Archive from May, 2012

104 Days of Holidays Each Year?

I once was reminded that most of us have 104 days of holidays every year that we don’t really do anything special with.

104? What had I missed???? Weekends that is what. So here is a question for you. What exactly do you do with your weekends that inspire your life and fulfill your dreamlines? This is an expansion of one of the concepts I brought up in my article 7 Warning Signs That Your Life Is Off Track. So, since it is the dawning of a new week, let’s look at what you can do next weekend that will tick off one of your dreamlines.

Rally Car Driving

Is Rally Car Driving Your Next Awesome Weekend Adventure? Start Your Engines.

Step 1: Look through your Dreamline List that you created back in Dreamline Planning Details and Writing it Down. Also check out your bucket list.

Step 2: OK, you know that some of the things on your list are either too expensive to do immediately or isn’t something you can do in a weekend. But what is on your list that can be done in a weekend?

Step 3: Get a nice piece of paper and stick a big fat heading on it saying “Weekend Dreamlines”

Step 4: Write on that list, all the things you can on a weekend. Think outside the square. From my personal Bucket List I could:

a) Do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

b) Take a solo trip overseas (I could fly to New Zealand or a nearby island for a long weekend)

c) See an active volcano

d) Hike to the top of a big mountain

Step 5: Decide which items on your list are a real possibility ie Bridge Climb and Hike up a Big Mountain in my case

Step 6: Take action and book/do one in the next few weekends.

Step 7: Plan to do another Weekend Dreamline a few weeks after the first one and keep the momentum going. Doing this will make work worthwhile and it will help maintain your inspiration in everyday life.

So, straight off the top of your head, leave the answer to this question in a comment below. What can you do this weekend from your Dreamline List?

May 20, 2012 - Cash Flow Generation    3 Comments

My Conscious Spending Plan in Action

Welcome into my financial world. I am going to share my conscious spending plan with you. Firstly, you need to understand a little about my priorities. Outside paying my bills, I want to pay off my mortgage and travel.

My Conscious Spending Plan

5 Star Vietnam Luxury Birthday in Na Trang

 

This is why most things on my bucket list are travel related. I have a few things that I want, but they are well behind these two priorities.

My Conscious Spending Plan in Action

Pre-tax

9% Investing for your Future (this is retirement savings)

From post tax income

41% Bills and Fixed Costs

48% Extra Mortgage Payment

3% Weekly Dinner Out/Entertainment

8% Conscious Spending (Travel)

On top of that, any extra income on top of that such as overtime gets split the following ways

30% Bills Account for an emergency buffer

30% Savings for a specific want

40% Conscious Spending (Travel)

This means that any extra work we do gets us much closer to our personal goals much faster, with a little bit of common sense thrown in to give us a bit of a financial buffer.

So what are your financial priorities and how do you fit your Dreamlines in with your day to day finances?

May 17, 2012 - Cash Flow Generation    1 Comment

What is a Conscious Spending Plan?

I am sure I am a nerd. I don’t read fiction, I read business books. I find business and personal finance interesting…told you I am a nerd. Many books have changed my life perspective, but one book has changed my personal financial outlook. In fact turned it upside down.

It was a book by Ramit Sethi called “I Will Teach You to be Rich”. A lot of the book wasn’t relevant to me as I am just a wee bit older than his target 20 something audience, but the Conscious Spending Plan has rocked my world. It is all about priorities.

Conscious Spending Plan

 

It has been a rocky relationship really. I implemented my conscious spending plan and loved it, then stopped it for a month or two and was miserable, and in the last few months, it is back on. My relationship with money will never be the same again and I will NOT go back to a regular budget.

So what is it? Well dreamlining is all about deciding what inspires you in life and the Conscious Spending Plan is about funding it.

The best way to explain it comes from Ramit on his blog: “I think people should spend extravagantly on the things they love…but you have to cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.”

Here is a quick guide to how it works. As a percentage of your income, this is where your money goes:

10% Investing for your Future

50-60% Bills and Fixed Costs

5-10% Short and Long term savings

20-35% Conscious Spending (the things you love)

Basically you set up your plan and check in every month to ensure it is all working right. Automation is the key. Check out Ramit’s book or blog for more information. In the next post, I will show you a little piece of my world – my very own conscious spending plan based on my priorities.

So do you have a conscious spending plan or something similar? What are you doing NOW to achieve your Dreamlines?

