Growing up I always dreamed of going to Australia. Who doesn’t, kangaroos, koalas, the platypus, that mysterious creature was sewn together from the spare parts of other animals, didgeridoos, Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Great Barrier Reef, beaches, and surfing. There are a million reasons to want to go and visit, but then I grew up and found out how expensive it is to get there. It can cost almost $1000 just to fly there and then you have to stay somewhere and eat and all the attractions cost money. That’s when the dream died, right? Does it have too, or maybe if I learn to prioritize I can still make my dream happen?
A normal day out.
Today we went out to get some things. We ended up spending $175 at the store on clothes. Then we had lunch at McDonald’s so the kids could play and it came to $20 and that’s eating off the dollar menu. I had to sign the kids up for Scouts, that came to $105. Casey needed salsa so he went to the store and spent $20, he obviously picked up more than just salsa. By the end of the day, we’d spent $320. Some of that was on things we had planned but most of it was impulsive.
There’s nothing wrong with new clothes or McDonald’s or Scouts, but when I stop to consider those small purchases throughout the day with my dream of going to Australia, was it worth it? What I want you to think about is this, learn to prioritize what you spend your money on and you can make your dream happen. Instead of stopping for lunch, we could have gone home. That only saves $20. What if we do that two or three times a week? Now we are saving $40 or $60. Over the course of a year that one decision to eat at home saves us $3,000.
What could you do with $3,000?
A lot, right? Learn to prioritize what you spend your money on and you can make your dream happen. Train yourself to question every purchase. Do I need this? Is this in line with my priorities? Can I wait a week before buying this to make sure it’s what I want or need? That’s a big question. Delay buying so that you can make purchases that are aligned with your priorities. Don’t fill your home up with stuff or buy things that have no real value. Determine what you want in life and then make it happen. Post it on your bedroom wall, bathroom, kitchen sink. Tell yourself, “I’m saying no now, so I can say yes later.”
Investopedia.com claims that as an American we are in the top 15% income earners in the world. Why don’t we feel like we are? Because we have to learn to prioritize what we want and stop comparing ourselves to the people around us. We aren’t competing with the people around us and even if we are, let them win sometimes so that we can win other times. Learn to prioritize what you spend your money on and you can make your dream happen.
We did just that. We learned to prioritize what is important to us and we have made that trip to Australia. I’m reliving the trip right now on Facebook as each day I get to see what we were doing one year ago. It was amazing!! It is so beautiful and the animals are so different. We loved it all and are planning on going back in 4 years. It’s not always easy but it is doable. I love using YNAB.com to help us reach our financial goals. I’ll tell you more about them in a future blog. Learn to prioritize what you spend your money on and you can make that dream happen.