Why I am aiming to save 60% each month

I recently reviewed and read DM’s latest post, as he has felt a “Slow down” to the finite item – time.  Here we are, the majority of Americans, working in Careers/”Jobs” that we don’t necessarily gain the most happiness from, spending 40-100 hours per week and watching this “time” dwindle.  Now I know that there are the individuals who are working those hours doing something they absolutely love for a company or a firm – awesome and congratulations.  I can admit – there are perks from my career that I do find enjoyable and that I Love and am passionate about with being a CPA and working for a firm – such as, client relations, offering them advice & guidance, solving problems, the camaraderie with my co-workers, being a teacher to the younger staff & being well respected within my firm.  

However, there are other things that drive me – investing, reading, writing, the pursuit to financial freedom, managing investment portfolios, helping someone become more financially literate, friends, family, and Bert will laugh at this – finding “the one”.  The more time and stress that I put on myself from the first paragraph above for my 10+ clients, putting out fires, as mantra also called it and the continual change of my black hair to grey – the more that I am missing out on doing – with what is the “Apex” of my happiness.

What the  heck am I doing?  Honestly – if you are not doing what makes you happy, WHY do you/we keep doing it then?  We are creatures of habit, fear and for lack of better phrases – doing what we are told, sometimes.  Also, I realized, we are so consumed with our insane work weeks, it doesn’t give us the time or mental capacity to take a step make and slow down time.  It doesn’t allow us to figure out the plans to make ourselves happy.  And we are allowing this, at the end of the day, it’s crazy.  I have always felt that I am a bit of a curveball when it comes to life – you don’t know what my next move will be, I’m an emotional Italian and always feel like I can help someone or change a situation.  I have accomplished those things, sure, however – I still am placing my life forth to make others happy non stop – whether that be a client issue, an auditing problem, a guidance thing, etc.  So here I am, working my ass off, on average of 50-70 hours per week year round and watching TIME FLY.  And sure, I have my great moments at work or during my down time – like going to see a few concerts this summer, a few festivals and hanging out by the lake, but that is a combination of maybe 24 hours this summer.  Shouldn’t I do whatever it takes to have more of that?  To have more of what I love doing, as I showed in that second paragraph?

That is why I am saving approximately 60%+ of my income every month, and that is my goal.  I have a breakdown of what I have done so far this year, such as July – I saved 68% of my income.  I will have that post later on this week.  I am saving 60% at a minimum of my income to purchase assets that produce cash flow at a level high enough for me to jump off this crazy-fast wheel.  Purchasing assets that increase cash flow, such as stock in SMG who announced a huge special dividend and an increase to the quarterly dividend, make saving to invest that much “sweeter”!   Mr. Money Mustache had an article about the “simple” math to freedom based on your savings rate – here – and 60% shows 12.5 years.  When I reach back into time to see my savings rate, as I have used an app on my phone for over a year now to calculate this out for me – I believe I have achieved this for over 1-2 years already.  If we rewind, 2 years ago – makes me 24 years old.  60% puts my on track for 36.5 years old.  What’s wild is – 60% is my minimum savings goal.  I feel like I have the ability to go ever higher.  With this challenge, I feel like I can be more creative with my expenses, as you all know – my roommate has officially moved out today – and this will be the first month I experience new creative ways to take on the 60% challenge and beyond.

I am now challenging all of the readers and even Bert — can you save close if not more than 60%?  Can you get on board to take advantage now to have slow time, to do what impacts yours and others lives more than ever before?  I want this challenge and I want to BEAT this challenge.  Giddy Up, as kramer would say – this is going to be a ride.

-Lanny, one determined dividend diplomat on a pursuit to happiness/freedom/insert the best word you can think of

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49 thoughts on “Why I am aiming to save 60% each month

  1. 60% is impressive! I probably save ~30-40% which is low considering I don’t have any debt to speak of. The fact that 60% is 12.5 years only is crazy to me. I’m aiming for approx 45 (21 years for me though).Good luck on your journey!

