My first source of inspiration is actually a blog written by Trent Hamm, called "The Simple Dollar". I've been reading this blog for a few years now. To be honest I have not read every single post. That is the beauty of this blog however. It is packed full of great advice and is written with a take it or leave it mentality. I mean I don't think I would ever rewash Ziploc bags for lunch, but now I know it saves me ~$1.50 an hour if I wanted to. I didn't necessarily use that advice, but one big thing that is re-occurring on the blog is to set goals and build a path to accomplish those goals.
My second source of inspiration is my boss at work. He does all the normal things a boss does, but goes beyond and truly is a mentor for personally. One thing he told me when I first started working for him almost 2 years ago was that my job and career at our company would not define me as a person. Being in my mid twenties and single I thought he was crazy. Of course my career defines who I am... right?
Both have pushed me in different directions, but lead back to this project. How can I use finances to ensure a sound and happy life? How do I create the opportunities to have a successful life? My answer is a rough outline or path to my goals. My path is to create a passive stream of income that I can build up now to rely on in the future. I plan to create a dividend portfolio by utilizing excess income over my spending to build a steady dividend stream when I need extra money in the future.
Well that's pretty simple... at least I hope. The harder part is how do you define goals. Not that defining goals is difficult, I do this every day at work when I'm given a new report or a request comes in. Those are very short term and clearly defined. A dividend portfolio really takes time (10 years or more) to truly build and create. Long term goals like this really escape people early in their career since it just started ~5 years ago.
I've decided to leave my goals a bit vague, but with keeping the idea of ensuring happiness in my life there are two things that I am certain are going to make me happy. Those two things are to see my kids be successful and to spend a long low stress life with my wife. So to try and ensure those both happen my goals are...
- By time my first child is in college; generate dividend income to fully offset college expenses with the hope that if all kids go to college I can supplement at least 1/3 of college with this portfolio.
- After college for my kids is complete; generate dividend income to allow us to own a country home outside the city and still afford to visit our kids wherever they may live regularly.