If you could do anything, what would it be? Don’t stop to think about money or time or health that might limit you. Just dream, and dream big! What would make your bucket list of long-term goals?
- Tour a famous city?
- Give large sums of money to causes you care about?
- Climb a mountain or bike a historical trail?
- Sleep in a tree house? Or an underwater hotel?
- Complete a marathon?
- Pet a penguin (yes, that really is a top bucket list choice!)
What came to your mind as you considered the possibilities?
Bucket List Hinderances
The level of financial freedom we walk in determines how our life will be lived out. ~Kathy Barnett, from Beyond Warrior’s Bride: Finances
I wonder how many of you were hampered by the reality of your life. Did you consider your health? Your checkbook balance? The amount of money in your savings or retirement accounts? Those considerations are important. Take a moment to read Jesus’s words from Luke 14.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ (Luke 14:28-30)
If you struggle with money or health, you are not alone.
- In 2012, USFinancialCapability.org discovered that 56% of Americans did not have an emergency fund to cover three months of living expenses.
- They also found that 30% of Americans use non-bank borrowing methods like payday advances, pawn shops, and rent-to-own stores, and 34% only pay the minimum required on credit-card balances.
- The 2016 annual report by AmericanHealthRankings.org showed that cardiovascular death, drug-related death, and premature death all increased from 2015.
- They also reported that obesity increased 157% between 1990 and 2016.
What are we to do? Give up the bucket list? Trim it down to meet more realistic expectations?
Why not accept the challenge before us, getting ourselves into financial and physical shape to fulfill our dreams? Come on, don’t quit on me now!
A 3 Step Plan
It’s easy to get dismayed by what you are facing. It’s also easy to give up and say you’ll think about it tomorrow. But for too many of us, tomorrow never comes, and we spend the last days of our lives with regrets.
That thought encourages me to push through the difficult days of changing where I am more than anything else! I don’t want to spend my last years wishing I could do something. Instead, I want to take steps now—even though they may seem small—so I can tackle whatever comes my way, including accomplishing a few dreams.
1. GET ON A PLAN
Thomas Edison once said:
Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”
I love that last part: “Seeming to do is not doing.” Taking a few moments each week and each month to plot a course forward will help you define your goals and reach them. Just staying busy, will not.
2. GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says,
You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble. (Contemporary English Version)
We fall in many ways, including into discouragement and falling off the wagon. A good friend will love us enough to remind us of our goals and that failing doesn’t have to be permanent.
3. KEEP MOVING FORWARD, EVEN IF IT’S JUST LITTLE STEPS
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Over time, baby steps add up. As you make progress, you’ll prove to yourself that change is possible, and that will spur on greater progress!
Always remember, every step forward is a step forward.
As you pay off bills and dump payments from your budget, you’ll find a freedom you didn’t realize you were missing. ~Carrie Daws, from Beyond Warrior’s Bride: Finances
While checking off some bucket list items may be exciting, the thought of all you need to change today may be overwhelming. Like the dieter who hangs up the dress she wants to comfortably fit in, figure out what will help you stay motivated. You can do this!
Join me in making the choice today.
So, Tell Me . . .
I want to know what you think!
- Did this post make you think a bit to make sure you’re on track with God? Write ‘Yes’ in the comments below.
- Does this motivate you to make some changes in your life? Write ‘Changes Ahead!’ in the comments below.
- Do you need to think about it some more or figure out what God wants you to do? Let me know you are ‘Still Thinking.’
- Anything else come to mind? Share it below! Your comments encourage me to keep writing, no matter how insignificant you think your thoughts about this post are.
If you want to read more from me about finances, check out my ebook in the Beyond Warrior’s Bride series. It’s not just for military spouses, and it’s only $0.99!
Money. It’s one of the biggest stressors in marriages. Many live paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to both cover all the bills and save for retirement. Often husband and wife disagree over petty expenses, forgetting that they are on the same team.
But money doesn’t have to be a constant battle. Not only does the Bible give a lot of guidance, but God also provided examples of people getting it right. With a shift in focus and a little disciplined effort, you can gain control over your finances instead of your finances controlling you.