We are a few days into 2023 and I’ve put my updated goals into place. I tend to have a focus for the year, not a resolution or a set goal.
For 2022 I focused on growing my savings and having a comfortable emergency savings account if needed. That was achieved. As I turned my focus to 2023 I started thinking about how can I build upon what I just worked on.
My word for 2023 is Content. Not making more content, but being happy with where I am and what I have.
Let me go back a couple of years and give some backstory.
In 2018 I got divorced and started really digging into my finances. Well, I had to in order to make everything work. I realized that money was tight but things were manageable. It was challenging to be in my mid 30’s and have $20 a week to spend on extras.
That felt like my college budget and it was not fun then. Watching my friends that were thriving, live their best lives sucked most days. I had some serious FOMO and was jealous.
Getting divorced makes you reprioritize things and assess what is more important. I spent most of 2019 figuring out if something was truly important, a want, a need, or just a trend I wanted to be a part of. Doing the work is no fun when you’re in the moment, but is gratifying later.
Early 2020 hits and we start hearing about Covid happening on the other side of the globe. As it hit the US and closed us down, I was actually ready. My work was already remote, using video platforms to connect with customers, and I had already prioritized what I really needed in my budget.
While others were struggling to adjust during that time, not much changed for me except for the kids being home all the time. Chick (my Plott Hound) and I were no longer ladies of leisure during the day. We snuggled while I worked. There was constant noise and disruptions. I digress.
I decided it was time to sell my house and start fresh. It sold quickly and left me in a good spot financially. I purchased my current home later that year while interest rates were LOW. The house has everything we had on our wishlist:
- Cul de sac
- Granite countertops
- Extra bedrooms
- Big backyard
We have been in this house for over 2 years and I’m still in love with it. There are some changes I want to work on this year, but they are aligned with my goals.
I took a new role with a startup a few months after moving. The decision to leave the job I had grown so much with was challenging. Looking back, it was the correct career move for me.
This new job allowed me to focus on savings in 2022.
New job, new house, and a blended family…things are so much different from where they were in 2018.
Change of Habits
With all of these changes, it’s encouraged me to pause and look at my habits. This started in 2016 when I gave myself a $100 Fabric Budget for the entire year. Since then I’m not as in a hurry to buy fabric and try to utilize what is in my stash. I love looking at all the new lines that come out and what trends are happening. Temptations get the best of me sometimes, but for the most part, my habits haven’t changed much after that exercise.
When I only had $20 per week to spend, it really made me look at what I could/should spend my money on. As I noted above this was hard and made me envious of what others were doing. However, it helped me realize they were not in my situation. To help I curated my social media to focus on things that brought me joy and removed those that fueled any envy.
Towards the end of 2022, it became apparent that impulse buys were becoming a challenge. Since I can spend more than $20 per week now, I have been. But why?
Has that instant gratification been worth it?
If I’m being honest…NOPE.
Goal for 2023 – Content
I can point to the moment in 2022 that set the course to work on being content in 2023. My husband and I both had the day off work. I had been pining over a blacked-out Range Rover. We went to test drive one and learn more. LOVED the car, but hated the financial side of it. It really put some numbers into perspective.
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- Is my Kia Forte sexy and fun to drive? No.
- Does it have a ton of features? No.
- Is it paid off and has affordable maintenance? Yes
A Range Rover or a new car has been realistically moved into my LONG term goals. I can still appreciate what I enjoy about this car and not have the price tag hanging over me.
It’s time to look at what I already have. Enjoy it and try to not just add to it. I truly want to enjoy my home, my family, and not feel the pressure to keep getting more. It’s not a healthy place for me.
It’s hard when we have so many apps easily on our phones. With just a swipe you’ve placed an order and items can be here within hours.
Here are my actionable items to encourage me to be content with what I have:
- Track my spending. I’m looking at days I didn’t spend money on non-essentials
- Before buying, check what options I may have other options here at home (looking at you fabric stash)
- Add items to my cart and wait 24-48 hours before completing checkout
- Not reading sale emails from companies
- Clean out my social media to those that inspire me (I try to keep this really curated)
Over the next few months, I plan to read more, get in more exercise, play in my studio, and enjoy time with my family. This puts the focus on what I have, where I am, and who I am instead of what could be.
Let’s circle back to who I am. As I was listening to The Financial Diet’s video on Being Radically Content, the speaker mentioned this.
Go and listen to this episode. Pay careful attention around the 12:33 mark. Chelsea notes that she has accepted no one can have it all and that the aspirational lifestyle is fake. You have to pick.
Jamie’s response really hit home.
My actions are for me. I’m sharing to help keep me accountable and tell my story. There is no shame if you and I are not on the same path.