Coming to America…. land of opportunity – chasing the American Dream! You can be anything you want to be if you work hard. So I work hard, move up, and achieving the “American Dream, big house, expensive cars, great career – plus vacation homes, one in the ski area for winter, and a timeshare in the Caribbean. Of course the food–OMG I have never seen so much food when I came–steaks, french fries, and chocolate cakes all you can eat every day. I achieved the “American Dream”! so I thought.
Then one faithful day everything changed! My late husband passed away with a sudden heart attack without a warning! I was devastated with losing him and at the same time I was overwhelmed with all stuff we accumulated with “monthly payments”. I went into a series of heartfelt soul searching, struggling through all these issues alone. I decided to consolidate all my possessions, one by one, and eliminating anything attached to “monthly payments”. It took some time to get my affairs in order, and finally, I was debt-free – I have achieved the “New American Dream”.
3 Benefits of being debt-free are:
- When I finally reached “debt-free”, I have an unbelievable feeling of all the heavy burden is lift-off, I feel like a million dollars – true “New American Dream”!
- Now I have so much freedom to travel, go places, work on my passions–Lifestyle Coaching!
- I don’t worry about my job security – who cares if my boss fires me today, I don’t care. Wait a minute I am the boss in our household!
3 Keys to achieving the “New American Dream”:
Getting to be a debt-free is like a running marathon, it’s not a sprint.
1. Just like a Marathoner would put training schedule, to achieve the new American dream, you and your partner would put a budget when and how much you will be putting a dent in each category of debt – credit card payments, car payments, student loans, mortgage payment a little by little.
2. How about Downsizing? Do you need that 4000sq house for just two of you? Do you need that brand new car? What about you can get 10 years old car with cash? Do you need that ski lodge you just go spend two weeks of entire the year? Just paying the management fee for the year, you could stay two weeks of the getaway cottage.
- Make short-term sacrifices for long-term gain–even though I don’t like to train on snowy, windy, and cold wintery days– I go out, put the training run in for the long-term goals. Side note, average Americans spend $20 for coffee, up to $1000.
When you start eliminating payments one by one – car payments, student loans, credit cards, and mortgage payments, you can feel the freedom!
- For me, “Debt Free” is the New American Dream!
I leave you with a poignant question, what is the “New American Dream” mean to you?
Joy comes with financial freedom and inspirational emotions of downsizing!