Celebrating Financial Milestones

At the beginning of the year, my husband and I reached a big asset milestone and, by the end of this month, we’re on track to reach a nice round number in terms of our net worth as well (albeit, lower than our assets because of the mortgage).

We’re definitely in the phase of our financial journey where it feels like we’re sneaking onto the other side of the inflection point (which I peg as near our “financial freedom” number). Our money seems to be putting in a lot of hard work on its own so we don’t really have to. That’s kind of cool and, surprisingly, less nerve wracking than I thought it would be in times of high volatility in the stock market.

So, coming upon this number and the bonus I’ll be getting, we decided to treat ourselves a little bit to a fancy dinner date just the two of us. Not that I am a miser when it comes to food spending, but we usually don’t go the both of us to somewhere nice unless it’s a special occasion.

To a degree it seems a little perverse to celebrate saving money by spending it. Shouldn’t I want to fuel the fire even faster? And, yet, it’s nice to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Part of me wants to just live it up in the next year, before the reality of child-rearing sets in. But in the interest of prudence, letting off a little steam in the form of a memorable meal with my favorite person seems like a reasonable compromise too.

How do you celebrate financial milestones?

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4 thoughts on “Celebrating Financial Milestones

  1. I know a few people now who have paid off their student loans completely (including K as of about a year ago) and/or met other financial milestones, but no one ever seems to pause to celebrate, even a little bit! (Even though it’s a big deal, and definitely warrants at least a special meal out or something.)

    I guess, even among our peers in law, where most people have essentially equal earning capability and started from similar financial positions and even mostly make the same salary as their classmates, money is sort of taboo. Few people talk about it in anything but generalities, so nobody really likes to disclose to widely that they’ve hit milestones. Plus, I think we generally tend to be super risk-averse individuals with somewhat pessimistic outlooks, so we’re more likely to look forwards at what we haven’t accomplished yet, rather than to pause and appreciate how far we’ve come.

    I think I’m a little more likely than most of my peers to stop and pat myself on the back a bit, though I won’t hit my first milestone that would make me feel like I could relax a bit more (when I hit “net worth zero”) for another two months or so. That particular goal is pretty important, but by it’s nature doesn’t really favor splurging much to celebrate, since, er, it could be undone by spending. We’ll see if I feel more celebratory once I hit some of my bigger goals later!

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  2. I am terrible at stopping to celebrate, historically, and that’s where PiC has been such a healthy influence on me. I appreciate the wins, truly, but I don’t take the time to honor them in any way whereas he always marks a special occasion in some way he finds meaningful for us, whether it’s a nice meal out or in or something nice I never would have gotten for myself.

    I’m so dialed into the massive milestones we need to reach to be close to FI that I am having some trouble appreciating the mile markers along the way but honestly this is very typical of me. I hated marking a steady pace and acknowledging each minor milestone, I just wanted to focus 100% on the end goal without pause. It seems to be the most successful strategy for my personality and habits.

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  3. Celebrating is so important!!! Especially the part where you reflect back and acknowledge that what you did was hard, but you did it together! It is very rewarding. We usually celebrate by popping a bottle of champagne at home and getting some fancy cheese and meats. We prefer staying in so that is our jam. We save the corks from special moments (including financial milestones) and keep them in this cute wire-framed corksaver that’s shaped like a globe. It helps us remember where we started and appreciate where we are today.

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