May 13, 2012 - Cash Flow Generation    5 Comments

The Reason

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. A challenge. As they say, life wasn’t meant to be easy. This week, I have had a big challenge thrown my way and it has got me thinking about a lot of things. One of those things I am thinking about is my reason for starting my business. See, my hubby had a little surfing accident…dropping down the face of a 9 foot wave landing awkwardly on his board and damaging his left leg pretty badly. That changes our income temporarily for fulfilling dreamlines and also puts a stop to many of his own dreamlines until we know the long term effects of his injury.

Which brings me to something I read and wrote down not so long ago. It goes a little something like this…

You must always have a:

  • Short term source of income to pay the bills
  • Two medium term projects that supplement that income
  • One long term project that is years away from fruition.

 

Cash Flowing into Pot of Gold

So what does all this have to do with dreamlining?

Income that’s what. Dreamlines are funded by cash flow and most of us have limited varieties of cash flowing into our lives. That is why I am starting my business whilst still working a regular job. An extra source of income would make a situation like this a little less of a worry financially.

The question you need to ask yourself is “Do I have a strong enough cash flow plan that allows me to fulfil my dreamlines now and in the future?” (or are you putting all your eggs in one basket?) My answer to that is…not quite. It is a good reminder to solidify our finances and it is THE reason I am building my side business.

Just quickly, if you haven’t read the posts on Dreamline Planning and Dreamline Planning Details, have a peek at these. My next couple of posts will go into the details of how to set up a conscious spending plan to fulfil your dreamlines.

 

May 5, 2012 - 4 Hour Work Week    6 Comments

7 Warning Signs that Your Life is Off Track

You have had a huge week and you have nothing left in the tank. You are exhausted. The sky doesn’t look blue anymore and the grass just isn’t green. Your life just doesn’t feel quite right. So what do you do and where do you start? Check out the 7 warning signs that your life is off track below, and get cracking on the solutions. You will be much happier and far more productive.

Train off the tracks

“Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIGN #1

You are at the end of the week and you have nothing exciting to look forward. Solution: Look to what drives you to get through the working week. More to the point think of all the things that you dream about while you are at work and start adding them into the weekend. Make a deliberate plan for fun and enjoyment and stick to it.

SIGN #2

You haven’t learnt anything new in the past year. Solution: Take a course. Learn to cook something or make something you have never made before. Learn a new computer skill or language. Just pick something that sparks your interest when you see it and book yourself in.

SIGN #3

You are starting to feel just a little flat. Solution: Book yourself a mini break. A two day weekend to rejuvenate yourself. It can be five stars or no star. From uber cool hotels to beachside or mountain camping. Pick something that will make you feel awesome again.

SIGN #4

You are really unhappy with everything. Work sucks, home sucks, your weekends are boring, you don’t even enjoy nice food anymore – heaven forbid! Solution: Take a long hard look at whether you are living the life you want. Do you need a major change? A relocation? A new job? Write down what your version of an inspired life would be. We can’t all be hammock testers, in fact after a day or so, you would be bored. So what would excite you in life? Find a nice quiet spot and write it down, then start making changes so you are living the life you truly want.

SIGN #5

You are making everyone else’s dreams come true and forgetting about your own. Solution: This is especially common with parents, and understandable. But like any good relationship, the more your value yourself and ensure that you are happy and recharged, the better you will be within your relationships and the more energy you can give to them. Be kind and do something just for you. A little time out to look after you is a good thing.

SIGN #6

You feel stuck. Solution: Feeling trapped or stuck can be one of the hardest things to overcome. Identify exactly what is making you feel stuck and decide what you need to do to move forward. What will take you past this point? This warning sign takes balls to get beyond because it is the sign that can mean the biggest changes in your life are coming up. Look for the future you want, and make the decisions you need to and get yourself unstuck.

SIGN #7

You haven’t ticked anything off your bucket list for ages. Solution: Find your bucket list, or if you don’t have one, start writing one NOW. Then find something on there that you can do this weekend. Not in a month. But this weekend. Nike baby, JUST DO IT. Get the details sorted and make it happen.

Take a long hard look at every aspect of your life. You might need a mini overhaul, or a major reconstruction could be on the cards. Whatever it is, you deserve to design the life you want. You all have responsibilities, but your biggest responsibility is to make sure that if you died tomorrow, you could safely say that you made your life your own.

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