Attending the Women’s Leadership Institute has inspired me to do something radical.
I attended a powerful session by money management expert Manisha Thakor (http://www.moneyzen.com/) who asked participants to consider how they achieve their financial goals. I spent several hours over the course of the institute thinking about my philosophy of spending, saving and giving money. I am one who always believes that “the money goes where the priorities are.” This is true of both personal and workplace budgets.
This session taught me that I am doing one thing very well and one thing…not so well.
I am on track with my investments in my retirement fund based on my age. By age 35, Manisha advises, you should have at least one year of your current salary saved for retirement. At 33, I am very close to achieving that goal. I have always been told that careful planning for retirement is something that you should do early in your career and I have been investing money for retirement since I was 22.
Now the not so good news. While the only debt I have are school loans, I am not even close to where I should be with my personal savings account and emergency fund. This is because my long-term priority of having financial security doesn’t always match up with my need to buy a new dress (or five) or pick up the newest Kate Spade bag (guilty as charged).
I am also someone who likes to celebrate successes (mine and others) in big ways that are often expensive.
Plus there is that little habit of going to Starbucks…every single day 🙂
In short, I am living each day in ways that make me happy in the present but do not contribute to financial security for my future.
In 2013 my focus will be on giving in different ways:
I will strive to spend my money on experiences, not things.
I will give my time instead of sending flowers and/or gifts to friends.
I will seek to limit Starbucks to the weekends only.
And…this is the big one…I will attempt to not purchase any new clothes in 2013.
Will I succeed? I honestly don’t know. What I know for sure is that we don’t talk enough about financial wellbeing in higher education. I will chronicle my experiences with striving to accomplish my financial goals through this blog in 2013.
I have a magic number to be saved in 2013 and look forward to celebrating that goal. Not by buying a new dress to mark the occasion, but by circling the grand total on my banking statement and raising my Starbucks to toast my victory…on a Saturday, of course!
How do you achieve your financial goals? Please share your wisdom!!
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