I'm going to make some confessions.
I always thought I was pretty good at balancing saving a little money with spending on some of the great things in life. I've been divorced for numerous years and at that time started my life over with zero dollars to my name. I started a career, opened an IRA, and began putting some money aside here and there to build some savings. I didn't take a vacation for the first four years, and then I started traveling out of the country about every other year. I bought a house and was paying the minimum on my mortgage. A few years ago, I started scuba diving. My finances were pretty average. I was by no means rich and didn't have a great nest egg, but I had enough to get by and was enjoying life... I had never really invested in anything. There was no path to wealth; simply the feeling of contentment that what was in front of me was enough. I was planning for the next year to not be very different. I would put a few bucks in savings and was planning for a trip to Syria.
About a year ago, I realized I had a surplus of funds due to a change in careers. I wanted to use them wisely. I maxed out my IRA & then added a principal payment on my mortgage. I felt very proud of myself. ...And then my best friend introduced me to cryptocurrency =D
My friend insisted we needed to get in on this trend. I began researching it and I believed in it.
I jumped on board the crypto train while it was taking off from the station. I invested a sizable percentage of my savings account and in two weeks, it was worth 400%. I bought TRX at .03 and in a matter of days it was worth .36. I had never invested in anything before and had never seen anything like it. I thought, "This is great!" I decided to put the rest of my savings in and in two weeks I would take it back out at a profit and keep moving...
That was in January. Any HODLers reading don't need me to explain what happened, Lol. The very next day after I dumped my savings account in, the bear came out from hibernating and reared its head. And the bear has been on the throne ever since. There went my trip to Syria... There was also no scuba diving this summer, Lol...
But some beautiful things happened.
First, I was given more than a few signs that I needed to always keep my savings intact. This spring I had car trouble and my cell phone died and when my car came back from the shop I had a wreck... Then the taxes came due and they were much higher than I had anticipated... It seemed one thing after another was alerting me that I needed to get my financial situation turned around and fast.
In the beginning, I remained in the nostalgia that maybe the market would turn and I could soon take some money back out of my crypto accounts. ...Of course, I could take money out right now if I chose to, but is that a good investment? The voice of wisdom inside me has always whispered, "Just keep HODLing. It's going to turn around and you'll be thankful you left it in."
I began prioritizing. What did I absolutely need to spend money on and what could I do without? I opted to skip diving this summer. That was several thousand dollars that I spent last year that I chose to save instead. I had a good attitude about it because it didn't seem like I lost the hobby; I just put it on hold to get my savings account built back up.
I started focusing on reducing debt. Some months I made debt my priority and some months I focused more on savings. But every single penny started being accounted for.
An amazing change was that I started telling people no. No, I could not go out to eat for the third time this week. No, I could not pay for my friends' tickets to social outings. No, I couldn't be the one to foot all the bills when we went on out of town trips. I hadn't realized how much I was giving away until I stopped...
I started using the spare change that was lying around my house and car. I started challenging myself to see how little I could put on my credit card or debit card. And I was surprisingly able to go full weeks sometimes without swiping any plastic.
I started setting goals for myself for every single paycheck, dedicating nearly 50% of every check to saving. I started writing down clear and specific goals and plans.
And I started feeling excited about seeing it all pay off.
I've now paid off my debt (minus the recurring, such as mortgage), and I've now built my savings account back to a desired goal. I haven't touched cryptocurrency, and now I can see a path forward without touching it for the next several years, which is the way it was meant to be invested.
So in reality, I'm in a better place than I was in January when I intended to pull my money back out in two weeks. Now I realize that the Bear has been a blessing. It has given me the opportunity to start over and succeed. I have as much money in my savings account now as I did before I invested in cryptocurrency. I had never realized how little of my money I was actually saving. Now I feel confident to grow it much more.
If you're like me, & you've been desperately waiting for the Bulls to return... let it go. Begin to create your financial wealth from where you are right now. Cryptocurrency will succeed. It needs to marinate for a few years and reach its potential. I've been keeping up with the industry updates. Those of us who have been HODLing will be glad we did.
I can set some pleasures aside for a little while and take control of my life back. There will be plenty of diving in the future...