Today I’m going to talk about: dreams.
No, not the sometimes-crazy kind you have when you’re sleeping, but the kind they talk about when they say to “follow your dreams!” As I approach middle age, I’ve been thinking a lot about my dreams and what I want to do with the second half of my life. And one dream has ALWAYS been there, in the back of my mind, no matter what else is happening.
I want A FARM.
I want a few acres of land, fences, a barn, some hay, and lots and LOTS of animals. Chickens are a definite; I love eggs, especially healthy farm grown ones. I also want some fiber animals. For a while I couldn’t decide if I wanted sheep or alpacas, but heck, I’ll just get some of each! I also want another dog. I currently have one dog, a standard poodle named Chester. I would love to get him a playmate. And those are just the basics…the possibilities are endless. There are also goats, ducks, turkeys, llamas, cows, and the holy grail, a horse of my very own!
Of course, I have a long way to go before any of those plans are feasible. But I’m working on a game plan right now…
My GET A FARM gameplan:
Step 1: Get out of debt. I need to look as good as possible to get a new home loan (especially now that the banks are all gun shy about new mortgages). My income isn’t very large, so I want my debt-to income ratio to be a favorable as possible to compensate. I’ve already taken care of all the credit cards, but I have student loans to get rid of, and the last 16 months of a car loan. All of my expendable money is going toward getting that debt off my back. More about that in a previous post.
Step 2: Save up a down payment. I would like to have at least 10%, maybe as much as 20%, for a down payment. That should be a little easier once I don’t have a student loan payment or car payment draining my funds every month. Save, save, save!
Step 3: Find my dream property! Ok, “dream property” may be reaching a bit (that would be a mansion on my own private 100,000 acres). But I’m sure there’s a mini-dream property out there for me! The basic necessities are:
1) Affordable. Again, I’m don’t have a huge power income, so I’m looking for something relatively inexpensive. I’ll probably be considering a lot of fixer-uppers.
2) Acreage. I would like to have about 5 acres for my farm. Any smaller than that, and there won’t be enough pasture for the animals. Any larger, and it will probably be out of my price range.
3) Location. Obviously, a farm has to be outside of town, in order to have the space and the zoning for animals. But I don’t want to be so far out that it takes hours to drive into town, especially since I’ll be commuting to work each weekday. So I’m looking for that balance: out, but not too far out!
Step 4: Sell the house I’m in now. That’s probably going to be the hardest part of my plan. The housing market isn’t all that great at the moment, which makes it unlikely that I’ll get a good asking price for my home. In addition to that, it needs some work…definitely a new roof and new carpet at the very least. It could use siding and a new bathroom as well, but I’ll have to research whether those will actually increase the value of the house enough to make the extra expenditure worth it. And if the house takes a long time to sell, I could be looking at paying two mortgages at once, which would be tricky.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something important, but for now, that’s the working plan. I’ve been collecting positive quotes about fulfilling your dreams and creating your own future…here are some that I have so far:
- “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” -Oprah Winfrey
- “Twenty years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines! Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, and discover.” -Mark Twain
- “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” -Peter Drucker
- “If you can dream it, you can do it.” -Walt Disney
- “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” -Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption
So , what are your dreams? How do you stay motivated to make them happen?