Now that the gloomier winter months have passed us by, it is a good time to reflect on the dreams of a better life that may have kept us going on the more miserable days. Maybe you imagined having a new job or moving to a different country. Well, just because the days are getting longer and warmer doesn’t mean you should put these aspirations to one side for another year.
At Serenity Financial Planning we believe anything is possible if you plan your financial future according to the life you really want to lead. We try not to let our clients run too far with any sentence that begins ‘but I couldn’t do that because’ or ‘it’s just a dream’ as often there are ways that they can turn that dream into the reality.
So in the spirit of the March Hare, it’s time to be as mad as you like. Here are four common dreams that people have but assume are too crazy to contemplate seriously – and how a little perspective can set you on the path to making them actually come true.
‘I want to get a job that I’ll love’
Often we think a dream job is going to dictate a drop in salary and that thought alone will be enough to stop us scanning the classified ads. But even if it is true, would that be a bad thing? Better to want to get out of bed in the morning and work out how your current and future financial picture can accommodate the shift in earnings. Plus if you love what you do, there’s every chance that you might be able to make more from doing it in the long term by learning new skills and developing the ones you have.
‘I want to take an extended holiday’
Maybe you are happy in your job but the thought of going travelling for six months or a year – or even longer – appeals. It doesn’t just have to be the domain of gap year students or people who live in a commune, you can be living a ‘normal’ life and decide to embark on an extensive tour of the US or Australia – or wherever. In fact you are likely to be in a better position financially to do such a long trip. Even if your boss doesn’t let you take quite so long a sabbatical, who knows what career you will be ready to embark upon when you return.
‘I want to live by the sea/in the countryside/in a hot country’
Most people envisage living somewhere else but at best it is an idea we only discuss when we’re holidaying there. By the time we get home, we resign ourselves to booking our next trip to our dream place instead of taking the plan to make a permanent move a step forward. Consider your ties. Your job? Well, that should fit in with your desired life rather than the other way round. Your family? Whether you have a spouse to talk round or the kids’ education to think about, it is worth exploring your options, examining the implications for your finances and seeing where this leads you. Chances are, it’ll take you to the sea/countryside/warmer climes. Job done.
‘I want a conservatory/gym in the attic/recording studio in the basement’
Dreams don’t have to be particularly ambitious to seem unattainable. Think of some of the things you have often imagined having and how you have told yourself: ‘I can’t afford it.’ Of course there are mortgage payments and bills and everyday living expenses that take priority but what about other revenue streams that you might be saving for ‘a rainy day’ or retirement. Ask yourself why and for what purpose when you could be using that money to fulfil a dream important to you now. The long term benefits of doing that must surely far outweigh the knowledge that you have funds that, going forward, you could accumulate in another way.