On March 18, 2020, early afternoon, I was riding my bike home from work. Schools were out because the Coronavirus had just hit our area. As I crested the final hill home, I saw that there had been an accident at the next major intersection. As I got closer, it kind of looked like our car was involved, but I couldn’t quite tell. So, I decided I would ride closer to see, if wasn’t our car, I’d keep going around the block. No biggie. There reached a point where I could see my Spartan Race sticker on the back of the car that had been hit. I dropped my bike into the yard of the nearest house and ran to the intersection to see if my wife was ok. She was shaken, hit by the airbag, but otherwise uninjured.
As a result of that accident, we ended up needing to buy a new car. Like most people, we financed a car. It was one we could afford and it was a pretty nice car. We took it into the mountains, drove it across the state more than once, it was a great car.
Fast forward to our decision to sell everything and buy a boat. We want a certain level of savings before we hit the high seas and we’ve been working to get there. We diligently send money off to save every month, but it’s not as much as we’d like. So, we started looking at expenses and where can we cut to be able to save more. Cars kept coming up. They probably have been our biggest expense lately. So…what to do? As we talked about what to do, the one thing that kept coming up is that if nothing changes, nothing will change. If we didn’t do something different to increase our savings, we weren’t going to hit that goal of savings so we can set sail.
So, we changed something. We sold that car, made enough on it that we could buy something pretty reliable outright and payoff one of the other cars. It wasn’t an easy decision. In fact, it was downright hard. The car was comfortable. It could take us most anywhere. There was room in it for all of us…dogs and kids and us. But it was also expensive. Not really in gas, but insurance, car payments. It ate up a lot of money, money that could be going to a boat.
So, pretty quick here, what we send to savings will increase. We’ll be back on the path that we want to be on. Like I said, it wasn’t an easy decision. It was pretty tough, but again, if we didn’t do something different, four years from now, we’d still be saving.
As I write this and think about it, that’s true for a lot of things. Physical health, relationships, life in general. If you want things to change, you need to do something different. We want to make a change in how we live life, and we have an amount that we think we can use to take care of us as we sail. We needed to do things differently to get to that number. For the time being that means that we needed to sacrifice some creature comforts to get where we want to go.
This also ties into some of what I believe about goal setting. You have an end goal, but you also have lots and lots of little goals along the way. And you have to take steps to reach each individual little goal. Until pretty soon, the big goal is achieved.
So, the big goal is a sailboat. Part of that is having enough in savings to take care of emergencies, repairs, etc. What’s a step to get there, scale back on the lifestyle. Find other ways to do what you want to do, so that you can still reach your goal. Ultimately it means changing things. Because if we don’t change things…then nothing is going to change.