Most people have dreams. Unfortunately, many people dismiss their dreams as unrealistic. A common excuse for throwing away your dreams is not being able to pay for it. With a little budgeting, however, you might be surprised how attainable your dream is.
If you don’t know what you’re budgeting for, you’re not going to end up anywhere. Figure out why you need a budget. Is it as simple as being able to replace your car in a few years (ideally without a car loan). Or maybe you’re wanting to put a down payment down on a house. Is there a vacation you’ve really been wanting to go on? Or maybe you’re wanting early retirement.
Identify The Cost of Your Dream
Your goal costs money. Likely a whole lot of money. Figure out how much. Don’t be daunted by the amount. Instead break it down into months. You may realize that you need to allow more time to save up for your dream, and that’s fine. That’s the point of budgeting. By crunching the numbers, you can show yourself how realistic your goal is.
Find the Money
Now that you know how much your goal costs, you need to figure out how you’re going to save up and pay for it. Look at your budget And if you don’t have one, start one! Where can you cut spending or expenses to make room for your goal? Are you spending too much on day-to-day things like eating out or shopping? Or are there monthly expenses your can eliminate, such as a cable bill or excessively high cell phone bill? Depending on how big your dream is (and how much you want it), you may have to make even more drastic changes. Swapping your car out for a cheaper car will save you in insurance and perhaps gas, while also netting you the difference in value. Go a step further and a smaller living space will save you on utilities, rent/mortgage, and taxes, if applicable.
The alternative is increasing your income. If you can’t find places you’re willing to make cuts, you have to make more money instead. This may be another part time job. Or it might mean improving your skills so that you can earn more at work. Or it could simply mean asking for a raise. Whatever it takes, increasing your income makes your goals even more attainable.
Decide if Your Dream is Worth the Sacrifice
Of course, your dreams likely require some sacrifice. If they didn’t, everyone would be taking the instagram-worthy vacations, driving the extravagant cars, wearing the newest clothes, and living in McMansions. The reality is that we have limited resources. Budgeting helps us allocate those resources. You may decide your dream isn’t worth it. That’s fine- life is about figuring out priorities. But don’t discard your dream by telling yourself that you can’t attain it. Because that is simply almost never true.
Some links pay our bills. Our thoughts and opinions remain 100% objective. Find out more.
- While I do strive to only write accurate information and dispense valuable advice, I am not a licensed financial adviser. All information is based solely on my personal experience and personal research and should be treated as such. Find out more.