06 Jun Dream Life Budget Calculator
One of the things I like to talk to people about around money is a Dream Life Budget. The Dream Life Budget is what I call the actual, physical, amount it would cost for them to live the life they’d love to live. Today I’m going to talk about what the Dream Life Budget is, why its important, and how to do it.
I’m always fascinates by what I call the “lotto mentality’. It goes a little like this.
The ‘Lotto Mentality’
‘Oh, if only I won the lotto all of my problems will be over’
‘Great’, I say. ‘How much do you need to win?’
‘How much do you need to win in the lotto to solve your problems?’
At this point we quickly establish that the lotto is not the answer to the problem and the issue runs way deeper.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the lotto. The issue is that people don’t know how much money they need to achieve the quality of life that they want. The issue isn’t that they won’t win the lotto, the issue is that they have no actual idea what their ‘Dream Life’ will cost.
Why do I need to know what my Dream Life will cost?
In general there are two main schools of thinking in life; the rational/logical/science school and the creative/philosophical/spiritual approach. Regardless of which approach appeals to you, BOTH schools of thought support the idea that you should know how much your Dream Life will cost.
The hippy-woo-woo holistic approach says that if you don’t know what you want, then you can’t manifest it. That the universe, or whatever you believe in, can’t provide it for you. Imagine telling your friend you bought a new iron, and she says she has an old one in the shed you could have had. Sort of like that.
If you don’t know what you want, no one knows to give it to you.
The science approach suggests that knowing the specific number is good goal setting practice, that when you know how much you need it gives you something to aim for. Theres a saying that says millionaires check their goals once a day and billionaires twice. Its impossible to set a good plan without a clear goal.
Still not convinced! There are more benefits!
When I’ve sat with people and actually worked out their ‘Life Budget’, it has actually been WAY LESS than they thought it would be, and seeing it on paper worked in amazing ways. Instead of assuming you can never be financially free, you can start seeing ways of making your dreams a reality.
Also, drawing up the budget makes people really clear on what it is they want from their life. It also sets what quality-of-life they want to live it at. Knowing your preferred quality of life is an essential way of developing any sort of life or career plan because that standard of life you want will drive everything you do.
Who should set a Dream Life Budget?
I recommend this to everyone from young college students, up to my own friends and family. Its quick and easy and don’t worry, you can always change it later if you change your mind!
How do you work it out?
Well firstly I have developed a cool worksheet that you can fill in and it will help you plan out your number. All you have to do is sign up later in this post to receive your free copy. If you want to do your own versions heres how it works.
There should be 3 main parts to it:
- Clearing debt
- Capital expenditure
- Living Expenses
This can include existing credit card debts, car loans and mortgages etc. Always focus on clearing debt before you go spending.
Your items here can include things like a new home, a new car, holidays, a new wardrobe, some personal investment… it can be anything you want to buy
Most people would love to quit work, but did you ever wonder how much you would need to live for a year? And then, how many years would you like to live like that. Using rough numbers work it out.
Once you have these three categories, add them up and there is your Life Budget.