New Year’s Reflections: Celebrations, Mistakes and the Year Ahead

fireworksI love New Year’s Eve! Not necessarily because of the party aspect (I’ve got 4 kids remember?), but for the reflection and celebration that it tends to invite. In the wake of Christmas, I begin pensively flicking over photos or combing through my journal as a way of recognising what’s been accomplished, and perhaps as a way of examining how my thought process and goals have changed over the course of the year.

 

No, my abs still aren’t visible for the sixth consecutive year of recording that goal. No, I didn’t get my paragliding license either. I did however launch this blog which was actually a huge leap of faith for me. Life in itself really is a miracle. 1,440 minutes in each day to do with in a way that you deem to be valuable. Spend time with your loved ones, build something amazing that inspires people or do something charitable that makes a difference in this world. It is all your choice!  What you choose to place value upon dictates your daily life, vision and sense of purpose.

 

A lot of us talk about making New Year’s resolutions. “I’m going to eat healthy this year and lose weight.” Or “I must be better organised this year.” Did you know that the number 3 goal on the New Year’s Resolutions’ list is actually “I must spend less and save more”? The sad fact is that only 8% of people stick with, and achieve their goals set on New Year’s. What has this got to do with personal finance and budgeting you ask? Not much, but bear with me. I’ve included a tip at the bottom of the post that might help you to achieve your New Year’s financial goal.

 

2015 was a big year for me, so if you can humour me for a moment, I wanted to ramble on a bit and include a few personal reflections for the year.

 

Celebrations-

  • Baby #4

The birth of my fourth beautiful little bub, Baby Eve is my greatest celebration of 2015. The sleepless nights are always worth it when I see her incredible smile at 2 am.

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  • BudgetBrilliance.com

This blog has been pivotal for me and a dream of mine. Small, modest, flawed but improving. To put something out there for the world to see was something that took me years to develop enough confidence. I did want to say a big thank you for reading the blog, reaching out to say “Hi!” and giving some feedback. It really does mean a lot to me. Thanks also to those who subscribed, liked a post or shared the website with a friend.

 

A couple of the posts I was particularly proud of this year was the Interview with Steve McKnight and the recent publication of the free Budget Brilliance Budgeting Guide.

 

Mistakes-

  • Taking years to take a leap of faith

I came across a quote from the business person, Alan Cohen that I find inspirational: “Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” In 2016, is there something lying dormant inside you that would make the world a better place? Maybe this is your year to share it?

 

  • Doing the unimportant

Another quote: “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of that which matters least.” This is a powerful quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I’m not going to pretend I know anything about him, but I have heard this quote numerous times and found that this is an area that I consistently fail. I’m easily distracted and perhaps have a mild version of ADD combined with a touch of OCD. As I’m going off to do something purposeful and productive that little piece of fluff beckons for me to pick it up. Do you know how many pieces of fluff and crumbs I pass daily with 4 kids in the house???

 

Finally when the house is well and truly de-fluffed I sit down to work. Beep, Beep! My phone calls out to me. Something sent from Spotify, or a person I follow is broadcasting on Periscope or Facebook bombards me with yet another notification.

 

Is it just me or does this happen to you too? I’ve sacrificed beautiful moments with my kids and some great moments of focus on work due to this mistake. To make the New Year more productive, I’ve eliminated all notifications other than text or phone calls. I choose the time to check email now. Give it a try and see how this change alone can monumentally improve your life.

 

The Year Ahead-

Sowing in good soil

A big thing I’ve resolved to do for 2016 has been to be intention to ensure that I am sowing in good soil. There is a parable in Matthew 13 where Jesus speaks about this. We can choose to plant seed (which can be interpreted as a metaphor for time and financial resource), in soil that can be hard work to till and very slow to bear crops (or return on investment). You could potentially toil and strive to make clay reap a small harvest if you really wanted to, but Jesus spoke about having a harvest of 30, 60 or even 100 times the initial sowing when it was planted wisely.

 

In truth, the message Jesus gave wasn’t exactly relating to personal finance but I think the principles still apply. My take away from this parable is this- Sowing “seed” in time with your family will always pay dividends. Putting aside resources for your financial future will also reap a massive compounding harvest over time. Read How To Turn $100 A Week Into $1,845,720 for more information.

sunflower

A savings suggestion for 2016-

I’m only going to include one suggestion for budgeting in this post. Set a goal for the year ahead and make it as tangible and as lucid as you possibly can. “I want to save more this year” is a goal with very good intentions, but not specific enough to be both measurable and motivational. Choose something that you can really visualise and feel.

 

For example, if it is “I want to put aside $1,000 a month towards paying off my car repayments”, then write that goal down, speak it out by telling a friend and track and measure your progress. With each paycheck you receive, delegate that exact amount out first. Trust me, you’ll be able to survive without it! Picture how empowered you will feel to be released from 13.5% interest rates, receiving the full title and no longer having statements from the lender showing the wasted interest payments you have made. Tangibility brings results!

 

Wishing you a happy New Year’s everyone! I hope that 2016 brings you financial peace.

 

Please leave a comment below to let others know about some of the New Year’s saving’s goals you have. We would love to encourage you throughout the year towards achieving your goals.

 

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Posted on December 31, 2015 in Budgeting Mindset, Smart Money Blogs

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About the Author

I LOVE budgeting! Why you ask? Having a clearly defined budget enables my family of six to live an empowered life. I work as part time teacher, I'm an investor, novice longboarder, man of faith and run Budget Brilliance with a view towards seeing people's lives changed financially.

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