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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
I am horrible at budgeting, which is ironic because my husband is an accountant and would be so much better at managing our money….if I let him near the checkbook.
Budgeting was one of those things that I had to push myself to do and stick with. I’m still not the greatest at it, but it’s been a learning experience.
I am constantly trying to budget better – great post!
We try and keep a budget, but it seems like we always blow it.. It is hard when things keep coming up that we do not expect.
Yes, that is hard.. trying to account for the unexpected is tough.
My dream of the future sounds a lot like yours. I’ll be happy as long as I can live without going without healthy necessities. Keeping the house up etc
We have a budget and we are try to respect it most of the time
My new American Dream is to Live Simply, Live Fully, Let the Son Shine thru me and to be the best wife, daughter, sister and friend that I can be 🙂
Unfortunately, I’m not good with staying on top of a budget and numbers give me a headache. My American Dream is to have a roof over my head, pay the bills without stress, have a little something extra to have fun, the ability to travel at least once a year, and everyone I care about is safe, healthy and happy. Oh…and a dog.
I love this. I am focusing my goals to have 60% of my credit cards paid off by next May. My American dream? To be able to work 100% from home as a Virtual Assistant, more freelance writing/copywriting/editing/etc. jobs and to have my soap making business up and running. I am tired of not being able to go to my daughter’s events at school because I can’t leave my 9-5 to go.
I love budgets and creating them but I am a numbers girl. Now sticking to them is another story I get the itch to shop just about everyday.
I’m currently revising my American Dream. I’m in a similar boat from you, but keeping up with the Jones’ keeps getting in my way. I’ve started making steps with my family to get back to the basics within this past year and have been working hard at ‘unspoiling’ my children. I’ve also started blogging for the past 8 months trying to create the supplemental income and it’s just now starting to grow. But they say, slow and steady wins the race…and I’m finally ready 😀
Budgeting is definitely a struggle my husband and I go through. It is something we are trying to get better at.
It’s a learning process, that’s for sure. It took us awhile too and we’re still tweaking things here and there.
I defiantly agree that a budget has a place in the American Dream. Most of us will never be so right that money is no object. That doesn’t mean, however, that with hard work, planning, and self control, we can’t achieve our goals.
Absolutely. I think the main thing to keep in mind is that anything can be accomplished. It’s just a matter of getting there and being smart/mindful of how we get there.
I am so bad at budgeting. I start and never finish! Maybe I’ll try it again.
my dream is just to be healthy and not require multiple surgeries every year. one day i pray my dream will come true.
I’m horrible with a budget! My husband on the other hand has got it All together, Thank God! But we are living the new American dream. We are good at teaching the kids that we buy what we need and not give in to what society wants them to have and they are great about it. I would day we are doing way better than those who do have the truly unnecessary extras.
I try to keep a budget but it isn’t too easy. I have a main amount each week that I try to stay under for grocery after that their isn’t much left over. Thanks for the motivation!
At least you’re trying 🙂 And I’d say that does make a difference in the long run!
I definitely don’t need to live the high life, but I just want to be able to cover the basics. As long as I’m not struggling, I’m content.
Yes! I think living within our means is something all families have to start to practice. I think after most families hit hard times, it did spread around though. the process is definitely hard but when you get there and you’re more comfortable with not having to think about how much you owe, I think that helps.
Absolutely. And it’s definitely a goal that any family can accomplish.
I am the worst at budgeting, thankfully the hubby takes care of our finances and pays the bills and plans well for the future.