You made it! The last tank. You’ve got a full emergency fund. You’re debt-free. You’re saving 20% for retirement. You may be putting aside money for your kid’s college education. You feel good about yourself. Now, go on a spending spree so you end up back where you started. Hahaha… just kidding.
Tank #7 is about you. It’s about ticking through your bucket list with your money. Vacations, a new Harley, floor seats to an Atlanta Hawks game, money to start a business, down payment on a new home, paying off your not-so-bad debt, a personal cook, the list goes on.
But wait, I know what you're thinking.
"It will take me years to fill tanks 1-6! I can't do anything for myself until then? I can't even save for a house. Forget that!"
Good point. That doesn't make sense. It's not realistic. Tank #7 should be part of the entire process. It is.
If you want to do anything that fits in tank #7 before filling the rest, try the following:
The best way to find money for your bucket list while filling the other tanks is to cut your spending. If you want to take a vacation, cut the amount you spend on clothes. If you want a new car, stop eating out. Make trade-offs in your spending. Keep the same amount of fuel. Fill the tanks with the same timeline.
Can't find anywhere to cut? Make more money. If you truly want to take that vacation, you'll take the time and effort to generate side income.
Lower Your Fuel
I don't like this option, but it's still an option. You can add "savings for a down payment" to your budget and reduce the amount of fuel you put towards your next tank. Just remember, it will take you no longer to fill all the tanks. Too many of these and you may not finish it all.
Don't Do It
I like this option. Sure, you need a break every so often, but you don't need a trip every 2 months. Say 'no' more than you say 'yes'. Focus on getting through the system.
Ultimately, you want to fill tanks 1-6 as quickly as possible.
Once you fill tanks 1-4, you're stable.
After tank 5, you're free.
Tank 6 is icing on the cake.
And tank 7 is eating the whole cake.
The cake tastes much better after you've filled all the tanks. But I understand if you need a little taste every so often.