Achieving our goals doesn't just happen. it takes sacrifice. What sacrifices are you willing to make to achieve your goal?

Planning on taking that trip to Europe next year?

Unless you plan on facing a wall of credit card debt when you get back or you have buckets of money at your disposal, you are going to have to save some cash for your trip.

Personally I would not recommend the mountain of debt option.

Perhaps you are planning on starting your own business and you’re trying to save some money to have in reserve to cover expenses till your business is bringing in enough cash.  Perhaps you are just hoping to pay off some existing debt.

No matter what you are saving for, you will need to compromise and make sacrifices.

Is this a post on how to budget?  No. There are plenty of banking and finance websites that can provide that information.

This post is about the determination you need to make the sacrifices required to reach your goal.  The fortitude you need to stay strong and keep on track.   This is about deciding what it is you really want.  It will be harder (if not impossible) to stay on course if your end goal, in your own mind, is not worth making the sacrifices for.

I’m a passionate traveler. At work I was known for the girl who was always planning her next trip. I was always being asked where I was going next.  When news got around the office that I was taking six months leave from work, everyone assumed I was off on another great overseas adventure.

To take six months leave without pay to have the opportunity to write full time, I had to put any travel plans on the back burner.  Not travelling has been a big sacrifice. Knocking back trips away with friends has been hard.  Some days I swear I can feel my feet itching to get on a plane!

I have also turned down a lot of dinners and nights out with friends.  While I still catch up with my close friends (there are lots of things you can do on a budget even a strict one) I don’t see them as much as I would like.   I am sure my friends get sick of hearing me say I can’t afford to go out.

Thankfully they are a caring and supportive bunch and know my grand plan, so don’t get upset at what on some days might feel like rejection.  At some point they probably stopped asking me out as much, something I had to take on board and understand from their point of view.

Were there times I wanted to give up? Hell yes! I remember one moment in particular. One weekend I was tired from working 7 days straight on a project to meet the deadline. I started fantasizing about where I could travel with the money I had already saved. Having taken 8 months off to travel after being made redundant years earlier, I knew where I could go and just how long the money would last depending on which countries I visited. I figured I would be able to stretch my trip out to roughly a year.

A year traveling overseas with no need to work, I was tempted.  For about 5 minutes (okay maybe 10). Then I realized I would not get the chance to write full time if I blew all of my cash on an around the world trip. I wanted to be a writer more than I wanted to travel. So I kept saving.

The other sacrifice you may be faced with can be a lot more challenging than issues concerning money (or lack thereof). Most likely you will have to make compromises with your time.

If you have a family and children, particularly if you have older parents to take care of, this could be a major concern.  Trying to achieve your goals without neglecting people is not an easy task.

In my case, this meant working weekends while I was still working full time and saving. This left a lot less time for catching up with friends and family.

A while back a friend of mine returned from living in London. At that stage, I was so wrapped up in writing and saving, I saw here about a month after her return and again sometime later.  I was completely shocked when she mentioned she had been back 4 months and this was only the second time I’d seen her.  My original plan was to spend a lot of time with her when she got back.  I had missed her company while she was overseas and yet I failed miserably to make her a priority once she came home.  A situation I am now doing my best to remedy.

Only you can make the decision on what sacrifices you can live with to achieve your goals.  Choose how you spend your time and money wisely.

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