Monday, September 28, 2009

What Will Your Retirement Look Like?

Over the last year or so, many people have changed the way they view and define retirement.  Some people close to retirement realize that they may not be able to retire at all, or that they will need to work at least part-time through retirement.  My ideal retirement would not necessarily be job-free.  I mentioned earlier that my goal is not to retire at 40 when I become debt free, but to partially retire.  Becoming debt free and partially retiring will allow me to spend more of my time and money on others than I am able to now.  A few of the ways I hope to be able to do this are listed below.

How to use time to impact others:
  • Take walks with my husband or play with my children (if and when they come) instead of watching TV
  • Call my parents and friends just to see how they are and send more hand-written notes
  • Watch a friend' house or take care of their animals when they are out of town
  • Volunteer at a food pantry, soup kitchen or children's home on a regular basis
  • Build an orphanage or dig a water well in another country
How to use money to impact others:
  • Help a child with part of their school expenses, or pay off a loan for a grown child
  • Send my husband, family member, or friend a gift for no reason
  • Treat a friend to dinner or simply give them cash if they are struggling
  • Pay for someone's toll behind me when I travel
  • Give gift cards to the homeless or donate to a charity
If I have excessive bills and debt I will end up spending most of my time working to pay them.  In the same way, if all of my money is tied up in bills and debt repayment, I will not feel I am able to spend money on anyone or anything else.  I want to be debt free so I don't have to spend 40+ hours a week sitting behind a desk or spend all of my income on bills and debt.  Hopefully, I will be able to spend the time and money that was previously tied-up on other people.

Until the time I no longer work full time and send all my money to pay off debt, it will be a struggle to think of ways to live missionally.  However, if I review the things listed above, I realize that many of these things are within my reach now.  I came across the 10 Day Give on Christian Personal Finance last week and decided to sign up.  If you are interested, go to and sign up too!  According to the website, the 10 Day Give is, "a challenge that is designed to help us get our minds off of ourselves and start thinking about how we can help others."  This should be a perfect opportunity to live missionally and to pick other peoples' brains about new ways I can use my time and money to impact others on a daily basis.  Hopefully when I do retire, it will look a lot like the 10 Day Give!

What about you...what do you want your retirement to look like?  What are some ways you would spend your time and money in the 10 Day Give?

Friday, September 25, 2009

What is Your Purpose?

Are there certain blogs that you read every day?  Have you ever thought about what keeps you going back?  Is it the delivery?  The topics?  The purpose?  If you look at my sidebar you will see the blogs that I read almost every day.  I find that I keep going back to certain blogs for two main reasons:  the writer's delivery and their purpose for writing.

Let's face it.  Some people are just more taleted than others at delivering a point.  Everyone who writes honestly has a distinct voice; no one is going to write a post on a topic the same way.  One of the blogs I read in particular, Punch Debt in the Face, keeps me coming back every day mostly because of his outrageous delivery.  He makes a pretty boring subject a lot less boring.  Check out his financial mad lib and finance rap - awesome!

It's pretty hard to keep getting up every day and going to a job if you don't have a purpose, whether your purpose is to receive enjoyment or to receive a paycheck.  In the same way, it's pretty hard to write a blog and keep coming up with new content if you don't have a purpose for writing.  For example, consider the following three blogs and what their writers say about their purpose.  

Jim at Bargaineering says the purpose of his blog is to educate, "both myself and others about the complicated topics in the personal finance world."
Bob at Christian Personal Finance says his mission and the mission for CPF is to, "make, save, grow, and give money."
Jen at Millionaire Mommy Next Door says her mission is to, "inspire and empower others through financial education so they too can enjoy the life they want to live.

This blog has a purpose too.  But in order to understand the purpose of this blog, you need to know a little bit about the goals I have for my life.  One of my goals is to be debt free fifteen years from now, before I turn forty.  But this goal is just a piece of the main goal of my life, which is to live missionally.  I believe that to live missionally you show love to your family, your friends, and people you don't even know.  One thing I've discovered is that to live missionally you have to spend time or money (I'll talk more about this in later posts).  With that said, the purpose of this blog is threefold:

To teach and be taught
To hold myself accountable as I journey towards being debt free
To inspire others to live missionally

What about you...what goals have you set for your life?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcome to Debt Free by Forty

Welcome to Debt Free by Forty, or DFx40 for short. I realize I didn’t choose a very original name, but I chose it for a reason. If you haven't guessed, I want to be debt free before I turn 40. If you’ve taken the time to read the “about me” section you know that I am 25 years old, which means I have 15 years left. Just to clarify, my main financial goal is not to “retire” at 40. I do want to at least partially retire, and hopefully that will happen earlier than 40. But I’ll talk more about that later.

What about you have a debt free goal?