For the month of February I will be focusing on using money wisely for my Year of Living Lovely project. The key word being “use.” Of course, saving, planning ahead for emergencies, investing, and budgeting are all very important and something we should all keep in mind, however, I noticed that people rarely talk about using money when money is brought up. Conversations I have heard around money have been primarily about not having enough or saving it. Perhaps this idea may sound a little radical, but the way I spend my money is just as important to me as making and saving it.
I used to be afraid to spend and I would hoard my meager earnings, understandably so at the time, but then I discovered minimalism and I learned that we all spend our money on our priorities. Perhaps you’ve noticed: Some people will drive very expensive luxury vehicles, but will not spend money on experiences such as dinners out, a night at the movies, or a vacation. Others spend a ton on clothing, but very little on anything else. Some people are very minimal at home, but always seem to be trekking across the globe on some epic adventure. Many of us have a friend that never has money to do anything, but always has the latest iPhone and Xbox. People spend money on what is valuable to them. That was my aha moment.
This month, for my Year of Living Lovely project, I want to continue to investigate the best ways to use as well as save my earnings. Money is meant to be used. It is only as valuable as what we use it for. My journey into living lovely last year introduced me to minimalism and helped me live a better life on a smaller income. I was able to save up enough money to pay for a large chunk of my wedding and I cut my spending in other areas of my life to be able to travel more. These changes to my views on money last year also allowed me to go on a weekend getaway to Vermont (pictured above) along with numerous other trips. I even bought a kayak. I quit a full-time job to work part-time and spend the rest of my valuable time doing what I want to do with my life and work on my own business. Even though I was making less money than I have in a while, I was also able to keep on top of my college loan payments.
Still, with my upcoming wedding on the horizon and some unexpected financial hurdles in January, February is the perfect time to focus on this area of my life. I have realized lately that this is an area that still needs a lot of work. Money has been a little tight the past few months. Perhaps some of the ideas I share over the course of the month will help you in this area as well.
My goals this month are:
- To create a spending plan.
- To reevaluate and update my savings and retirement plan.
- Educate myself on investing.
- Brainstorm new ways to improve my earning potential without overwhelming my schedule (time is just as valuable as money).
I hope that you are able to join me this month as I work on these goals. My January goals of “making home sweet” was successful in most areas, but with a few unexpected events last month I realized that I need a little more time to work on some of my goals for making my home a better place: primarily some more decluttering and organizing. I will continue to share some of those projects in February as well. I have realized that although I focus on a specific area each month, there are some goals and projects we pursue in our lives that will always need to be maintained. Hopefully, these money changes made in February will also be practiced the entire year through.
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