New Year’s Squeeze — Millennial Money with Katie

So imagine my surprise in reading back through the journal and finding entries about my phone creating anxiety, waffling about how to start my day (“Kinda wanna work out, kinda wanna just start working, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll shower;” girl, just pick one), and—what else?—some good, old-fashioned spiraling. 

This was, strangely, comforting. It was like staring at a roadmap to myself. Oh, I thought, I’m sitting here making lists of income and net worth goals, when the real needle movers are right in front of me. On a day-to-day basis, there were strikingly few entries about money. For how much emphasis the subject received in my goals, it was almost entirely absent from my journal entries. There was plenty of hand wringing about my creative process and business decisions and long-term dreams, but the dollars and cents of it all never really entered the plot. 

Maybe it’s because it had been a focus for so many years that there wasn’t much else to say, or maybe it’s because once you reach a certain satiation point, further focus feels beside the point. Or maybe it’s that the dollars and cents of it all were never really the point. 

It didn’t take a close reading to reveal that brute-forcing my way through more work, rather than creating the space necessary to make that work good—might’ve been self-defeating. (After all, as I reviewed my 2023 treatise, manic in its loftiness, I couldn’t ignore that I’d met neither the net worth nor the income goals I had set. All that emphasis—and for what? Even the approach that prioritized financial and career success above all else didn’t produce the intended results—financial or otherwise—so maybe the approach wasn’t serving me as much as I had thought.) 

Of course, I’m still Money with Katie—so that’s not to say I don’t have any financial or career goals for 2024. Just that their weight has been right-sized among the things that I’d historically ignored, the things that clearly had a larger influence on my day-to-day satisfaction than the second decimal point of a savings rate or an arbitrary net worth threshold.

And I don’t know—maybe it’s the optimism <> narcissism cocktail talking, but something tells me my approach this year might be the one that Finally Changes Everything.