    • Jay,

      Thanks for the post – 30-40% is phenomenal! Especially when I know most of my friends are only around the 5-10%, yikes! No debt = amazing and jealous. I have a mortgage and a small auto loan that I am thinking of getting rid of. You can easily knock out the 45 years of age goal, I am confident. I guarantee that each month that passes – you’ll probably end up saving more than you think. Thanks for stopping Jay, keep it up!

      -Lanny

    • Henry,

      LOVING IT!! You can do it, let’s aim for the 60% goal, I have a few things to tweak this month to get there – beans and rice everyday going forward.. jk jk, it is a good thing though that I love peanutbutter sandwiches (My lunch has to be the cheapest I’ve seen)! We can do it — good luck to you Henry and the team out here, LETS Go!

      -Lanny

  2. I’ll take you up on your challenge, Lanny! Because I started living on my own this week I expect to be able to hit a 50% savings rate, but I’ll gladly try to save 60%. Being financially free by 38 sounds like a dream!

    Good luck!

    • No More Waffles,

      Are you ready?! That’s the question. Let’s aim for this 60%, make our selves analyze our expenditures and sources of income a little more – and not only aim – LETS GET THERE. Thanks No More Waffles, definitely provide the feedback once the month is over, 21 days to go!

      -Lanny

      • Dammit, only 7% of my income this month left before I hit the 60% mark! Moving was more expensive than anticipated.

        Let’s see if I can finish the last two weeks of August on 7%!

        How are you doing?

        • No More Waffles,

          You can do it. You can finish the last two weeks on it, just start being creative, you know? I am currently hovering around 59%, with potential for other job related income so that I could increase that. However, this may be a very difficult month – a lot of non-profit activities this month. I will have a nice update come September!

          -Lanny

    • David,

      You can do it. Do it early actually – put the money away in the beginning to leave you with an $X dollar amount, that at least puts you on track! I know you can do it, and then you’ll realize how easy it is!

      -Lanny

  3. 60% is impressive! I think we vary between the 40-60% range if we include company pension schemes. I love the focus on freedom and control of one’s own time, rather than on the income. It is just a means to an end, and a long-term focus means that we are not chasing some fad or get-rich-quick scheme. Keep up the good work!

    • M,

      Thanks for the post and wow – congrats on the 40-60% range on your savings targets! That’s quite impressive and given that – you can reduce the amount of rat-race-wheeling you need to do. I dig it! Not falling into fads is clutch/key. Keeping a balance between saving and experiences is key! Thanks for the stop by and keep it up as well!

      -Lanny

  4. Lanny,

    I love challenges! I see your 60% and raise you to 65%…:-)

    “I have a breakdown of what I have done so far this year, such as July – I saved 68% of my income.”

    This is your quote, right? I really think you can go 65%. It won’t be easy, but I feel highly confident that you can make it happen.

    Best wishes!

    MDP

    • DP,

      Raising me to 65 eh? How about this, if I hit 60% this month – next month will be 65? A little give and take? If I’m doing it – you’ve gotta do it too, c’mon!!

      Thanks for the challenge and stop, I’ve done it before and I should hopefully be able to continue forward. It’s amazing what the power of saving teaches you. Thanks again, talk soon!

      -Lanny

  5. Lanny,

    Thanks for the shout-out!

    I agree with you that fear holds a lot of people back. I know I personally felt fear quitting my job in the auto industry to write full-time. It wasn’t easy. It was scary. But changes help us grow. Conquering fear allows us to scale new heights we never thought possible.

    Congrats on the great savings rate. That’s very impressive. I’ve only managed a 60% annual savings rate once – last year. Though, I came really close in 2011. I’m now earning less money so I think it will be hard to hit 60% from here on out, but I wouldn’t mind routinely hitting 50% while thoroughly and completely enjoying what I do while I still continue to walk the yellow brick road.

    Best wishes!

    • DM,

      Of course! Your latest one inspired this one, so always have to give back.

      That’s the thing, I have this constant – “not let anyone down” attitude and I feel it’s for the “people” that I’m still working in public accounting. I need to stand up and do something for Lanny maybe and challenge myself to getting off the wheel and onto, for lack of better phrases, “my own bike”.

