Our Financial Decisions Have Built a Fabulous Life
As many of you know, I’m on my way to getting an Audi A3 or A4 in 2016. This won’t be a brand new car, but that’s not what we or our finances want. We’ve made financial decisions to get a car that’s five to six years old and has long passed steep depreciation. Plus, I prefer the older A3 and A4 styles. We’ve made the financial decisions to keep this desire on the back burner as we’ve made the financial decisions to focus on other parts of our fabulous life.
John and I have achieved so much over the past five years. Our two main goals of saving for retirement and traveling the world have been awesome, so far. We’ve gone from a net of about $100,000 in retirement savings to half a million, not including home equity. In addition, we’ve traveled all over the world. We took a month-long trip to Australia and New Zealand, something we’ll never forget. Other travels include Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii, London, England, Sitges, Spain and the island of Ibiza for a dear friend’s end-of-honeymoon extravaganza. We celebrated my 40th birthday in the penthouse suite of Casa Cupula in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, spent a weeks in Hilton Head with another awesome friend, celebrated our 10th anniversary in San Diego, CA, visited family and friends in Pennsylvania and Kiawah, SC several times over and spent a week touring the amazing, pristine land of the Alaskan wilderness.
Our goals of retirement and fantastic travel have gone from dreams to reality in a few short years. Why? Because we made financial decisions that made us debt free and use the money we used to service our debt to now live a fantastic life.
We swam with a pod of 300 to 400 wild dolphins off the coast Kaikoura, New Zealand! What else could we ask for in life?
Well, I Want my Audi
I’ll tell you what I would ask for; a newer, nicer car. As I’ve mentioned, I want a car other than our 13 year old VW Jetta. Last week, I hit a snow bank with an iceberg apparently because it ripped our oil pan protection off from under the car. It’s been a faithful ride over the years, but it’s time to hand our mini-Darth Vader off to someone else.
What financial decisions have me made to make this happen? We’ve cut back in three categories to make room in our budget. Those were smaller, token financial decisions. This month I’m talking major financial decisions.
We spend a lot on travel. We don’t spend a lot getting where we want to go, mostly on experiences when we’re there. We’ve spent big on experiences like snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, attending an Opera in the Sydney Opera House, day tripping deep into Denali National Park for wild life spotting and dancing at a club in Ibiza with 10,000 other people.
In 2014, we made the commitment to only travel within the U.S. Also, our trips were primarily for family visits and for work related activities. We cut back on the pure pleasure vacation. (We snuck in a couple, but we kept the costs down.)
Results of Hard Financial Decisions
Financial decisions such as this have allowed us to save an additional $2,000 to $3,000 a year to put towards my Audi. Although we’ve curtailed our world travel goals, we’ve furthered my transportation goal. This is partly how we’ve saved over $8,000 to date for my new car.
John and I talk a lot about financial decisions. When we want to do something, we ask ourselves, “Do we want X now, or Y later?” That’s not always an easy conversation, but we’re now well over the halfway point for my $16,500 Audi fund.
We’re so close, I’ve begun to search for available Audis. This can be tempting, as I often see cars that fit my wants perfectly, but I’m patient. I do these searches not to tempt me, but rather to keep my dream alive through visualization. I see what I want regularly and I regularly make financial decisions that get me closer to my goal.
What are you saving for? What financial decisions have you made to achieve a financial goal?