Friday, April 6, 2018

Goal Update: Letting my Intuition Drive

As some of you might very well remember, I posted some goals in my 2018 Goals article.  I spoke a bit about my belief in Law of Attraction and how it has influenced my goals for this year.  I wanted to quickly check in to let you know how it's going so far.

Quick Recap:
You've probably heard that "birds of a feather flock together" or that you should "do unto others as you would have done onto you" or a plethora of phrases of the like.  Well, that's basically the Law of Attraction:  Like attracts like.  When we worry, we attract more things to worry about.  When we feel hopeful and positive, we find things creeping into our lives to feel hopeful and positive about.

Because of my belief in this universal law, I decided that I wanted to set a goal that was related to things I feel really great about.  Every time I make a move that relates to that goal, I want to increase that wonderful feeling.  If like attracts like, it seems as though more positive experiences should be continually coming into my experience by virtue of the fact that I am continually take inspired actions that make me feel really good about a goal that I also have wonderful feelings about.  This is what I call, positive momentum.

The Money Saving Goal:
A few days after I posted those goals, I woke up one morning with a number stuck in my head (for what appeared to be no apparent reason).  I had a feeling that my intuition was guiding me to the dollar amount I should be saving.  This number is nearly four times the amount that I had ever saved in a year before, so to say I had a difficult time staving off my own resistance to it is a grand understatement.  For the next couple of days, I worked on lowering that resistance.  Whenever the question "How" popped into my mind, I would more or less push it back out. "Bad Personal Finance Lady! You should always be concerned about the 'How?' shouldn't you?"  Well, maybe not.  I've already educated myself about virtually every strategy under the sun.  Is it really necessary to worry and stress about each move I make? Or might it be a better idea to trust in all of my knowledge and give my head (AKA my ego) a bit of a break and let my intuition take over for a while. What will happen?  Will my intuition somehow fail to tap into the years of financial knowledge I've build up?  I somehow doubt it, but let's find out.

What happened in January:
I told my partner about this "goal" of mine which basically translates into "goal of ours," and to my surprise, she didn't really have much reaction.  She more or less agreed with me and wanted to know how this would alter the monthly plan we already had in place.  The answer is that it doesn't, not really anyway.  Rather than rapidly paying something down, we are literally going to be dumping everything into one of our savings buckets, which I will monitor to survey it's progress.

Over the next few days, I kept noticing an urge to take a particular action.  It was incredibly strong, and made me feel wonderful every time I thought of it: raising my retirement contribution.  So, I hopped online, logged into my retirement account and raised my Roth 401K contribution by 3%.  The reason I chose 3% was because I didn't want it to feel like my paycheck suddenly changed by a lot (I use this trick frequently).  Ironically, this change kicked in right  as my paycheck "got a little larger" from the new tax plan. I basically had intuitively taken the amount "extra" I would have seen in my paycheck, and moved it to my retirement savings!  Win-win!

We also created a new savings bucket (savings account) and gave it a title that made us both feel super happy when we looked at it.  The goal in doing this was to make ourselves derive as much pleasure from transferring money into this account as possible.  We should all hope to derive just as much pleasure from saving money as many do from spending it.

I also created a savings countdown to hang on our wall.  The idea is to take the number of dollars you want to save, and break it into smaller savings goals that are represented by one digit blown up on a full size sheet of paper, and hung on your wall.

  • For example, if you're currently working on a $1000 savings goal, perhaps you will break that into 10 mini goals of $100 each. Print a piece of paper with the number 1 enlarged on it, then the number 2, then 3, and so on until you reach the number 10.  Stack the papers so that the number 1 is on the bottom, and 10 is on the top.  Hang it on the wall this way.  Make your deposits to savings as you would normally do.  Once you've saved that first hundred, you take of that number 10 paper, leaving only the 9 showing.  This is because you only have to save this $100 nine more times to reach your goal.  Once you save another hundred, you remove the 9 paper, you only have to do this 8 more times...
This strategy can be used on a savings goal of $1000, $10,000, or $100,000.  You can make each singular digit on each piece of paper represent $100, $1000, or any number you want.  The point is to literally watch the countdown and enjoy the anticipation of reaching 1, and then finally removing that number too.  I may also be failing to mention one additional, but important part...  What to do with the piece of paper once you remove it.  Well, in my house, we've torn it; we've crumbled it; we've thrown it across the room.  Anything that makes us happy in the moment really.  These goals are just as much about building emotional momentum as anything really!

Each payday, I've come home gleefully and announced that it was "Paper-tearing DAY!"  Then we both hop on our apps and quickly decide just how much we can eek out of our checking accounts and into our savings accounts, and let the transferring, and paper-tearing begin!

When we decided to go with this goal, we decided we'd aim to achieve it by the end of 2018.  By January 31st, we had accomplished 12.3% of our total savings goal!