As a child we dream about the future, about becoming a a firefighter or an astronaut. As we get older into our teens, our dreams turn more superficial. Teens start to think about cars and making their own money and how they can buy the things they dream about.
Through the years and generations, dreams have become different as we get older. The monetary dreams have moved from more realistic dreams that are within our lifestyles to larger-than-life dreams that are extravagant and financed with debt and a new credit card.
We live in the most marketed-to-society the world has ever seen. The average american adult sees around 360 advertisements per day. Children are advertised to many different ways as well. In fact my 2 year old watches youtube videos of a little boy who opens a new toy everyday and now she is being advertised to in hopes we buy her those toys.
At some point through in our journey to reaching our dreams, they change. They start to change into dreaming we can actually make the car payment or pay the credit cards each month. As we focus on payments for things we’ve already bought, our dreams shift from the items we could buy to just surviving and thinking that making payments is how it will always be.
When did my family all lose our sight of our bright dreams of what the future could be? I can’t tell you when we lost our dreams but I can tell you when we got our dreams back and took control of our dreams again.
It was in our discussions about budgeting and getting on the same page of sacrifice for a reason. We were normal in every aspect of finances in that we had student loans, credit cards, cars, and yes even lawyer fees. Our thoughts were that we could afford anything that we could afford the monthly payments on.
When we started, well when I brought the idea to Amber, I had everything figured out (I thought) to where we could pay off debt and sacrifice lifestyle so we could get to retirement, fund our kids college, have no mortgage, and live like no one else (as Dave Ramsey would say). This was not the right approach, just like a bull in a china cabinet, I did not have the vision to get her to just agree without any other information. The information I was missing was our dreams, her dreams. I came in with a solution to a problem that I realized, but I did not let her realize that our dreams had been watered down (i like that quote).
Once we starting dreaming together and realized together that we had settled for normal, there was no stopping the momentum we would later build. It is those dreams that act like a shock or jump start to the movement. Dreams without restrictions allowed us to realize our potential once we took control of our finances. We no longer wanted water down dreams, so we used our dreams to create our momentum and passion to live outside of the normal payment making lifestyle.
You too absolutely will not succeed with any goal, but especially with debt, if you don’t have goals, aspirations, dreams. You must sit down today with your spouse and family and start talking about and really, truly dreaming about what your future could be, what you want your future to be. Do you want to be a millionaire? Do you want to travel with little to no inhibitions? Do you want to sponsor 200 kids in Zimbabwe? What do you want to see in your future? Talk about your dreams, write them down, start to dream again. Only then can you make a plan to reach those dreams.
Charles Moore is a veteran, rocket doctor, financial coach, and blogger. If you’ve decided its time for you to suit up and fight for your financial freedom, check out his website at www.CAMFinancialCoach.comwhere you can get information on the coaching process, package options, and an unbeatable library of knowledge on winning financial battles.