Making Room For My Financial Priorities: Where I’m Passing, & Where I’m Failing Hugely

I’m not sure what it is about time. Some moments, it feels like it’s crawling. Then, all of a sudden, you blink and almost half the year is gone. I started off the year with good intentions. Scratch that. I started with priorities. Rather than worry about where I’m headed or how far I still have to go, I thought today would be a good day to celebrate where I am right now, in a report card of sorts, when it comes to priorities, life online, and clutter.

Priorities

Make time for what matters more. Passing. As painful as it was initially, I passed on a few opportunities to earn more money at work, simply because it would have required me to spend even more time away from home. I have also tried to push my side hustles online so that I can spend more time with my son. But I’m still not taking those $15 writing jobs or $14 tutoring gigs.

Focus on goals, not money. Passing…in a way. In the past, I’ve been a lot more focused on dollar signs that I currently am. I still probably care far too much about money as an endpoint, rather than a tool. But I’ve started shifting my focus to things like 10,000 steps on my Fitbit and decluttering, so that’s been supremely helpful.

Say no…without apology. Failing hugely. I honestly feel like one of my students here. “Why didn’t you meet your goal?” Uhhhh. Because I forgot I set it. This is such a huge part of my personality. If I ever want to change this, I’m going to have to be more deliberate. I am, however, getting better at politely declining things. It’s just being seized with guilt before, during, and after the decline that’s the problem.

Earning More Online

Keep investing. Passing. Homerun! Touchdown! Go sports! Seriously, any sports metaphor that you can think of works for this one. We maxed out both of our Roth IRAs in April. That means all of the money we would normally funnel toward that each month is going straight to our mortgage. The only thing I like more than investing is destroying debt.

Pay for Christmas with credit card rewards and app earnings. Passing. I have a more detailed post on this coming soon, but things are beginning to a lot like Christmas. Just kidding. It’s NOT snowing here yet, so I’m not about to rush this holiday. According to our spreadsheet, we already have $533 to put toward Christmas. The only way this could get any better would be if I could actually earn enough with apps like Ibotta to not have to spend any of our credit card rewards.

Build up a freelancing base. Passing. I am ghostwriting consistently each month for two different clients. I also have a handful of less predictable but equally awesome writing opportunities. I am hoping to be able to pursue more of this over the summer. The current obstacle is the fact that most of my portfolio (i.e. my blog) involves a nom de plume.

Decluttering

Continue to purge purposefully. Passing. You know what is even better than the MinsGame that I keep losing? Minimize in May! Britt at Tiny Ambitions put together an awesome challenge that I am all about. I sold a pair of shoes and a pair of sunnies on Poshmark. I also have a few donation items gathered up, but I’m going to try to be more strategic with my donation than just send them to Goodwill (who will send them to a landfill).

Focus on experiences over things. Passing but always room for improvement here. You know how you can’t always see progress in the day to day? Now that we’re just a few months away from our son’s first birthday, my parents asked us if we would rather have money for college or museum passes. No clothes. No toys. No stuff. My priorities are shifting and people are noticing. Holla!

Earn money from my closetPassing. I am back in the Poshmark game. I don’t have much time to devote to listing on Posh or cross-posting on other platforms, but I will this summer. Still, I’m going to toss another $80 at my mortgage this month thanks to two Poshmark sales.

So tell me…Are you keeping track of your priorities or do you find yourself feeling like the year is getting away from you?

Penny is a married millennial and first-time mom living in the suburbs of Chicago. She and her husband have joined forces to repay over $90k of debt on two teachers’ salaries. She chronicles her adventures in side hustling and frugal fun with a side of sass on her blog She Picks Up Pennies

Image via Unsplash

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