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  • Writer's pictureKeren-Jo Thomas

‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.’ by Julia Goodfellow-Smith

By guest blogger Julia Goodfellow-Smith

Do you have a bucket list? Do you ever wonder how extraordinary your life would be if you fulfilled those dreams? Do you hope that one day, you will have the time and/or money to do those things?

I felt like that too, once.

My husband and I lived in a big house with lots of space, lots of rooms and lots of staircases. Some of the rooms were only used once or twice a year. We had a big mortgage to match the big house, with big monthly payments to match the big mortgage.

When we decided to move to a different part of the country, we realised that we would both be happy with something far smaller. A smaller house would mean a smaller mortgage, and a smaller mortgage would mean smaller monthly payments, even allowing for an earlier repayment date. So, we downsized, reduced our mortgage, and reduced our monthly outgoings.

Sometimes, we let out our spare bedroom to earn some additional income, which resulted in some interesting encounters with our guests.

We have a theatre near our house and had our room on the digs list for a while. One of our guests, a man named Carl, was an absolute hoot. He regaled us with hilarious tales from the theatre, and one day, decided to teach my very macho husband how to mince and exit a room by saying, ‘Miss you, love you, mean it!’ Cue a visit from our equally macho neighbour, who was somewhat surprised to find Mike and Carl both prancing around the house, wiggling their hips!

We found, as planned, that with lower outgoings and the additional income from renting our spare room, we did not have to chase income from work in the same way as we did before. This allowed us to chase some of our dreams instead. We spent some time working in Valencia, Mike studied for (and got) a PhD, we bought a small woodland and I wrote a book. We paid off our mortgage years earlier than we had expected to, just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, leaving us with no financial concerns when the economy ground to a halt.

Unless money is no object, working out some sort of budget and financial plan will be crucial to realising your dreams.

Once you know what the gap is between your available savings or income and what you need, you can start to look for ways to close that gap. That could be by reducing the cost of achieving your dream, making more money or reducing outgoings. All of these actions can help to turn something that seems impossible into something possible.

So, is it time to listen to Oscar Wilde when he said, ‘Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination’? Is it time to start to use your imagination - not to live beyond your means - but to stretch your means so that you can live your dreams?

Julia Goodfellow-Smith’s book ‘Live Your Bucket List’ guides you through the proven process that will take you from dreaming to achieving. It includes simple steps you can take to create the time and money you need to live the life you aspire to. To gain a clear understanding of your current financial position and generate a financial plan for your future, contact Keren for life planning.

Although Julia is now a writer and speaker, she used to work in banking and has a degree in Financial Services. She and Keren became friends when they were both working for HSBC in Leeds in the early 2000s.

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