The Power of Two!! (Milestones)

accomplish-1136863_640I am very happy because this week I have hit two milestones. My retirement savings have finally hit the $200K mark (between my two accounts).  And I finally have over $2000 in my online savings account.  Yes, I still have debt but there is something comforting about looking at that number and seeing it again.  It’s been a long time.

I used to think that you needed to save $1,000,000 if you were going to be able to retire comfortably.  Of course, I used to think I needed the house, white picket fence, 2 cars and a garage to be happy.  My, how times (and perspectives) have changed!! It’s comforting to know now how much less I can survive on and still feel happy.

To many of  you, that may not sound like a lot to have saved in my basic savings accounts.  Some folks try to save $2K per month.  But in the grand scheme of things and relative to my very low income of about $24K per year (not counting the transcribing I’ve been lucky to get thanks to my friend Elaine), it feels good.  I’m saving 7% pre-tax and about 13% post tax to fund various savings accounts (or sinking funds, as some like to call them.)

And I’m almost up to $1K in my tiny house fund.  Yes, I have a long way to go.  But as my friend Dan says, I’m determined, and he knows there’s no stopping me when I set my mind to something.

Now that I’ve set my mind to something, I see opportunities opening up to me.  I was offered the chance to make some overtime at work, at another animal hospital that is undergoing some staffing shortages and I’ve taken them up on three extra shifts.  Overtime, baby! And a co-worker of mine was scheduled to work Christmas morning and she has a three year old kid. I offered to work her 6:30-12:30 shift.  It’s a win for both of us.  She gets to spend the holiday with her kid and I get paid 2.5 times my regular rate.  And the more my paycheck is worth, the more goes into my 401(k) for that paycheck because my contribution is based on a percentage, not a set dollar amount.

Last night, on my way home from work, I passed two people pushing their shopping carts full of their only belongings.  It makes me very sad to see so much of that in this city.

It makes me even more determined to not let that happen to me.  I might not want to work the next two weeks in a row without a day off, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices, and like I said in an earlier post, sometimes you just have to say to yourself, “whatever it takes.”

What kind of milestones are you reaching for?  What kind of milestones have you reached already that have made  you feel awesome and even more motivated??

Please hit like or subscribe to the blog or leave me a comment below and thanks for reading! If you know someone who might enjoy it, please share!! Thanks for reading, as always!

24 thoughts on “The Power of Two!! (Milestones)

  • Congratulation’s with your mindset & work ethic’s you will get to where you want to be one day maybe sooner than you think.

    • Thanks, Eddie! They did make some changes to my schedule today so luckily I get a day off every 6 or 7 now for the rest of the month! 🙂

  • Sounds good, Terri! Have you been able to pay off your school loans or are they still hovering there? Continue good luck on this!!

    • Oh God no, those loans will be with me FOREVER!! But thanks, Ginny! I’m just trying to focus on what I can save and I’ll work with the debt as I can.

  • That is just so awesome Terri!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so proud of you and happy. That is a HUGE accomplishment. I think it’s good you are saving for retirement, emergency account and paying down your debt. When I had debt most of the experts say to pay all debt off first or get to at least $1K in the savings fund. I put a little in each and in the long run that is what worked for me. And picking up extra work is sweet, every little bit adds up. I got a late start to saving in general. It wasn’t until I was basically losing my job that I needed a reality check. That kicked my butt in to paying off my house, car, all those credit card bills and saving.

    This is such great motivation to others, keep on writing 🙂 Hope things are well in Abq! There is going to be a Tiny House event here in Northern CA the beginning of Feb and I can’t wait to check it out. Wish you could go with me, it would be fun.

    Wishing you all the best,


    • Oh man, I do wish I could go to that tiny house event with you!!! ABQ has some tiny houses but not a lot even though I know they are now legal if they are built on a foundation and I think have to be on the grid. And not smaller than 120 sq feet.

      Yep, the debt will be there for a while, so I might as well also look out for myself by putting money at both things – savings and debt. And for my retirement, it really helps to have had a pension at Harvard, that’s for sure. Let me know how the tiny house thing goes!

