Dreams, goals and financial reality checks

If money weren’t an object, I’d go back to school full-time to complete my degree and continue on with my Masters in Business Administration.

Some of the items on my to-do list for the next 10 years are:

  • Becoming debt free
  • Taking a family vacation to Washington, DC and Birmingham, Alabama
  • Becoming more organized
  • Sending my parents on a vacation
  • Travelling to Paris and Africa
  • Taking a cruise to Alaska


Goal setting is the first step in attaining them. By specifying what you want to attain, it gives you clarity and something to work towards. It gives you motivation and inspiration. It provides accountability and helps you to formulate SMART goals. It’s hard to get anywhere when you don’t have a starting or ending point.

What would you do if money weren’t an object?
Take a moment and really think about it – what would you do if you could just get up and do it?

Now for the reality check – it would be great to do all those things and more if money were not an obstacle. But let’s be real with one another – for the vast majority of us it is.

Let me be clear on this – I try my hardest (and am pretty successful at) not stressing seriously about money and finances as long as my family’s basic necessities (shelter and food) are not seriously affected. We may not be comfortable (lack of cable or steak dinners every night) but we’re a whole lot better off than some without those things. When I began putting things into that perspective, it helped to ease a lot of my stress and stress-related issues that I was having.

Today we discuss and ponder the steps to financial freedom. You have to know where you’re going to get there, right? There are tons of financial planners, motivational speakers, guides, etc. Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman are two of the more popular ones that come to mind immediately. It was Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University that helped put lots of financial matters into perspective for me. That was my first introduction to budgeting and debt management in a way that I could relate to and that didn’t bore me to tears.

For me the biggest personal financial issues I need to tackle are:

  •  paying down/off debt
  • creating and sticking with a budget
  • having an emergency fund
  • having a long-term savings account (3-6 months of living expenses)

My immediate plan of attack to become more financially savvy:

  •  Organize all outstanding debt/bills and get the true amount owed.
  • Don’t keel over from a heart attack when I see that number.
  • Set up a realistic budget on what can be paid based on income, due dates, and living expenses.
  • Budget savings as a mandatory bill and don’t touch it unless absolutely an emergency

Do you know the true balance of all outstanding debt that you owe?
 Do you have a household budget or do you spend as needed without pre-planning?

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  • Goals are so important when you are on a new financial path. We’re actually going to talk about this this Wednesday on the #FrugalCrew twitter chat. I hope you can come and share your goals with everyone!

  • Great goals and yes you can do it. I have found that if I look at all ways to accomplish something instead of the one or two ways that I know or have used, I can typically get it done. Go get ’em Diva!

  • This is such a struggle for me! I love your goals and wish you success.

  • Yaasss! Great goals, but it is the fact that you taken it further with a manageable plan of action that will help you achieve your goals.

  • I loike the fact that you have a goal and a plan. Now start taking some action Diva!

    • Michelle

      Yes ma’am 🙂 Appreciate you Janeane!

  • Kesha Brown

    You can do it girl…you know why? Because you know what you need to do AND have written down your goals and plans…do it big! 🙂

    • Michelle

      Thanks Kesha!!! Now to move on to the ACTION stage!

  • Love your goals! Yes we have a budget and although it is not easy at times, it does work. Congrats on your plan of attack – I love it!

    • Michelle

      Thanks Raquel! I’m finding those things that are “easy” usually come with some serious long-term after effects when it comes to our finances.