As part of our journey to debt recovery, I thought it would be helpful to us to list out our goals so we know if we’re hitting them. We’re basically following the Dave Ramsey method to financial independence, but it’ll be nice to know if we’ve made it and to experience some good things along the way.
Our goals may change over time, of course, but here are the things we hope to achieve.
We Want to Be Debt Free
Okay, so this one was a gimme, but honestly, this is the goal that makes all other financial goals possible. I ran some calculations, and I figured that, even if our income level didn’t change over the years (we anticipate more raises, more hours for Kyle, maybe a job change, etc.), then we can expect to free up nearly $20,000 in take-home pay every single year.
That’s a down payment on a property. That’s three or four family vacations to some really nice destinations. That’s a new (to us) car. That’s a business investment. It’s a nice house. A big Christmas. College tuition. This is highly motivating to me, and a huge part of the reason I desperately wanted to start this process.
We Want to Move Away from Los Angeles
We ended up in LA because when we first started dating, Kyle was in a private school here in Los Angeles. When we decided to move in together, it made sense that I could find another job but Kyle couldn’t just up and switch schools. So we got an apartment in Los Angeles. Our original plan was to stay here a year until he finished school, then move away.
But one thing happened, then another, and here we are still in the same apartment six years later.
After we pay off our debt, our intention is to move somewhere closer to family and friends, and less expensive. We want a house with a yard for the kids to run around in or relax in or whatever. I want a more permanent space that I can decorate the way I like over the years.
We Want to Live Off of Passive Income/Investments
Part of my reason for starting this blog is as a future income source. I know blogs take some time and a lot of effort to generate an income, but my hope is that by the end of this journey I’ll have a lot of insights that will be valuable to many people.
Kyle also has a YouTube channel going that includes helpful how-tos for a game he plays, and we hope that he’ll be able to turn that into a money-making endeavor in the future. For now he’s building quality content for the community he plays with, and we’ll go from there.
Obviously, these types of businesses aren’t exactly passive, but we do hope to use them as stepping stones to passive streams or as additional money makers so that we can diversify our income streams.
We Want to Quit Our Day Jobs and Retire Early
Ultimately, we hope that we’re able to build and live off of passive income streams and spend our time the way we want to rather than ways we have to. More than anything, I want my time to be my own.
You know those people who say they couldn’t ever really retire because they’d get bored and they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves?
Yeah, that’s not me.
I love too many things to ever get bored. In fact, the list of things I want to do and learn and see is so long that I constantly feel stretched thin by my own goals and interests.
Right now I’m trying to maintain a pace of reading 20-30 books per year, learning Italian, working on this blog (which I’ve wanted to do for many years), watch all the TV shows Kyle works to get me into, and regularly write letters to my friends and family.
That’s a lot, and it doesn’t cover my love of baking, my desire to learn guitar and hand-lettering, to learn French and Spanish, to see far-off places, and so much more. Plus I like to adventure, so it can be challenging to finding time to go hiking, to explore every nook and cranny of Los Angeles, to try bungee jumping, to work on my trapeze skills, and so much more. Right now I feel limited by time constraints.
Believe me, if I had time, I would not be bored.
We Want to Live in a Lower Cost-of-Living Country or Region of the U.S. Using Our California Salaries
If we can earn enough in investments and our own business ventures to replace our day jobs, it would be lovely to live abroad. Nothing seems quite so decadent as the ability to learn Spanish in South America or to experience hiking in the gorgeous Vietnam landscape.
But, I’d also be pretty happy living in a low-cost region of the U.S. such as the South while earning a Californian’s salary. This would afford us a great deal of job security as well as affording us additional potential to save and invest. I am originally from the South, so I have several friends and family who would be nearby. Plus I miss trees. As beautiful as California is, it just doesn’t have enough vegetation for me.
We Want to Never Need A Credit Score Again
This one may sound odd, and I know credit is necessary for most people when making large purchases, but if I can save $20,000 a year, the need for credit is diminished, especially if I’m also bulking up my income with additional passive, or even non-passive, streams.
If your investments are turning enough profit, then buying items with cash will be the way of the future. This is obviously a longer-term goal, but I think this one can be achieved in some capacity in increments. Maybe I’m not buying houses with cash in five years, but paying for a car with cash is most definitely within reach in that same time span.
I Want to Be Able to Give More
I have been struck very hard recently with a desire to give more to people I know who are struggling. I have had friends indicate that they are in very tight spaces, and I keep thinking, “If only had a spare thousand dollars lying around, I’d give it to them gladly.” My mother is partially disabled in a way that affects her ability to work, and it would be nice to take care of her so that she doesn’t have to worry about making her bills every month. Recently, I felt compelled to donate to children in foster care who struggle to get new school supplies or clothes or shoes that fit.
I want so much to be able to do more. More for my friends. More for my family. More for foster children in need.
And I want to be able to give back in ways that help others achieve success, to be a mentor and a leader for others who want to turn their financial lives around. I want to be the person who has achieved success and is someone to look to as a beacon of hope. I want people to say, “If she can do it, so can I.”
All of this is a tall order, but I believe it’s in our reach, and I don’t see any reason we couldn’t make it happen. Obviously, these kinds of goals don’t happen overnight, but over the long haul, with lots of extra hours put in to building our dream. I also anticipate that these goals may change over time, but this gives us something to shoot for!