Personal Finance

Can you believe it’s almost 2020? The end of a crazy year and the beginning of a new decade. As December starts, I enter a reflective mood. I think of all the things I’ve done over the past year including all the areas I excelled in and the areas that need some improvements. This year I excelled in my career. However, I lacked in working on my health and finances. I want to start the next decade off right. As 2019 draws to a close and 2020 starts, there are a few things you can do to get your life together and start the new year, no decade, off right.

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"9 Ways to Get Your Life Together in 2020"

1. Study a new skill

The easiest way to improve your career is to study new skills. The skills you choose to study don’t have to relate directly to your job title. Most skills are transferrable to any job. The skill I’m focusing on for 2020 is project management. I’ve managed projects over the years and now I want to have the formal certification. To study for this I’m using this book:

In fact, I’m taking a course on Udemy. Check out Udemy (prices vary) or Youtube (Free) for courses related to your chosen skill. Youtube has courses for everything. I believe studying and bettering yourself leads to better career opportunities. The best way to get out of debt is to make more money. Use the end of 2019 into 2020 to learn a new skill.

2. Update Your Resume, Just Because

I think the quote goes “The best time to find a new job is while you still have one”. We keep hearing “recession, recession, recession“. You want to have your resume updated. If a recession starts, and people begin losing their jobs, you don’t want to be laid off and stressing over your resume, update it now.

Even if you’re not looking for a new job, make sure your resume is up to date. Similarly, an easy way to get your life together is to make more money. Making more money is the easiest way to improve your life. More money can help you

My goal for this year is to update my resume every time a project wraps up and if my project isn’t finished, I’ll update it with each release/quarterly. If you follow this too, you’ll be ready for all the possibilities that come your way.

3. Meet Someone New Related To Your Career

"A woman uses a macbook air" Networking is a great way to get your life together.

Network, network, network. Have lunch with a coworker you’ve wanted to get to know. You never really know what will come of these opportunities. Meeting with your mentor or someone you’d like to work with for lunch is a more laidback environment.

In laidback environments, it’s easier to get to know each other. Having friends at the job is good for a few reasons. One it makes the days much better, and you never know where someone is going to end up.

4. Eat Clean 80% of The Time – Get Your Life Together with Food

Instead of the usual January “go all in and eat all chicken breast and broccoli” advice. Just eat clean 80% of the time. I was down about 55 lbs on Keto but I was eating clean 100% of the time. I fell off the wagon. Pretty hard. I’ve regained about 10 lbs.

In spite of this weight gain, I’m going to ensure I eat clean 80% of the time next year. By building in flexibility, I plan to stick to my diet easier. To aid in eating cleaner I bought this book.

Fast food has become a crutch in my house lately. It’s a combo of the new job and just pure laziness. I burned out from meal prepping and never really recovered. Also eating clean isn’t just for weight loss. Eat clean to maintain your health. Starting young is the way to prevent issues when your aging.

5. Exercise More Often

A picture of a kettlebell and sneakers

In addition, exercise helps you get your life together. Exercise makes you feel good, helps with weight loss goals and is just generally good for you. I participated in an office workout challenge and didn’t really lose but man did I slim down. Find a program you love and can stick with. This was my program:

My weight loss goal is definitely to lose my gut and build my butt so this book is right on the money. Explore your personal goals and find a book that aligns with them.

6. Meditate and Practice Gratitude

During mid-2017 – 2018, I was meditating and practicing gratitude. These two things helped me to appreciate what I had, focus on what was positive in my life and helped me to attract more positivity. Meditation can be as easy as following a guided practice on youtube. I got the opportunity to listen to Deepak Chopra talk and I’m ordering this book.

His talk really reminded me of the positive things that flow into your life when you meditate and when you are grateful. You should add these practices into your life, they will help you get your life together for 2020.

7. Start or Follow Your Budget

At first, this was going to say start your budget but I have been budgeting since 2016. I won’t say it’s perfected my spending but I am always aware of where my money is going, I can run reports and I understand my spending patterns now. I found out about the software “You Need A Budget” and haven’t looked back.

You Need A Budget brings the cash envelope system to the web with philosophy and reasoning behind why the application is set up the way it is. The app creator actually released a book to help understanding budgeting. If you try the software and find it confusing, check out Nick True on Youtube, his videos are amazing for getting started.

8. Stop Impulse Shopping

This is going to be the hardest one for me. I had done a good job of not impulse shopping but clothes are fun to buy. To stop my impulse shopping, I’m going to spend 2020 focusing on reaching my goal weight.

I plan to create a list (in google drive) of all the items I want to buy. I am going to set aside the money each month using my YNAB “Wish Farm”. Once I reach my goal weight and my savings goal, I’m going to buy all the items I’ve saved on my list, if I still want them. Any time I shop online, I’m going to use Rakuten for my cashback bonuses so at least I’m being paid to shop when I have to.

9. Plan Big Spending Events

I’m impulsive, if I see a festival I want to go to, I’ll just buy tickets. This year I’ve already pre-planned my major travel. I’m turning 30 this year and instead of throwing a party or trying to coordinate a trip with too many people, I’m going on my first international trip with my boyfriend. I’m going to do a post all about planning this trip to Japan in the coming weeks.

When 2020 begins, you can start off knowing you have a plan to make it an excellent year. There is never a perfect year but as long as you spend the year doing better each day, helping others and working towards your goals, you’re guaranteed to have an awesome year that starts an even better decade.

When you are employed by a stable entity, you forget the importance of an emergency fund. Layoffs are rare, furloughs are few and far between…somewhat. You know that next paycheck is on its way. You get pretty complacent. When you are paying off debt, you might not feel like there’s room to build an emergency […]

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