My First $100k Was Definitely The Hardest

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Hello everyone!

I Made My $100k Net Worth Goal!

I made my goal of reaching $100k net worth by the end of 2016. This post details how I started on my journey to early retirement.So I made my goal of having a $100k net worth by the end of 2016.

I’m so happy!

Most of the year I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to hit my goal, but then November came and the markets have been going up and up ever since.

I felt like I had my foot trapped in a hole in the ground and I couldn’t go anywhere.  I was just struggling to break free and then suddenly I was able to yank my foot out and now I’m just running and running.

Lately I was just feeling like I was clawing and fighting to get ahead financially.  Now that I’ve reached the magical $100k I can calm down. Maybe.

In my spare time I read a lot of financial blogs and they always say if you save a lot of money, consistently, retirement will happen in 10, 15 years.  They always make it seem like those years will fly by.  Retirement will happen before I know it.

It’s not like that at all.

It’s slow.  It’s frustrating.  It seems like I’m never going to get there. Huge gains are followed by large expenses.  My net worth is increasing at the slowest rate ever!

At the age of 17 I got my first job.  I’ve worked consistently since then.  It’s taken me 19 years to reach a net worth of $100k.  I feel like I should have been here a long time ago.

The Day My Life Changed

It was about 9 years ago that I added up all my debt-all the credit cards, car loans and school loans that were in my name.  The total stunned me.  $50k.  How in the hell did I get that far in debt??

That was the turn-around point for me.  Up to that point I knew I had a lot of debt, but I had never taken the time to add it all up before.  After that depressing day, I started taking small steps to get myself out of that mess.

I read Your Money Or Your Life by Joseph R. Dominguez.  That book made me think about every single purchase and whether or not I wanted trade my time for that item.  Was it really worth it?  Most of the time, it was not.

I’m pretty sure I’ve read that book about 5 times.  It’s been a while, so I’ll probably read it again soon.  It’s a life changer.  At least, it was for me.

Combining my new love for frugality with a better paying job lead to me paying off my car loans, credit cards, and ultimately the school loans.  It took me about six years to become debt free.  Let me tell you, that was one of the best feelings ever!  My paycheck was ALL MINE!

That’s when I really started ramping up my savings.  Soon after that I moved in with Mr. Frugal Turtle and cut my living expenses even more. Paying $400 in rent really helps keep the expenses low!  Plus, I wasn’t driving as much and we started making homemade meals a lot more.  All those little things I was doing to save money really started adding up.

Being Frugal

This lifestyle is easy and it is hard.  It’s easy for me because I actually really enjoy saving money and finding deals.  I’m an introvert, so I don’t mind staying home on the weekends.  I love cooking.  It’s not like we deprive ourselves.  When we want to go out and spend money, we do. We’re just smart about it.  We’re mindful of our money.

This lifestyle is hard because when your end goal is early retirement, time just doesn’t move fast enough.  I want to wake up and be retired already!  I don’t want to keep working for the next 10 years, but I know that’s how much time I have left.  Ten years (or less, hopefully) and I’m outta there!

In conclusion, the first $100k took forever to reach.  I made some stupid decisions that I really wish I could go back and change.  But, I’ve learned from those mistakes.  And unless my life takes a really drastic turn for the worse, I think I’m setting myself up for a beautiful future!

I made my goal of $100k net worth by the end of 2016! In this post I talk about starting my journey of reaching early retirement.Thanks for reading!

What was the moment that changed your financial life around?



6 thoughts on “My First $100k Was Definitely The Hardest”

  1. Nice post. Yes this is very true, the first 10k$ or 100k$ or 1m$ Is always the hardest. I’ve been thinking about this concept recently.
    For frugality, I like to follow the minimalist ideas too. It helps simplify my life.

    1. It’s weird. I don’t follow the minimalist movement at all. But I guess I could be considered a minimalist compared to most people. I definitely don’t own a lot of things! It makes me happier that way.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi Frugal Turtle! Great post. I agree with you completely, it can be such a slow process. We are a bit further along in our journey than you, but there are many days when I sit staring at my spreadsheets and projections, trying to figure out a way to make it go quicker!

    You’ve come a long way through paying off all your debt and you’re now well on your way. I’m not sure it’ll get faster, but it’ll get better and I’m confident you’ll enjoy much of the journey. Keep it up!

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