Recently a couple of friends have sent me e-mails (they are also bloggers), and they seem amazed that I’m able to live off of just writing. They asked if I was going into debt, dipping into savings, or somehow making 6-figures as a blogger (hah!). The answer is “no” to all of those questions, and it reminded me of that quote: you can have anything you want, but not everything.
Half of being able to afford anything you want is learning how to prioritize, and understanding what you really value in life.
If your dream is to move to NYC to become a fashion designer, get out of credit card debt, buy your very first home, or have the wedding of your dreams, what are you doing to bring yourself closer to that goal? Because just talking about your dreams won’t make them come true.
I recently had a conversation with a friend whose goal really is to move to NYC to become a fashion designer. She was accepted into her dream school for this September, but the 2-year program will cost a staggering $80,000! She also applied to schools that were less expensive, but her heart has always been set on this one particular school, so she had to make some serious decisions. After much thought, she decided to postpone her start date for 1 year so that she could save up more money. That way, she gets to go to her dream school, but in exchange, she’s going to have to make some serious cutbacks in her lifestyle, and start saving like crazy over the next 365 days.
We are faced with decisions like this on an everyday basis, and it’s how we react that will determine what we value. My neighbour in Vancouver goes to Starbucks every morning. She knows that by spending her money on caffeine, she won’t be able to go on vacations as often – and she’s okay with that. She knows she can’t have everything that she wants, so she has chosen to spend her money on what she values.
If you want to get a dog but can’t afford it on a monthly basis, why are you eating out at restaurants so often? If you want to visit your family more often but you can’t afford the plane ticket, why are you spending so much on cable television?
Six years ago, I was the perfect example of someone who wanted (and bought) everything. And as a result, I was over $20,000 in debt. But I wanted to become a homeowner. I wanted to stop stressing about bills. I wanted to stop having to monitor my bank accounts to make sure I wouldn’t go into overdraft. And I knew I couldn’t keep living the way that I was, AND have the life that I wanted for myself. So I made a choice.
Take a few minutes to think about what you truly want in life. You can take that trip to Africa, you can buy that fancy sports car, and you can retire early – you can have anything you want in life… just not everything. The problem is, many of us are unwilling to make sacrifices in order to afford what we really want. So we end up settling, stuck envying the lives of others, and wishing we had the money to do the things we’ve always dreamt of.