The end of the year is drawing near and my quarterly goals systems has really worked quite well this year. Part of that success is due to having a steady stream of income, and part of the success is due to making my goals obtainable and very timely.

My final push this year is to continue to save for a down payment on a house. I’m investing $655 per month towards that goal, plus any additional monies we take in also gets thrown towards the down payment fund. So for this quarter, my focus is quite narrow:

  • Save a down payment – Continue investing $655 plus any additional income.
  • Continue earning “passive” and side income to throw towards down payment.

That’s it folks. ¬†Two goals that are already in the works. At the beginning of next year, my goals will probably remain just as narrow and focused, but mid-way through next year we’re going to take a good, long, hard look at our plan to purchase a house in Southern California. A few recent events (horrible traffic and lack of rain, to name two) have made us think about upping our time line to move some place else, we just don’t know where that “some place else” would be. But, giving up my job and moving away from a place we’ve lived for years is a big decision; one that will take some time to evaluate.

Have you recently made a lifestyle change that involved moving someplace else? What were the benefits or drawbacks?


  1. It seems like you guys have done well with your goals thus far this year. I think that a big part of success for many people when it comes to money goals is actually having something specific to save for. In your case, it’s really clear – which has be helpful in achieving success, right?

    For me, one example in the past was saving to go to graduate school. I’m very glad I did.

  2. I can’t wait to see that goal change from saving to “look for a new home within our budget.”

    For a long time I was used to commuting to work in traffic all of the time, I switched jobs about a year ago and since then I doubt I could ever go back to having to spend so much time in traffic ever again.

  3. Jon+@+Money+Smart+Guides Reply

    We haven’t moved yet, but it is something that will happen within 3-5 years. We have toyed with the idea of selling everything and moving abroad to a cheaper place to live, like Central America and just enjoy life, but I’m not 100% certain how serious either one of us is about that.

    • @Jon – We sometimes discuss Central America as well, the finance aspect is very appealing. The one thing holding me back from thinking about that seriously is being so far away from our family in the states. It’s a big decision.

  4. Well Heeled Blog Reply

    Have you thought about Seattle? I have friends who love the city, and I’m interested in giving it a shot in a few years if we decide not to settle down in CA.

    • @Well Heeled Blog – I’m trying to persuade Mr. LH to think about Colorado. We have family there and I love that state – it’s just so beautiful. The only drawback is the snow. We’d have to find a city that doesn’t receive very much, but would prefer to be on the eastern side of the Rockies – so snow will be part of the equation.

  5. I really admire your dedication in achieving all your goals (financially) this year. Congratulations by the way! That will be my goal for next year. Anyway, may you find that “some place else” soon. Wish you all the best!

  6. Loved hearing your decision-making process and applaud you piling up cash for the home purchase, but have one big recommendation: Only move to where you know you’ll be happy. I’ve known many people who have moved to a new area, thinking that ‘this is it!’ and a year later find they have no use for the home they bought or the rhythm of life. I think purchasing a home in a new locale is the LAST thing one should do. Try it out first by renting. Get a temporary position, do a job exchange with a friend in that area, get creative about trying it on for size. Sometimes the allure of a new locale is like new car smell: it wears off when the reality of the upkeep and daily commutes materialize.

    I speak from a life time of experience of having worked and lived in the US and abroad. I recently retired to my favorite country and favorite neighborhood in my favorite city. We rented a house in this neighborhood for 6 years before building a custom home just around the corner this year. The year before, I was offered a fabulous salary to move to Hawaii, where I had been many times for vacations as well as work. But after much study about HI and assessment of my contentment here in Japan, I found that it was preferable to retire early and live a bit more modestly in my preferred environment than to take what might seem like a dream-come-true opportunity (believe me, people chided me on turning it down, including my sister who wanted a place to visit in HI!). And one more thing, make sure your spouse or partner is fully on board with everything about the new locale —

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