What’s your dream? Maybe it’s to write a book or start a blog. Perhaps it’s to set up a business. Maybe you want to excel as a coach or become a sports star.
Whatever it is, we all have to face the issue of how to support ourselves while we pursue this vision.
For many, this is enough to put them off. They believe financial necessitites are too prohibitive to allow their ambitions to stretch beyond the immediate pressures of paying the rent or mortgage, putting food on the table and having enough disposable income to enjoy their limited free time.
In fact, I’m so certain that we can live on a lot less than we think; I’ve put together a spreadsheet with some projected costs for the minimum amount of money needed to cover the necessities of modern life. As you’ll see from the figures below, it’s my conclusion that you don’t need any more than $65 a day. Once you’ve reached this minimum amount, all of your time and attention can be directed towards the pursuit of your dreams.
How $65 a day buys you a ticket to Live your Dreams
|Expenses (for a single person)||Costs (per month)|
|Accommodation||£500 / $810|
|Food||£240 / $389|
|Travel||£160 / $260|
|Social||£200 / $324|
|One Off Payments (Car Repairs/Clothes/TV)||£100 / $162|
|Total =||£1200 / $1945|
|£1200 / $1945 ÷ 30 days =||£40 / $65 per day|
Before we look at the implications of these figures, there are a few points that I must explain.
1. Despite the title being a dollar sum, these figures are based on the cost of living in the UK (Although I live in the UK, I use the equivalent dollar figure because it’s a more well known currency).
It’s important to know that the UK has a relatively high cost of living. Therefore, if you live in the US or most other countries, it could actually be done for less (in some countries, a lot less). And, of course, these figures are only estimates. I tried to pitch them a little on the high side to show that even with a fair amount of money for food, travel and socialising, the grand total is still not prohibitive.
2. There is no money set aside for investment.
If your dream requires investment, or money for training, then this would have to be added to the $65 a day base rate. However, as the base rate is a little on the high side you might be able to set aside $10 a day, equating to $280 a month or $3360 a year. With this amount, you should be able to make the minimal investment needed to get you started. Failing that, there’s the possibility of finding investors or seeking a loan. However, for the creative amongst you, who may be planning to write a book or make it in the movie or music industry, the $65 base rate should be more than enough.
3. The figure for accommodation is based on sharing a house.
Again, this is going on UK figures, but £500 a month will never enable you to own a house or even rent on your own. In London, you’d be hard pressed to find a house share (with bills included) for this figure. So I’ve used a UK average on this one and assumed that you’ve got the mettle to put up with a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, an internet connection and of course, other people living with you.
4. There’s is no money included for holidays.
Yep, you read it right. I’ve classified this a luxury, not a necessity. Of course, if you’re of a mind that it’s the reverse, and don’t require any investment to pursue your dream, then you could easily put $5 a day aside in a holiday fund. However, as with all the expenses in this chart, you shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger picture. As Seth Godin said, ‘Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.’ What’s going to bring you more joy? A couple of weeks escape from a mundane life or a lifetime engaged in the work you love (not to mention the possibility of getting rich enough to live wherever you want)?
The purpose of calculating this $65 a day figure is to show people that the need to support yourself is NOT prohibitive when it comes to pursuing your dreams. Almost anybody living in a G8* country could muster up the £14,400/$23,340 a year needed to put themselves in the race. In fact, the UK average income for full time employment currently stands at £26,200 – well above the figure I arrived at.
So what are the implications of living on $65 a day?
1. Being a ‘consumer’ is prohibitive to pursuing your dreams.
Lack of money is not the issue. I would even say that the $65 a day goes well beyond basic survival costs. I’m including a small amount of money for hobbies, going out with friends and having a good time. This could be excluded (although not recommended).
So if it’s not about money, then why do so few people pursue their dreams?
PRIORITIES. The $65 a day stops you being a consumer. Those designer clothes have got to go, along with your swanky gym membership and expensive car. You’re certainly not going to be able to live in a fashionable part of town.
Can you handle that?
Of course, there’s no REAL loss in being unable to afford these items, but there is a perceived loss. We’re taught to place a high value on consumer items and in some cases, we derive our identity from what we earn and own.
How are you going to feel telling your friends that you’re only making $23,000 dollars a year when their salaries are getting higher and higher? Can you cope with the potential ridicule, loss of friendship and social standing?
If you’re struggling with these questions, then you need to take the long term perspective. While your friends maybe getting ‘system rich’, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to be REALLY rich. This must be remembered. You have the chance to be wealthy enough so that you don’t need to work and, more importantly, live your life involved in the pursuits and projects you love.
2. Look for work that gives you TIME and pays a relatively high hourly rate.
The whole purpose of not seeking to earn above $65 a day is to buy back your time – a commodity more precious than money. You need time to pour as much of your efforts into realising your dreams as possible. Overnight success is rare. It’s estimated that it takes 10 years or 10,000 hours to become a master at something. This is why chasing extra green (that you don’t really need), can be so detrimental to you ever achieving your goals.
The best strategy is to find a source of income that pays a relatively high hourly rate. For example, my tennis coaching pays me £30/$48 an hour and my hypnotherapy over double that. This means I only need to do a couple of hours a day ‘paid’ work and can then dedicate the rest of my time to my dream (promoting my book, website and Screw the System Movement). Of course, such skilled jobs require additional training. However, it’s well worth the extra time you invest, as it can be incredibly hard making headway with your dreams after a 10 hour day in the office or having to motivate yourself at the weekend.
Some examples of jobs that pay a relatively high hourly rate are electrician, plumber, handy man, sports coach, personal trainer, tutor and music teacher. Becoming a school a teacher is also valid as the long holidays give you plenty of time to work on your greater goal. You could even sign up for temporary work at an agency or work part time.
As long as you don’t limit yourself to conventional thinking, and are prepared to do without some of the things we’ve been taught to need, supporting yourself while realising your dreams is easier than we’ve been led to believe.
*Please forgive me anybody who doesn’t live in a G8 country. I know it’s most people on the planet, but I have no idea of expenses in these countries. Perhaps someone could enlighten me in the comments section below.
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