I too Have a Dream…

July 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm (Art, Letting go, LoVe, Relationships, simple frugality, Travel) (, , , , , , , , , )

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

I have been reading a lot lately and have come to the conclusion finally that I am not alone in my anti-marketing philosophy. I have always believed in meeting people’s needs and not selling them on something whether it is a belief or a product.

We all have too many people trying to separate us from our money, time and resources.

If it is true that when we give advise we are really talking to ourselves in the past then I have a lot to say to a younger me! I will start with STOP spending so much money on crap you don’t need and won’t want soon. I once did a sickening exercise in money blown and how much it really is and it blew my mind. I spent more money on pointless items and eating in restaurants when I was young and struggling to earn than when I was making a very healthy living… I would also say to her dare to take more chances in love and career. I stayed where I didn’t belong too long for reasons I am still not quite able to reconcile. Looking back the chances I have taken and the leaps of faith have paid off. The times I was living in fear and passed on taking those leaps ended up not panning out quite as well. I would have to say living within your means is highly under rated in our culture and yet it is the passport to freedom. Staying in a job because you support the good folks at American Express cuts your options in life. Not owing anyone but the landlord and the gas and light company each month equal more opportunity to change your life as you see fit and act on opportunity as it arrives.

Saving money has many implications. Am I saving money on a purchase or saving because I didn’t make a purchase and put the money aside for bigger dreams? Either way save it, stash it, make it and appreciate what it can do for you. Opportunity cost is that which you missed out on because you couldn’t backpack across India with your friends because you spent all your cash in clubs, restaurants and Nordstrom. You can only spend it once despite what the commercials for credit cards want us to think. I was looking over my last year’s credit card summary (I paid this off last month) and I paid over $1750 in interest alone! That is a roundtrip ticket to anywhere on the planet! Talk about opportunity cost?! I am now saving the amount I used to pay in on my credit card and have set aside a portion of that for international travel. I am now able once again to do little things I put on hold during the payoff period. I have bought a few books and am spending some on sailing lessons a life long dream. I plan on spending some time sailing while traveling so getting my certifications is important to me. I never regret money spent on personal education and training.

Health and the debt illness. I believe the stress from debt is very hard on health. It was for me. I spent too much energy on worrying and coming up with money in tight months to pay them first. I now have a huge weight off my shoulders and it feels great! Now I can buy healthier organic food and again that is an improvement for my health. Not getting sick is a whole lot easier than getting well. Sounds like double talk? No, not really when you stop to think about the cost of stress and cheap food on your health.  Even the cost of the gym membership which financial gurus will try to convince you must be given up is money well spent when used. Exercise has a lot to do with reducing stress and overall health. Something I should mention to my younger self and remind my present self.

Travel is high on my priority list as I did not travel much in early adult life. I made a rather quick decision to move to France in 2007 as part of a study abroad for my business school. I attended a private university in the Calanques outside of Marseille. The natural environment was so stunning I could not gather the words to tell my family back home how incredible it was to go to school and live in a forest on the sea. I spent my weekends in Paris and Nimes and Arles and the surrounding countryside. I spent my week-long breaks in Amsterdam. My boyfriend came to visit for two weeks and stayed two months even traveling to Italy during my mid terms to check out the Angel Academy of art where he hoped to one day study.  None of this would have been possible had I not saved for years and gone without lattes at school (I brought my own tea bags and commuter mug) and planned ahead. I was able to pay cash for my life abroad and incurred no debt. I was free to travel and explore the French countryside as no tourist ever could. My boyfriend and I had discussed traveling to Belgium and Holland in the first year of our relationship and in the second I went to France. Although we are no longer together our shared experiences in Europe are a tie that binds and is full of memories of trials and fun and discovery.

My most recent journey into debt involved helping out a family member which again I have no regrets except that I could have planned and managed it all better on my part. My mother taught me never to loan money you can’t afford to gift so I always see these things as just that. Now that I am debt free for a third time in my life (the last time lasted 13 years) I am older and wiser. Money is just a tool and nothing more so spend it like your time…wisely.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Asta Lander said,

    Funny you would mention spending money on Education – and never regretting it. I am toying with the idea of going back to Uni to study something I have longed to study all my life… and then I think about the money I would need for text books, materials etc, and the student loan. But like you Ellen – I am sure it is something I would not regret. I think what I would regret more is if I don’t follow this path sometime soon. A x

    • ellenscottgrable said,

      Go after you save at least half the program tuition to reduce your financial burden and prepare for expenses such as texts and lab fees. Have you checked out Coursera.org for a beta program in online education from American Ivy League Universities for FREE!? See if they offer anything of interest.~ Ellen

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