Dreams can become reality. I know this seems hard to grasp after years of struggle and slow recovery but it’s true, because if it weren’t, people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Justin Timberlake wouldn’t be household names these days. These people, among millions of others, took their dreams and transformed them into solid successes. Some of them did it by starting off in their garages, others took initial success and built upon it. It doesn’t matter how they got there — it’s that they got there.
You’re probably shaking your head at these words, and saying to yourself that you aren’t a Bill Gates or Justin Timberlake; however, you are. These folks didn’t begin any differently than you. They didn’t have wealthy, illustrious parents or bedrooms in stately mansions that were maintained by an army of servants. The people who now grace our web pages and television screens had childhoods, went to school, and established friendships. The main difference is the dreams they told their friends about while on the monkey bars were more than just fleeting fantasies. They were seeds firmly planted in their minds that were constantly watered until they reached an age they could achieve them.
Despite the fact you’re starting later than these folks, you can still turn your dreams into your lifestyle. The main difference is you need to shift away from your current position in order to start achieving your goals. This is where financial budgeting comes in. Yes, you can certainly outline your goals in words, but the only way to see how much your dreams will cost is to budget them out. In addition, the creation of this monetary plan helps you figure out how much debt you need to get rid of before you can put your full energy into your plans. To start you off, here are a few tips to consider.
1. Keep your normal and goal budgets separate. This should be easily done in both handwritten and computerized models. Should you not want to start a brand new record in your budgeting software you can always create your goal version in something like Excel.
2. Get those debts paid off as soon as possible. Don’t let the amount of money you owe to various institutions sidetrack your dreams. List all of your debts from smallest to largest, and do what you can to pay them off, even if this means working some extra non-goal jobs. Trust me, the end result is worth it.
3. Research the funds you’ll need to turn your dream into reality. Use those wonderful resources of the public library and the Internet to determine the start-up costs for your goal, and make sure these are listed somewhere in your budget. Check to see if the amounts change as you get closer to paying off your debts and achieving your dreams.
4. Cash only. Don’t let easy credit tempt you into starting your dream earlier than projected. Loans and credit cards just add on to the debt you already have, and this can put more pressure on you when you decide to quit your day job and work your dream. Make sure you have the cash on hand for any startup costs.