HomePersonal FinanceWhat Do You Have to Do Mathematically to Get to Your Goal

What Do You Have to Do Mathematically to Get to Your Goal


At least 3 times a month this great blogger named Crystal discusses her goal to become free of a traditional job and it got me to thinking about what she actually has to do to achieve her goal.  It doesn’t work for everyone but breaking down larger goals into smaller, obtainable short-term goals provides me with an incentive to get to that smaller goal.  What is the old saying, one day at a time.

How Much Do I have to Make a Day?

If we were to assume a 5 day work week and 52 weeks a year to make:

  • $30,000/yr you need to earn a net of $115.38/day
  • $50,000/yr you need to earn a net of $192.30/day
  • $75,000/yr you need to earn a net of $288.46/day
  • $100,000/yr you need to earn a net of $384.62/day
  • $250,000/yr you need to earn a net of $961.54/day

These types of calculations help me determine where I want to be with side ventures.  I often think to myself, I can average $50 – $100 per day five days a week.

How Much do I have to Save?

If we were to assume you wanted to save a sum certain per year (not including interest accrued per month):

  • $5,000/yr = $416/month OR $104.16/week OR $14.88/day
  • $10,000/yr = $833.33/month OR $208.33/week OR $29.76/day
  • $25,000/yr = $2,083.33/month OR $520.83/week OR $74.40/day

This calculation excites me less than earning income but it is necessary to think about.  Can you put aside $15 bucks a day into something? If not how about $5 or $6? If so, then why are you just spinning your wheels and not saving money?

Do smaller calculations help you visualize?



  1. You just described what I do all the time to achieve my goals. Breaking down goals to small pieces or daily tasks makes it easier to accomplish. The next step is to monitor your performance weekly. If you do not meet your weekly goals, you need to adjust your efforts.

  2. The per day calculation doesn’t really make sense for her work. She wants to freelance and money doesn’t come in everyday. I think a per month number is probably easier to deal with.

    I’m trying to make $300/month with a yield portfolio and the pay out is mostly quarterly. Probably doesn’t make sense to look at daily number for me.

  3. Wow! I’ve never broken down an annual salary before… those are surprising numbers! Thanks for the interesting post!

  4. I’ve been working online for a while now and i usually calculate my income on a per day basis.

    $2700 per day is almost a million bucks a year, which doesn’t seem completely out of reach if you break it down in that way.

    That’s been the main goal of mine for a very long time and i’m nowhere close to it. But it gives me something to work towards 🙂

  5. Anything with math in it has me interested! I really liked this viewpoint! I look at financial goals a bit more broadly, and usually evaluate annually. Actions (that help me reach these goals) are monitored daily, weekly, and quarterly. I can control my efforts, but not the outcomes.

  6. It works the same way with purchasing something. Smaller calculations are also used a lot by most salespeople to make an item look affordable. As an example, if an item is worth $365, sales people can say that for $1 per day (less than a cup of coffee) you can have the benefit of the item!

  7. Hm… My ex earns $961.54 a day? Gosh.

    Well, I’ve also occasionally broken down this goal or that one by the day. It’s an interesting exercise.

    Where earnings are concerned, as retirebyforty points out, the meaningfulness of this exercise depends on what you do for a living. At one point I figured what I would have to earn per day and per hour to bring in a living wage as a freelance. It looked pretty good…until I remembered that I don’t bill 40 hours a week. If I were doing a half-way decent job of it, I’d be spending at least a third of that time marketing — an activity that does not get paid directly. Nor does bookkeeping. Ditto running around the city buying office supplies. Or writing the annual corporate report and preparing stuff for the tax accountant. A surprising amount of any self-employed person’s time is occupied by business-related tasks that don’t directly generate income.

    Breaking savings goals down by month, week, and day, though, makes a lot of sense. When you see that, to stash $10,000, each day you’d only need to set aside what most people spend on dinner out, it looks a lot more doable.


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