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