This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Empty Goal Syndrome: What To Do When Your Last Goal Leaves The Nest





I shouldn't be admitting this in public, but it's the truth. Hi, I am a staff writer for a personal finance blog, and I'm losing interest in personal finance.

I'm not leaving the blog, and I'm not going crazy with spending. But I need a little shot of espresso in my ho-hum financial life.

This is the first time in my life that I've felt my enthusiasm waning. After all, I've always had goals that required me to manage cash, but my problem is that I have completed most of the things I set out to do. And I'm bored.

To help meet my prior goals, I devoured books and blogs on frugality tips and saving money for years. If you talked to me long enough, money  always came up in the conversation. I couldn't help myself. Talking about money with other people gave me some great ideas and kept me focused.

Of course, when my husband and I had student loans, a car payment and two mortgages, I was also motivated to improve our financial picture, because living paycheck to paycheck stinks. And because I was motivated, applying what I had learned was easy… and fun.

But then more quickly than I thought possible,  we weren't broke anymore. We started saving for other things. We started a family. We saved for some home-improvement projects. My husband took a pay cut to start his dream job, and as of July 31, I will be taking an  indefinite break from full-time employment.

I still have some goals, like  learning how to invest, paying off our mortgage, and starting my own business. But I am running out of steam as we coast down to the  third stage of finance. All that's between us and being totally debt-free is a mortgage. And those goals I still have left? They're not exciting me at all.

Note: If you're where I was five years ago, and you hear me complaining to me about how boring it is to have all my consumer debt gone or how aimless I feel when there aren't many goals left, you may be frustrated and wish you had my problems. I am not trying to be thoughtless, especially if you're struggling. I am just trying to work out what these unfamiliar feelings actually mean - and how I can get back to my financially enthusiastic self.

When goals aren't good enough

Maybe the reason my remaining goals don't excite me is because they're not good goals. I may sound like Goldilocks, but paying off the mortgage goal is too big and learning to invest is too vague. With a little help, starting my own business could be just right.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs