January Money Diet Day 14 – What is Your Financial Dream?

Dream big | January Money Diet

It’s Day #14 of the January Money Diet, and the Powerball frenzy is officially over. Three people became gazillionaires last night, and the rest of us continue our daily lives.

Last night my teenage son and I had a fun conversation around a topic many of us have likely considered: “What would you do if you won the money?”

He’ll be driving in a year, so a Lamborghini Aventador and Bugatti Veyron were at the top of his list. It was fun to hear his ideas about funding his college account to the max, the family members with whom he would share the money, the charities he would support, and the improvements he would make to our house (a hot tub for me — yes! — and an underground garage for our luxury vehicles).

While most of us won’t beat the 292 million-to-one odds of winning the lottery, we nonetheless all have the opportunity to do something extraordinary with our money.

If this is your first year on the January Money Diet, perhaps you’re experiencing the wonder and joy of a checking account balance that holds steady. I’ve been doing this challenge for seven years, and I still get excited by this truth:  If I don’t spend it, I will still have it!

The greater truth then becomes:  If I am mindful and thoughtful, then I — a regular, working, non-lottery-winning person — can do something extraordinary with money.

How About You?

What are your goals for your money? When you think of financial freedom, what comes to mind? What extraordinary thing would you like to do with your money?

My goals used to be heavily focused on getting out of debt, which was a dark cloud hanging over me. The relief and freedom I felt when I made the last credit card payment was unbelievable. If this is your dream, too, I encourage you to stick with it.

Now my dreams include traveling, giving, saving for my son’s college, and planning for retirement.

Your challenge today, if you choose to accept it, is to sit in a quiet place and think about your Big Picture financial goals. Where would you like to be at the end of 2016? How about in five years, and in ten years?

We’d love to hear about your money dreams and goals in the comments section of this page.

Here’s to all good things in the year ahead,

The signature for Eliza Cross

Photo: Dennis Jarvis

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

10 comments to January Money Diet Day 14 – What is Your Financial Dream?

  • Marissa

    My goal is to be debt free within the next 2-3 years. Then would love to save and take my son and his mate (and possibly my mum) on big trip across the pacific to USA, starting at Brisbane (Aus), NZ, Cook islands, Hawaii, LA and all the towns along route 66…. viva Las Vegas

  • Julee

    In five years I would like to put more money in my retirement account to help maximize my investment in myself. In ten years I am striving to have my home mostly paid off by using the Dave Ramsey (snowball) method. I try every day to stay focused on my goals which some can be a challenge!!

  • Colette

    As a single parent with three daughters, I bought and paid for my house and a deeded cabin on 2+ acres on a very remote lake, entirely on my own. Maybe with all of the frugal scrimping, I justified “rewarding” myself by buying all sorts of cool vintage things off of e-bay. DANGEROUS! I now have a BIG credit card debt, but, thankfully, my interest rate is under 6%. My financial goal is to pay off the entire credit card, and not use my credit card again for emotional or frivolous spending. I would also love to just rent out my house and move out to the cabin, at least for a year. That will take some planning and preparation as it’s 100 miles from the nearest town in the heart of grizzly territory. That is my second financial goal!

  • Kim

    I am 5 years from retirement age, so my goal is to save, save. I do not have any debt and house is paid for. My goal is to keep up with home & property repairs.

  • Kimberly

    I guess I am a bit different.I had to start over with nothing, Divorce and left with the clothes on my back.God blessed me with a wonderful husband this time but we had both been through a lot so our journey has just begun. Getting a credit score that wasn’t laughable done, out of debt almost, starting to save yes. I think in 5 years I will be over 60. I lost my job 5 years ago and no one want to hire me. God has a plan I know so I watch watch we have a spend wisely. In 5 years I would love to own some land but if I can’t pay for it without a mortgage then I will not add that kind of debt to our lives. I cook all our food from scratch to try and keep my family healthy plus it is a saving. When people say you can’t eat healthy on a tight budget they are wrong. I am so grateful for being able to live very frugal and hope someday to live my dream of land with a small home and grow all our food. This is the second year I have done the no spend month with you. I also do it several times through the year. Makes you use your imagination at times and yes we have had a bean and rice dinner many times.

  • Lynn Louise

    Our goal is to lessen our debt but at the same time plan for retirement and work less/enjoy more time off. Putting our money to work but also save for the future. Balance of paying our expenses and saving. I would love to be able to donate to all the pet shelters in our area/state. I would also love to donate to several charities that are near and dear to my heart. Having the means to help those that can’t help themselves is my dream.

  • Well… this may sound counter-intuitive, but I think my financial goals for 2016 involve spending money. Well, perhaps “investing” might be a better description. My house is in desperate need of some TLC, and it’s getting to the point where I spend so much time and energy trying to work around things that aren’t fully functional, that it’s really counter productive. I’m under no illusions that I’ll get it all done this year, but I’d really like to make some progress.

    I’ve spent so much of my life squirling away money for “some day” and I’m starting to realize that perhaps I’d be better off if I actually put some of it into my home now – rather than just letting it sit there gathering dust in an account that’s earning virtually no interest. Not only will it increase the value of my house, but it will also free up some time and energy so I’ll be able to focus on something other than holding the place together!

    • CatLady, that is cool that you have saved your money and can be wise about making home improvements this year. We live in a fixer-upper, and it seems like there is ALWAYS something that needs TLC. I like your thinking that if you no longer have to “hold the place together” (I’m imagining you and a giant roll of duct tape) you can have time for other endeavors. You’ll have to let me know what that’s like! 🙂

  • Lyn

    I would love to pay off our mortgage and home equity and fully fund our kids college accounts so that my husband could work 3 or 4 days a week. We both turned 50 in the past year and he is getting pretty burned out from work that he fundamentally loves. Achieving that goal would make me truly happy.

    • Those are wonderful goals, Lyn. I can appreciate the feeling of wanting to have a certain quality of life, especially after turning 50. You are taking a big step by having discipline this month and trying new strategies. I am pulling for you SO hard, and sending you encouragement and positive thoughts. xoxo

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