I’m not sure I believe in New Year’s resolutions anymore. Why should one night in December linger over my actions for the entire year? Perhaps I’m still feeling the sting of my 2020 list: travel more, spend more time with friends, be anxious less often. Yeah.
Perhaps, rather than throw the whole idea of resolutions out the window, I can rethink them. It’s not a list of things I HAVE to do but those I get to do. A paradigm shift somehow makes all the difference.
In 2021, I’m challenging the way I approach my mindset around budgeting. Budgets imply scarcity; they are restrictive and lend themselves (for me anyway) to a binge/guilt cycle. I know this about myself, and I don’t operate well this way. Rather than thinking about what I can’t purchase RIGHT NOW, I’m learning to focus more on what I’m looking forward to purchasing. By changing the way I view my finances, I’m becoming better at sticking to my financial goals.
I’m using You Need a Budget (YNAB for short) to see where my money goes and to set aside funds for the things and experiences I’m dreaming about for 2021. I’ve been using YNAB for a year now, and the fun started after I understood the rules. YNAB sets out four simple rules to follow as you begin to shift your mindset from restrictive saving to goal setting.
YNAB allows me to customize my dashboard, and I can prioritize and set individual goals for each category I’m dreaming about in 2021.
Kitchen Refresh – After living in this home for almost a year, we need to make this kitchen a bit more functional. There’s nothing like making three meals a day, every day for a good nine months to make you realize some of the less practical aspects of a kitchen.
Travel – I’ve got faith that by the time I have the finances for a trip, we will be able to travel freely. I’m dreaming of a trip to Japan in 2022!
Taxes – This isn’t a sexy line item, but any small businesses and contractors can tell you this is a legit line item. It sneaks up on me every single year, but not next year.
Skin-Care – Some people are into clothing, or shoes, or art. Skin-care is my thing.
Wine – Okay, wine is my thing too. #QuarantineLife
Kids – Right now, we are assigning money to at-home activities, subscription boxes, and Disney+. Hoping that things will start to get back to normal at some point next year, we can use these funds for museum memberships or swimming lessons.
What’s been helpful about using YNAB is that my spending has slowed down. I’m more thoughtful about my purchases. I’m more prone to consider if I want or need something before I purchase. These days, I stop to ask myself whether a spur-of-the-moment purchase is worth taking funds from my established categories. Sometimes it is, but more often than not, it isn’t.
Getting used to a financial plan isn’t the most effortless process, but once you get the hang of things, it becomes fun. Watching extra money at the end of the month roll over and contribute to our funds is exciting.
Editor’s Note: This post was sponsored by You Need A Budget. The compensation we receive in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post, and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.
While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow us to continue to develop dynamic unsponsored content. Thank you for supporting our partners!
BY Kate Arends - January 13, 2021
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.