How Celebration Changed my Mind about Financial Goal-Setting

Written by Katy Schweigerdt, Pledgettes Member

For as long as I can remember I’ve had an aversion to financial goal-setting. And to budgeting. I’ve always been of the mindset that as long as I live below my means and save for retirement, I will be fine. Through that lens, why would I set financial goals?! The thought seemed truly foreign to me.

It is with this money mindset I approached The Pledgettes January 2020 event of Goal-Setting with an open mind; I had nothing to lose. At first, I struggled with the concept of creating mini-goals to roll up to a larger goal. And yet, throughout the month of January and 2020 as a whole, I have experienced becoming more and more comfortable with the process.

I wasn’t doing anything inherently “wrong” before. However, by not tracking my net worth and making financial goals, I have no way of identifying those moments to CELEBRATE all of the great progress I am making. I’ve come to realize this is a big part of the financial journey; to pat yourself on the back for the awesome progress you are making!

Another big Ah-Ha moment for me this year was the notion that not indulging in Starbucks will somehow help your financial well-being. On the contrary… I learned through “Buy the Avocado Toast” that even if you are in the throes of massive student loan debt, buying small things that bring you pleasure is not going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. There are BIGGER financial wins to be had, like consolidating your student loans to attain a lower interest rate. And who wants to live a life full of misery and guilt?! As contrary as it is to everything I used to believe regarding frugality, BUY that avocado toast and Starbucks; life is too short not to indulge.

As I have tackled my mini-goals one by one, I was able to celebrate my 2020 goal mid-year! That was a pretty good feeling! Yes, markets can easily dictate your “wins” or “losses” for a given year, but it’s about more than just tracking your net worth. It’s about having a plan!! Having visibility to that plan is where the real power lies. By looking at your money through this somewhat non-emotional lens, you are able to think strategically and make “money moves” without being blinded by emotion and fear.