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February Hustle, Day 1: a New Beginning

Traditionally I’ve been starting my “hustle” blog posts with an e-mail from Jon Acuff, aka Fearless Leader Jon. I see no reason to change this now. So here goes:

Day 1!

Don’t call it a comeback!

I feel like the LL Cool J lyric was a pretty obvious start to the day.

It’s the second round of the 30 Days of Hustle and I need you to know something, you are rare.

Right now, most people have long abandoned their goals and dreams for 2014. Hundreds of people unsubscribed to this mailing list. Self help books stop selling welling February.

But you, you are up for another round. Well done. That alone is a victory.

Here’s the first challenge.

Answer this question:

What are you going to do this round?

The biggest thing you need to know is, will this be a continuation of the goal you set up or an entirely new goal?

Either one is a great choice, but you’ve got to know the answer before we jump into the new adventure.

So?

Continue last month’s goal?

Or

Start a new one?

(For added fun, post your answer in the Facebook group!)

Go!

My response: I’ve decided it’s time for a new hustle.

Last month my goal was to develop a morning routine. And I’d say I’ve accomplished that goal. It’s not perfect, but it works. My mornings are so much smoother and more productive.

(A quick aside: I think the best thing I ever did in regard to my morning routine was implement Evening Must-Dos. It takes advantage of my natural propensity to be a night owl, and it has been extremely effective. I’ve found lately that I’ve been cleaning the kitchen and setting up the coffeemaker and the bread machine even when I don’t feel like doing them, even when I’ve already told myself “eh, I’m tired, I’ll just do it in the morning.” It’s become that ingrained. Yay!)

Because I feel that my morning routine has been successfully implemented, I decided to turn my attention toward a new goal. Now, I had two possibilities rolling around in my head. They were:

1) Work on our finances

And

2) Work on my Etsy shop, Palms & Soles.

I thought about it on day 30 as well as yesterday, and the one that stayed firmly lodged in my head was choice 1. The reason for this is that our finances don’t just affect me; they affect our entire family. I felt that I was more morally obligated to tackle that goal first.

Now, our finances are not in terrible shape. Eric and I took Financial Peace University at our church in 2012, and it has really helped us. We are tithing now, which we had been doing very lackadaisically before. We’ve also been much more diligent about paying off our one remaining debt, the one that has been hanging over our heads during our entire marriage — our student loans. We were even able to quickly rebuild our emergency fund after I all but depleted it to pay for our Graham Colton home show. (Shush. That was so an emergency.)

But there are still things I know we can do better.

Here’s what I wrote in my journal this morning, as I pondered exactly what kind of goal I want to set for February:

1. We don’t have a written budget. We had one [blogger’s note: we had one while and immediately after taking FPU], but certain things have changed since then, and we haven’t bothered to keep up with it.

2. We haven’t been tracking our expenses. We save receipts, but we don’t look at them.

3. We (meaning I) haven’t kept our account registry updated.

4. We (meaning I) haven’t been reconciling our monthly accounts.

So basically, what I want to do is reestablish our budget and start following it again.

This goal will be a little trickier than the last one, because it will involve both Eric and me. However, I am very blessed to have a husband who is completely on-board with making sure we live within our means and save for the future. In fact, we have 3 saving accounts. We have one that holds our emergency fund; we have another that holds money Eric is saving for a future goal; and we have a third that holds money I am saving for a new laptop. (We are very fortunate to belong to a credit union that allows you to easily establish sub-savings accounts online for just such purposes.)

So, yes, I need to involve Eric in this goal. But I know that won’t be a problem, because Eric is basically the best husband ever.

(Apologies to married women reading this. I’m sure you believe your husband is the best ever. Which is as it should be, no?)

Anyone else planning to do this? Are you thinking it might be time to get your financial house in order? If so, are you as terrified as I am? (I’m only partially joking. This goal feels way more daunting than establishing a morning routine. But I believe in the power of hustle!)

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