Million Dollar Game Show - 1 in 414,414
  • Inheriting $1 Million - Slim to None ( fewer than 1% of millionaires inherited more than 80% of their wealth )
  • Working and investing to a Million - The Odds are with You!

Here is the breakdown from the magazine!

If you are 30 years old, you need to set aside $448 per month for 35 years to become a millionaire and earn 8% annualzied return in a retirement account ( as quoted from Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, June 2008, 8 Ways to Make a Million ).

Sound like a lot of money each month? Read my blog closer! Just in one week ( last week in fact ), I saved/earned THAT! They are saying a month! On average, thanks to all my saving/earning techniques, I average between $250-350 a WEEK in savings, normally. And, I occasionally have over $1,000 weeks, when my online offers come in!

Want some quick tips? Click on each of my links under Savings and Earnings and try out all the methods for yourself. You will be blown away by how easy it is to save MUCH more than $448 a month. And, then track what you saved and earned and take that money and invest it! And, you are on your way to being a millionaire, too!

What were some of the magazines suggestions? Save $10 a month by increasing your car deductible from $250 to $1,000! ( a big supporter of this...and I suggest you do this with your home insurance, too. Ours is set at the max of $2,500 ). $6 saved per month with Generic Drugs ( or, as I recommend, use those Pharmacy coupons...always have them on will make $100's during the year ). Check the article out to read all their suggestions. Or, click here for more Kiplinger Money Saving Suggestions.

And, I hope you see now, the importance of EVERY penny. If you can find ways to save or make just an extra $448, it equates to being a millionaire in retirement! Not a bad spot to be in at all, is it? If you can save even more...that just compounds faster and you will be a millionaire even sooner!


Andrea said...

Carrie - what a good post! Girl - you need to have that million too since you want a house by each of your kids too! Such a great goal too!!

When I was first starting to work, I said I wanted to retire when I was 35. If I had continued working and contributing the max to my 401k that goal would have come to fruition. But, other goals and priorities came into play (babies) and I guess I retired at 27 (HA - my work really just began!).

I am working hard to make that goal happen for us too. I hope you have continued success in all of your efforts. I always appreciate everything you're so kind to share!

Kacie said...

I love it! It really is funny when people automatically assume you're broke because you cut coupons. Quite the contrary!

You're so inspirational to me. You've been at this frugal business longer than I have, and it's really great to see things are going so well for you!

Jennifer said...

I agree with everything you have said here. I even wrote about that same Kiplinger article LOL. I love that magazine too. i think you are doing great and having your goals written out is surely one of the things that has helped you reach them. way to go!

Marianne Thomas said...

Carrie, I stumbled you through Andrea at Mommy Snacks. She mentioned you a while back in one of her comments and I've finally gotten over here to visit you!

Great post, and SO true. People make snap assumptions based on your spending/consumer choices that are just completely off-base.

I look at coupons/deals as multiplying my buying power while lowering my budget.

And the Kiplinger's article was good (I read this, too). Real wealth is earned through hard work, diligence, frugality, and entrepreneurship.

I'll be back soon!

Carrie @ said...

Thank you to all of your for the nice feedback on the post. And, Andrea, Kacie and Jennifer...thanks to your wonderful blogs...I am always inspired.
Until I started blogging, I sometimes thought I was the only "crazy" girl out there, and it is so nice to have a community of people supporting each other while we try to save for our families and our future. I find so many helpful and wonderful ideas from you all, it really keeps me going.
And, Marianne...welcome. I hope you come back soon! It is always fun to meet new people!

Leah said...

I loved your post! I am currently in the "penny pinching" stage since I just graduated from college, but your post was very encouraging. This was definitely inspired me to keep clipping my coupons and living a frugal lifestyle and my efforts will pay off!