The Diary of a Budgeter – Day 1

Bobbi Olson Articles, The Diary of a Budgeter

Setting your money goals for the new year

Happy New Year! For me, 2020 seemed like the longest and shortest year of my life! I have much to be thankful for. I’m still employed and was able to save money last year. I also learned a lot about how embracing the idea of gratitude can lead to wealth. My husband, Scott and my big goal last year was to save for all our irregular expenses and Christmas, as well as keep a comfortable car & health maintenance fund, so we could pay for most anything that came up – expected or not – and still live our daily lives, without debt. We’re so blessed that we were able to accomplish that – through budgeting, planning, a few unexpected windfalls (like stimulus) and mostly good choices (we’re not perfect! LOL).

Our Christmas gift to each other was an adjustable bed – this was a huge purchase for us. We’d wanted one for years, and Scott has a lot of back problems, so he really needed it, but we didn’t want to go into debt for it, so we waited and saved. It’s so nice to enjoy the comforts of our new bed, without worrying about what happens when the credit card bill comes!

On top of that, we were able to begin the New Year with enough in savings to cover all our irregular expenses, plus 3 of our smallest monthly bills for the entire year of 2021.

Now, we can focus on other savings goals for this year. They include:

  • Fully funding our 6-month job-loss fund
  • Building our car maintenance/next car fund
  • Buying a new couch

I’m so excited about these goals – and I wanted to share them, because I remember feeling like it was always one step forward, two steps back, when we first began our budgeting journey.

But after a while, it became one step forward, one step back – then simply one step forward, one foot in front of the other and slowly, but surely we paid off all our debt and began to build our financial foundation! We’ve continued that upward trajectory and it’s really exciting to set new goals each year and follow the plan to achieve them!

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had to roll with a lot of punches. It never happens exactly as planned, but we’ve stayed the course, accomplished a lot and been willing to re-write our plans to stay on track when life happens!

It all started with our why. My why was because I hated feeling like a slave to my job – I wanted choices, the freedom to move into something where I felt personally and professionally fulfilled – even if it meant taking a pay cut.

I didn’t realize it then, but the why is the most important place to start. Your why will keep you focused and motivated, when you want to spend emotionally or carelessly. Your why grounds you, reminds you what you’re working toward and what you feel is important. Remember, this is PERSONAL finance – so make it personal! What’s important to you? Why do you want to change your financial life?

Once you’ve really thought through your WHY, then you can get focused on your HOW!

Tomorrow, I’ll write about how I plan to achieve my financial goals in 2020.