My 5 Year Plan

23 04 2008

I did some thinking this morning on my bike ride in to work. I was thinking about my dream of building custom bikes for women. See, my next door neighbor is following his dream. He and his wife are moving back to their hometown because he is buying a hotdog restaurant. His dream is to make hotdogs. Seriously. I am excited for them, and sad that they will be moving, as they are the only other couple in our neighborhood close to our age, and they are good friends. But his dream has been in the works for a long time. So, back to my dream. I told him about it, he didn’t quite get it at first. He kept trying to tell me that there are other bike shops in Omaha, and I kept telling him that I want to build custom bikes specifically for women. He finally got it after I told him 98% of bike frames you find in a bike shop are built for a male frame. There are small things that make a huge difference in women’s specific bikes. And I want to be one of a handful of women in the country that builds them.


So anyhow. I was thinking about my budget, and how I really need to get in the ball and start saving for this dream of mine. Which led to me thinking “Is RAGBRAI such a good idea this year?” But I decided to NOT start saving for it yet, and I think I might sell my RAGBRAI ticket if I get in. I am about 6-9 months out from having a large portion of my debt paid off. Paying off my debt right now is eating up the majority of my paychecks, which is good, but it leaves minimal amounts left over for day to day living expenses.


So, I decided that once my debt is mostly paid off (exceptions: student loans, and federal income tax), and am going to save 40% of each of my paychecks. I am going to save this much for 2 years. I figure that at that point, my student loans and taxes should be paid off, I’ll have enough money in my savings account to go to United Bicycle Institute and take all the courses I need, and I can come back home, buy and build all the tools I will need to get my bike shop up and running, and quit my job so I can focus on building up my business full time. I might take a part-time job as a bike mechanic if I can find one, so I can have some income coming in.


But this is most likely a five year plan, because some months there will be emergency expenses that I will need to take care of, derailing my savings plan temporarily. My next step is to decide how quickly I can pay off my debt, how much I need to save in order to follow my dream, and figure out how quickly I can get my loans and taxes paid off.


I am glad that I making long term plans for my life. I have never spent a lot of time wondering what I was going to do past next month, let alone in 5 years. This is all very early stage planning, but I know I am headed in the right direction, because planning 5 years out doesn’t scare me and make me worry I will lose interest before then. It makes excited to follow through with my plans, and excited to watch this grow into something real and tangible.


Peace and bike love!



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