This month’s theme is Money.
When it comes to lifestyle design, money can make or break your plans. No, I’m not talking about the amount of money you have – you can usually live quite well on much less than you think.
What I’m talking about is your relationship with your money. Do you manage it and use it to steadily reach your goals? Or do you wonder why it is so hard to make it to each payday?
What Are Your Lifestyle Goals?
Whether you want to live in a hut on the beach or in a penthouse in New York, you will need money to make it happen. But it is not just a question of how much. Nor is it a question of how much credit you can get. You only need to look around these days to see the proof in that statement.
When you clearly define what kind of lifestyle you want to live all your decisions become easier, especially with money.
Man vs. Debt is a blog about a family of 3 saving to pay off student loan and credit card debt so they can move from Indiana to Australia. They published a Declaration of War on Debt and chronicle their adventures in saving for the lifestyle they want. Guess what? They are leaving next month for Australia and living their dream lifestyle.
Regular reader Angela of My Year Without Spending wants to live a simpler life with a smaller carbon footprint. She joined The Compact, a group of people who vow not to buy anything new for a year except for food, health and safety items, and underwear. The decision not to buy makes her more conscious of using what she has, which fulfills her goal of a simpler lifestyle.
Trent at The Simple Dollar decided to get his family out of debt and become a full-time writer. He started blogging about his experience, writing well-crafted reviews of finance books, and sharing his triumphs and setbacks with readers. As his blog became more popular, he started to get writing work, which eventually turned into a book deal. Trent quit his job and now makes his living from writing, and he is well on his way to paying off his debt. He is now living the lifestyle he wants.
Are you living the lifestyle you want?
- You can easily pay your bills and have savings
- You have the time and energy to socialize with family and friends
- You get satisfaction out of the work you do
- Your relationships are healthy and supportive
- You live in a place you love
Once you define your lifestyle goals, financial decisions become easier. You can say no to that $4 cup of coffee every morning because the $1460 you save over the course of the year moves you closer to your goal of a vacation in Paris. Pack a lunch every day and save another $2500 or so, and you’ll be in Paris this time next year.
Keep living this way, and you’ll have a fantastic vacation every year, if that is your lifestyle goal. (Besides, coffee on vacation tastes better anyway.)
What is your dream lifestyle? Are you currently living it, or on the way? Is it still in the dream stage?