How Much Does Your Dream Life Cost?

If you had 24 hours, 7 days a week completely free, what would your life look like? How would you actually design your dream life outside of your 9-5 job? We go through a simple yet powerful exercise to manifest this reality and define exactly how much it would cost to live your dream life.

Tune in or read the blog version below!

What is your dream life and exactly how much does it cost?

I have such a special episode for you all today because it is my birthday!

We’re celebrating my 28th birthday in Hawaii, and at the end of the week we are making our way back to Bali.

The inspiration for today’s episode was from a recent conversation I had with one of my coworkers who I used to work with at Bank of America.

We caught up and he admitted that he was unsatisfied and unfulfilled with his job. He was still working in Finance and wanted to pursue something new, but he had no idea how and if he could do it.

I shared with him the exact same exercise I went through when I was working in Finance that I learned from Tim Ferriss in his book The 4-Hour Work Week. He calls this process dreamlining.

My coworker loved it, so I want to share this with you. This will help you if you are stuck in a corporate job you don’t like, if you’re looking for alternatives, if you want to start your own business, but have no idea how.

If you don’t know what your dream life looks like, this will help you put it on paper.

What is your dream life?

If you had 24 hours, 7 days a week of free time, no office job, no work on weekdays, no 9-5, what would your dream life look like?

If you’ve been working a corporate job for a number of years, the concept of having 7 days of free time just seems impossible at the moment, right?

I remember before I quit my job, I had taken a sick day with the intention of exploring New York City and seeing what quitting my job would feel like, because I knew I would have all this extra time on my hands.

And it was so new to me, but this is where I can clearly see now how society has such an impact on you.

When we are born, we are all free creatures. At what point, did we think it was okay for us to just give up all of our time, give up at least 40 hours a week in order to live?

We all think that’s the norm. We all think that’s standard, but then when you start questioning it, there are ways outside.

Today is when you decide, I am going to create my dream life.

I am going to live and prioritize myself over society’s expectations that I need to be working 40 hours a week in a corporation or for someone else.

Today I put myself first and I’m going to live my life the way I design it.

Dreamlining Your Life

Get a piece of paper and divide it into three columns.

The first column label it “having”, the second column label it “being” and the third column label it “doing”.

In each of these columns, if this was a magical piece of paper, and if you had 24 hours a day, seven days a week of free time, where would you be?

What would you be doing with who would you be spending your time with anything about your dream life?

Imagine it and write down every single thing that you can think of.

So the exact location, the exact country, the exact city, the exact environment, like who are the people you’re going to be with? Who are you going to be interacting with? What are you going to be doing?

And the most important piece is to write down today’s date and the date in one year’s time. So everything that you want to have to be, to be doing in one year’s time.

How much does your dream life cost?

Next, write down how much it’s going to cost you to get everything in the “having” column and the “being” column and in the “doing” column.

When I do this exercise with my clients, your monthly expenses, when you factor in your time freedom and location freedom, more often than not, it’s going to be less than whatever it is you are paying for in rent.

Especially if you live in a HCOL hub like New York or San Francisco.

I was living in New York city. I was paying New York city rent, and I thought I needed to sustain that level of income for the rest of my life in order for me to quit my corporate job.

However, I realized I love traveling, I love exploring, I’ve been to so many countries and I know that the cost of living is lower in other countries.

If I didn’t have to be in an office 40 hours a week, five days a week, and wasn’t limited to vacation days, I could totally relocate to Hawaii or work from a tropical destination.

I did not have to stay in New York city and that’s not even what I wanted to do. I was only paying for a year’s rent because that’s where my job was located.


Let’s say you want to travel Southeast Asia because you’ve never been there before and you want to do so for six months if you had all the time, all the location freedom, all the money freedom in the world.

And let’s give two ends of the spectrum. Let’s say on one end, you are a backpacker. You really want to meet other people, socialize, live freely and not have glitz and glam everywhere you go.

Let’s also have the other end of the spectrum where you want to stay in really nice hotels or really luxurious Airbnbs, and you have a higher budget.

Let’s also throw in there that under the having column, you also really want to have a motorcycle so you can road trip on your own.

Let’s also say that you’re really active and you want to have a gym membership wherever you go so you can stay fit on the road.

Under the being column, let’s say after six months in Southeast Asia, you have plans to explore more of Latin America and you want to be conversational in Spanish.

So every week you’re going to take online Spanish lessons while you’re traveling, add up the costs of each and every one of these line items.

