How I Got Unstuck at the Start of 2020 + My Financial Goal

2 weeks holiday from work was a blessing I didn’t know I needed. A forced shutdown was a welcome relief after working through the festive season in previous years.

It’s been over a year since my last post, I’ve been super busy.

If for no one else, I write this to remind myself of my journey. Hopefully, those who seek this information come across this post and find it useful.

At the end of 2019, I was completely burnt out. Sending emails to the CEO up to Christmas Eve after launching 3 campaigns in the last 4 weeks was all fun, and a great way to end the year.

Now, the first day back at work, I realised I had gotten back into my pattern of trying to figure out how to get back into the swing of things.

This is my 2-step process that I apply each time with success. It’s simple and obvious, but effective.

1. Declutter

I take small steps each day to clear out

  • My thoughts via mindfulness acts of
    • meditation or
    • conscious breathing (from the Wim Hof method) or
    • physical activity or
    • a change of scenery
    • cooking

2. Clarify

I ask myself many questions around what I want to achieve, what do I want my life to look like, etc. A review of what’s important and what my main life goals are. Previously I’ve had 6 per year – 3 personal and 3 professional. I always hit my professional goals and either 2/3 or all personal goals. This time I will make things a lot simpler.

I will focus on 1 goal at a time, chunked down to daily / weekly / monthly targets. Right now, my main goal is a financial-based one so that’s easy to track. I don’t track in terms of $ value though. I track consistent action towards my financial goal.

It all comes down to simple mathematics; in this case, success = input > output. Cash in is greater than cash out. I’ve read in several articles how super-wealthy people don’t have budgets – they know how much money comes in and they make sure they spend less than that. Pretty simple.

Examples are:

  1. Education – how can I learn more about improving my financial situation?
    1. Example action item: listen to a relevant podcast about micro-investing
  2. Awareness – how much do I know about my situation?
    1. Example action item: calculate my net worth
    2. Example action item: categorise my spending for the previous month
  3. Increase input – how can I make extra cash?
    1. Example action item: find 1 thing I don’t want/need anymore and sell it

How it worked for my financial strategy

My financial goal

The last time I did this in a big way, I evolved my financial situation with the automation of wealth creation. This came about from the education aspect and regularly meeting with my accountant. My setup looks like this:

  1. Monthly salary comes in, then these automatic recurring transfers occur 1 day later
    1. 10% goes to a separate bank account for investing purposes
      1. Automatic recurring transfers from this account to various investments occur 3 days later
    2. 10% goes to an emergency funds savings account
    3. 10% goes to a holiday savings account
    4. 19% goes to rent
    5. 51% goes to loan repayments
      1. 1 main credit card where all regular bills are directly debited from and used for everything. Even if this has a $0 balance, adding cash means I’m ahead of the payment that month for bills
      2. 1 credit card with the highest rate gets allocated more than the minimum with the goal to close it out first
      3. Another credit card with the minimum due paid

By streamlining my finances, I’ve been able to focus on increasing my income. Any money I make gets thrown at the credit card that I want to close.

I use stebt.com to track and forecast my debt repayments.

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