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Do you have long term financial goals that are bigger than just having enough in the bank account next week? Have you thought about what you really want your money to do for you next month, next year, and even in five years?
If you're in a place where there's no extra money in your budget all, this can be so so hard to do. If you're living paycheck to paycheck, unsure of how to make ends meet past the next few weeks, dreaming about what you want you finances to do for you in a year or even five years probably isn't even on your radar.
However, as you start to create a budget each month, work to get any extra spending in control, and possibly even think of ways to earn an income beyond what you're making today, setting your long term financial goals is what will make you stick to your budget when that $28 Chick-Fil-A run feels way too tempting.
There isn't a single thing wrong with a Starbucks Coffee or a drive-thru Chick-Fil-A, but if those things are keeping you from dreaming big for your financial future, it's possible you're missing the mark.
One of the best gifts my husband has ever given me in our early years of budgeting, was to constantly dream big about our long term financial goals. There were so many days when I wanted to buy something way out of our budget, but James would always reign me in 🙂 together we'd keep our spending in check, and we'd remind me each other of our long term financial goals.
A few years ago my husband and I shared a Facebook Live video about how things we've done right along the way financially, but one of the best things we've ever done is to just keep dreaming.
After twenty five years of marriage, we're finally in a place of true financial freedom. And while that definitely feels A-M-A-Z-I-N-G (SERIOUSLY ~ best gift ever, I wish I could give this precious gift to you!), it also can sometimes lead to financial mistakes.
#1 or #2? (And the truth.) 🙂 After pinching pennies for 22 years, we’re finally in a place where there’s a little more wiggle room for a little more splurging and a little less pinching. But. As we’ve enjoyed some splurging recently, I’ve realized that the problem with having more is that it’s easy to whittle money away on things because we don’t have a long term “big” financial goal in planned. So, waste $30 on a meal out because maybe you can? Or, buy flowers when you could live without them because there’s a little more moo-lag in the bank? If you have enough, it maybe doesn’t matter, right? WRONG. (At least for me!) I’ve realized we’ve splurged some on things we can totally live without because we haven’t chosen to dream big. (That $100 wasted at a restaurant and on flowers are the beginnings of a paid for vacation!) So, this week as our kids are gone at camp, my hubby and I are going to do some dreaming big about what we REALLY want, instead of what we want right now. (Maybe a nice vacation? Or a new piece of furniture? Or a new ministry to give to? Or dreaming a crazy big long term goal like a vacation rental home?) If you’re in the middle of a splurging season, maybe it’s time to consider (like us!) starting a saving season toward those bigger-than-we’ve-been-dreaming of goals. (That being said – I love the bottom one. But I don’t need it, can live without it, and am going to dream right around it for now too. I’d love to hear which you like best though, and what you’re dreaming big for today!)
Because we've kind of stopped dreaming of what we really want our money to do, it's easy to settle and just fluff off a little money here and there. (Now, by nature we're not big spenders and put most of our money into our home, but little fluffs have happened in more places than I'd care to admit the last few months.)
We ate out an extra time that we didn't need to (at a sit down Mexican place no less.)
Even though we all opted for water and my daughter and I split a meal, we still shelled out an extra $50 when we had plenty of food at home.
Over the last few years we've splurged more than we ever would have a few years ago on things like our kids recent graduations.
It was totally worth it, but there were easily a few hundred dollars that could have been reeled back in if we'd had a plan.
We've been a little more frivolous when it comes to buying clothes recently, and while I've loved the extra stuff, it's also just more stuff. (Which turns into more clutter, more to wash, more stuff to just deal with in general . . . )
(Now, I have no problem at all with spending more than you should on things when you have total financial freedom, but for me at least, I want my money to always be working to a big-obnoxious-I-can't-believe-we-could-even-do-that type goal!)
As we talked about our finances, James and I realized how incredibly important it is that no matter where we are in your finances we always want to have a dream and goal to work towards.
That dream can be on the small side ~ like paying cash for a date night out with a babysitter or adding a few bushes outside in an area that needs new landscaping.
Or maybe a wee bit bigger ~ like paying off a student loan, saving up for a fun family vacation, saving to update a bedroom with some fresh paint and a new bedspread, or giving more abundantly to someone in need.
Or maybe even really big ~ like for us, a porch addition we made a few years ago. (I need to do a post on the before and after pics of our backyard ~ it was an amazing-and-so-worth-it-dream ~ I'm so glad we've chosen to eat at home, clip coupons, and work towards something we really truly have wanted on this one!)
But you have to choose what you want your money to do, otherwise that same money will get spent with no purpose at all.
So we're working on our next dream.
Because if I'm choosing a cute new outfit (that I really don't need . . .) or an amazing vacation with my family . . . I'd pick the vacation every time.
But if I don't come up with a plan, the plan will choose its own way without me.
So if you have just a minute today, I want you to think of your really-big-I'm-willing-to-pinch-pennies-all-day-long-for-this dream.
I hope it's something big-and-fun-and-crazy-amazing (you know what we're thinking about dreaming? A tiny piece of rental property somewhere that we'd like to vacation to ~ how's that for big dreaming? Surely that will feel way better than an over-priced meal out one day!)
So, come along with us and let's dream big together today. Decide your next big financial dream, and let's work together towards it too.
If you have the PPP Money Planner, open up to page 4 and take a few minutes to write down your long term financial dreams – both a one year goal and a five year goal, and come up with a few strategies to get you there. I promise writing down your dreams will help you stay on track when you're feeling a wee bit ready to quit, and I know this can transform how you spend each day.
So, what's YOUR big dream right now? Take a second and leave a comment to share ~ I love hearing from you!
Need more encouragement to dream big today? Check out this post on how to make life more liveable during a pretty difficult season ~ I'm so thankful James has always encouraged me to dream big! Also read more about how we both started out frugally right over HERE. I hope this encourages you today!
Last weekend James and I spent the weekend away at a conference and had oodles of time in the car to just talk. (A rare treat with kids aged 11 through 18 ~ normally when we're in the car we have oodles of ears listening all over the place!)
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