As we head into the tail end of December, it’s a perfect time of year to start reflecting on your 2017 financial goals and what you could have done better.
I want to share with you my own personal reflections from earlier this month, what I learnt and how I could have done things better, so we can all learn from each other.
So, let’s be real.
How do you feel when you ask yourself, “Am I where I want to be? Did I do the things that I wanted to do this year?”
When I asked myself this question earlier this month, I was also in the process of setting up my Moneysoft account. Moneysoft is a great tool because at any point in time, I can see what my expenses are in relation to my budget. I can also see my financial position, my goals and how well I’m going with my goals.
What became apparent to me is that there was one particular goal that my partner, Scott, and I are very attached to and I had no money going to that goal at all.
At the same time, I also started going through my receipts and I started to think about the money I spent this year (and the money I wasted!).
I realised that I spent a lot of money on things that I don’t even use now.
I remember earlier this year I had bought a few t-shirts from J Crew: white, grey, black. Who doesn’t wear those colours? I bought a couple of skirts as well, thinking I’d wear them for work.
Well, now it’s the end of the year and I still have some of the t-shirts in my wardrobe with the tags on!
And unfortunately I don’t wear the skirts anymore. I still love them, but I just never end up wearing them.
Realising this was quite overwhelming. But you have to be honest with yourself when you make these reflections and I was very honest with myself.
It’s also really easy to blame outside influences like your income or your circumstances for where you are. We’ve all blamed the fact that we’re not earning enough income or our rent’s too high or the cost of living is just too much and I live in Sydney or Melbourne and it’s really expensive to live in these cities!!!
But really, when you ask yourself, “What could I have done better?”, there are always things you could have done better.
For me, it was my spending on things that I didn’t need.
When I started to think about this, it became very overwhelming and I let it bottle up inside.
What I should have done is sat down and wrote it all down in a journal to work it out.
Because when you leave it in your head, it does become overwhelming; it manifests into a much bigger problem than it actually is. Journalling it all down, putting it out there and putting my emotions down on paper would’ve been a much better step than leaving it all in my head.
During the journalling process, you realise how important it is to remember the things that you have achieved as well.
It’s so easy to get caught up in negativity and let these problems manifest into bigger problems. But when you realise that you’ve made a mistake, it’s such an important step to realise that you’ve also done things right this year.
It’s so important to give yourself a pat on the back for the things that you’ve done right, and also for getting to that point where you’ve made a realisation that you know what, I’m not where I want to be with my goals and I could’ve done better.
I let the stress and negativity stay in my head and I just kept thinking about it.
While having a conversation with Scott about something completely unrelated, I got so upset because I had linked the goals and the spending with that particular problem and it all came out. I was a horrible mess and even snorted when I cried.
That is not where you want to be. You need to address the problem well before that point!
Journal, put all your feelings down onto paper, and give yourself a pat on the back for making those realisation.
It’s time to accept it and move on.
We can’t change the past, but we can ensure that we have measures in place so we can move on from here, down the right path.
Make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to change this and that you’re doing to do better.
Personally, I’ve committed to myself to not spend money on any more clothing.
I’m going to go through all my existing clothing and give away what I don’t need or use with the aim to reduce my wardrobe to 50 items. And from there, if I want something new then I also have to give up the equivalent item. So if I want a new bag, I’ve got to give up or sell the existing bag.
So ask yourself: How am I going change this? What am I going to do?
And then share it with people.
Share it with your closest friends, share it with your boyfriend or girlfriend, share it with your colleagues. You’ll be surprised at how much support you get, because those people want to see you succeed.
And by telling someone, you’re also more likely to do it as well.
So let us know: What are you changing in 2018?
If growing your wealth, developing a better relationship with your money, or getting out of debt is important to you this year, take advantage of our FREE Financial Possibilities Consultation to get you started.
Disclaimer: all information contained within this article is of a general nature. It should not be relied upon when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.