Closing in on that first $100,000 is supposed to be tough as nails. As Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway said, “The first $100,000 is a bitch, but you got to do it…”
And everything that I’ve read seems to support Mr. Munger’s sentiment. However, as I make progress on my journey and close in on the first $100K I’m happy to report the task has not been the teeth-grinding, all-out torture that most say it is.
Most of the hard work that I had to do to amass the first rung of my small fortune was between my ears. It was not about my Job, not about the raise (or lack thereof), my credit card debt, or my family. It was all about me. My habits, my choices, my discipline and my confidence.
There is no doubt, that all of the monetary success that I’ve experienced on this journey is the result of me improving on those four qualities about myself. I became a better employee by disciplining myself to do more than was expected, not only completing my work but also assisting co-workers with their work. This gave me an excellent reputation at work and it allowed me to pick up a lot of new skills.
It wasn’t easy or fun but it eventually became my normal. Trust me, if you are the first person in and the last person out every single day and volunteering to take on additional responsibility to gain new skills, you will be noticed and if not at that job you’ll be in a great position for the next job, at a much higher salary, which was the case for me. My new habits led to me to a new positon. And once there, my new habits, skills and confidence allowed me to receive two significant pay raises within one year at the new job.
The hardest of all my changes was getting up early. But getting up early gave me the time I needed to make my lunch in the morning. This alone put about $200-plus back in my pocket every month. And instead of spending that saved money, I used it to invest in Acorns and Vanguard. If I didn’t bring my lunch, I would have had less to put in those accounts.
Today when I have extra money, I ask myself if how I spend it will bring me closer to my goal or push me farther away. The discipline that I forced myself to have about my so-called “frivolous” spending choices has created new buying habits. And the result is, between my Acorns account and Vanguard account I’ve added nearly $1,000 additional dollars to my net worth, which makes me confident that I’m doing the right things with my money.
If you are the type of person that wants to get a little bit better every single day, then mastering your personal finances and getting to that first $100K might be the thing for you. This financial journey has served to refine me in so many ways that I see the money accumulation as a mere byproduct because the character traits that I’ve honed service me in every other area of my life.
Finally, as I branch out to increase my network and explore new business opportunities in the second half of the year, it’s just another way that I’m being forced to grow and improve as I chip away at my introverted comfort zone and venture out to meet like-minded people. The result of my networking should eventually create additional oppourtunites for me to grow my net worth. My personal growth and my net worth have thus far moved in tandem. And with the hardest parts of my personal growth behind me; everything that made reaching 100k tough as nails at the start, is also behind me.
Okay, time for the net worth update:
June 2019 Net Worth Update
Checking $ 500.00 (-$50)
Savings $ 4,125.00(+$75)
Business $ 4,040.00 (+$255)
MM/E Fund $ 12,520.00 (+$470)
Taxable Investment Accounts
Ally Brokerage $ 11,395.00 (+$1,141)
Investing MM $ 303.00 (+30)
Vanguard $ 560.00 (+$98)
Acorns $ 367.00
Bonds $ 15,570.00 (+$230)
SEP IRA $ 10,918.00 (+$937)
Traditional IRA $ 18,359 (+$1,230)
Credit Card: $170.00
- Checking: All extra money after paying bills is sent directly to Acorns. The rest is just for bills coming out like clock- work.
- Savings (P to P): This account is right where I want it. I had to borrow a little from it this month but I managed to pay myself back in-full. I didn’t take being able to borrow from myself lightly. I’m finally my own bank.
- SEP IRA:The stock market soared the last two weeks of the month. Coupled with my automatic deposit, this account is up over $900.
- Traditional IRA: Again, big market gains plus my automatic deposit this account increased over $1,000 this month.
- Business Account: This account is finally headed in the right direction and if things work out the way I plan, I’ll be introducing a new stream of income to this account before the year is out.
- The E/Fund: Haven’t had any reason to hit up the emergency fund. It continues to grow at a modest pace. The account is only a quarter of where it needs to be before I stop adding to it. Slow and steady will win this race.
- Stocks (taxable): Purchased a few more shares of IRM. Looking to redirect some more money into this account to make a final push toward my year-end dividend goal.
- Bonds: As you know, the interest rate on I-bonds was lowered to 1.98%, so I cut the automatic deposit in half. That money now goes towards dividend stocks.
- Ally Investment money: Trying to keep enough cash on hand in this account is tough. I have two tasks that need to happen here that work against each other. I need to save so that I’m prepared to take advantage of a downturn in the market and I need to constantly buy if I plan on reaching my dividend goal. I may have to start delivering pizza at night. (I’m serious).
- Credit Card debt: Currently stands at $160.00. I’m in a no-spend zone until Dec. 31, or I reach my financial goals…whichever comes first.
It is a fight to build wealth no matter where you are in the process. Everything around us conspires to take money out of our hands. But you must fight the good fight. Continue to save, invest, and grow your net worth even when it seems impossible. Save your pennies (copper) until they become dollars (cotton).