Savings goals can help you achieve your life goals

Why is saving money so important?  Why can’t we all just live paycheque to paycheque?

Its simple.  Because living paycheque to paycheque doesn’t give you the opportunity to dream.  When you live paycheque to paycheque you’re always worried about the future.  You worry so much about the future that you can’t think about what you want for yourself in the future.

Money doesn’t buy happiness but it does provide a way for you to fulfill your dreams, your goals, and your desires.  Cultivating your inner dreams are important because we don’t strive for achieving our goals and fulfilling our dreams, we may unintentionally go through the daily grind and wake up one day to realize we are depressed and unbalanced.  As humans we NEED to hope and dream.  Without dreams, our life may feel like it has no meaning.

I Want to Be ______ When I Grow Up

We all grew up dreaming- I dreamt I wanted to be an archaelogist to study dinosaurs and dig up fossil bones.  I also wanted to be a novelist (no, not a Harlequin romance novelist).

When we “grow up” we realize that these dreams could be achievable, but are they practical?  We lose touch of our dreams and desires.  We need to find meaning.

What gives me meaning now?  Traveling gives me meaning.  Traveling is my passion.  Experiencing new cultures, setting new goals for myself, and conquering difficult treks like the highest mountain in Africa is my passion.

Putting Savings into Action

I’m a big fan of saving a small amount of money to into a savings fund with a purpose.  These small monthly savings may seem insignificant month to month, but it adds up to fund my dream.  It gives me inspiration and hope that my dream can be achieved and it provides delayed gratification.  For example, it is my lifelong dream to climb the highest mountain in Africa and each month I set aside $100 to my Kilimanjaro fund in a high interest savings account.  The $100 has purpose and determination.  I am confident that I will enjoy this trip so much more because I have sacrificed the $100 a month (that could have been spent on material goods, lattes, or other daily indulgences) for this trip of a lifetime.

My other savings goal a few years back was to save enough for a down payment on a home.  I worked hard at it and sacrificed a lot, enough to come up with a 20% down payment (combined with my boyfriend’s down payment) on our current home.  It was a savings goal that we achieved.  Now that we’ve achieved this goal, we need to set our sight on other joint goals.

I once read in a book as a child (I think it was Obasan by Joy Kogawa but don't quote me on that one)- that each decision in life represents a dot.  With time, these seemingly insignificant dots combine to form a picture that represents your life.  This quote often reinforces my thinking that we need to make good, conscious decisions in life or else it will pass you buy without you realizing it.  Most days I let life pass me by because I’m caught up in the daily grind of life.  Some days I let myself dream.  When I look at my savings account with money set aside for my hiking dream, I smile because I know I worked hard at making sure this dream is fully paid off before I started it.

Readers: Do you dream? What are your personal goals?  What gives you meaning?

23 Comments

  1. Vicky on April 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I love the comment about all the insignificant dots forming a picture of your life. For the longest time, I never had concrete financial goals, so I lacked motivation and direction. Even now, I find that I’m still going in circles!

    For me, relationships and friendships and experiences are most important to me. Main financial goal would be to become financially independent, but I am willing to have a lifestyle with less stuff if it makes this a more feasible reality.



  2. Modest Money on April 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I really love your Mount Kilimanjaro goal. It’s awesome that you have a goal like that that you’re working towards. Saving for possessions like a house or car is one thing, but saving for the experience of a lifetime is just so much cooler. Maybe that’s why I’ve been bad with my finances over the years. I just wasn’t motivated with what I was saving up for. I thought I needed to be saving up for a down-payment on an apartment, but I would get discouraged knowing that jump would also increase my monthly housing expenses.



  3. krantcents on April 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Savings and the savings habit more than anything else helped me achieve success. It allowed me to buy my first house, first rental property and invest. It helped me achieve financial independence.



  4. Pamela @ FabulousSavings.ca on April 17, 2012 at 11:09 am

    What a great way to think about saving! Personally, I usually feel obligated to save for retirement, etc. and it feels like more of a chore than anything else. But you’re right, if there’s a concrete goal or an adventure waiting for you at the end, it would definitely make it seem more worthwhile 🙂



  5. Liquid Independence on April 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Scientists say we make about 8 financial decisions everyday. Making savings a top priority when thinking about those choices is always a smart move. I like the dots analogy (^_^ )



  6. SavingfromScratch on April 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I’m all about the eyes-on-the-prize philosophy. I’m actively saving for my MBA, so I have money automatically taken off each paycheque to fund my goal. It’s completely painless, and it grows faster than you’d think.

    When do you think you’ll be able to do your Kilimanjaro climb? That’s an amazing goal.



  7. Earth and Money on April 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

    So true Y&T. When you save for something and then get it, its always so much more rewarding than when you get it and then have to pay for it afterwards over a long period of time. Saving delays, and then amps up, gratification!



  8. Juan on April 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Visualizing the fruits of those savings goals really does help. I’ll be going on a trip in a month and it is alot easier to stop buying extra lattes when I know I’ll soon be able to buy them in south America 🙂



  9. Leigh on April 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Yay, I missed your voice in the posts, Y&T 🙂

    I love the idea of thinking of savings goals as a way to achieve your dreams. But then what about the people who don’t know what their dreams are?

