I have one.
I want to save $5000 a year, every year, for a very special trip with a very special person. Eight very special people, actually. But more on that at a later date, when I get buy-in from those people.
Back to the dream. Or rather, back to the reality that must happen for said dream. I’m just throwing 5000 out there as a goal, because it seems like that’s about what it might cost for my dream. It might be less. But to start somewhere, let’s see, let’s just see, if I could save that each year.
Using my almighty financial tracking system (all hail Mint!) I can see that in the last 12 months, I’ve wasted my money thus:
Food breaks down, embarrassingly, like this:
$2125 in restaurants. Wow.
$624 bars and alcohol. Ahem.
$517 on fast food. Yikes.
$453 on coffee. I guess to pep me up from all the alcohol?
$180 dollars of accounted-for ATM withdrawals I clearly slated for lunch at work. No telling how much other cash I took out without ear-marking it for food alone.
$135 on a mysterious “food and dining” generic category.
There’s $4000 bucks right there, in food I paid someone else to cook for me, stir for me, or dish up to me on a fancy or styrofoam plate. Compare to the only $3000 dollars in groceries. Consider also how much food I know I wasted, and how much alcohol I rang up at the grocery store. It’s a formidable amount, actually. On top of that, I had almost $1300 on “entertainment”, including things like movies and WoW and live events and tickets.
Now, what if I funneled ALL my restaurant, fast food, bought-lunches, bars, and coffee money into one account for this mighty goal? Likewise maybe half of the $600 bucks I spent at the movies money was food and drink (because Alamo makes it awesome fun times to have dinner while you watch the movie). I’m not cutting out all entertainment (like movies or the live entertainment that I enjoy). And of course, I’ve already cut out WoW to the tune of about $150 a year. All told, that’s $4450. And that’s without cutting my current travel budget or other “frills” I built into my budget. I know myself. I’m going to travel. In fact, I’d rather travel and eat almost nothing than eat tons of fancy meals and not travel. That’s that.
I think I could do this. I’d have to never eat out or go to bars, though, which isn’t realistic. I’ll definitely need to build in 1 or 2 nights a month of just going out. But then, that’s $600 bucks a year I’d have to save somewhere else. And I’d have to be diligent about taking my lunch (which of course should be a byproduct of preparing my own meals daily).
Really, though, this is basically about what a car payment would be. And I don’t have one of those. I think I can do this. And if I did, this would reign super supreme.