Hi there! Today is the second in my new series, Your Three Year Experiment, featuring people who are sharing their own three year experiments–their plans, goals, and dreams for the next three years.
Today’s post is from Trevor, a freelance writer who writes on behalf on Porsche Atlanta Perimeter. In his free time, you can find him running with his dog, spending time with his family, jamming on his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable. In this interview, he’ll share:
- the surprising tipping point to him finally getting sober
- his three-year plan to create a massive savings fund for himself
- how’s he able to make a living as a freelancer
If you’d like to be featured in the series, send me a note! My contact info is on the Start Here page.
What’s your background? Early years, education, married, kids, jobs?
I was the “good kid” in high school and even maintained that in my early days of community college. This was before addiction took hold. In my early 20s, I started partying hard. It felt like I became the “cool kid” I always wanted to be. I’d never say no to a night of drinking, and everyone knew it. They’d all call me whenever they wanted to go out, and I wasn’t one to disappoint. I’d close out any bar on any night of the week.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I needed to drink. I dropped out of college to help my parents with bills, and things got progressively worse from there.
Thankfully, I overcame my demons and can write to you with a clear and sober mind. That is how I make my living today. I had trouble holding down a job when I was drinking, but being a freelancer has given me a certain level of control in my life that I enjoy. Plus, it allows me to spend a lot of time teaching my son the joys of playing acoustic guitar!
How did you come to the realization that something needed to change in your life?
It had been pretty clear for a long time that I needed change. By the time I actually did something about it, I had alienated everyone who ever loved me. I struggled with serious depression and I felt completely and utterly alone. If I’m being honest, I knew something needed to change way before that, but I was too scared to make a move.
Alcoholism is a scary beast, but more than that, it’s a disease. It changes your mind and fools you into thinking this is a way of life. You think you need the alcohol. Anything that challenges your addiction is scary. So I stuck with what I knew: getting drunk.
I finally decided to make a change when my shame hit an all-time low. It sounds silly after all I’ve been through, but seeing someone I knew from my childhood is what prompted me to get help. I was so embarrassed by what I had become that I was finally ready for a change.
At that point, my sights were set on sobriety. Now that I have achieved sobriety, I want to enjoy life. I want to take every challenge each day brings and be able to smile at the end of the day. On a more grounded note, one of my immediate goals has been paying off the debt I owe.
What will that change look like?
At the beginning of this new goal, I didn’t exactly have a savings account. I was lucky my debt wasn’t anything out of control, but I definitely needed to change my habits.
I made a decent living, but I had to step up my savings game and make a bit more money to accomplish my goals.
How are you employing a three-year experiment to make it happen (i.e., what’s your three-year plan)?
In year one of my plan, I’m holding myself responsible for budgeting and saving. By the end of this year, I will have saved $8,000 and paid off my debt.
By year two, I must be making an additional $10,000 in gross income. During this year, I plan to save $13,000 for a total of $21,000 in savings.
Year three is crunch time. While I’d love to be able to say I could increase my salary again, I’m not confident enough to make it a goal. Instead, working with what I expect to have, I can save an additional $13,000 for a total of $34,000 to put towards a new home.
What have been some challenges you’ve run into?
Unfortunately, I am my own biggest challenge. As a freelancer, I can make my schedule, and I can break it too. Procrastination has been my downfall, but I haven’t allowed myself to fall too far. I have my goals pinned to a board at home, and they help keep me moving forward.
What have you found easier than expected?
Saving money has been a lot easier for me than I ever imagined. I was always one to spend every dime I got (and then some), but once I started saving, it became like a game. I made a habit of checking my bank account every week to see how much money I had. It became fun!
Do you think you’ll reach your goals in three years? Longer? Shorter?
I do think it’ll take about three years to reach my goal. There’s a chance it’ll take a shorter time, but I don’t see it taking longer.
What are you looking forward to once you’ve reached your goal(s)?
I’m very much looking forward to relaxing with a glass of lemonade on a hammock in my backyard.
Congratulations to Trevor for not only getting sober, but also paying down his debt (as you know, I’m a huge believer in that!) and saving up a downpayment for a house. If you’d like to get in touch with Trevor, he’s at Twitter. Make sure to leave him a comment!