This article is part 2 of 7 in our A Week of Excuses series. Why do we put off those things we want most in life? Why do we let excuses stand in the way of pursuing our dreams? In this week long series we dive into these questions, deliver actionable steps for common obstacles, and provide resources to help you take the first step to making your dreams a reality.
Money is that huge hurdle that often stands between us and the things we want and is by far the number one reason why a dream remains merely a vague notion. We never seem to have enough of it no matter how much we progress in our careers and how much we make. Saving the money to make your dream a reality simply seems impossible with all you have in front of you today.
One of the most surprising discoveries is that, when pressed, the vast majority of people have absolutely no idea what their dream will actually cost. They have become so accustomed to saying “I cannot afford it” that when we ask how much they have a tough time putting down a figure. If you do not have an idea of what your dream will cost, then saying you cannot afford it seems rather silly.
Put a Price on Your Dream
The first step to achieving your dream is to do the research to find out how much it will cost. It is quite likely that someone has gone before you and has blazed the trail to help you in your quest for information. Dedicate 1 hour out of your weekend, or one evening, to sit down and dedicate it to coming up with a first draft estimate of how much your dream will cost. It does not need to exact, but will help to give you guidance on the size of the target you will need to achieve. Like with any project, knowing where the finish line sits is critical to being able to get your mind around the effort. Focus only on the costs, as this will be the first step towards making your dream a reality.
- Determine how much your dream costs,
- Set a savings target,
- Evaluate your current spending,
- Establish a clear saving plan,
- Make cuts in what you are spending today,
- Be ruthlessly diligent.
One of the best strategies we used while saving for this trip was to create our personal Phrase to Save. Anytime we thought about buying anything we’d ask “would we rather have this or apply it to our trip?” The answer becomes incredibly easy when you can compare something you buy today again your dream. When put into these terms the resulting savings will quickly add and and let you hit your target.
10 Dreams and the First Step to Get Started
Following are a set of dreams where money could certainly keep you from reaching your target. I’ve provided stories and resources to help you amass the cash you need to reach your goal.
- Pay off all my debt – inspirational story from a woman who is climbing out of >$60,000 in debt
- Go to space – luckily you’ll have time to save but you can book your tickets now with Virgin Galactic and set your date
- Start a restaurant – consider joining a growing trend by starting a food cart for far less money and a nomadic food delivery experience
- Buy a new house – consider skipping the McMansion and dive into the “small house movement
- Visit Antarctica – last minute deals (we’ve seen up to 40% discounts) are always available as companies look to fill their ships. However, if you are not ready to just show up in Ushuaia, Argentina and wait for a deal then check out this compiled list of upcoming discounts and pack your bags.
- Travel around the world for a year – we’ve tracked every penny since leaving and publish reports so you can see how much it costs
- Buy a boat – we’re fans of putting out a Craigslist ad to find a friend with a boat. However, if this sounds too shallow then explore some great used boat options here)
- Buy a vineyard – explore dipping your toe into the nectar business with a fractional ownership at a lower investment point (with a great dream come true story to boot of the owners).
- Go on an African safari – explore some alternatives to your traditional image of a safari with these off the beaten path experiences.
- Buy a motor-home/camper-van – there seems to be an entire world dedicated to the lives of camper-van owners, with a wealth of information and communities. Dive into the community to learn about the process and explore the benefits of renting vs buying, new vs used.
Do you know someone who has a dream but is struggling with this excuse? Click here to purchase a copy of Dream Save Do as a gift and help your friend take the steps they need to make their dream a reality.
Tomorrow we’ll continue our exploration of the obstacles that keep us from achieving our dreams. We’ll tackle the subject we’ve all encountered at some point: “I don’t have enough time“.