For as long as I can remember, “being successful” has been high on my list of things I wanted to accomplish as an adult. Oddly, I didn’t — for many years — ever stop to flesh out a definition of what “successful” actually meant; I just kept pushing and prodding my way toward this nebulous life of a winner.
It wasn’t until (after a few life mulligans) I settled into life as an entrepreneur, wife, mom and human-comfortable-in-her-own-skin that I started realizing something: I’m quite good at helping other people plan for their futures, and also not so shabby at making money. The problem is, I’m terrible at managing that money in a thoughtful, strategic and disciplined manner.
Don’t get me wrong — my intentions are always right there. I’ve attempted, on multiple occasions, to come up with an overall plan and easy-to-adopt processes. And I’ve gotten the ball genuinely rolling a few times. But, invariably, I get so busy with the “helping other people” and “being a mom and wife” and “making money” parts of my life and job that my plans and promises-to-self seem to fall by the wayside.
In 2019, my only official resolution is to put into place systems, processes, budgets and practices that will enable me to eliminate my consumer debt and make the “plan for the future” piece of my financial life sustainable. This year, it’s going to be different.
As of this writing, I’ve shifted a high-interest credit card into a low-interest loan and made plans to automate my retirement and the kids’ 529 contributions. Next, I’ll revamp my (loosely defined) budget and pay off our car loans. By the end of the year, I plan also to save a reasonable chunk of change for the Palm Springs home that I WILL own within the next 5-7 years. Helllooo, desert.
In short, this year, I’m all in.
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I’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the years, both personally and professionally. Through this ride, I’ve come to realize that “successful” most definitely isn’t just about money. It’s about my relationships, my health, my well-being and what I contribute to this world.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also come to understand that, that in order to be a true “success,” I need to get more disciplined and structured when it comes to money, so I can create the freedom and breathing space to focus on all the other things that make up my definition of #winning.
So, hang onto your hats, everyone. Things are about to get real around here. And do pass along all of your very best tips. Because, surely, I will need them.
Click through to read more about what it really means to “live richer.”
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