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Create a Budget for the Life You Want

by Shawanda Greene

Is lack of money preventing you from realizing your dreams?

A close look at your budget may reveal that money isn’t your problem. Instead of creating a spending plan for your life as it already is, devise a budget for what you want your life to be.

The idea of the target monthly income was first revealed to me while reading Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week. The point of determining your target monthly income is to see how much money you need to earn in order to live the life you want.

After 3 and a half years of pondering the concept, I finally ran the numbers for my own target monthly income. Of course this budget has to include essentials such as food, water, shelter, transportation, health insurance, internet, cell phone, etc. But my wants are simple. I want to travel to New York once a month during the summer and live in Barbados during the winter. From time to time, I’d like to visit my mama in Jacksonville, FL.

From the looks of things, I only need to earn about $70,000 annually (before tax) to achieve my goals. That ain’t much. I even threw in a line item for saving 20% of my average monthly expenditures.

After performing this exercise, you may realize as I did, money isn’t the problem. Lack of job flexibility, fear, or time mismanagement might be issues that hold you up, but money probably isn’t.

No doubt my target monthly income has no where to go but up. I’ll want more and more, but for now, $70K per year is plenty.

As much as we love the song, I Wanna Be a Billionaire by Bruno Mars, many of us don’t need to concern ourselves with earning that much cash. Heck, a million dollars might seem excessive after you calculate what you need in order to live that dream life you’ve been putting off. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind being a billionaire. And I don’t have any problems with the people who are. However, I don’t have to wait until I’m one of them to redesign my life.

Do you believe money is keeping you from living the life you want? How much money is enough?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Shawanda February 12, 2011 at 6:37 PM

You're absolutely right. I plan on going to Italy this summer, and I feel like I'm constantly turning down invitations to travel during interim. There will come a time when I can travel much more frequently, but now isn't the time. Gotta stay focused on my long term financial goals.

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