How many times have you read financial planning recommendations that advocate spending less, saving more, writing out a budget and sticking to your plan? Not to knock such sage advice as we could all probably do a bit more of each; however, there’s another side to finances that doesn’t get mentioned as often.
Scripture says we’re supposed to work to live but not live to work. Okay, that might not be verbatim but the message is there. I think we can say the same about financial matters. On one hand, we definitely need to be mindful of our spending habits, earnings and how the two may coincide or conflict at any given time.
What about our joy in life, however? Money does not buy happiness but isn’t it possible that we can use the funds we have to bring joy to others (and ourselves) on occasion? What if we were to execute financial plans based on these ideas? Instead of merely writing out a budget for weekly, monthly or annual expenses, how much we make, yadda-yadda, what if our 2018 financial plans took on a whole new look?
The following list provides several creative financial ideas that may help you make the most of your New Year. I encourage you to consider this list and add to it!
- Before midnight on New Year’s Eve, write a list of 12 people you’d like to help this year and determine to set a certain amount of money aside each month to do so. Either create a specific list ahead of time or simply drop 12 names into a hat and pull one out on the first of each new month. (Don’t forget you’ll likely need some mailing addresses to accomplish this financial goal unless you plan on doling out the cash in person.)
- All work and no play equal no fun at all. As part of your 2018 financial plan, determine to treat yourself to a little splurge once in a while. How you do this is entirely up to you. You might buy yourself a pint of your favorite ice cream or a new pair of comfy Pj’s or you might be a “bigger thinker” who has been wanting to go to the beach or take a cruise. Whatever you consider a reasonable splurge is the goal to have in mind.
- Spead the cheer! Every time you go out to eat, pay it forward by overpaying your bill! Whether $10, $20 or more – simply tell the cashier to apply it to the check for the next person in line!
- Start a coin jar and get everyone in your family in on the act. Agree that beginning on New Year’s Day, all coins will go into the jar. At the end of the year, donate your savings to someone in need.
No two financial plans are exactly the same. Some are a lot more complex than others. As long as you are not facing a serious financial crisis at this time, you might just find that setting creative financial goals like those mentioned here is a great way to jumpstart the awesomeness of your New Year!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.