    I definitely agree with you on saving with a purpose, rather than just saving for the sole purpose of saving. I am really, really looking forward to actually buying a condo and moving into it and owning the place I’m living in, even if it’s just within the walls and the appliances. I could do things like renovate the bathrooms or the kitchen or paint or buy new appliances if they’re ugly. I have dreamt of setting down roots for quite awhile now and it’ll be really awesome when that dream finally comes true!

    I think you’re right that we value things more when we work hard for them. Until the condo deal fell apart, it felt less like I had worked for it because of the % of the down payment amount that had come as a gift from my parents rather than me saving the money. I definitely feel like the next attempt will be more my doing with all of the emotional toil that came from the last one falling apart and then the effort and planning I’m putting into saving towards the goal at last.

    Right now, I don’t dream of traveling all that much, but I dream of setting down roots. I know that sounds crazy for someone in their early twenties though… 🙂 I’m still traveling some, because I feel weird taking my vacation days and staying at home, but not too crazy of travels like your climb.

    My main financial goal, like Vicky, is really for financial independence, not necessarily to stop working, but not needing to. I also value that I have the income to cherish the here and now with friends while still saving for a down payment, buying a condo, traveling, and investing for retirement. That is pretty awesome and valuable.

    “we need to make good, conscious decisions in life or else it will pass you buy without you realizing it.” – This is probably my biggest realization since college. I had an excellent plan for each term throughout college, but now planning is totally different. I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of post-college planning now!



  10. mycanuckbuck on April 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    My dream is to be able to be a freelance writer for a living. I’d love to be able to be my own boss. If I keep up with my savings goals, I may be able to “retire” from my full time job sooner and do what I love instead!



  11. femmefrugality on April 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I love the dot analogy, too! I need to work on not getting so caught up in the grind. I dream, but sometimes feel like the dreams are unattainable. Thanks for the inspiration!



  12. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    @ff- Me too! It was one of my favourite quotes in high school and I completely forgot about it until now! Awe glad to be of inspiration- writing that post gave me inspiration too. It’s so easy to get lost in the every day grind.. we lose ourselves and who we are!



  13. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    @mycanuckbuck- That is an awesome dream! Being location independent and writing- that is the ultimate dream because you get to be creative and instrospective on a daily basis! Krystal Yee is doing just that- have you checked out her blog>



  14. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    @Juan- Awesome!! I LOVE traveling. It’s so worth it. Some people scoff at my frivolity of traveling but I feel that depriving myself of purchased lunch on a daily basis and lattes makes traveling justified. It reinvigorates the tired soul. Priceless. 🙂



  15. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    @Leigh- Awe Leigh thanks! I agree- it doesn’t matter what the dream is, I think it’s the effort that one puts in into make this dream a realization that is what’s important. I love my home too because the down payment was my blood sweat LOL and I can’t imagine moving just because of that. I’m sorry to hear the condo deal fell apart but I think certain things happen for a reason.

    For example, we were absolutely in love with this duplex before we got this home and now I’m so glad we didn’t get the duplex. I think having trust and faith that things happen for a purpose and things fall into place is very important in life.

    I love the quote you shared Leigh! Like I said earlier, it’s way too easy to let life pass you by without “waking up to smell the roses” and to realize the beauty around you and within yourself!



  16. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    @SavingfromScratch- Paying for an MBA is a great goal- it’s expensive but seems so worth it! I was hoping within 1-2 years. It is supposed to be a graduate present for myself 🙂



  17. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @E&M- Exactly! Maybe this is the meaning of life lol.



  18. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @LI- Thanks for sharing that! I love facts like that!



  19. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @Pamela- Yes- because we never know if we’ll be around for retirement! (I’m so morbid). Why not dream now when we’re healthy and young?



  20. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    @Vicky- Me too! It’s so easy to do- sometimes I also feel that Im’ saving for the purpose of saving without a true end purpose. I admire those who say they’l sae X amount of $ for retirement. I dont’ really have that plan. I guess one of my goals is to just be comfortable and not have to stress about money (which is obviously hard to do).

    I think relationships and friendships are most important to many- but many don’t realize it. At the end of the day, when we are dying (Sorry here’s my morbidity coming out again) are we going to be proud that the house is paid off? (hmm maybe depends who you ask) are we going to be proud that we have a Lamborghini (again depends LOL). We will be proud that we won’t be alone when we die and that we have loved ones who care about us.



  21. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    @krantcents- Thanks for sharing! I love it when you share your experiences.



  22. young on April 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    @MM- I think it’s analogous to trip planning. When I plan a trip or a vacation I get so excited about it! When I just sort of “go with the flow” the vacation doesn’t seem as gratifying. I”m not sure what that’s about lol.

    That’s true MM, I think that goes towards the rent or buy debate. I think in Vancouver, renting is a good idea just because the housing prices are exorbitant. I’m actually telling a lot of my friends who are interested in the market that buying is overrated lol.



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