In case you haven’t heard, the American Dream is Dead. Actually not only is it dead, it was a lie to begin with. Now is the time for a Call to Arms, a Call to Action, and a new campaign for World Domination.
As with any type of campaign, initial planning needs to take place. In this initial phase, it has been determined (at least by this One Old Chick) that the best route to take is a little known, little traveled path called the Road to Radical Freedom. This Road is one filled with heart-pounding, adrenaline filled adventures, and opportunities beyond our wildest dreams; as well as adversity, opponents and heavy artillery! At times, we may be traveling the road alone and other times we will companions. There will be rest stops along the way, breathtaking vistas, and memories to last a life time. If you’re ready to embark on a new course for World Dominion, pack a duffel bag, hiking boots, ammunition and let’s hit the road!
I’ve decided to list a very detailed and transparent map of my Road to Radical Freedom. Why? Well, two reasons actually. One, while there are other much more accomplished Travelers embarking on World Domination, many of them are young, married couples or single men. Me? Well, I’m just One Old Chick (and something of a smart@$$). Recently divorced, 43 year old Chick. For the majority of my life, I’ve played by the rules of society – do well in school, get a job, get married, buy a house, have a child, and spend the rest of your time planning for your retirement. Basically, live the American Dream.
Secondly, I believe it’s easier to accomplish goals that are written (feels that it makes them more “real”) and I hope, in someway, that putting this out there for everyone to read will help or motivate someone else.
I have been spent a lot of time reading information on finances, lifestyle designs and starting a small online business. There is a wealth (no pun intended!) of information available online, but there is little information on EXACTLY how people accomplished it, step by step. And I haven’t found anyone in my “generation” that’s traveled this Road. So I decided to map out the course for my own World Domination journey and send ‘post’ cards along the way. J
My plan is to pay off my current debt, fund an emergency savings account, eliminate all unnecessary things from my life & home, and build an online business that will allow me to eventually be self-employed. My goal date for my plan is January 10, 2012, giving me 16 months to make it happen.
So the steps so far are:
1) Pay off current debt (approximately $4,000)
I spent some time last night going over my current finances and building a simple budget. I’ll be using the Snowball Debt Reduction Plan to reduce my debt.
I realize there are two schools of thought on debt reduction and I feel each has its own benefits. I decided to use the Snowball method because I think that the sense of accomplishment when that first debt is paid off will increase my desire to get all the debt eliminated. I contacted one credit card company and they reduced my current APR from 29.99% to 9.99%! Their “program” is only for 12 months, but I will have the card paid off before then.
This step also includes canceling my gym membership ($7 per week through payroll deduction; will be working out at home using the P90X program), reduce or eliminate all eating out, and by eliminating my remaining vice of smoking. I quit for 6 years, so I know I can (and am ready) to quit. When I realized last night of the potential savings ($8 per pack, $56 per week, $2,920 per year!!!) it only galvanized my desire to quit for good.
2) Fund Emergency Saving Account (minimum of two (2) months salary)
Currently, I don’t have a saving account. I know, I can hear you cringing! 🙂 The sense of anxiety can be overwhelming when faced with an unexpected financial emergency, especially if the amount is large. I’ll be approaching this step in two ways. The first will be to change my current payroll deductions to increase my weekly pay. In the past, I have always claimed zero exemptions, which provided me with a nice refund check. That was basically my savings for the year. Now, I feel it would be more prudent to have the extra money each week to put into a savings account with interest. I also received a 3% raise in July. The additional funds, as well as any overtime pay, will also go into the Emergency Savings Account.
3) Eliminate all unnecessary things from my life & home
In the past year, I have moved from a three bedroom house to a small one bedroom apartment. When I moved the first time (August 2009), I took only what I thought was necessary (clothes, shoes, books, craft supplies, personal items, etc.) My only furniture in the apartment was a TV, borrowed couch, a mattress, and a newly purchase small kitchen table. Being on the third floor in an older style house, a box spring wouldn’t fit. Instead of purchasing something, I built a platform bed frame for under $120.
In August 2010, I moved to the apartment below mine. In preparing to move, I realized I still had too many things I didn’t need. I donated three bags of clothes and shoes (I work as an Executive Assistant, so I basically one wardrobe for work and one for pleasure), the couch (my “living” room now consists of my kitchen table in one corner and a computer desk against one wall), two nightstands, two sewing tables, an oversized jewelry box and a few other small things. My new rule for the new apartment is this: IF I buy anything, it has to be essential, necessary and has to replace at least 1 item I already own. I love the clean, open feel of the apartment.
By having less “things”, I already feel like I have more time. I spend less time cleaning, less time looking for things, and more time to do things I want.
4) Create a small online business
This is the step I am most excited about. I have been following various blog on minimalist living, lifestyle design, and finances for a few months now. And the recurring theme is freedom. Freedom from debt, from excess, and freedom to pursue things that enrich life. Owning my own business is something I have thought about numerous times in the past but never did anything about. A great example of this is a blog entitled Action Not Words: The Difference Between Talkers and Doers. It’s time to become a Doer! Right now I am still researching opportunities with a focus on blogging and article writing. I set up this blog about a month ago, and was shocked when my third post (EVER) hit Freshly Pressed! J The excitement of that was enough to convince me that I had something to say, something to share, and other people might enjoy or benefit from it.
ARE YOU READY FOR WORLD DOMINATION?!?
Are you currently redesigning your lifestyle? Do you have a great idea on how to achieve your goals and maybe help others achieve theirs? If so, I plan to post my plan and all updates twice a week, and would love to hear any comments, feedback, suggestions. See you on the Road!