This comes from my buddy Martin Dasko. He's a lot of fun to have around, and he does a lot of cool things, from pro-wrestling to bumming around South America. Here's how he makes it happen in his life.
“It must be nice.”
I hear this pretty often from friends whenever they see a new picture on Facebook or hear about something that I did. And honestly, I used to throw that line out at friends a few years ago.
It wasn't until I started taking accountability for my own life that I realized I needed to shift my mindset. Now when I meet someone I'm jealous of, I do my best to study them and what they do instead of making snide remarks. When you study someone you'll see that they're not all that different from you. They just do certain things a different way.
Yesterday was the last day that you spent on social media being jealous of your friends that experiencing cool things. Now is your chance to have some fun.
These are the exact steps that you can follow to manage your finances to add sweet experiences to your life if you start right now…
Step #1: Stop blaming the world for your problems.
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” — Benjamin Franklin
I'm not trying to be a jerk here. We have all been in that boat where we want to blame the world for our problems. It's easy to make excuses. It takes real guts to look in the mirror and make changes.
Please don't respond by saying that it's easy for a guy like me (no family or kids). I have plenty of friends that travel with their families.
I want you to stop blaming someone else for your problems and to take accountability for your finances (debt, mortgage, spending, and so on).
Step #2: Rethink how you look at amazing experiences.
“I can't get the vacation time.”
You don't have to live in Thailand for six months to travel. I actually hate long-term travel. I really like my life in Toronto and have some amazing friends that I miss when I go away. I'm more inclined towards weekend getaways, short adventures to a new country, or even just visiting friends across the planet.
For me, attending Wrestlemania live in Miami was more exciting than any other adventure in 2012 (I even wrestled in a pro wrestling match a year later). For you, it might be a rock concert out of town or a chance to attend FinCon14.
What amazing experience do you want to go on? Write this down and move on to the next step…
Step #3: Work on creating some sort of a financial plan.
This is where you have to sit down and run the numbers.
I usually break it down for friends to weekly payments. I once had a friend give me $20 a week for a year. He simply just spent less money on beers. He never really missed out on life. After a year, he had over $1,000 and this was enough for a graduation trip! He couldn't believe it. He was positive that he could never afford to go on a graduation trip because he had never been able to save up.
You see, the final cost in one shot is often very intimidating. This is why I recommend breaking down every purchase. You might even have some fun and break it down to the day and see what you have to save every single day to make it happen.
As you break down the price, I want you to see what you can cut out from your spending or how you can modify your lifestyle in order to make this experience possible. If you really want it bad enough, you'll find a way to make it happen. You may have to drop the eHarmony account for a few months.
Step #4: Wait it out and shop around.
This is the longest stage usually. This is where most folks get impatient and just spend the money on something else. The trick is to put your money away (as in lock it up if you have to) and hold it until you have enough savings to pay for your experience.
Depending on the adventure of your choice and your finances, you might be saving up for a long time. That's okay. You can use this time to do your research. I don't have to tell you how to do your research here. We all know about Trip Advisor and the travel forums on there. I usually just hit up a bunch of travel-related forums and ask a few basic questions about price and other details.
That's how you can plan for a sweet experience if you start right now. These four tips are simple and easy to apply. You have no excuse.