  • Congratulations on making it to a savings milestone! Little by little it all adds up. That’s the way we did it, tried to put away as much as we could each paycheck and the result was that finally, finally we were able to retire. We are still careful, but we are retired! You will make it too.

    • Oh Dawn, I would so like to retire eventually! You’re right. Right now, it doesn’t seem like I am putting much away, but I know it adds up. My retirement savings from Harvard show it, and also even my savings from VCA. I saw that I had gained about 11% even from just the small amount I was already contributing (3 or 4%) so I looked to see how much of a dent it would really make in my take home to start putting away 7%. I knew I could make some adjustments and it would be worth it.

  • Terri I don’t know if you use real money or plastic but if you use real money do I do & never spend change & put it in a can every night & forget about it you will be suprised at the end of the year how much it add’s up.

    • I usually use my debit card – around ABQ, I would be a bit nervous to be carrying much cash. But my ex-husband used to do that – put his change in this big container and one year we added it up – over $300 so we took it on our vacation as our fun spending money.

      What I do is sometimes just challenge myself to not spend money on anything that day. Or if I really want some McDonalds french fries, I will tell myself to wait until I get to the one closer to home than closer to my work. Inevitably what happens is that by the time I get that close to home, I’m like, “eh, screw it, I’m almost home now, why bother?!” And it works!

  • Hi!

    I recently found your blog and I enjoy reading it. I went back to your first few posts to see how the blog began. Your writing style is very welcoming and honest. That is admirable, because it is not easy to put yourself out there to the world! 🙂

    I’d like to follow your blog on Twitter, but it doesn’t look like that is an option. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be back!

    • Michelle, thank you so much!! And I see you have a blog too, I’m totally going to check it out!

      I used to be on twitter, a long time ago. I’ve thought of going back onto it as a way to increase the audience of this blog and reach more people on topics that are near and dear to my heart. Your comment makes me think maybe I should?

      And thanks for saying that about my writing style – welcoming and nonjudgmental is what I aim for, so thank you very much. Especially since I am now looking toward being a humane educator and a writer, that is so good to hear. I like to put the info out there, and maybe give my opinion, but let others come to their own conclusions. And wow, I should go back and read the first few posts I ever wrote!!

  • I check Twitter all the time. It is a nice way to follow blogs and other interesting people and organizations. I’m not much of a Facebook fan.

    I know there is a way to just have your blog posts auto-tweeted when you do a new one. I haven’t set that up myself because I am a rather sporadic blogger at this point. 🙂

    • That’s ok – I was very sporadic myself at one point. But beginning the humane education program this past fall has inspired me to write more, and the more I write, the more I want to write. I will have to set myself up again with a twitter account. Just been a matter of time with working full time, doing transcription on the side at times, and then also doing school!

      You can subscribe to the blog by email if you want. 🙂 And it’s very cool to have met another librarian on the web! Yes, my brother lived in Clarkdale until about January of this year. They have the blog – They were set to start their trip to South America a while ago and then his mom-in-law died and they had to take care of selling her house and the estate, etc. A few years before that, they owned a house in Prescott! And my brother lived for a long time in the Fort Mojave/Bullhead City area too. Talk about hot!!

  • Hi Terri. I am very impressed by you, your motivation, values and education (and that you are a Tiny Home lover 😉
    I appreciate this post. If you’ve ready many of my posts, you’ll have seen that I go through pits of despair and then feel good about life again but sometimes it’s hard when money is an issue (I’d rather have money problems than health problems, so that’s the silver lining) so I read this twice. Congrats on achieving two milestones and keep in mind; debt is a part of most people’s lives so just think of it as another bill that you will have until you go to the grave and focus on saving money for yourself (Institutions and governments won’t miss your money as much as you will if you don’t have any)
    Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year!!

    • Karyn, that’s what I have decided to do – just know the debt will be there forever (to the tune of over 100K for my student loans.) And yes, I’ve seen that from a few of your posts – sorry I’ve not commented on all of them lately, but I’ve been worried about you. I know the holidays are not easy for a lot of us, and especially with you being in the northeast, you have so many more gray days than we have out here. I remember what that was like. Could you get one of those blue lights? I did when I was back there and it definitely helped. You could even get blue plant lights so they won’t cost as much – that even worked for me. Merry Christmas to you too!

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