What Does Your Dream Cost?

What Does Your Dream Cost?

Have you ever sat down and truly asked yourself: What does your dream cost?

It’s a new year. Lots of folks use this time to buckle down and set new goals. Personally, I’m eschewing any kind of quest for productivity or self-improvement this year. Both Bitches had an incredibly stressful holiday season, so we’re too busy being in emotional recovery hibernation mode. Declining with regrets!

Still, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals. And I think one of the most powerful ways to transform dreams into plans is to answer the question “what does your dream cost?”

Our dreams feel more fragile and far away than ever

Young people are pretty gun-shy when it comes to discussing their dreams. Which is totally understandable and fair. Life’s reneged on a lot of important promises. When you unwrap gift after gift to find nothing but coal, you stop bounding joyfully down the stairs on Christmas morning.

If you ask them to describe their plans to achieve something they madly, desperately want, a lot of people freeze up. Or deflect with cynical nihilism. “I dream of owning a little cottage in the woods, but I guess I’ll die in a fire instead lmao!”

(Side note: guys, we GOTTA stop using “lmao” as a synonym for “I am having a mental health crisis.” Can’t we assign some kind of non-standard punctuation mark to this purpose‽)

Anyway, the road to the things you want most may be unfairly long and winding. But that is all the more reason to drive it in daylight, with GPS. Today, I’m going to walk you through some strategies to price out the kind of ambitious, lifelong dreams that feel so hard to quantify. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to do the same with your own bucket list! I promise this exercise will help you pluck your unreachable dreams out of the nebulous realm of “stuff I wanna do” and fix them amongst the stars of “stuff I’m doing.”

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I Now Make More Money Than My Husband, and It’s Great for Our Marriage

For years my husband Bear and I toiled away at low-paying non-profit jobs.

For the most part, our salaries were pretty comparable. With every raise or promotion, we’d leapfrog each other by small degrees. We both had side hustles, too: me as a freelance editor, him as a bouncer at a nightclub. (Which… sucked.)

Slowly, things changed.

My raises and promotions weren’t keeping up with his. He was outearning me, and able to quit his side hustle (which was great, because getting puked on is no fun). Whereas I had to freelance more to bring in even close to what he brought home. It was one of the first signs that I needed to quit my job at a non-profit publishing house. So I did. I left for a higher-paying job in the for-profit sector. And I was back on track, making a salary equal to my husband’s! All was well in the land of Equal Division of Labor!

But then things changed again.

I got a newer, better, cooler day job.My side business took off, too. And suddenly, I now make more money than my husband… by a lot. Which has given me a lot to think about what a truly equal marriage looks like.

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S2 E11: "I tripped and fell into a career I don't like. How do I reinvent myself?"

Season 2, Episode 11: “I Tripped and Fell into a Career I Don’t like. How Do I Reinvent Myself?”

If you’re new here, let me get you up to speed: personal finance is personal. And as a result, it’s also often complicated—a Choose Your Own Adventure with multiple right answers and mitigating circumstances.

Which is why it is so easy to feel stuck in your career or financial journey. What do you do when you’re just fine… but you want more? How do you overcome crippling stagnation? How do you justify leaving the safety of your established, safe career… and risk everything to leap headlong toward your dreams?

Alternatively: when is the safe and not-super-fulfilling job sometimes exactly what you need? What could you do with the excess creative mental energy that a boring day job affords?

All these questions (and much talk of Spiderman!) on this week’s episode.

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S02E02: "I'm not ready to buy a house---but how do I *get ready* to get ready?"

Season 2, Episode 2: “I’m Not Ready to Buy a House—But How Do I *Get Ready* to Get Ready?”

Previously on season two of the Bitches Get Riches podcast…

We dealt with the existential guilt of crushing your personal finances while your friends struggle to get by. This time, though, we’re taking a question from the other end of the spectrum. What do you do, practically and mentally, when your very modest life goal feels like a financial impossibility?

Naturally, we had opinions. And not just because we are two loudmouthed internet white ladies who have never learned when to shut up!

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Don’t Spend Money on Shit You Don’t Like, Fool

My darling, hyper-intelligent baby deer, I am going to share with you one of the best, most secret methods of saving money. It cuts down on wasteful spending, increases your savings, encourages you to be intentional. And it even empowers you to live your best life.

Please hold onto something and prepare yourself spiritually. Ready? Here goes:

Don’t spend money on things you don’t like.

Wait, come back! I know it sounds obvious… but I find myself breaking this personal rule all the damn time. And whenever I do, I regret it, and not just for the wasted dollars I will never ever see again. So take my hand and let’s break it down, shall we? Here’s what I’m talking about when I say “just don’t spend money on stuff you don’t like.”

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Advice I Wish My Parents Gave Me When I Was 16

My parents meant so, so well. And they were so, so right about some things (the relative unworthiness of all teenage boys, for example). But there is some parental advice I’m kinda pissed they didn’t tell me about when I was sixteen. Sixteen, and on the cusp of making serious decisions about finances and the next several years of my life.

It’s not that they told me nothing, or even that they gave me horrible advice. But I feel like my time as a sixteen-year-old was the last year of my life before I was expected to make monumental decisions. Decisions that would affect my financial future in really, really big ways. And that future could have been drastically different (and potentially better). If only they’d told me some key things to influence my decisions about college, a career, and investing.

I brought receipts.

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