Flash forward a bit and my why becomes very apparent. My girlfriend and I were getting to that point in our relationship where we were starting to discuss the idea of getting married. That is when I realized that I had focused so much on paying off my car that I did not save for a ring. At last I had my why. What was I willing to do to save as much money as possible? Well, let me tell you.
I asked myself what would be the easiest possible way to bring lunch to work every day and efficiently maximize the amount I could save? The answer...PB&J. I had this crazy that I could literally eat one peanut butter and jelly sandwich every single day. So every two weeks I would buy one loaf of bread, 1 jar of peanut butter, and one jar of jelly. I did this for six straight months...
(I am even giving you a moment to laugh)
You are probably thinking "6 months? I could never eat the same thing for 6 months"
I did not think I could either, but every time I had a moment of weakness I kept going back to my why. I would also change the type of bread, and also mix n' match butters and jellies (almond butter with blueberry jam is a gem).
I got my cost for lunch down to $10 every two weeks, which amounts to $.50 per lunch! Even when I was cooking dinner and packing left overs, I was still hovering in the $1-$4 per meal range. This motivated me to carry on for as long as I did.
I am not at all advocating doing this. It was not the healthiest time in my life and I am pretty sure most doctors would not recommend you try it. My point is that I found my why, and the moment I realized it, there was nothing that was going to keep me from my savings goal. It was that moment that I realized the power of having a why in my life. All the financial information I had accumulated up to that point all made sense, but it just never clicked great until I found a purpose for it in MY life.
At this point, I am guessing that you either get what I mean, or you are still waiting for that moment in your life. If you get it then there is nothing left to explain. If you don't, you are like me before my PB&J journey, which is fine. Pre-PB&J, I had all the information I needed but I just didn't care enough to apply it to myself.
The good news? I bought the ring and proposed, and (surprise surprise) Anneli said yes. Since then the why has shifted to saving for our wedding, to traveling like crazy year 1 of marriage, to now where we have multiple whys to keep us focused. Retire early. Pay off debt. Future Newborn (no Anneli is not pregnant yet). Travel. and Eat our way through life!
What was the first catalyst for you to start saving? What is your why now?