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Edging closer to a big milestone

December 3rd, 2017 at 01:12 am

Just got home from work; it's around 8 pm and I REALLY need a break from the office. But at least I'll get some overtime pay for this week.

They were actually discussing whether we'd need to go in to work on Sunday (tomorrow). I would have refused if it came to that, and luckily, it didn't.

Tomorrow will definitely be as close to a "do nothing" day as possible, but I do want to get to Lowes for light bulbs. I will do lunch with dad and fill up the gas tank but the rest of the day: HOME.

Lifetime Milestone
It's hard to believe I've reached the point of even being able to talk about this without LMAO, but I'm just $39,000 away from becoming a millionaire.

I track both my expenses and investments monthly, and as of December 1, my investments (excluding the house) came to $961,000.

Will the bull market last long enough to carry me over the finish line? It has been a long time coming.

I know there are many who read this site who are trying to pay down significant debt or just get by paying the bills. I've been there, believe me.

After graduating college in the early 1980s, and throughout my 20s and even into my early 30s, I was pretty broke. In fact, the one and only loan I ever took out, excluding my home mortgage, was to buy a used truck. I was concerned about taking on debt even then, and I think the loan was for less than $5,000. I remember the bank had a certain minimum loan amount so I actually borrowed more than I needed, reluctantly.

I was working as a journalist back then, not making much money. I remember needing to find an apartment in southern Vermont when I relocated to take a news job there, and while there was one apartment I liked very much, the rent just felt too high for me, so I took a rather dumpy, much smaller apartment elsewhere.

I had student debt when I graduated, but it was nowhere the amount of student debt kids deal with today. I can't remember exactly how much it was, but I'm thinking maybe $10K.

I moved from Vermont back to Connecticut to be closer to family when I had what would turn out to be my first symptoms of MS. I lived in my sister's basement for several years, saving my money so I could get a place of my own.

It wasn't until 1992, when I took my first job as a financial services copywriter, that I began making what I considered good money. At that time, "good" money was anything over $50,000.

I stayed at that job for 7 years, and it was during that time I felt I could buy a house. Pretty much from the get go, I began prepaying the mortgage; sometimes it was just $100 a month, but other times it was $500. There were periods I couldn't make prepayments because I'd been laid off, but whenever I was working, I made those prepayments. That was one of my smarter moves.

Another really smart move, but one that most people wouldn't do? Tracking my income and expenses on a monthly basis. Income is fairly easy since most of the time, I had just one job, but after many years of tracking expenses, I don't feel this is a big deal at all. I'm just in the habit of making sure I have receipts or otherwise can record an expense on my own home-made monthly expense sheet.

The reason I think doing this is such a good idea because it forces me to see, right there in front of me, how the money has been flowing out each month, and on what. It's too easy to overlook things like eating out or spending on frivolous stuff, but if you track every expense, it's impossible not to notice. And then you can make adjustments accordingly.

Anyway, I'm grateful for the sense of security the $$ gives me, along with a feeling that I have "options" and won't be backed into a corner due to financial considerations.

And just for hoo-hahs, if you want to know what my net worth was in 2009, the start date for this blog, it was just $315,226. So I tripled my net worth in 8 years. This long-running bull market gave me a headwind that helped things along a lot. But I also have been able to save piles of $ after paying off my mortgage in 2012. That helped a lot too.

15 Responses to “Edging closer to a big milestone”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Nice change financially in just 8 short years!!

    So sorry you have to work so late on a Saturday.

  2. crazyliblady Says:

    Congratulations!!

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    So cool. I have been looking forward to the day you can say you are a millionaire.

  4. rachael c resk Says:

    I knew instantly when I saw the title what the milestone likely was. VERY exciting. Can I ask how old you are and when did you start saving and what % did you save? Also neat that you went from $300k to almost 1MM in 8 years. You are now someone others can learn from. Congrats!

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Hi, Rachael. I'm in my late 50s; you can get a lot more details about how I did this by reading my profile, but basically, I remember trying to save in my late 20s or maybe early 30s, and I started buying laddered CDs from different banks all over the country, chasing rates. Bank rates are so low now i wouldn't recommend that today, but it was very different then. I've nearly always saved 15% in my workplace 401k, and usually saved more on the side in taxable investments.

    I did this on my own, without the benefit of a spouse's income, however, it really helped that I don't have children.

  6. TurtleLover Says:

    I always love reading what you write. I'm early 50's and 10 years ago was in a good amount of debt - a family friend taught me how to budget and made me a spreadsheet. I got out of debt in about 5 years literally by putting every "extra" $1 toward my cc debt (reminds me of Amber) I had a 401k which was the minimum ... when I did the 401k I didn't really understand it but everybody said that I should do it so I just did the minimum. Now I do get it and have a small roth ... i was able to refinance my house into my name after a "divorce" and that was the biggest thing ... so although I may not be able to save as much as I need to for my age ... it's strange to think that 10 years ago I was saving NOTHING and living paycheck to paycheck. Thank you for always posting and being inspiring to me :-) who is also the Kitty Lover

  7. Dido Says:

    Congrats on nearing the milestone. Your overall net worth is increasing at about 11.5% per year using the rule of 115 for tripling times. (That's not your rate of return, since it includes contributions, but the overall rate of increase.). Nice! Barring the long-anticipated market correction, you should get there around April, plus or minus a month.

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    Ooh, Dido, that would be so exciting... You've been right before, so wow, around April. The funny thing is, I'm not even contributing to savings really, since I have no 401k, and I haven't made a 401k contribution since July of 2016. The bull market has really helped out a lot.
    Turtle, you should be proud of your accomplishments, I avoid debt like the plague, but I know that paying credit card debt down has got to be hard becus their rates are so ridiculously high.

  9. rob62521 Says:

    Wow, you are so close to the million! But, you have earned every cent and then some! I'm proud of you! That is amazing how you have tripled your net worth. Well done!

    I don't blame you, I wouldn't want to work on Sunday either. Every so often the schools I would be at would suggest we come in for meetings on Saturdays, Really? When I was taking classes, there were times i had to attend classes on Saturdays and then after church and studying on Sundays, I didn't feel like I had adequate rest to meet the expectations for the next week. I'm glad you didn't have to work.

    Congrats, Patient Saver!

  10. Terri Says:

    Congratulations! This is so exciting. I can't wait to get where you are one day. The last 8 years in the market has been incredible, for sure.

  11. Single Guy Says:

    Congrats, you should be there soon enough. I hope I can get there in a year or two (over $850k now). Two years ago I thought I might get to $1Mil by the time I retire in 2023. At this crazy rate who knows, maybe next year.

  12. frugaltexan75 Says:

    So exciting PS!

  13. Dido Says:

    The overall rate I calculated includes the calculations, so if you aren't making contributions, then I'd push the estimate of April off by a bit, but still probably next year and all dependent on what happens with a market correction, which everyone feels is sure to come at some point, but when, how far down, and how long is a matter of debate. My boss (one of the top 100 Financial Advisors in our region per Barron's) believes that market fundamentals are good so that a correction would be 10-15% and last 1-2 months--correction, not "bear market," and, if you are a contrarian investor, a "buying opportunity."

  14. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Congratulations! Good luck on the milestone.

  15. Tabs Says:

    Oh my, keep it up!

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