More often than not the lower end of the spectrum. If you’re backpacking Southeast Asia, I can tell you that you’re going to spend no more than $1,000 USD a month, including your gym memberships, including your Spanish lessons, including anything and everything you can possibly describe in your dreamlining exercise.

On the higher end of that budget, it goes up to however much you want to be spending. Realistically, it’s not going to be more than two or $3,000 a month, Southeast Asia, crazy cheap compared to the cost of living in many cities in America.

And where we go from there is we take this cost number. Let’s say on average, it’s going to be $2,000 a month for you to be traveling for you to be motorcycling and taking Spanish lessons and working out perfect life like eating out.

And it’s going to be $2,000 a month. You multiply that by 1.3 for a grand total of $2,600 a month for you to be living this lifestyle for six months.

Building Your Online Business

This number is what is known as your target monthly income, so how much money you need to be making on a monthly basis for you to be living your dream lifestyle.

Divide that by 30 to get your target daily income, which is how much money you need to be making on a daily basis for you to live that life.

And $2,600 divided by 30 is around $87 a day, which in reality is not that much money, especially with your own business, especially with the ability for online businesses to scale internationally. It is so doable. And when you go through this exercise yourself, you will see how within reach your dreams really are when you’re not limited by time.

When you have an extra 40 hours a week of your time to work on your own projects and work on your own business, all things that are seemingly impossible.

So for me, it was like, what do people do with all that time? How do they have their entire days free? This will all seem so possible for you on my personal dreamlining exercise.

I knew I always wanted an assistant. I knew I always wanted to live in Hawaii and really defining these things, seeing how possible it was and the number amount to make it possible. That is the first step I know all of us are different.

I’m going to ask you some questions to really get those creative juices flowing and see what you really want out of your life.

I think these are great prompts for you to just think about, you know, think outside the box.

  1. One place you’ve always wanted to visit: calculate whether that’s on a trip, whether you want to live there, how much that would cost, how much the flights are, how much Airbnbs are.
  2. One thing to do before you die: a memory of a lifetime. Whether that’s skydiving, whether that’s throwing a giant 30th birthday party, whether that’s having a destination wedding of a lifetime, write it down and dare to dream.
  3. One thing you want to do on a daily basis. One thing that’s so powerful, you can create a habit out of it.
  4. One thing you really want to commit to one thing to do weekly.
  5. One thing that you’ve always wanted to lear. I am constantly learning. I’m constantly motivating the people around me to be learning. I want to continue learning and I guarantee you the most fun things.

The best things you can possibly create for yourself are probably going to be outside of a 9-5. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but if you’re listening to this episode and you feel stuck, you feel like no one around you understands this vision you have for your life that’s so much more than what you’re living now, just know that you are not alone and listen to that intuition.

Know that you are meant for something different and you can achieve whatever it is that you have on your dream line.

I am so excited for you to be thinking this way, to be thinking out what it is in life you want to accomplish.

First milestone is seeing and knowing how it’s possible. So seeing the number on that sheet of paper, the number it takes for you to be living this dream life that’s milestone number one and milestone number two is to be hitting this income goal on your own accord.

With your own business, with your own side hustle, you don’t have to quit cold Turkey and just go complete 100%, although you totally can.

But if you are currently in a corporate job, really be grateful for that financial safety net. You have no that you’re not going to be there forever and take all the extra time you possibly can on your lunch breaks after works on weekends, but really focus on your side hustle so you can scale it to a point where you can replace your corporate income.

Milestone number two, I think is the biggest one of them all, is when you get your first sale and first client. That is the aha moment when you’re like, I do not need to rely on my employer.

I’ve experienced that so many times through my clients, and I know that it is possible for you.

If you’re listening and you have the number of what it takes to live your dream life, but you don’t know how to get there, you don’t know how to get to milestone number two, I want to invite you to work with me in the Start Your Business Intensive.

This is my signature six week intensive for you to get to milestone number two, where you have your business idea and business assets, and get the clients and customers to reach your target monthly income.

This is a really comprehensive program. We have weekly calls. You have my calendar to a book in additional support calls whenever you need.

Weekly modules for you to work through and private Voxer access.

By the end of our time together, you will have a monetizable business and you will have complete clarity and be able to replace your corporate income working from anywhere.

🤩 Enroll in the Start Your Business Intensive

If you’ve enjoyed this episode, it would mean so much if you could leave a review on Apple Podcasts. This helps us spread The Wanderlover mission to those who need a dose of inspiration today, thank you!

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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Hi, I’m Danielle

My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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