If you're a regular reader of Get Rich Slowly, you are focused on getting out of debt, saving, retirement goals — all of those money issues we all deal with. But at what point would you or do you feel financially secure?
I think my own sense of financial security came once I had paid off all of my debts (excluding my mortgage) and had enough money to save a chunk each month.
Certainly, having a full-time job added to the secure feeling. But in the magazine world, where I spent much of my career, jobs are hardly secure. Of the 11 magazines I have worked for, only four are still publishing today! Luckily, I was able to find another job after a magazine failed, so I could stay on my saving track.
When I got a raise or a higher salary in a new job, I still lived on way less than I was earning. I figured, my life was good when I was earning X dollars, I can live the same way and all of the additional money will get banked.
The most important thing, though, was being out of debt. There is no worse feeling than scrambling to make ends meet, as so many of you know. Debt is slavery. It also limits your options, your freedom to make choices based on what you want, not on being a slave to debt service.
Maybe you have a dollar figure in mind that will make you feel secure. If you are out of debt and earning a good living, you might fall victim to lifestyle inflation. “I'm making $50K a year; I can buy a better car, a better house…” Always spending more because you're making more is not going to get you rich slowly.
What else might make you feel secure? Having a house paid off, knowing that in retirement you have no monthly debt obligation? Or having no strings attached so you have the freedom to go where you wanna go, do what you wanna do? (For those under 40, that's a song by the Mamas & the Papas from the ‘60s. Enjoy!)
So what will make you feel financially secure? Is it making a certain salary? Having a specific number saved for retirement? Being debt-free? Tell us!
Author: Ellen Cannon
Ellen Cannon was the editorial director of the financial services sites at QuinStreet from 2010-2015. She has covered personal finance for magazines and websites for more than 20 years, including five years as managing editor of Bankrate.com. She lives in South Florida with her kitty and sunshine.