When it comes down to it, there are two types of dreams—those you feel you can do, and those you feel are out of your grasp. Often, people will say they can’t achieve one of their dreams because it simply costs more than they have available to spend. It’s true, some dreams are really expensive. I would love to live in a Scottish castle for a month and have a chef prepare all my meals while I write to my heart’s content. That can’t happen anytime soon because of the cost.
This is why learning about budgeting and finances can be empowering. Funding that dream that you feel is just out of your grasp might actually be more possible than you previously imagined. Maybe you want to learn ballroom dance but always assumed the classes were too expensive and therefore haven’t looked into it. You put a dream on hold because you didn’t have real information to work with.
If you are like a lot of people, the idea of money management, especially when it comes to funding your dreams, might sound a little scary. Budgeting is only for people who run businesses and have money in mutual funds, right? Wrong. If you’ve made it this far and haven’t taken the time to become financially savvy, then you owe it to yourself to learn. Not only does budgeting offer a sense of ownership of the household funds, it also opens opportunities for future decisions. Having a better understanding of how money works, in general, will help you make better decisions when it comes to making investments, home improvements, and paying off debt.
You can’t fund a dream when you don’t know the numbers.
Let’s use our ballroom dancing scenario as an example. Someone chose not to take classes because they assumed the classes cost too much. The keyword there is assumed. Without the real numbers, there’s no way of knowing what kind of financial commitment those classes would require. But, if you learned the classes were $100 a month, then you have the power to make a better decision. With the actual number, you can see if funding that expense fits within your household budget or if you would need to find a way to earn the extra.
If you’ve always struggled with the idea of finances, there’s no better time to learn than the present. Take baby steps so you don’t get overwhelmed and start learning. Pinpoint one financial topic that you’d like to be more knowledgeable about and spend 15 minutes researching it. It could be anything from setting up a college fund to how to manage a 401K. If you are a visual learner be sure to search YouTube for tutorials and mini-classes.
“We’re debt free!!!” Being inspired by Dave Ramsey
Student debt is a huge burden on many families, and ours was no different. When my husband finished his master’s degree we were left with years of payments in order to pay it off. We did some research and listened to Dave Ramsey’s podcast on becoming debt free and came up with a plan. It still took years, but armed with the techniques we learned, we were able to pay off the entire student debt in half the time, which in turn saved us a significant amount of money.
Discuss – Share a time that you had a goal that required a budget and how you went about achieving it.