Do you ever dream? Not like, “falling off a cliff jerk you awake standing in front of the class with no pants” dream. But a “someday, if money, time, and life weren't an issue, my perfect situation would look like this” dream?
And I want to share with you a bit about the reality of our dreams.
Back in our FD (Financial Disaster), we set some goals. Some were immediate bare-bones survival goals, and some were far-fetched, dream-big-with-reckless-abandon, goals. They felt more like dreams than goals, really, because we had $15K in credit card debt, $10.5K in car debt we couldn't afford, and were bringing in a $31K sporadic salary. It was hard to see past tomorrow's grocery needs, let alone dream “crazy-big” dreams.
Flash forward to now.
The other morning, one of the last lazy days of summer, I stepped out on my bedroom balcony to yell to my kids to come in for breakfast…and couldn't even find them in our back yard. I had this flooding, overwhelming feeling of gratitude for where my life is right now.
How, oh how the heck, did we end up here??
Seriously?! How did we get here?? Is this for real? Living in our dream home? With 5 healthy kids? Living financially free, money in the bank, with a plan in place and a vision for our future?
I still have to pinch myself sometimes.
7 years ago we were living off of credit cards with a mountain of debt. Instead of sitting around, being resentful or concluding that our wildest dreams would probably never happen…
…we got to work.
We sold our car, sold our couches and literally sat on the floor. We stopped eating out – like, completely. We budgeted like mad crazies. We got out of debt then saved up enough to buy a killer deal of a short sale (that we fought for 12 months to get) all the while treasuring every penny.
We lived in and fixed up the short sale for 4 years, all the while focusing on “phase 2” – abundance and success; working our tails off to be successful at our businesses.
We found our dream home that was beyond our reach…but didn't give up and kept negotiating, haggling, and saving like mad. 7 months later, we somehow snagged it. We had plenty of money in the bank, no credit card debt, fabulous credit, and a huge chunk of cash from the sale of our short sale house to land us here:
I tell you all of this not to boast, brag, or make you hate me (please don't hate me!).
I tell you this to prove that all dreams – ALL DREAMS – can become reality if you are laser-focused and fight like H-E-C-K for them.
Maybe it's not an 8,600 sq foot dream home. Maybe it's your dream car. Or sending all your kids to college. Or studying abroad. Or traveling. Or funding your own non-profit. Or having a family. Or paying cash for your dream boat. No dream is too big, and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with success. The more success you have, the more ability you have to help your family, and others.
I encourage everyone to write down your big-picture goals, then work backward to figure out what you need to do TODAY to make those goals (dreams) happen. Because it will most likely take years, even decades, but the path you start out on to get there can't be accidental; it has to be calculated and defined. Sure, circumstances play a role. But only in part. You won't want to hear this, but excuses are often what hold us back from getting everything we want, whatever that is.
No one is stopping you.
Decide today to fight to the death for the life YOU want, and don't stop until you get there.
Now if you don't mind, I really do need to go find my kids.
(PS Find more about our story, and our exact steps for becoming financially free at Budget Boot Camp, use the code FCFBLOG to get 10% off!)
Love this post and hearing about your dreams and seeing bits of your beautiful property! More please!
Lovely story. Very inspirational! Would love to know what your next phase and goals are now that you have arrived at this very monumental moment.
Seconded! Please elaborate on what the current/next phase is? Would love to know not so much your business goals ie the tv show but rather your family goals, service/house/future goals etc..Hard work gets you everywhere!
Thanks Rachel! I’m hesitant to go too far into “phase 2” because I get a bit of backlash when I do, haha! But I’ll happily share bits and pieces more and more. Be sure to follow social media and our vlogs, I’m starting to show more and more!
See, I think that is so out of line for people to be like that. I purchased my house at 23, whilst working almost full-time and going to uni (college) fulltime and that’s pretty uncommon in Australia. I also bought a second hand but still pretty new car. So many people assumed my parents bought these things for me and that I grew up rich or something-pretty much the total opposite of the truth! I earned every single thing I have through painstaking hard work, second hand purchases, lack of sleep and living off a tiny income.
You deserve every single thing that you have too, and anyone who has followed you for more than a few minutes should be able to realise that you’ve worked SO hard for it all and are raising a beautiful Godly family at the same time. Which is just incredible and I know that your example has certainly played a huge role in my own success too. If people want to lash out because it is raising up insecurities in their own life that they have yet to address, then that is unfortunate, but it doesn’t take away from anything that you guys have achieved.
For those of us who can be happy for the hard-earned success of others, we would LOVE to know what is next for you in life. so that we can celebrate it with you.
Lots of love x
There are always jealous people and we cant control other people. You are very inspiring to me. We are about to turn 50 and have 2 boys. Both boyare adopted and had medical issues we did not know about. We had to pay cash for heart surgery and rehab. My hsbands employer (a bank) was closed by federal government. It caused us to go in utter complete financial disaster but in 3 years we bought another house and live in our dream location. Our kids are healthy but it took over $25K after insurance to keep them that way. I am not complaining thank God we CAN afford it and it works. Finally got out of debt and my husband was laid off- hard but we were better prepared than the first time. Life an be hard and throw us things we never imagined. It has helped to have a positive attitude. Yes there are bad days but we never let ourselves sulk more than a day. Your BBC tips have been a life saver. Our expenses are high, and the 5 months of no income caused some debt but we will be out in 3 months because of you. Because our kids are 12 and 13 years, we told them Christmas had to be scaled back (gift wise) but we had tons of fun- using what we had. We spent a few days with cousins and enjoyed each other. We did all the free things in our area (we live in the Christmas Tree capital of the world-holidays are extra fun) Yes, we gave up a few things but we had fun anyway. Our kids had a good Christmas and we made lots of memories. In the end, kids dont remeber the gifts but they remember how we had much fun we had together. Let’s be real, it was a life lesson- we taught our kids Christmas isnt about gifts but people. Keep dreaming and sharing! You were a gift from God-during this season. BTW, my husband got a great job making $100K more than his last job. It took longer than we hoped but it was worth the wait. God Bless you and your sweet family.
I absolutely love to see dreams come true! Especially when they come true for an incredible family like yours! Thank you for reminding us all not to settle.
So sweet thank you Ashley! XO
First time commenter here :). I really appreciated this post. Perfect timing. We have been in our two bedroom apartment forever it seems. And we have 3 kids, and my husband works from home and we have no yard. And it just feels woefully inadequate. It feels like we are going to be stuck here forever. Every time we start saving money, something happens. Baby. Pay off baby. Saving. Saving. Need a van. Pay off van. Saving. Saving. Thyroid surgery. Pay off thyroid surgery. Saving. Saving. Baby. Pay off baby. And that is where we find ourselves now. I just appreciated the reminder that dreams do come true. But you can’t just hope they’ll find you. You guys worked really hard to get where you are. And if we want our dreams to come true, we are going to have to tighten our belts a little more. So, this long comment to say, Thank you for posting this wonderful reminder.
Jill, you are the sweetest, thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read every single one and yours was very appreciated today. HUGS!! XO
Awww Ollie 🙁
This may be cheesy….but this really gives me hope. For what the future has to offer. It means alot.
What an amazing reality for you!! 🙂
I really appreciate this. My husband started his business almost exactly a year ago and I am finally allowing myself to dream again after so many tight months. I was just thinking yesterday about the first time I heard you speak- the Mom Conference. You were talking about creative ways to still have fun on a budget. I am starting to be willing to be creative and bold and not just wallow in pity that we’re in a tight place. Thanks for the inspiration!
You are so inspiring!! And your house is absolutely gorgeous.