When Was Your Sewing Machine Moment?

Many people call it an "A-ha! Moment" or the Eureka effect, but sometimes I like to use simplified abstract comparisons such as the spherical cow to describe things, so I call it the sewing machine moment. It's that moment when suddenly something clicks, things make sense, and you change because of it.

Clothing has existed for thousands of years, the process of binding pieces of material together to create clothing has existed since humans started being exposed to weather.... Now that's a long time.

How a sewing machine works
Image via Wikimedia Commons
But the process of creating clothing didn't evolve much over that time. It has been less than 200 years since we were able to create a machine to speed up this process for us. Until that time people had to take a piece of thread and push it through material and repeat that process hundreds or thousands of times to stitch pieces of fabric together.

Since clothing has been around as long as humans. People have been trying to come up with a better way to do this process for... Forever... Well, at least hundreds of years, but no one could figure out how to do it. Eventually someone had their sewing machine moment, they came up with a backwards idea of using two threads and pushing the eye of the needle through the fabric to get the threads to interlock.

Suddenly, this machine changed the world. Since every piece of clothing did not have to be made by hand and the work could be done faster, and clothing became cheaper.


What was your sewing machine moment?

I always knew I didn't want to work as long as everyone else. I didn't understand why people worked until they were 60+. Wasn't there a way to reach retirement before that? When I first started working I saved more than most people my age. In fact, I probably saved better that most people regardless of age. I was on the path to retire somewhere in my 50's at the time. I still went out, I still spent a lot of money on things that I didn't need because I could afford to.

One day when I came home from work I found my cable bill had jumped tremendously, my sign-up bonus had expired. So I started looking online to see how I could reduce my cable bill. I came across a blog that told me how I could cut cable completely. I thought it was awesome. So I looked around the site more and I realized that they had a lot of other interesting ideas on how to retire early. This blog led me to other blogs and stories of how other people were able to retire in their 30's.

This was amazing. That's when I had my sewing machine moment. The math proved it, these other people were living it. By saving extremely large portions of your income you could retire in under 10 years if you did it right.

While I wasn't sure that I could reach what I now knew was financial independence in under 10 years, I knew I could cut it shorter. Before I was just sort of going through the motions of saving, now I was really in control of my finances.

What was your sewing machine moment? When did finances make sense to you?

Completely unrelated but cool:


  1. I'm not sure about my exact sewing machine moment but there was a time in the late 90s when I realised the 0% credit card could really help me with my debit situation. The 0% cards certainly brought my debt to a level which I could finally pay off but I could have kicked myself for not seeing things earlier.

    1. I think that the 0% credit card rate works well if you actually are trying to control your debt which it sounds like you were. But I could see that as another trick by credit card companies to just get you to spend more. I'm glad you were responsible about it.