The dollar amount that makes you feel safe

Do you worry about running out of money? Is it the number one fear stopping you from making a change in your work life?

If so, you have some advantages over others: you’ve already identified that you want to make a change; you have some idea of what that change should look like; and you are motivated to make that change. Nice!

But you won’t make that change until you reassure yourself—not on a surface level but deep inside—that you can make a change and be just fine financially.

If this is your situation, you have a clear goal to head towards: build up enough savings to feel comfortable to pull the trigger. But how much money is “enough”?

There exists a number of euros or dollars or rupees that would reassure you if you had it sitting in your bank account. I can’t tell what that number is, but I can tell you that, say, $25 million is enough. It would probably take a while to save that much, of course, so you want to shoot for something more practical.

One way to help you decide on a number that’s “enough” is to calculate your monthly living expenses and then to decide that you want, say, two years worth of expenses saved up. Another way is to pick a round number that seems sufficiently big, such as $50,000.

There is no “right” number. There is only a fuzzy region of net worth in which your fears can dissipate.

What’s your ballpark number?


— Peter

P.S. If you’re having trouble deciding, or if you’ve set a net worth goal in the past, but you’ve kept raising the bar as you approached it, you might need to approach this problem from a mindset angle instead. If that’s you, let me know and let’s work on your mindset.

Not happy with your work?

If you're not happy with your work, you might like my guide:

Five Steps to Finding Work That You Love

Here's what you'll learn:

  1. How to get in the right mindset
  2. Why feeling proud is key
  3. How to lean into action
  4. Why you need to save money
  5. How to make the jump
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