      68% was hard, and it was bonus month = so saving 100% of that made my percentages seem better, the true tale will be this month with the first full month without the roommate and no check, so it will be a chllenge, but fun. 60% is such a hard target to hit – hitting the 50% isn’t too shabby, not too shabby at all haha, so that is part of what makes this so great – even if 60% isn’t hit, you land somewhere pretty close, ultimately – at a high savings rate.

      Thanks again DM, will talk soon.

      -Lanny

  6. I’m ideally shooting for about 65% savings rate. I want to be financially independent by 35.

    Wallet Engineer #1

    • Wallet Engineer,

      That’s awesome! I know you can do it, 65% is high as heck and the beauty is – even if you get close – you are still destroying a good path to financial freedom. Keep us posted, thanks for stopping by.

      -Lanny

  7. I’m saving a little over 50% at the moment and I’m happy with that. I do live in a high COL area and still want to enjoy a few treats along the way. Awesome imitative on your part!

  8. I can’t really make it this month, I have a the second half of a deductible to pay out (if they get their butts down to my house and finish the work), which will really hurt my savings. Badly. The first half chopped me down from Over 60% to 23%, so I know I won’t be there this month. That month was also saved by having an escrow surplus check while this month will be saved by being a 3 and 5 paycheck month (I am bi-weekly paid while the wife is weekly).

    I am however, intrigued to try to get there for September. It will be a challenge, that’s for sure!

    • Kipp,

      Some months you can and some months you can’t – however, it’s all about making the efforts hoping you land better than if you hadn’t made it. I know the deductible will hurt in the moment, but hopefully that means you won’t have to do that again any time soon aka a few years +. and nice work with the additional “check” on the payment cycle.

      You can do it – 60% September, make it happen, force it and pressure it! Keep us posted please!

      -Lanny

    • Tawcan,

      Thank you! I am pushing myself hard – though I’m sadly single, it definitely helps out in the savings department! That, however, could always go the opposite direction with being reckless on spending money on myself in non-value add areas, but luckily, I try to be as frugal as possible when it comes to that. Hope you’re pressuring yourself into saving more Tawcan, thanks for stopping by.

      -Lanny

  9. We, family of 4, have a ttm savings rate of 63%.
    We’re aiming to get to 66-67% in the next 12 months. I challenge you to beat us based on ttm 🙂

    • Rube,

      Thanks for stopping by — wow! 63% savings rate with a family of 4? How do you do it? Any creative measures that you take? Please share, I need to change other habits and get mine a little higher as well. Trying to keep a good balance.

      -Lanny

      • 1) Not letting our expenses increase (much) over the years while our income has increased quite a lot. We’re quite some older (3&38) then you are 😉 (otoh, we have 2 children….)
        2) Living in a relatively cheap house, only 1 car (I telecommute a lot, no need to live in or near the expensive large city)
        3) Just being creative with things to keep cost down, doing a lot (DIY) ourselves, enjoy simple things in live.
        But to be honest, yes, it requires tweaking and adjustment. Note that we live in Western Europe, not in the USA. Check the forum of earlyretirementextreme.com for more amazing savings % and frugal tips!

        • Rube,

          Thanks for swinging by! Sounds like you have a good plan set in place and a great frugal mind set – DIY projects, 1 car, telecommuting, cheap house, etc. It’s great that your expenses have remained in check as your income grew = more savings = reducing your time to financial freedom, thanks for checking out the blog, we’ll swing by yours as well!

          -Lanny

    • Theres Value,

      42% is still massive! We shall see how August finishes up, I may be just below 60% due to a few events that came up, losing my roommate and already started on a few household projects now that he’s gone. Congrats on saving 42%+ per month, you are definitely doing extremely well! Keep it up.

      -Lanny

  10. Pretty well sums it up! Every new investment with saved hard earned cash works out to being a few more cents received and dollars per year. Which all accumulates towards freedom! But as you mentioned, it IS important to enjoy our time we have now(while we are young) and get out and have some fun!

    Best of luck getting there, and don’t burn yourself out.

  11. My wife and I don’t quite hit the lofty 60% mark, but we do save a substantial portion of our income. I wish you the best as you pursue your 60% mark. Cutting your fixed living expenses in half will be a tremendous step in increasing your savings.

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