About Alex Zerbach

Alex is on a journey of personal growth and development. He loves reading, writing, coding, and asking himself tough questions. He blogs at growthandpurpose.com about his personal growth journey and is in the process of releasing himself from his own expectations of his future self.

What Really Makes Us Happy, and Why

“Whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy.” ~Unknown   Like many of us, I live paycheck to paycheck. Which is okay. We aren’t alone. CNN reported nearly 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. I want to give a quick shout out to all the hardworking folks out there who budget every week to see how much they can spend on groceries. We got this. So back to that 76 percent number, for the sake of simple math that means that three out of every four people are living paycheck to paycheck, which sounds about right in my experience. I guess I have rich friends, though, because they all have big savings accounts, houses, and nice cars. Am I a little jealous? You bet. I am sitting over here hoping my car makes it another six months. I drive a 2002 Acura RSX, with over 150,000 miles on it. Some people might be thinking, there’s plenty of life left in that car; what are you talking about? This might be true, but it’s starting to give me problems, and not being a car guy, I’m left trying to figure out what is worth fixing and what can be put off and paid for at a later time. Not the most reassuring thoughts when commuting. You might be thinking, oh great, another one of these “woe is me” posts. But bear with me; you might be surprised what I learned by the end of this. More to the point, I have always wanted a truck, for a variety of reasons that I won’t get into right now. So my plan was to start saving for one. I started reading about ways to save money and put together a plan. Here are the quick highlights of what I did to save up enough for the down payment. I called Comcast and cancelled my cable (saved $80/month) I refinanced one of my credit cards (saved $20/month) I opened a ROTH IRA and put $35 a month in there because I can make better returns than it sitting in savings, and it helps me not spend it frivolously ($35/month) I started tracking my beer consumption and cut it way back ($30ish/month) I cancelled my Audible subscription ($15/month) I priced out my grocery budget and realized I could save money by ordering from a meal service ($20/month) I started saving everything I could from each paycheck ($100+/month) Total savings: $300/month It took a while, but I was able to finally save up enough. I was so pumped to start shopping for my new truck. (I had my heart set on a Toyota Tacoma 4×4.) I started looking on AutoTrader, Craigslist, and Cars.com, and would Google every dealership I drove by. I even test drove one and had a huge smile on my face the entire time. Dealers were calling and emailing me every day (which was annoying, but I secretly liked the attention). They were out [...]

2018-11-14T13:14:38+00:00 By |