I Wanted to be an Ice Cream Tester

When I was ten years old and adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was usually an ice cream tester, a submarine pilot, and naturally, an astronaut. Yes, all three at once. Unfortunately for me, 10 years later and I am none of those things. Aside from my initial devastation upon realizing an ice cream tester is not in the job market (yet) I am still hoping to achieve the other two.

My childhood dreams may have been a bit far fetched, but my commitment to living an adventurous and gratifying life is still a priority. In order to have the outlet to be able to travel, discover, and learn about the world around and beyond me, I’ve realized I need to start planning ahead. I have come to terms with the fact that what I am doing at this moment is shaping how I will live for the rest of my life.

To me, being a grown up means the exciting transition to independence, and with that, the knowledge that everything you do today has an effect on you tomorrow. Shifting into adulthood is a wake-up call that my life is now in long-term mode, and in order to have the means to ever go on that weekend submarine vacation in 2030, I have to relax on the daily cups of $7 coffee.

In order to obtain the difficult trait of self-control and willpower, I’ve decided my best bet is to actually see what my ideal long-term would look like. In order to do that, I’ve decided to fully paint a picture of myself in ten years time (scary, I know.)

The year is 2026, and future Gal is living it up! Life at the National Geographic magazine is as extraordinary as she expected. Future Gal not only gets to write and design columns, but she gets to travel around the world to experience beautiful attractions face-to-face, such as the deep waters of Marina Trench along the Pacific Ocean, the high mountains of Makalu, and the exotic Buncha pork in Vietnam (hey, I would say that is close enough to my 10-year-old career goals.)

Now, to be frank, this scenario had no starting point. I just assumed I would be in an independent and happy place in my life in 10 years time, but I haven’t actually planned out my pathway to success. Fortunately, I have recently become aware (finally!) that I’ve got to start paving my way to financial stability sooner rather than later — in other words, it’s time to save that money.

Although I’ve never been much of a big spender, that doesn’t mean I’ve been a smart spender. Taking that extra step to find out simple ways to spend less, managing what earnings you’ll save, and how you’ll spend the rest of your incomes are all small ways to help facilitate your transition to an independent and smart financial guru, all while expecting tons of bonus vacations and spending in the long run.

Final reminder: don’t restrain yourself from buying everything, just know whatever you save today will increase tomorrow.

And with that dose of motivation, I’ll leave you with a podcast:http://goo.gl/JCnK6y