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Growing up I had apple pie in the sky kind of dreams- a mansion, with a wildly successful career, family, and all of my dream cars. A big, fancy American dream. Now, as an adult, I still have dreams of the future- just a little more realistic and down to earth. A new American dream. As Kyle has said: “I’d rather live paycheck to paycheck and not be in debt, than live a life of dreams and owe the world,”. But why can’t both be possible? To me, being successful means having a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my table (and in my cabinets), a career that I enjoy, a little extra pocket money, and the ability to provide for my family. Maybe take an occasional family vacation, even if it’s just within our state. Some day, I’ll join the workforce again and who knows- maybe we’ll be a little bit closer to that apple pie in the sky. Or maybe our dream will just change to fit our new situation.
I think that one way to achieve this reasonable but still satisfying dream is creating and staying within a family budget. We keep a monthly budget of general household expenses and also keep a separate weekly food budget. Tracking finances hasn’t always been something that we’ve stayed on top of in the past, and sometimes we do end up living paycheck to paycheck. But, we know where that money is going and we’re not buying anything we don’t need. We still live comfortably and within our means. We don’t need fancy clothes, the latest gadgets, or a brand new car to feel secure or feel successful. Knowing that we’re able to put a good, healthy meal on the table is a mark of success for us. Or knowing that if we did run into a household emergency, we would have the money to get us through, that is a mark of success for us.
What about you? What’s your New American Dream?
Once living the American dream of fancy cars, custom homes, and a pile of debt, Mark and Lauren Greutman exchanged that overrated, stressed out dream for their new American dream of enjoying life together while living within their means. They’ll teach you how to jumpstart your new American dream. Visit them here
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