From the time I started saving money for the purpose of accumulating a large sum rather than just buy the next big computer, I have always been pursuing the next big monetary goal in the form of a round number. I believe this helped me to stay on target…and since it was and is a moving target, it helped me to stay focused. I have always had a competitive nature.

First I was actually using “cars” to save money measuring my progress in how many cars I could buy in cash from the car dealership next to where I worked.

Once I moved past being able to buy a bunch of cars, I moved to numbers. In that regard it is interesting to note that pursuing a number is a fairly abstract goal. What is also meant was that in terms of personal satisfaction, it did not matter whether I was pursing $50000 or $200000. It felt the same. There is and was a parallel situation with income. Getting raises was more psychologically stimulating than the absolute number, because once you are no longer struggling to make ends meet (and I have never been even close to that stage) extra money is just an indicator of how you are doing relative to yourself; it is a way of keeping score.

Here are some goals I have or am pursuing

  • $10000
  • $25000
  • $50000
  • $100000
  • $150000
  • $200000
  • $250000
  • $314159 (dork alert!)
  • $500000
  • $750000
  • $986960 (super dork alert!)
  • $1000000
  • $1500000
  • $2000000

How embarrassing, I made a mistake. The super dork number is $986960, not 969799.

I am actually pursuing them in two different currencies for the following reason.

Something which has always bothered this particular goal achiever is that only one of them, $1,000,000, has a name: Millionaire. I wish the other ones had names as well beyond something like semi-millionaire or quarter-millionaire. I think it was Moneymonk who suggested that a good term for $100,000 was “fat cat” 😀 … it sounds better than decimillionaire.

I have also had relative goals or financial independence goals. These are based on withdrawal rates. Here I simply look at my savings relative to my annual expenses.

  • 10%
  • 8%
  • 6%
  • 4% (Money will last 30 years in an index fund)
  • 3% (Money will last 60+ years in an index fund)
  • 2% (This will create an estate)
  • 1%

Thus goals would be to “cover half my expenses”, cover 3/4, cover all of them, and then the more abstract 3%, 2%, and 1% depending on life expectancy.

What do you guys say? Any good names for the intermediate goals on the way to being a millionaire?

Daily Yakezie: The Ultimate Motivator: Compounding Interest @ My Financial Objectives & Double Check Your Tax Return @ Out of Debt Again

Originally posted 2010-03-19 08:36:18.