This is a reader-submitted essay. Thank you so much for sharing!
Ever feel like you’re working, and saving money, and it’s all a mush? DreamBonds can help.
The concept is simple. Instead of saving money for “the future,” set aside savings for specific expenses. And pick whatever is meaningful to you. Appreciate quality furniture? Put $3,000 in a DreamBond for Fancy Dining Room Table. Want your kids to have art lessons? Create a DreamBond for that. Miss sleep-away camp? Create a DreamBond to send your kids to camp.
Quantify your big dreams: Create a DreamBond for each year of kollel. Even if your parents can’t support, your DreamBonds will add up quickly. Always want to be a stay-at-home mom, but not sure if you can afford it? Start a DreamBond for a year at home. Want to move to Israel? Put aside for tickets, rent, and furnishings. Maybe you truly yearn to pay tuition. You can start DreamBonds for kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade – or skip straight to high school. Never went to seminary and wish you could have – or had the most amazing year of your life? Start a DreamBond to send your daughter to Israel.
Amounts can be small, too: $400 for a night away, or even $150 for dinner in a fancy restaurant. A DreamBond of $500 can be labeled All-Clad Pots, or perhaps $600 will buy you a strong set of luggage. (The idea is similar to the Stash, but can be easier to manage.)
How do you actually create a DreamBond? You can simply record the sums on a spreadsheet, or even just write a “note to self.” But for added punch, make it real. Most banks allow you to open multiple accounts easily and for free. Set aside the money in dedicated accounts and nickname them with your Dream. If your dream is further off, put it in a bond, or a CD. If you’re willing to handle some excitement, invest it in a brokerage account that buys mutual funds and bonds (I highly recommend Fidelity GO). (If your dream is related to school, you can even start a tax-advantaged savings account.) Watching your dream grow – and occasionally drop – can be very exciting.
I feel like this idea would have been motivating to me while I worked. It would have given me the feeling of earning money I need. It would have made it worthwhile to take a few more hours, work in the summer – not going overboard, of course, but it’s motivating knowing that I want the money for my DreamBonds. But equally important, DreamBonds make your dreams real. Actively working for your dreams is wonderfully empowering.
What do you think? Are you already doing this? I started saving for making my first wedding 😉
Disclaimer: This post does not constitute financial advice. Speak to a professional about your money 🙂
Have something of your own to share? We’d love to read it!