Planning for Sustainability

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Sustainability isn’t a fast process. It takes careful consideration and planning. It requires a deep understanding of what you have, what you need, and overcoming what you want. It requires having a strong understanding for your wants, your needs, and the delicate balance needed to produce for your needs.

Part of this planning requires looking far ahead to see where you want to be and what is standing in your way. For most people obstacles include money.

Two years ago, I wrote about getting our finances in order in an effort to meet our sustainable living goals. At that time, our goals seemed out of sight. Today, it doesn’t feel that way. We’ve managed to avoid major lifestyle inflation while maintaining our general principles of life and although we’re still 10 years from our goal of ultimate freedom, we can see it will happen.

So how do you plan?

  1. Identify your goals. We want to avoid being held down to anything. We want to be able to pick up and leave for anywhere, pursue careers of our choosing despite pay decreases, and maintain the knowledge that our relationship satisfies us more than anything our dollars will ever buy us.
  2. Identify your obstacles. For many of us it’s money. How will we pay our bills? We’ve gotten ourselves to a position that allows us to have relatively few bills. We have our house, our utilities, and for a few more short years, our student loans.
  3. Find ways to overcome your obstacles, no matter how small. We want to be 100% debt free inside of 10 years (mortgage included). We need to save major amounts of money to reach our goal.
  4. Plan for the unexpected. Things happen, the unexpected comes up, and the only way to avoid this is to plan for the question mark. Save for emergencies.
  5. Stick to your plan. This requires constant re-evaluation. Do you have the same goals, are you sticking to your principles, what else can you be doing? This is how I recently found ourselves sliding off our path (read about that here).

What are some of your goals?

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