Be warned, these are just some of my random end-of-year thoughts! 🙂
Growing up did your parents ever have any wise sayings that stuck with you over the years? My dad wasn’t as philosophical as my mom I suppose, but one thing my mom always said that sticks with me to this day is that there is a season for everything in your life.
It’s so true. Just like there’s a season for snow, rain, and warm weather there are different seasons of your life whether it’s your reason for growth, struggle, abundance, or to find yourself and your purpose.
People in your life come and go as you evolve and change.
My Debt Epiphany became two years old this month. Whoo! As I’ve said before, I never really had any expectations when starting this blog. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it.
The One Who Never Made Long-Term Commitments
Growing up, I always felt creative and hardworking, but I never finished any of my passion projects and bothered me as an adult. While some kids spent their time playing and watching movies on the weekend, my sister and I could be found huddling up in our room writing fiction stories.
I used to come up with these amazing story ideas and I would go into such detail when creating the personalities for the characters and their families. I also started writing a dramatic play about two orphan girls. My sister loved it and preferred I read her the story I had written thus far instead of tuning into Saturday morning cartoons.
Despite my gift for storytelling and creating, I never finished any of those projects. To this day I’m still not sure why I gave up. It could have been due to self doubt, laziness, a change in my mindset. Who knows.
Regardless of the reason, it bothered me. My ideas and the execution were good, but why couldn’t I commit to finishing anything?
In terms of starting this blog and keeping it going for two straight years, I feel extremely accomplished. This blog is by no means finished and I have so much to share, but I’m also learning how to commit to it and my readers’ needs. Whether I change some things around or not around here, I honestly can’t see myself without this passion project in the next few years and that’s a good thing.
Overcoming the Obsession with Earning More Money
While I’m reflecting on the past two years, I’ve realized that I’d become quite obsessed with earning more money and I feel this happens to a lot of people in the personal finance space. Once you have an epiphany and realize you can earn more money to improve your finances, it’s easy to become obsessed with that and even start to measure your self-worth based on how much you earn.
My co-hosts and I recently discussed this on our podcast and you can check the episode out here when you have time. The episode was one our of best in terms of stats and views even though it was just the three of us without a special guest. I figured it was because the topic resonates so well with many people.
I’ve earned huge income increases over these past two years and I’ve learned that “mo’ money mo’ problems” is a very true saying. Yes, I went through a season in my life where I was all about the hustle and earning as much as I could to improve my financial situation.
I’m grateful for that time because I made a huge dent in my debt and I’d still recommend the hustle hard mantra for anyone who feels they need to earn more to make ends meet or reach their goals.
However, I realized that once the extra income helped me eliminate some of my problems, more problems arose and earning more didn’t really contribute to my long-term happiness. Go figure.
Now, I prioritize earning more money, but I’m not obsessed with it. Slowing down on my online income reports and switching to a quarterly schedule is helping me with that because while I love income reports and find them inspiring, I want to post them for the right reasons – not because I’m trying to out-earn myself each and every month.
Spending Money on What’s Important
Yes, I said spending and not saving. I love to save, but I’m also very interested in spending mindfully on what’s important. And right now, the most important things are my needs and values.
Back when I was obsessed with earning so much money and based my self-worth on the annual raise I got each year at my job, I didn’t even stop to realize how my day job was taking such a negative toll on my mental and physical health.
I thank God for being able to blog and build my platform up because it provided me with the perfect escape route to quit my job and do work that was more fulfilling.
Sitting down at the computer and being stressed out all day was horrible for my health. I used to run out on my break some days and pick up candy or a big bag of popcorn to snack on during the afternoon to calm my nerves so I could get through the rest of the work day.
I’m not trying to sound dramatic, but that became a toxic addiction of mine, along with drinking sugary drinks. I truly believe I was addicted to sugar and I gained at least 40 pounds over the last three years to prove it which made me feel horrible health-wise.
I tried to exercise the frugal way without a gym membership. I signed up for Facebook accountability groups and bought exercise DVDs but nothing worked.
When I got rid of the huge point of stress in my life (which was my job) things started to get better. I had more time to take care of myself and prioritize my needs. Now, I have not one but two gym memberships and I spend about $161 per month or $1932 annually on fitness and I wouldn’t have it any other way right now.
I started kickboxing a few weeks ago and it’s really whipping my mind and body into shape. To me, the extra $2k per year is worth it if I start to feel like my old self again and take much better care of my body. Two years ago, I probably would have never decided to pay for two gym memberships especially given the fact that the extra money could be going toward my debt. But like I said, there’s a season for everything.
Life Isn’t All About Debt
I feel weird saying this on my blog geared toward helping people get out of debt, but there’s more to life than debt. Yes it sucks being in debt. Yes you should try to hustle your way out of your situation.
However, it’s not the most important thing. There’s a season in life for everything and sometimes the season you’re in won’t be fun or make you feel comfortable. At the end of the day, it’s only temporary and only you can decide what sacrifices you’re willing to make.
I’m still prioritizing debt payoff, saving, investing, and improving my finances. But after blogging away for two years and learning so much about money and myself, I know where to draw the line and how to still make my needs a priority right along with my financial goals.
What end-of-the-year reflections have you recently made? How would you describe your current season of life?
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