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His and Hers: A Financial Bucket List

July 13, 2015

There are bucket lists — experiences you want to have before you “kick the bucket” — and there are financial plans for retirement like this Forbes article highlights in great detail (an informative piece that is very helpful for those just starting out in the workforce or those beginning to think about retirement), but what about a financial bucket list?

An agenda for you to follow and goals you want to reach, financially. Anything and everything from paying off the mortgage to flying around the world for free, what do you want to achieve with your money?

Ultimately, I hoped jotting down my goals, seeing Mr. Saver’s goals, and comparing the two, it would offer some deeper insight into our actual goals for our financial future (which in turn, affects our life). After I created my financially-themed bucket list, I challenged Mr. Saver to write his own, so we could then compare. I wanted to know if our goals and hopes aligned without either of us unintentionally swaying the others’ opinion. It was a fun experiment, but it was also really enlightening. Even with some really in-depth, thoughtful communication, we had some differing ideas about what we wanted. If we’re to work as a team toward one common goal — early retirement — and it is going to take both of us, then we certainly need to make sure we’re actually on similar pages (or lists, if you will).

Without any further adieu, here are our FBLs (aka Financial Bucket List).

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Mrs. Saver’s FBL

 

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Mr. Saver’s FBL

Notice where we have a couple of discrepancies? He’s aiming for financial independence by 40, I’m shooting for 35, and while those are almost negligible differences — really, what’s five years? — it warrants a discussion.

When writing your own financial bucket lists, just keep yourself in mind (both of us did). Continuously ask yourself, “Does this feel right?”. If it does, then it probably is (no matter how crazy or unfathomable it might seem). Don’t censure yourself! Write your goals down!

Still having trouble getting the ball rolling? Here are a few interesting suggestions you could borrow from Bankrate:

  1. Have a perfect credit score.
  2. Make a major purchase with cash.
  3. Become a millionaire.

Remember, your list doesn’t necessarily have to be realistic, but it should represent you. Still got nothing? Kim Potgieter offers her clients a list of questions to help get the brainstorming underway (keep a financial frame of mind so that this doesn’t become a general bucket list):

  • What achievements do you want to have?
  • What experiences do you want to have and/or feel?
  • Are there any special moments you want to witness?
  • What activities or skills do you want to learn or try out?
  • What would you like to say/do together with other people? People you love? Family? Friends?

As Kim Potgieter eloquently explains:

The objective of creating a Bucket List is not to create some kind of race against time or to instill a fear of death. The whole point of a [Financial] Bucket List is to maximize every moment of our existence and to inspire us to live life to the fullest. It’s a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time on earth, so that instead of wasting our time in pointless activities we direct our energy towards what matters most to us.

These bucket lists are living creatures, so we will probably be editing our lists forever, especially once we achieve one or more of them, but by simply writing down what we want, we are aware, and therefore, more likely to make the necessary sacrifices in order to achieve our goals. Plus, it may help a couple, like us, realize our goals may or may not align.

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