There are so many different ways to approach a new year. Resolutions are popular. Alternatively, you can set specific goals. Or you can choose a word of the year to guide you. I do all of these things. Sure, the start of a new year is a little bit arbitrary. But it’s also a great time to reset and refocus. This year, I’m going back to the basics with my goals and resolutions.
Goal 1: Earn More Than I Spend
This is so obvious that it’s a little bit embarrassing to have to list it here. But it’s the reality of where I’m at. Due to a variety of circumstances, I spent more than I earned the past couple of years. It’s time to buckle down, spend less, and earn more. I want to get my debt back under control and re-up my savings.
What’s important here is that I don’t diminish this goal. It feels so silly. I should be better at this by now. However, we all have slips in our financial lives. The best laid plans and all that … So I’m just going to acknowledge where I’m at, stop feeling embarrassed about it, and use the skills I already have to get back on track.
Goal #2: Separate Work and Personal Finances
This is something that I should have done a long time ago. However, I’ve just never gotten around to it. I work from home as a freelance writer. Although I’ve hired subcontractors in the past, I mostly work alone. I also live alone. So it’s never felt imperative to figure out how to separate my work and personal finances.
And yet, I would feel better if I did. At the very least, as a starting point, I’m going to use one credit card for all work related things and another for all personal things. That way it doesn’t take me hours each month sorting out the information for my taxes.
Goal #3: Spend Out
I’m a big fan of author Gretchen Rubin. One of the things that I’ve learned from her work is that I’m an over buyer. I don’t like to run out of things. Therefore, I keep an abundance of things. You’ll never catch me running out of shampoo or hand soap, let alone toilet paper.
However, I don’t need all that I have. And part of reducing my spending is that I’m going to use Rubin’s concept of “spend out.” In other words, I’m going to use what I have before buying more. And I’m extending this to getting the most life out of everything possible. For example, I’m going to wear the clothes that are almost ready for donation so that I can “use them up” and donate them to declutter my space.
Also, I’m going to try to make sure that every time I make a purchase, I ask myself if I could “spend out” first.
Goal #4: Conscious Consumption
This is more of an ethical goal than a financial goal. However, it has to do with putting my money where my values are. After raising a lot of awareness about fast fashion through my Dressember participation, I realized that I’ve slipped some on my fashion ethics.
I used to only buy secondhand when it came to everything except undergarments. Over the years, I’ve let that slip some. I’ve bought too many clothing items off of Amazon. I haven’t checked the sources of things I buy to make sure that the companies align with my environmental and social values. Although I haven’t gone too far down the rabbit hole, I definitely want to refocus on conscious consumption so that I don’t slip any further.
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