Simplify your life by deciding now which of your current problems are not coming with you into the next year.

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Guys…it’s October. And not even the beginning, feels-refreshing, part of October.

It’s the middle of October.

Which means, sometime between little goblins coming to visit your home demanding candy and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation reruns petering out…the new year will be upon us.

Here’s the deal: you’ve still got time to act.

Whew, you might be thinking.

But, Amanda, act on what?

Act on anything you need to in order to not take this year’s problems into your next year.

To really create that clean slate you crave each January 1st.

To draw a line in the sand and say, “it might suck in the short-term, but I’m going to do whatever it takes right now to not bring THIS (fill in the blank with whatever “this” is) into my new year.”

Here’s Where I’ve Drawn the Line in the Sand in My Life

Just because I write about finances and organizing money lives and all that cool stuff I geek out on for a living does not mean I get a pass on the whole “crap rolls downhill.”

But I’m a fighter. So far, I’ve done the following to ensure these tasks + issues don’t follow me into the new year:

  • $1,097 Medical Bill Error: I spent 7 months of this year fighting an erroneous medical bill. By God, I wasn’t going to take that into my new year (nor allow myself to be sent to collections for something I didn’t owe). You can read all about it + get the ACTUAL medical bill resolution letter I wrote that cleared us of all the debt for free.
  • Replaced One of our Two Flooded Vehicles: You read that right. We not only managed to have one car flood in Hurricane Harvey (not too hard to manage, by the way), BUT, three weeks later, we lost our second car in a flash flood. The good news? Despite car shopping being very stressful for me, we sourced a great replacement car with just 66,000 miles on it! Lowest mileage I’ve ever owned. Each weekday we drop Paul off at work and pick him up, which is our plan until we save up a bunch more money to get a second car. You got that right – we’d rather be inconvenienced than go into debt with a car note (and in this case, dip into our emergency savings).
  • Simplified, Simplified, Simplified: I’m on this kick to just simplify the heck out of my life. It’s a natural kick for me, but has only intensified as our little one grows. Two beautiful books that will change your life about this? Essentialism, and The One Thing. In the last several months, I’ve deleted 4 gigabytes of old, non-relevant biz stuff from my Google Drive. I’ve read through + implemented + deleted an entire desktop folder of ebooks/guides/PDFs downloaded over the last four years (yes, some were downloaded 4 entire years ago!). I’ve reorganized my biz folder structure for both Frugal Confessions and Money Prodigy. I’ve boxed up all of Conner’s clothes, labelled in 3-month intervals, from infant up to 18 months. The work continues. The thing I ask myself is, “if we move tomorrow, does this come with us?” That’s made the cutting back pretty easy.

And ladies? I’m not done. I’ve got a few more details that need to happen so that certain other problems do not follow me into my new year.

Those include:

  • Hiring a New VA (Virtual Assistant): I had a VA who was great for the first year, and then slowly got less and less effective for me. But I hung onto her because I had an infant at the time and I couldn’t shower some days, let alone find a spare day or two to find someone new. Then she abandoned me all together about 8 months ago. So, for the better half of this year I’ve been doing ALL THE THINGS in my business, which is ridiculous. It’s allowed me to hone in on my processes and change things up…but it needs to stop. My focus has to be on writing, creating, and socializing with all of you. I’m in the process now of hiring someone for just 10-15 hours/month, as well as ditching some biz services with recurring payments so that I can free up more money to spend on freeing up my time (i.e. paying someone else to wear some hats around here). Wish me luck.
  • Cleaning Out/Organizing the Garage: Despite us having done this several years ago…we need to do this again. What can I say? Life takes storage. Good news is my husband is on it! Bad news is Houston still isn’t picking up extra trash (or recycling) from homes since the hurricane – at least from non-flooding homes. Which is totally understandable, but really limits our ability to get rid of some stuff. So, we’ll see how far we can get with this.
  • Moving Our Money Around: I haven’t wanted to deal with moving our money around to a higher-paying savings account with the little one soaking up all my time. However, I’ve got the energy now since he’s been sleeping 11 hours a night for six months straight!! The fact is, I can get 0.5% higher interest rate than we’re getting now, with no risk involved. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s just one action upfront that will equal hundreds and thousands of dollars paying us back on that effort over the coming months and years. Definitely worth doing!

Now, it’s Your Turn to Simplify Your Life

What problems are you sure-as-heck not bringing into your next year?

Start with deciding how you want your life next year to look. I’m not talking about the trips you want to take, and the things you want to buy.

I’m talking about on a day-to-day basis, how do you want to feel?

I’ll get you started…

  • Peaceful
  • In control
  • Free
  • Money-savvy
  • Refreshed
  • Loving
  • Purposeful
  • Healthy
  • Resourceful
  • Settled
  • Abundant
  • Decisive

Now ask yourself:

“Self, what is directly in my path from feeling FILL IN THE EMOTION(S) YOU CHOSE?”

That’s your to-do list.

Some will be on-going type things you need to do, while others are one-off’s you can knock out of your life in the next few months.

So, what do you say? Reply below with what’s on YOUR to-do list. And get crackin’! The gobble-gobbles are coming soon.

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 10 years, her money work helping people with how to save money and how to manage money has been featured in Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here.
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