As I wrote in last week’s post, for me, January is a time of both reflection of the past year and resolution for the upcoming year. So similar to the image for this post, I climbed to the top of a mountain looked at the sun and contemplated 2019/20. My 2020 creative resolutions were inspired by the shear beauty of the site! No, of course not. But the image is nice, isn’t it?
Think about what you wanted to accomplish financially speaking in 2019. If you met those incremental goals last year, good for you! Take a minute or two to give yourself a pat on the back. Perhaps you reduced your credit card debt (great goal by the way!). Maybe you increased your savings rate in your 401(k). Just maybe you finally looked at your accounts and repositioned some investments to more closely align with your risk tolerance. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to recognize that you took some action. An action that gets you closer to realizing your financial goals and independence.
What if you didn’t meet your incremental financial goals in 2019? Well, don’t despair. You shouldn’t get down on yourself. That doesn’t do anything except make yourself feel bad and that’s of no use. Of course, take ownership of the reason you didn’t meet the goal and resolve to do a better job in the upcoming twelve months.
Thinking about 2019
I think I did a pretty good job with my financial goals in 2019. I consolidated some of my investments as we had too many. Separately, I re-evaluated some risk in our portfolio that wasn’t worth the potential gains. From that analysis I moved some investments around and reduced that risk. All in all, I’m happy with the moves.
Moving forward into 2020
However, there is one area that I really want to be better at this year than I was in 2019. Sweets. Now, don’t judge me. This is a judge free zone. First, I recognize that sweets are not a financial goal. But because I can really identify with financial goals, I’m making it one. Perhaps you’ll find something similar in your life and be able to make a connection too.
So, a little background. Last year I came to realize that was drinking entirely too much diet cola. Yep, diet cola. I was hooked. Not like a bottle a week. Like several bottles a week. And I’m not talking about 20-ounce bottles either. The big ones. Again… don’t judge me! I’m not sure what the inspiration was, but I came to a conclusion. Consuming those quantities was probably not the best for me.
Well I stopped my irrational consumption in 2019. Maybe an occasional small bottle but nothing like before. And similar to how I encourage everyone else to do, I was patting myself on the back for my accomplishment.
It actually wasn’t so successful
The good news is, I really don’t drink diet cola any longer (except like I just said for an occasional bottle – like once every couple months). However, there’s some bad news. Come the second half of the year I kind of got a taste for regular cola. Sometimes I’m just not too bright. By the time December rolled around I realized I was drinking nearly as much regular cola as I had been diet cola. Somehow that was better for me? I don’t’ think so.
In December I developed another bad habit. Brigham’s vanilla ice cream. Those from the northeast know what I’m talking about. I’ve had a soft spot for this frozen creamy nectar of the gods for as long as I can remember. As long as it’s not in the house I’m fine, but during December, that irresistible treat found its way into our freezer. Not just once but many, many times during December. I mentioned in my last post that I put on a few pounds over the holidays. Well, as I write this post, I begin to see a connection!
Large quantities of ice cream and cola are not good for me. For my health, I need to stop. So, what does this have to do with a financial resolution? Let me try to put this together. I estimate that I probably spent about $40 in December on ice cream and cola. That may not seem like much but annually that’s close to $500 annually! Wow! $500, that’s ridiculous! That’s a number I can get behind to modify my behavior.
A 2020 creative resolution
My goal is to significantly reduce ice cream and cola from my diet. The money that otherwise would have gone straight to my waist can be donated to a charitable cause in our community. I’m not sure which cause just now. Mrs. P2F and I have all year to decide and hopefully that will keep me focused.
So, my financial goal is to increase our charitable giving by trying to be healthier in 2020.
Be creative with your resolution
There are lots of ways to link behaviors you don’t like to ones that you do financially. Get creative with your 2020 resolution. Perhaps you get take out several times a week and you carry a credit card balance. Reduce it to twice a week and put the savings toward your credit card debt. If you do that, then a third benefit is less interest paid to the credit card company!
Make coffee at home rather than stopping by the coffee shop each morning. Put the savings into your emergency fund. Get a bigger bang for those bucks by increasing your 401(k) contributions which in turn reduces your tax liability for the year. Notice I didn’t say give up coffee… far be it from me to make that suggestion! I love my coffee each day!
Bigger isn’t always better
These types of resolutions don’t have to be giant expenses (they can be, but that’s not the point) to be impactful. Our $10 a week on sweets adds up to a sizable number that can help our community. I encourage you to be imaginative this January and think outside the box to create a 2020 financial resolution that provides multiple benefits!
If you’ve come up a new 2020 creative resolution that will help you or others in multiple ways, share it with us in the comments below. Your ideas can inspire others.
Thanks for stopping by.
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