As I have gotten older and  more and more financially established I have noticed something about the thought given to financial windfalls.  I need a bigger and bigger number to make a difference in my life.  My guess it is only natural.

When I first started this blog I had over $17K in CC Debt, something like a $13K car note (still have that same car by the way lol),  what had to be $70K or so in student loan debt.  With a negative net worth almost any financial windfall of a couple grand would have been amazing and anything over $20K could have been considered life changing.  A Paid off car 2 years earlier would have felt unreal, or paying off most of the credit cards in a few months rather than a year or two would have been fantastic.  I always joke that during college and law school I had NO money.  I always found enough to party it up, but I never felt like I had a lot of it.  While I have worked since I was 16 (even during college and law school) I didn’t have an actual job-job until I was 25 and done with law school.   At that point in my life a grand or two would have probably would have felt life changing.  If I was smart enough to invest it at that point that amount could have been worth a very nice sum right about now.

Over time, I paid off the credit card, paid off the car note and paid off the smaller of the student loan debt (remainder is at 4% – and only costs me $331/month to keep current) which leads me to today’s question – what amount would feel like life changing? and what amount would actual change my life?  Those are two very different questions.

Last year, I got an amazing bonus.  It came at the perfect time as I needed (even more) liquidity to close on my house, but even if I didn’t have a specific use for it I don’t think it would have felt life changing nevertheless actually be life changing as it wasn’t big enough to put a significant amount more down on my home.

Since by writing this post I am forced to provide an answer after 400 words – I think an amount which would be life changing would be $150,000 – $385,000.  On the lower end I could buy a rental property (in my area with a good cushion) and begin that phase of my life. While on the upper end I could pay off my mortgage freeing up about $2,000/month after taxes.  Would I take anything less? OF COURSE, that is why I work my ass off on a few different streams of income just for an extra $200, $500, $1,000 because I know over time I am making a difference for Future Evan and his family.  I just wanted to give a lump sum number which would change my trajectory almost immediately.


What is your number? What would it take to change your life immediately?