This is the first quarter update of my journey to save $100,000 in 2019. You can read all about my crazy goal, My Impossible 2019 Goal
Journey To $100K: Quarter 1 Update
The first quarter of 2019, or what I remember of it, is in the books. The first quarter of every year has unofficially become hustle season for me. Due to an abundance of sick children and my line of work as a pediatric nurse, the winter months afford me ample opportunity to work an almost unlimited amount of overtime. I parlay that increased workload and accompanying pay into increased net worth through vigorous savings.
I wrote a blog post last month detailing all the reasons why it is financially more beneficial for me to work overtime shifts, at my primary job, than to have a side hustle.
Related: Why I Don’t Have A Side Hustle
Work with a purpose
Since embarking on my year-long goal to save $100,000, “hustle season” has taken on a new purpose. With each extra shift I work, I quickly perform the mental math to calculate how much money will end up on my paycheck. This extra money, when put towards our Journey to $100k, motivates me even more, in the same way, the debt snowball motivates people to quickly pay off debt.
All of this extra work comes at a price though. Time away from my wife and children, unfinished projects around the house and the exhaustion from working strings of 12-hour shifts, takes its toll.
I have a clear understanding that each hour of my time I trade for money, in the form of work, is an hour I will never get back. This makes the fruits of my labor (money), all that more valuable.
This is why, when I end up with extra money on my paycheck from working extra shifts, I give that money a special purpose. From the moment that “extra money” hits our checking account on payday, it is segregated into a separate online savings account until I can find a net-worth-building purpose for that money.
Extra money left in our checking account that was not given a purpose, seems to slip through our fingers like dry sand until there is nothing left.
- The garbage disposal unit on our kitchen sink failed. After 11 years of service, the old unit had likely reached the end of its life and died from old age. I found a replacement unit at Costco for $99 but due to its massive size, the entire sink plumbing would have to be replaced. In lieu of becoming a DIY plumber, I opted to buy the same exact garbage disposer off of Amazon for $130.
- Plane tickets to Boston. In April my wife will run the 2019 Boston Marathon. This year our family plans to be at the finish line as she crosses. In March we purchased airfare for our family, put a deposit on a hotel, and started a sinking fund for food expenses. In March we set aside nearly $2,500 for this planned vacation. The rest of the travel expenses will likely show up in April.
Recap of 2019 Goal
Mission 2019: Our family will save $100,000
Yes, for 2019 I have set a goal I’m not sure I can achieve. A stretch goal that makes me uncomfortable and pushes me to the edge of possible.
Why chose a goal I am not sure I can accomplish? The whole purpose of goal setting is to lean into discomfort. By setting an audacious uncomfortable goal, I will be reminded to spend less, earn more and save the difference.
Here is my blueprint for $100,000 savings in 2019.
- Two 401k’s = $38,000
- Two IRA’s = $12,000
- HSA = $7,000
- Mortgage principal = $25,000
- Taxable brokerage account = $18,000
- 2019 Savings = $100,0000
$100,000 saved in 2019 is: $8,333 per month, $3,846 per paycheck, or $274 per day
Here Are The March Numbers
Across almost all categories, March was an exceptional month of savings. The final amount saved in March was $10,015. Keep in mind this includes the principal portion of our mortgage payment.
Likely March will set the high water mark for 2019 and has become the savings target to beat for the rest of the year.
Anecdotally, I have found, the simple act of tracking my savings is motivating me to save more. When the realization sinks in that I will be unable to reach a 5 digit savings number again in 2019, my initial response is to fight back and dig deeper.
Earn more, spend less and save the difference. That is my motto that will help me achieve this “impossible 2019 goal.”
The most common question I receive about my Journey To $100k is, how are you able to save so much money. The easy answer is, we focus on our savings rate.
Our goal is to save 50% percent of our gross income. By keeping track of this one metric, we can literally predict our success. We seldom hit 50% savings but we are consistently close. In January and February, we exceeded a 50% savings rate, while in March we fell short. For the first Quarter of 2019, our average savings rate was 53.2%.
Only a couple of numbers are required to track your savings rate. Income and savings.
What was a small idea last December has turned into a real-life game of Monopoly. I have been motivated to learn Google Sheets in order to track my savings progress. I now find motivation in even the smallest of achievements. I am finding the journey to be the real reward.
Paydays used to be a fairly mundane event, but now I can’t wait to evaluate each pay stub and plug the numbers into my J 2 $100k spreadsheet.
Oddly, in ways I couldn’t have predicted, living a more deliberate, purposeful life has increased my happiness.
How are your 2019 goals coming along?