Money Bite-Size Read:
- The start of a new year allows you to set new goals for the year ahead.
- By reflecting on our progress, we’re more likely to make effective goals.
- Here’s 7 lessons I learned about money in 2019 so that we can build on this progress in 2020.
The Money Bites Take:
We share what we learned about money in 2019 to share our progress towards making more effective goals in 2020.
What did you learn about money this year?
The end of 2019 presents you with 365 days to make a difference with your money. Setting effective financial goals is more likely if you monitor your progress towards achieving them, including physically writing this down.
Taking time before the end of the year to record your progress pays dividends.
It gives you time and space to celebrate your money wins and what you achieved during the year. That can also include realisations or things you’ve learned about money that you’re going to take into the new year. What matters is that you take time to compare current you to past you and see how far you’ve come.
Here’s 7 lessons I learned about money in 2019:
1. I stopped throwing out clothes I no longer wear
Most of us buy more clothes than we know what to do with, which then end up in landfill. Instead, go through your clothes haul and see whether you can make money from your wardrobe. You can use the fabric, give your clothes to a friend who will wear them or sell them second-hand, but please don’t add them to a landfill pile.
2. I need a budget, not excuses
One of the biggest lessons I learned about money in 2019 was to ignore excuses. Some people believe that you don’t need a budget. That works for them and anyone who can afford not to know where their money goes each month. However, this year I worked out both how to budget and its power to show me where my money actually goes each month.
3. I’ll buy a house when I’m ready, not according to a life script
We have this weird societal expectation that to be an adult, you have to buy a house. If it’s important to you, then take steps to save for a house deposit. But don’t feel pressured into buying a house because you feel like you’re missing out. I chose not to buy a home in 2019 because the timing wasn’t right for me, and I’ll buy a home when I’m ready to make this investment.
4. I finally got comfortable with my super plan
In Australia, whether you retire into acrylic or cashmere is determined by your retirement savings, which we refer to as super. However, most people don’t take an interest in it until they’re older. In 2019, I finally sat down to sort out my super and mapped out how much money I would have in retirement. This has made me worry less about super as I have a plan in place.
5. I need to take responsibility for my spending choices
When we look at the headlines, it can feel like we’re powerless to change things. In 2019, I looked at what was within my control and what actions I could take to make a difference. That included buying reusable products to contribute less plastic waste from my spending choices. I also looked at how I could start donating money regularly to causes I believed in, including giving my time.
6. I developed my financial fitness
I try to keep fit by exercising regularly but never thought about my financial fitness. This was the year that I started treating my finances with the same attitude I approach exercise. I took stock of where I was right now, and just as how one workout wouldn’t give me a 6 pack, I recognised that progressing my financial goals would require consistent progress and check-ins. I also needed not to compare myself to millionaires, just as I wouldn’t compare myself to a bodybuilder.
7. I kept talking about money and including more people in the conversation
Money is awkward to talk about, and at times I felt weird for wanting to talk about it. What paid off for me in 2019 was including more people in conversations about money. That included supporting my friends to talk to their partners about money as they started to combine money. I also established Money Bites in 2019 as a space for more young people to have these conversations without fear of judgement.
What did you learn about money this year?
By sharing what I learned about money, I want to use these reflections to set more effective goals in the new year. Take the time now to write down what you’ve learned so far, reflect on your progress and decide where you want to be financially a year from now.