Calculating a Lifestyle

We all have aspirations. Most of us would like to live in a nice home in a good neighborhood. We would like to own a reliable car – though some of us desire something more than simple reliability – there is the education of our children, clothing, vacations and leaving something behind for future generations. These are common desires.

Where and how we live, combined with the type of work we do and the type of leisure time activities we partake in determines what kind of lifestyle we have. A good style of life may aid our general happiness with life itself. This is not always true, yet if we live lives with many unfulfilled expectations, it is reasonable to assume that our level of satisfaction will not be where it could be.

Most people fail to achieve the lifestyles they want because they fail to make concrete plans to achieve them. Lack of planning is the single biggest reason preventing people from getting what they want out of life, that and a failure to work their plans. To a greater or lesser extent, all of us have been there.

Calculating the lifestyle you want can help bring things into focus. To do this, it is necessary to create a list of those things which are important to you in order to achieve the lifestyle you desire. Additionally, your lifestyle desires must be tempered with where you are starting from in the first place.

If you have just left university and come from a family of modest means, it would be unrealistic to calculate a near term lifestyle that approximates that of a multi-millionaire. Does this mean that you shall never achieve great wealth? Not at all; you simply need to know that wealth, generally, is built over time.

Assuming you created a list of realistic near term, midterm and long term expectations, you can now get to the process of calculating how much money you will need to accomplish your goals.
How much will a reasonable home cost? What about a car? What kind of vacations would you like to take? By calculating costs you can begin to make choices and prioritize what is most important to you. You can also develop a savings plan to meet your needs. This is a far better way to achieve your goals than just wishing. Calculate a lifestyle and then work and save for it. You can do it! (Digression: I wonder what kind of planning Rob Schneider does.)

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*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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