Paying Off Debt While Pursuing Big Crazy Dreams
I'm a dreamer, always have been. I truly believe that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve almost anything. Some exceptions being if you can't sing you probably won't ever become a great singer, though you could become a great entertainer. I dream big believing that the big crazy dream/goal is 100% achievable.
My 2 Biggest Dreams/Goals
I've got two big dreams I'm working towards right now.
Paying off debt so I can be debt free, duh.
Preferably by the time I'm 33, I'll have been out of school 10 years by then. It's a big dream because I'm already halfway to that timeline and nowhere near being debt free.
I'm going to hustle crazy hard in order to make it possible, even then it's a long shot. But until I reach 33 and haven't made it happen, I'm going to keep working like I can.
Why I'm Chasing After More Than One Dream
However, hustling that hard for that long is exhausting and just hard to keep up. Even with smaller financial wins along the way, it can be really draining to only be working towards paying off debt.
I found that after I paid off my credit card debt in Feb. 2015. I wasn't as productive in paying off debt for a few months. I chalked it up to my moving to a new state and waiting for the financial dust to settle.
Having moved again this year (just across town) I again lagged on my debt repayment. I'm just now starting to get going with some consistent extra debt repayment. I've decided I'm not moving for at least another two years. However, to help motivate me on the way I'm going to slowly be pursuing another big crazy dream of mine.
Travel the World
My big crazy dream used to be that I would take a year or two and just travel the globe. However, I travel a lot in my current day job, and it is f-ing exhausting. I realized that constant travel is not what I actually want. Instead, I'd like to visit a place for a couple of weeks and then stay home for a couple of months, slow and steady travel is now the dream.
Though it won't be possible until I'm self-employed. Until then I can work towards smaller doses of that dream. The first trip - Paris in 2017. You may have read my earlier post about travel hacking my way to Paris, I've always wanted to go. To be honest, part of the reason is that no one in my family has ever been.
Particularly, my sister, we were quite competitive growing up (not anymore) and when she was a teenager she was a People to People Sports Ambassador. She traveled to Great Britain to play soccer in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. I know my sister is a total badass (I brag about her now). But wanting to do something no one in my immediate family (to my knowledge) has ever done was/is exciting.
As I've gotten older the history and art of Paris are what makes me so excited to go. Fun fact about me - I can and have spent an entire day in an art museum by myself and was happy as a clam.
Working Towards Both Goals/Dreams
I still have a ton of student loan debt, which means pursuing travel on a budget. Even though I want to be debt free, I've decided I won't work towards it without having the ability to travel and enjoy my life. I'll just do it in moderation without incurring additional debt.
Life is too short to only pursue one dream/goal at a time. Being able to travel keeps me motivated to keep hustling so I can pay off my debt and pay for my travel goals.
Hustling just for debt is no fun, debt is no fun and it's why I hustle. However, setting aside just a little of that hustle money towards travel keeps me happy to keep on hustling.
So why am I talking about this?
Because paying off debt is only one part of the equation when talking about my finances. There is the cost of living a life I enjoy, the living expenses of rent, insurance, utilities, groceries and more. Figuring out how to fit the cost of travel into my life while paying down my debt took time. It didn't happen overnight. I had a lot to learn before I found the right balance.
The truth is I could easily lose that balance if I'm not careful and always taking note of my actions and their consequences.
Debt is one piece of the financial puzzle and it doesn't define who you are or what you can do, don't let it get you too down. If you are struggling, there are tons of resources out there from books to courses to even webinars.