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  • What silly things do you do to stay motivated?

    Story Girl wrote that she was feeling frustrated because the “extra” money she expected to have each month kept disappearing – this month it went to her husband’s car, which needed new tires. I wanted to encourage her, so I left her a comment, part of which I thought you might find amusing:

    Once in a while, I’ll log into my 401(k) account just to see the balance and put a smile on my face. I’ve been invested for long enough (and am diversified enough) that even with the decline in the market, I have a net gain. So I look at the number I’ve invested over the years (it’s listed as the amount I can take out as a loan), and then the total balance, and I can see how much I’ve made just by contributing every month. It’s pretty satisfying.

    I feel silly admitting this, but it really is something I do sometimes.

    Are there any other confessions?


    1. I do the same thing! 🙂 My Vanguard account online shows two lines in a chart: blue for what you’ve contributed and orange for market value. Every month when the account updates I eagerly log on to make sure – and revel in the fact – that the orange line is much higher than the blue, and that both are trending upwards.

      It’s reassuring and motivating in a way. Of course I also revel in fantasies that if I really wanted to I could afford to quit my job, head to the airport, and move to an exotic locale or travel for a year. Such fantasies pacify me when I wonder what it’s all worth and why I work so hard.