Balance Life

Be More Intentional

December 27, 2016
Be more intentional with your money so you can live the life you want to live.
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We all know what time it is. Folks start posting resolutions, memes, and other things that they plan to leave behind in 2016. Come March or early April, their efforts are all but dead.

I gave up on resolutions a long time ago and I’m becoming much more intentional with everything I do in life. This year, in addition to setting monetary goals with some number in mind, I want to be intentional with every dollar I spend.

One question I’m asking myself, starting now, “Is the money I’m about to spend going to help me (insert whatever it is I’m working towards)?”

For instance, maybe you want to eat healthier or lose weight. Is the $20 you’re about to spend at the grocery store on chips, buffalo chicken dip, cake, and soda going to help you with your end goal?

Or maybe you want to quit your job soon. Is that $100 you’re about to spend on those shoes going to help you towards that goal or hinder your ability to quit your job?

Take me for instance, I have an ideal life I’m in pursuit of and I want it as soon as I can get it!

I need to work from home (I’m currently doing so for an employer) for myself. The option of homeschooling my kids if it ever comes down to it (I don’t like or agree with some of the ways our kids are being educated outside of the home) would be nice too.

I also want to be able to pay off all of my student loan debt before I’m 40.  Simply put, I want the freedom to choose to do whatever the heck it is I want to do at any given moment.

To be more intentional, your actions need to line up with your values.

For every dollar I spend, I have to be really careful to determine if I’m helping myself get closer to my ideal lifestyle or if I’m positioning myself further away from it. I see so many people living how I DON’T want to live. That is a great source of motivation for me but that can’t be my only focus.

I don’t want to be in my fifties and still dependent on a job. Nor do I want to be that age and not have the option to go spend weeks with my kids if they ever need me. I also don’t want to wait on an arranged two-weeks vacation with my job to get away with my husband.  However, focusing on what I don’t want will not get me closer to the life I do want.

It’s time to be more intentional and put my focus into the things I want out of life. I choose to be more intentional today because I see no point in waiting any more and neither should you.

If you want to be more intentional with your finances, all you need to do is envision the life you want to live, write it down, and start doing things that will help you get you closer to your vision. Let’s not make things harder than what they really need to be.

Write a five to six sentence paragraph of your ideal life. Create two to three money goals that will help you get closer to that vision. Before you spend money ask yourself if this dollar spent is helping you get closer to your vision.

Most importantly, don’t start on 1/1/17. Start today.


What’s your ideal lifestyle? Are your money habits currently helping you or hindering you from that lifestyle you’re envisioning?

Latoya Scott
CFEI/Social Entrepreneur
Latoya Scott is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and personal finance writer with a mission to help millennials learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck so they can become financially carefree.

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  • Mimi Green December 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I just started making “resolutions” they are more goals than anything. They help me stay focused during the year. The past two years are worked out well. This year my big finance goal is to simply knock out my single piece of debt. I’ve already started my 2017 plan in 2016.

  • T. Espinoza December 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Hubs and I plan to get rid of some debt within the next 2 years and we’ve put a plan in place to do so. Our big goal is to be debt free.

    • Latoya Scott December 30, 2016 at 12:01 am

      Cheers to that and yass!

  • Carissa December 28, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I know its the “trend” to come up with resolutions and plans for the upcoming year, and everyone says its pointless but I love making goals each year. And even if I dont accomplish everything I love looking back at the things that I do accomplish throughout the year!

    • Latoya Scott December 30, 2016 at 12:01 am

      Oh, indeed. I’m not anti-goal. I just don’t want to make it a point of doing it because of the new year. I need new goals everyday!

  • KenyaRae December 29, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Yea I pass on the resolutions but I set goals and I try to be descriptive so I have something to go back and look at.
    KenyaRae recently posted…3 Books You Need To Read in 2017 To Inspire GrowthMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott December 30, 2016 at 12:01 am

      That’s a good thing!

  • Zuqueta December 29, 2016 at 1:06 am

    This a great time to set goals!! My husband and I our saving all of our $5 this year to go on a much needed vacation. We are also creating a 2 year plan to get out of debt.

  • Terri December 29, 2016 at 8:40 am

    This is definitely one of the best posts I have ever read. You have certainly motivated me. I also don’t subscribe to the resolution camp. I love the idea of asking myself if the money I’m spending is helping my goals.
    Terri recently posted…15 Must-Ask Questions to Reflect on the YearMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott December 30, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Aww, thanks, Terri. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Joanna December 29, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I would love to take 6 months-a year off to travel and I’ve been saving when I can. It helps to have an account where funds are automatically taken out and I “forget” about it. It is important to be intentional in everything you do. I found myself making a resolution last year and fell off in June.
    Joanna recently posted…Natural Thai Takeover: How We Spent 8 Days in ThailandMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott December 30, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Now that’s a nice goal right there!

  • Tanya December 29, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Being intentional is so important. I am glad you are getting this message out right before the new year.
    Tanya recently posted…5 Ways To Make Time for Your Boo During the Holidays- Part 5My Profile

  • Nay December 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    you’re right up my alley with this. To be intentional for me for both this year and next is to be consistent in how I handle everything to get to my goal. I also don’t see the point of waiting for the clock to strike 12:00am to make that the moment I start my pursuit.


    • Latoya Scott December 29, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Indeed. Already started!

  • Lucas Cool December 30, 2016 at 1:06 am

    This is so very true. Many industries like gyms capitalize on people’s lack of planning, and vision writing to achieve their goals and hype up the resolution trend. As the saying goes ” If fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
    The formula is simple and I’m glad you kept it that way with your readers.
    Lucas Cool recently posted…The Sure Fire Way to Get Her In BedMy Profile

  • Emily @ JohnJaneDoe January 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    One thing that’s struck me lately (maybe because of turning 49) is that if I don’t change some of my health habits, I’m going to have trouble doing things I want to do later like travel. And bad physical health is hell on financial health. So getting healthier this year is my a1 priority.

    I sit too much. Some of this is good (I can focus at a computer for a while, and I love and value reading.) But as a health habit it’s awful. And I eat way too much junk. About the only healthy habit I keep consistently is sufficient sleep. So, I’ve programmed my FitBit alarm to get me up and moving at least every other hour. I’m dropping sugar to weekends only (I think I can live with that.) and I’m putting my healthy habits on a weekly to do list to try to keep focussed. We’ll see if I can’t get my new methods to pay some health (and indirect financial) benefits.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…State of the Blog: December 2016My Profile

    • Latoya Scott January 2, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      I agree and definitely understand where you’re coming from. I sit a lot too with my job and it’s really beginning to give me back trouble. Last year after having my son, I had a pinched nerve in my back and things haven’t been quite the same since. If I sit down for too long I start to hurt. I might should invest in a Fitbit to remind me to get up and move before my back does!