Celebrating a birthday is always, for me, a time to reflect.
A time to think about what I’ve been up to over the last year.
What I want to achieve for the year ahead; things I want to do before I’m 30 (now 6 years away!); and what I want to achieve before I die.
Thinking back over the the last year, it certainly has been a blast.
- As a market researcher I’ve learnt a lot and have been discovering what direction I want to move towards in my career.
- As a singer I’ve continued to meet some amazing people, experienced some wonderful moments, and even went out of my comfort zone to play a part in an opera.
- And of course there’s Magical Penny. I can hardly reflect too much on it as it is only the blog’s 4 month anniversary but it’s had a profound effect on my life already:
- Firstly, thank you for reading this and sharing in the journey. I sincerely hope that the words I publish here become something more: I hope the words have been transformed to actual pennies in your piggy-bank (and soon, an investing account!).
- Secondly, if you don’t already have a blog I highly recommend it (and I’m happy to give you any tips on that front too!).
Despite the achievements and the experiences ticked-off on the score-card of life, every passing year seems to go by faster.
We’ll be 30 soon, then 40.
And if we’re lucky we’ll get to the dizzying heights of middle-age and beyond!
As each birthday comes and goes I feel glad that I started saving for retirement.
This birthday has been no different.
It made me think back to when I was a student, when I was first reading about the need to get started early. I didn’t have much money at the time but I understood in that moment exactly what I needed to do even if I didn’t know precisely how to actually get there: I needed to plant a money seed as soon as I was able, and give it time to grow.
Had I not come across those early personal finance blogs I could have quite easily continued into a ‘normal’ life of spending exactly what you earn (or more) and not start thinking about putting something away for retirement until I started finding my first few grey hairs around my temple.
I’ve never been a wreckless spender but I could easily have missed out on the profound message of living like no-one else (below your means) so later you can live like no-one else. Thankfully, learning about investing and beginning with small but regular saving has set me on a path that I’m happy with.
Of course, none of my happy reflections over the past year have anything to do with my bank account balance.
It never should.
The trick is to make your life shape your bank account balance, and not to let your bank account balance shape your life.
It’s hard to master and I’m still finding that balance but it’s good to reflect on where you’re at once in a while.