Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Impatience

Over at The Simple Dollar, Trent has managed to articulate exactly what I feel about my financial goals.

I'm impatient. I'm so impatient. I'm lucky enough not to have any debt, but I positively champ at the bit about meeting my savings goals. There are so many things I want to save for: right now it's the emergency/freedom fund, and then I'll want to focus on the travel fund, and after that there'll be a down payment fund of (it seems to me) colossal proportions to tackle. Sometimes I feel so jealous of people like Wanda who can put away thousands of dollars a month, rather than hundreds (and not very many hundreds, at that), because I feel like those people must not have to endure the waiting that I do, the plodding and continuing to plod, the putting one leaden $25 foot in front of the other.

What do I do to stave off impatience?

I break down my goals into mini-goals. Stuff like my monthly savings goals keeps me focused on where my priorities are and gives me the satisfaction of setting and achieving a goal more immediately, rather than always having to be looking at the big, "final" number at the end of December.

I engage my financial goals on a daily basis. This helps me remember that every choice I make with money contributes to meeting my savings goals. When I feel actively connected to my goals, rather than like I'm just sort of passively waiting for them to occur, I'm less bothered by the background noise of impatience.

Mostly, though, I push harder. The last few days of a pay period are always a contest between me and myself to see if I can squeeze another $25 into my savings account. Frequently, I can. And the more often I win that battle, the closer my goal gets. This drive has already led me to bump up the goal for my Freedom Fund twice this year.

11 comments:

JJ said...

Looks like ING interest rates decreased.

English Major said...

So they did, JJ--thanks for bringing that to my attention. It really might be time for me to move on down the road. HSBC or WaMu or something.

SavingDiva said...

I feel the same way. I feel better that I don't have any credit card debt, but I feel like my paycheck doesn't go very far...

Anonymous said...

Even high earners get impatient. If anything, they tend to live in places with higher costs of living. Although they can save more per month, the median house will cost a lot more per month, too.

MEG said...

I get impatient too! I think everyone does, because the more you have, the more you want (i.e. if you make more, your emergency fund needs to be higher, your mortgage is probably bigger, your retirement goals are larger, etc).

Anyway, I think it's great to focus on the smaller, short term goals as you suggest. I am not very good at that. To keep me motivated I often have to look at my annual goals/projections. I need to set smaller monthly goals; I bet I could definitly squeeze out some more savings if I did that.

Mrs. Micah said...

Another $25 is great! I think having a concrete savings plan makes it easier to save. Because you know where the money is going and you know how much it's going to earn for your future. :-)

Ms. M&P said...

Impatience is my biggest problem. I keep thinking that there has to be a faster way...but there's not, so I've got to wait.
Today, Madame X posted about how money is like gardening--you can't always see the progress, but then one day you realize how far your money/plant has come. I thought it was a good analogy!

caroline said...

The people who put away $1000's per month are impatient that they can't put away $10,000's per month.

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica- I get impatient also! I can't wait to save money and clear all my debt.

Alison said...

I think the fact that you are so focused on saving is great! Being a recent college grad as well, it's hard to focus on saving for things like retirement especially since you just started getting a regular paycheck. I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and I really enjoy your posts. It motivates me to be more frugal and live below my means. :)

SF Money Musings said...

I felt the same way on vacation - impatient that my money's not working hard enough for me especially living in big cities where it's so expensive vs the South where it's a lot more affordable. But doesn't it feel great to accomplish the mini-goals? Baby steps to save for vacations really helps me feel accomplished when it's all done.