Vision without action is merely a dream.
Action without vision just passes the time.
Vision with action can change the world.
Joel A. Barker, author and futurist
Last month, I asked you to think about a dream vacation or adventure. I hope you brought your trip to life on a dream board to fully envision your goal.
Today, we are going to take action to turn your vision into reality.
Step 1: See your goal. Go back to your dream board, search for your destination online, or if the idea came from a magazine, read the article again. Immerse yourself in thoughts of being at your destination.
Step 2: Feel what it will be like. Take a few minutes to make an itinerary and outline the specific activities you will be doing. Then, describe your feelings. Are you calm, relaxed, exhilarated?
Step 3: Action. Create a simple budget. This is the tool that will turn your desires into reality.
Think about what you will want and need for your trip. Research your options and be realistic. Remember, you can make this trip as simple or as deluxe as you choose.
Now, begin to sort out the details. The budget categories youll want to use are: transportation, lodging, meals, activities, spending money and miscellaneous.
Using your research, do your best to accurately estimate the costs. Total the amounts you budgeted for each category. This is what you need to save to make your trip a reality.
If the total seems too high, review each item in your budget to see how you can scale back. Less expensive lodging? Drive instead of fly? A self-guided tour instead of a guided trip? Be creative.
Your next decision is when to go. This is important because youll need time to build up your savings. The goal is to pay for your trip before you go.
Divide the total amount you budgeted for the trip by the number of months until you want to go. This is the amount youll need to set aside each month. If this goal seems too big, decide if youre willing to wait longer or if you would prefer to reduce your expenses.
To make this dream even more real, I suggest you open a special savings account specifically for this trip. Each month deposit your savings goal into the account.
You may even want to have the bank set up an automatic monthly withdrawal from your checking account into your savings account so youre not tempted to skip a month.
Congratulations, you are now using the financially independent mind-set. You created a vision for yourself, you researched it, planned a budget, evaluated your spending habits to accommodate your goal and took action to begin saving for a future expense.
Next month: Shape your path by tweaking your environment and building new habits.
www.DebtFreeTribe Durango resident and personal finance coach Matt Kelly owns Momentum: Personal Finance.