Budget Life List

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I love goals. Goals are brilliant objects that can turn daily mundane into something eye-squinting and shiny in the future.

A goal digger is a person who desires wealth in all areas of life.

Urban Dictionary

Goal digger is new addition to my vocabulary but once I saw it, I recognized it like a familiar friend in a sea of strangers.

I can’t place a timestamp on when I became a goal digger and started leveraging future optimism with present action, but somehow, somewhere, I became more comfortable with crafting goals than being around a gaggle of strangers, public speaking, or persistently chirping fire alarms.

Life List Goals

The life list is my longest living goal list. It was crafted in the year of our dumpster fire, 2020.

It was a year that wanted to burn all the others to the ground. Along with financial upheavals, a global pandemic, and widespread loss, I quit my library job, pondered the meaning of life (midlife crisis), and settled on making a list of all that I hoped to accomplish when the world returned to a different shade of normal.

With so much indoor anxiety built up, it was easier to focus on a bright future instead of a dimmer today.

The life list was born in troubled times, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.

To date, I have crushed:

🎶 Pole dancing

🌈 The Color Run 

🧘‍♀️ A mediation retreat 

🤐 Spent a day in silence (technically a week)

📝 Wrote a manifesto 

🏅Tough Muddered 

I picked activities that were close to home to build confidence and travel is a bugger with restrictions. Working on the closer, cheaper endeavors also helps build the travel fund, a sinking fund I crown with the title Expedition Everywhere, for bigger excursions.

A cruise around the world is going to crater Expedition Everywhere!

My life list goals have some teeth with the expiration date of December 2035. Just like syllabuses, departures, and questionably early start times, I need a date to guarantee I’m spending a lifetime exploring, not deploring.  

Skill Goals

I have long-term goals and short-term. Short-term goals are how I justify growing older with grace.

This is what I have noticed about growing older, I have to work harder for flexibility, I’m more comfortable with doctor appointments than ice road trucking, and my values have changed.

Younger years included late nights, city lights, and boozy highlights. The mature tour is early nights, at-home lights, and reading highlights.

I try to combat the comfort zone by learning new skills. Sometimes their professional, sometimes their personal, but they all involve diving headfirst into the unknown and uncomfortable.

It’s not every day a grown 36-year-old can feel like a third-grader. In terms of confidence, adulting is better.

A few skills I learned were knitting, coding, and picking locks. A few skills that became hobbies were juggling, drawing, archery, and investing. This year, the goal is to memorize the constellations.

Not every skill stays and becomes a hobby. Some skills are just phases of learning. As my coworker spouts, “If you’re not green and growing, you’re ripe and rotten.”

FIRE Goals

Investing is my hobby, but my library list would call it an obsession.

I have long-term money goals, since I have yet to purchase the most expensive item in my life – retirement.

The cost of financial independence, early retirement is a big number. I’m still paying my monthly dues and am currently spinning my office chair in the accumulation phase.

Long-term wealth is a series of hidden, boring behaviors.

The Best Interest

My budget, where I track my net worth, provides insight into where I’m at and the questionable times I’ve survived.

A budget has been my longest, sharpest tool in the glittery toolbox of personal finances. Its structure and consistent tending are how I track every purchase and see patterns of bills, thrills, and landfills.

A budget is the filter I needed to minimize my accounts, not just my lifestyle. I had multiple retirement and investing accounts that spanned different moods and employment. Once I started tracking my net worth, it became overwhelming seeing all the information stacked in an excel spreadsheet.

Each month, I updated my numbers and the constant logins made it clear that I needed to consolidate.

It took a while to get everything streamlined with the phone calls, paperwork, and ample time spent on hold, but now that the accounts are condensed. It’s simpler, better, and more effortless than a punch to the esophagus.

Goal Digger Rigors

Having goals is the greatest copout.

People ask, what are you up to? Instead of digging into my memory banks, I recall the quick list of accomplished goals.

Their curiosity is my reminder that I have dreams with a date. My life isn’t going to accomplish loftiness on its own, I prefer the comfort zone, but goals poke, prod, and push me towards a bright and golden future.

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