Lot of things happened in 2015. I had completed four decades on this planet and three years of freelance life, after chucking off a well paying, corporate job. I was ready to learn more, grow more and develop both in material and non-material terms. Some lessons, which stayed with me, however were
Owning a House
Two years ago, no one really understood why I needed to own a house, when my parents had a big enough one to house me and my kids comfortably. But at that time, it was very important to me, a single parent to have a small space in my name. It made me feel more independent and more in charge of my life. Early in 2015, after finally repaying the loan, I can say I have never felt more at peace with myself.
De-Cluttering and Mindful Spending
Somewhere in the middle of 2015, I realized my wardrobe had more clothes than I would probably wear and whenever I purchased, I was only adding to the clutter and chaos. The same applied to the kitchen appliances, blankets, upholstery or whatever I was tossing into my shopping cart. That was when I resolved firmly not to “hoard”. With the exception of books, I decided to give away the clothes, utensils and other items, I was no longer using. Needless to say, it infused a lot of simplicity into my life and was also deeply satisfying. Over the longer term it made me disciplined in my spending habits.
Saying No and Re-investing in your skills
At the beginning of 2015, I was bidding for freelance projects indiscriminately and in the process losing sleep. That was when; I discovered the latent power of “No”. Saying “No” of course meant a temporary stalling of cash inflows. But the amount of fulfillment it brought was enormous. By being choosy about projects and focusing on the ones that were creative and involved out-of-the-box thinking, I was spreading my wings far and wide.
I also re-invested a part of my income in myself by :
- Subscribing to websites and magazines which helped me sharpen my skills
- Purchasing books on my craft
When I started doing this, I was apprehensive, but with the year drawing close, I am able to see the effects.That was my investment into my craft and it sure is bearing fruit.
Talking Money with Kids
2015 was also the year, when I started to talk actively about money with my children aged fifteen and eleven. Keeping them in the loop, about made them feel a lot more responsible. They found it easier to let go of certain demands and even started suggesting means to cut down on unnecessary expenditure. For example, my elder son told me that he no longer needed an auto rickshaw to go to college and he would take the bus.
Be Kind to Yourself
Deadlines, financial and non-financial commitments can be taxing on anyone. This year, I taught myself to be kinder to myself, to take off some time for myself. I indulge in activities which bring me more contentment, rather than having a major financial impact like reading a favorite author, penning stories, chatting with a friend or spending time with kids.
I promised myself that 2016 would be a year filled with more satisfaction and joy. Perhaps I would take up volunteering my time for more worthy causes. What are your plans for the New Year?
Sridevi Datta is a Cost Accountant. After working as a Business-SME in a leading E-learning centre, she now blogs regularly at The Write Journey.
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