Do you remember that old classic song by the Everly Brothers from way back when entitled “All I Have to Do Is Dream”? Well it’s a classic and it is all about wanting someone that you just can’t seem to ever have. The story of the song is simple, all you have to do is dream and you can get the person you want with one small catch. You may be spending all of your time just dreaming and never actually getting to the goal that you really want!
Well, that was true in the song back in 1958 and it’s still true today. In fact, dreaming about what you want may be a great start to getting there, but the reality is this: You may never have your dreams come true, including your financial dreams, unless you actually do something about them!
If I were to make a guess, I’d be pretty safe in saying that everyone wants to be a financial success. Of course that may mean different things to different people. But it’s something that makes most of us get up and get out of bed every day. And when we do, we think that that success will come to us…eventually, if we are either lucky, work hard, know someone, or rob a bank. I suggest you avoid the latter and go for one of the other safer choices if you want to reach your goal. Whatever way you attempt to reach it though, it does involve having a dream or a better way to say it is “having a vision”.
Setting Realistic Plans Are the First Step
I can’t tell you how many times I have listened to friends and relatives talk about their “plans to get that big financial dream ‘thingy’ that they want” and when I hear it, I always listen for the key to getting it: the plan.
Sometimes I do hear one that makes sense, seems do-able, and might just happen the way it was drawn up on paper. Like for example, someone wants to buy a house and has been saving up for the down payment and closing costs they need and by this time next year they will be house hunting!
Yes, setting a realistic financial goal and then following though is a great way to make a dream come true. Setting goals will help you work to make your future better, prioritize spending, measure your progress, and take pride in bettering your life.
Whether your goal will take a week, a month, or several years to reach, turn your goal into a financial target and set aside money each week or month to reach that goal. Decide on the total amount you need for your goal and the number of weeks you have.
A Practical Example and the Why and How You Need to Do It
It goes without saying that if you simply dream, all you get is a morning after where you sort of have a little of it in your memory bank but you never can get it all, can you? It’s the same with your money and your dreams. Without a plan, you don’t ever get there and get it all. Just bits and pieces which eventually become regrets and struggles or worse, financial disasters.
Here’s an example. In order to have $1,000 for an emergency fund in the next ten months, you need to save $100 per month or about $25 per week. You can revise your goals to what makes sense for your family.
Saving is the secret to success in personal finance. Those with a savings plan with specific goals save more successfully than those without a plan.
The Seven Secrets of Super Savers
When I was in school, I came across the concept of the seven secrets of super savers in a personal finance textbook written by E. Thomas Garman and Raymond E. Forgue. They have written a series of texts used by universities and colleges about the concepts of savings and setting goals to reach your financial dreams. Here are the seven secrets of super savers!
In addition to the setting of goals, they focus on the needs of the person instead of just the impulses and wants.
They also emphasize the avoidance of debt and if they do not have the money now, to cut back on spending for expensive items until they can afford them with money that has been saved. Learn to make smart spending choices on everyday items.
The text is based on the use of mindful spending choices for everyday items, the tracking of spending, and making savings automatic in your life. The best way is to use your employer’s retirement plan and/or your own savings accounts.
If you have not learned all of these concepts, your chances of achieving your financial dreams is pretty slim.
Pay Yourself First
How many times have you read the phrase, “pay yourself first”? It can’t be emphasized too much to treat savings as your first expense every day and to pay that expense first, if you can. If you can’t, find a way!
It’s also important to focus on your financial future and have a budget or spending plan. This gives you control and shows your willingness to set aside now for the future and your financial dreams, whether it’s a house, a car, retirement, or whatever you want!
As you build your savings, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have the funds, a little at a time, to set aside for your goals.
If you haven’t learned it by now, financial planning takes time, patience, and discipline. In order to make your financial dreams come true, you will have to learn that.
I know I have said it many times, but it has to be repeated again and again. Dreams can come true, but only if you stop making a dream your only tool in getting to the goal. Dreams alone will not do it, only actions and dreams together will get you there!
Are you a dreamer or a doer? Or are you both? If so, then you are on your way to fulfilling your financial success and if not, then re-read this post again and try to understand that wishing, hoping, and dreaming alone won’t get the dream to come true! It’s worth reading it over and over again to get it right.