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How the heck do you save 20k (where does this figure come from?)? You make a plan… I guess.

I work as a research assistant at a German university, my goal is to write a dissertation, get a PhD, and then I’m off. This has some advantages, as a) it pays quite well and b) it has an endpoint. In my case there is no fixed deadline, I am done when I am done. With teaching and industry projects that I have to do, unfortunately most of my time is spent not doing my own research, so on average people take 5 years to do this.

I am a solid half a year in as of January 2019, so let’s say I have four more years to go and finish end of 2022. From March 2019 until August 2019 I can only save 200 Euro per month because of personal circumstances: I have my own place after living together (you need so much stuff that was just there before), and I have to pay off some debt.
So until 08/2019 I can save 1200 Euro. After that I aim to save 500 Euro per month, so at the end of 2019 I should have 2700 Euro. Then I keep saving 500 per month, that’s 6000 per year, times three years is 18000, plus the 2700 from 2019 and I arrive at 20700 Euro.

If I finish earlier I’d have less money, but hey, I’d have finished early and could go sooner.
This will be the first time in my life that I have a substantial amount of money to my name. People say you shouldn’t just leave that in your bank account, but invest. So possibly I can increase the amount even further… after I have found out how investments work. That’s material for another post. :)