Friday, February 27, 2015

The Reward of Sticking to (Financial) Goals

I've written a lot about reasonable goal setting. Whether a goal is large or small, however, it's important not be distracted or tempted away from what you want/hope/need to accomplish.

Coming to the close of the February Challenge, it is this week I've found myself desiring to shop for, well, anything. I don't know why it's been so particularly difficult this last week, but quite a few times, I was tempted to cave. Still, I've not been to shop in any store but a supermarket since the end of January! And it's been quite an eye-opening experience; I even managed to completely makeover a corner of my den into my dream home office, without spending a penny!

With my freelance work increasing (hooray!), an organized place to work has been necessary for a while now. After seeing Kara Haupt's beautiful - and yaaaay, small - space featured on A Beautiful Mess, I was inspired and with two ice-days at home, got the job done, all with materials and items I already owned! I'll write more about the rewards of the February Challenge in a coming post, because while this was a small goal, it was a fun experiment, sometimes difficult to stick by, and I learned a lot about my shopping habits.

It can be  a much harder challenge, however, to stick by a larger goal that will take longer to accomplish. Just this week, I had to make a decision concerning some additional funds I came into. In December, I'd made a financial plan and set a goal to be accomplished within a three-year time frame. This plan also included what to do with any and all additional funds, large or small.

I can be very in-the-moment when it comes to extra funds and it was easy to imagine mini-breaks, vacations, new shoes, and so many other possibilities. I like to think I'm being all zen-like and enlightened and living-for-the-moment when I use extra money this way, but it's often just an impulsive choice that is fun at the time...and not necessarily in my best interests long-term. It's a tough line to walk, wanting to stick by a long-term plan but also living in-the-moment.

So...I did not do anything at all for an entire week...but yesterday I took a deep breath and allocated the majority of the funds to the proper place, completely in alignment with my personal financial goals and plan. I kept out only a small percentage for a bit of fun, and this choice felt great! This morning, I am happy that I resisted the temptation to spend the money and followed my plan instead! My will power was tested, but not giving in to temptation felt better than anything I could have purchased or any trip I might have taken could have felt!

Why yes, I do eat so much sushi that I have my own personal chopsticks!

Last night, in celebration, I rewarded myself with my favorite sushi and a bit of relaxing, altering a couple of dresses by hand while enjoying movie night with my son. The February Challenge and my own personal financial plan have made this a month of lessons and discipline, which I will discuss more in a coming post!

Happy Saturday All!


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