Until I was about 25 years old, I didn’t think much about finances. However, I had always been a saver, and I spent years saving for a four-month round-the-world trip after graduating from University. I spent about $10,000 on that trip, and I don’t regret a moment. I went to University in Canada and gained a scholarship that covered my tuition, so I was able to graduate without any debt which was a HUGE factor in being able to travel at all. By the end of that trip I was broke but happy.
When I returned to Canada (where I grew up), I interned for a while and felt stuck so I applied for a year-long volunteer position in West Africa. In an overwhelmingly quick process, I was accepted for the position. My year in Ghana was incredible, despite living with ten other volunteers in a house without a working oven and sporadic running water. I was making just enough money to get by, and that was plenty for me at 23 years old.
It wasn’t until I began a full-time position with access to a retirement account that I really began to think about money and my future goals. When that happened, I become obsessed and read everything I possibly could about financial planning. Four years later, that hasn’t changed, and now I’m setting out to reach $100,000 in savings at 30 years old (eek so soon!).
I’m a very goal-oriented person, and a ton of my goals have the time limit of “by 30”. That includes:
- Visit 40 countries
- Contribute more than 15% of my pay to retirement
- Reach a net worth of $100k
- Get married in New York without going into debt
I’m on the right path for most of those goals, though the $100k net worth will be a challenge. Five years ago my bank account was in the red, and ever since then I’ve worked at non-profit organizations.
My retirement account is currently hovering around $37k, with 15% of my pay contributed twice a month plus a 7% employer match. This year I finally reached $12k in my emergency fund, which would cover six months of expenses.
I’ll be posting monthly updates on my route to $100k, though if you do the math with the above you’ll notice it will definitely be a challenge. Hopefully this site will keep me accountable!
What are your goals by 30/40/50/60 years old? Let me know in the comments!