I have been taking a “business course” with author and speaker, Rachel Hollis. Our last lesson, she told us to think about how to explain our business to others. I wrote down a very basic, straightforward answer in my notebook. Then this morning I woke up and realized, my actual goal is a little bit bigger than “helping people simplify their lives and improve their finances.” My major goal for this blog, for my life, and for you is to help you create a life you want to live, not a life you have to live. I lived a life I had to for a while. I’ve had family members who lived a life they had to live. Then you know what happened to some of them? They stopped living. Literally. I don’t want that to be me. Or you. So, what can you do to get out of the rat race and start working on living a life you want?
Review your financial situation
Whether you want to believe it or not, money plays a huge roll for you and your dreams. If you’re not living your dream right now, chances are, money is part of the problem.
Take time to review your financial situation. Maybe it’s really bad. Don’t worry, I’ve been there.
For far too long we spent too much, budgeted too little and lived above our means for too long.
Are you living above your means?
- Spending more than 30% on housing expenses?
- Have credit card debt?
- Paying off debt in general?
Take time to figure out where your money is actually going each month. How much is going toward your big dream?
In my Fun Sized Budget Bundle, I have a worksheet designed to help you figure out what percentage of your money is going to housing, savings, and debt.
Knowing these percentages can really help put into perspective the amount of money you are spending in different areas of your life. You might be shocked to see how much of your money is actually going toward the wrong things!
Get a strategy for improving your finances
If you are struggling with your finances, it’s time to get a game plan in place. My best recommendation for this is Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps.
Some people think Dave Ramsey’s methods are too strict or “old school.” I think sometimes serious problems require serious discipline!
The next steps to take:
- If you need help with major debt or bankruptcy get help! Start here.
- Build a $1,000 emergency fund. Here’s how.
- Pay off debt with the Debt Snowball. Watch the tutorial.
- Build a bigger savings.
- Keep saving.
- Start living.
Where are you unhappy?
Now that you know where you finances are. Where are you at? What parts of your life are your biggest struggle? Where do you feel like you’re not fully living up to the dreams you have for yourself?
Chances are, it’s in your job, family or health.
Take time to write down your biggest areas of struggle. Name the problem. If you don’t know exactly where your unhappiness stems from, it’s going to be hard to fix it.
Now that you have an idea of what area(s) you are struggling in, write down the dream for where you want to be in that area.
Maybe it’s a goal weight, a dream job, a vacation.
What is it?
What is your big dream?
Get a game plan for the life you want
Now that you know where you’re unhappy and you’ve got your dream in place, stop dreaming and start planning.
Warren Buffet has an awesome strategy for focusing on your dreams. Check it out.
The best way to figure out how to get to your dream is to start from the end and work your way backward.
For example, if you want that dream Hawaiin vacation with your spouse and you know you need $5,000 to get there, set a game plan for making that money. Don’t just charge it.
Whatever you do, don’t make your life harder in order to get to a dream quicker. It never, ever pans out.
Instead, it might look like this:
Hawaii $5,000 –> Save $300 per month –> Build a big emergency fund –> Pay off our debts –> Get part time work.
Start from the finish line and work your way backwards.
Maybe you don’t require this many steps, maybe you require more. Whatever your dreams, whatever the steps, it’s so important to have a game plan in place.
Start practicing self-care
Now, take care of yourself! Drink water, get exercise, don’t over-work yourself.
Read. Spend time outside. Do what makes your heart happy while you work to reach your dreams. If you don’t, you’ll forget what you’re working for.
Don’t spend 65 years working so hard for a dream that you are burnt out by the time you get there and are no longer able to enjoy it. What’s the point in that?
Don’t let stuff stand in your way. Don’t let finances stand in your way. You get one life. Live it.