What Does the American Dream Mean to You? #MC

I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for MassMutual. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

American Dream

Image credit: jcolman on Flickr

The American Dream is one of the biggest reasons that people have flocked to our nation, but new research has shown that the dream is interpreted differently by different people.  MassMutual Financial Group recently released a report stating that American families have shown their resilience through tough financial times by adjusting their budgets appropriately to roll with the punches.

My American Dream

When I think about the American Dream, one of the first things I relate to that is financial independence. The perfect scenario for me would be owning my own home outright, owning a successful business and being able to provide for my family without struggling in the slightest. I would love what I do, be able to put my kids through college, be able to afford to care for my parents in their old age and be able to have a very comfortable retirement. It sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, the current business climate isn’t a healthy one for new business and the current economy is fair at best. Because of this, I have to carefully research every potentially life-changing opportunity that presents itself (or that I come up with). There is no guarantee that a business started today will survive tomorrow. Planning is everything.

My family and I are also on a very strict budget. We’ve traded in the occasional night out for a night in with a movie, games or fun activities. Although we would like to indulge in a few fast food or casual restaurant meals a week, we’ve now limited those meals to once or twice a month. Instead of watching cable TV or purchasing Pay-Per-View movies at $3.99 and up, we now use only a HDTV antenna and various streaming options to catch our favorite shows. We’ve cancelled our home phone service. We’ve limited our water consumption and our electricity use. I’ve learned to create our menu plan by the coupons that come in our newspaper. All in all, we’ve rolled with the punches of today’s economy and we’ve somehow managed to keep our heads above water.

Not surprisingly, MassMutual’s recent study MassMutual’s State of the American Family Study showed that I’m not alone. Many Americans are doing the very same things that I’ve done.

What the State of the American Family Study Shows

MassMutual’s recent study was very interesting to me, not only as someone heavily concerned with personal finance, but also as a parent. Some of the information compiled in the study might surprise you, too. For instance, how closely are your financial goals represented below?

The top five financial goals reported by American families include:

• Paying off a mortgage
• Creating a plan for managing retirement income
• Saving for children’s college educations
• Ensuring that the family will be taken care of financially in the event of a parent’s death
• Developing a monthly budget and a comprehensive financial plan.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of the LGBT community in this study. It’s great to see a corporation that values the input of all members of society – – and even better that the results were so positive! The study states, “Those who have a broader definition of family, like LGBT families for instance, place saving for college as one of their top financial goals, and have high rates of ownership of college savings plans. Given their relatively high mortgages and credit card debt compared to other families, this high rate shows real commitment to the future of their children.” Being able to afford to give your children a college education is so very important in this day and age.
The study also touched on the financial education of children. MassMutual states that, “Parents recognize that an increase in financial education among children can help future generations to feel more confident and perform more effectively with regards to money.” Money is something that we’ve been trying to teach our children more about. This is especially true for our teenager, as she got her first job a few months ago. Because she’s only paid once a month, she has to learn how to properly manage her money so that she isn’t broke a week after she gets her paycheck.
I love that the study covers so many different areas and provides clearly detailed information on the responses of different age groups. The American Dream may have different meanings for different people; however, it’s nice to know that we all share a lot of the same aspects of that dream.

You can achieve your American Dream and MassMutual can help!

Whether you’re interested in learning what more you can do to better manage your finances or you want to better educate your children on finances, MassMutual can help. Learn how MassMutual can help families achieve their American Dream today by reviewing the MassMutual Family Finances Study here:  http://bit.ly/M9xloU

What’s your version of the American Dream?


Moms Living Thrifty Disclosure


  1. Well I would have to agree, having money to live and survive and having some left over. Not feeling like you are about to drown.

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