It’s 2024 and my brain is swirling. It has been swirling for weeks as I struggled with deciding what to focus on in 2024. My objective remains to become work optional as soon as possible and everything I do needs to tie in to this Northstar. So I will continue what I do well and double down on improving the opportunity areas I identified in the past months that I still struggle with.

Things I will continue:

  1. Invest every month – my main source of investment is my salary. I will do this as soon as I get paid and also invest all extra income generated. All dividends paid will also be reinvested in ETFs and not the dividend generator.
  2. Increase Non-work Income – go hard on the non work income by generating more from the existing sources and creating new sources. I aim to double up on 2023 non-work Income values.
  3. Grocery shop in discount stores – I was late to the party on shopping at Lidl but happy to now be on board. Since I made the switch months ago, I have reduced my grocery spend by over 50%.

The things I will double down on as I need to improve in these areas:

  1. Invest only in ETFs – even though I know ETF is the way to go, I still sometimes get distracted with stock picking. My brokerage is not automated which does not help me in this area so I need to work on my psychology and stick to my decision to only invest in ETFs going forward.
  2. Respect my gifting budget – I over gift. I know it and I’m unable to control myself. I want to rein it in this year so I’m doing three things to manage it. One is increasing my gifting budget and respecting it as much as possible. The second is establishing a check that I shouldn’t gift more than I spend on myself in a particular month. The third is asking a friend to be my accountability partner on gifting and I’m supposed to check in with her when I have maxed out my gifting budget to evaluate if it’s an absolute need to gift more.
  3. Spend less on vacation – we overspend on vacation and we don’t need to if we plan better as a family and don’t adopt a YOLO mindset while on vacation. I have done some preplanning for this and hope this will help keep the cost within budget.
  4. Track my numbers – I got overwhelmed mid 2023 and stopped tracking my spend and things sure went downhill. In 2024, I will make my monthly budget, track against it and share for accountability. I will also start my monthly networth tracking which I have found is a good way to keep me focused on work optionality.
  5. Control my spending on wants – I do get random intense need to acquire things I do not need. A lot of those acquisitions have contributed to the clutter I’m currently getting rid of. A recent example is my unfounded need for a Christmas dress which I obsessed on until I actually bought it. I lost interest after the purchase and didn’t wear the dress for Christmas. So I wasted my emotions, time and money to acquire a dress that I don’t need. I know I’m going to get similar pulls all year round and I will work on myself not to feed it.

I guess the things I’m doubling down on equal to my goals for the year but they need to be measurable (i.e. have metrics) for them to qualify as such. I will track myself on all of these monthly and I expect the focus areas to expand in the year as I identify additional areas for improvement.

Happy New Year and goodluck with your 2024 plans.

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