I was hesitant at first to write a 2020 highlight recap for the obvious reasons. 2020 was a challenging year and for some it was a year filled with anything but highlights. While I debated sharing my highlights, I chose to keep with this tradition because I am a firm believer on focusing on the good and searching for the silver lining in every situation.
On the personal side, by far the biggest highlight of the year was buying our home and moving to the suburbs. Spending the summer months in our backyard grilling helped us stay sane while the world around us was in lockdown.
Another personal highlight was the opportunity to travel to one of our favorite places before that nationwide lockdown in March. We visited Steamboat Springs, CO, in January for a week long snowboarding trip. It still blows my mind that this trip was within this calendar year. It seems like it was two years ago.
A final personal highlight was the ability to see family. I acknowledge that this was a privilege and a gift. Not everyone has had the same opportunity during this pandemic which is why this is one of the greatest highlights of the year. It’s true what they say, 2020 is the year we all looked internally and focused on all the things we have rather than focusing on the things we don’t have through comparison.
Professionally some very cool things happened this year. The first being my firm’s merger with Savant Wealth Management at the beginning of the year. There are many reasons this could be called out as a highlight but for me the biggest highlight was having my “work family” grow. I have met so many incredible, talented and helpful individuals that I am lucky to call colleagues.
Other professional highlights include joining the Young Professional’s special interest group within the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago (PWCC) and launching our monthly Coffee + Collaboration series and expanding my networks. I had the opportunity to teach financial basics to a classroom of fifth graders and professional groups. I love educating and the opportunity to spread the SEEDS of personal finance.
A final professional highlight wasthe growth of The Financial Fashion Planner. This year was a challenge given half of my content was focused on workwear in a work from home environment, but I am thankful for the opportunity to re-evaluate my content and find my voice. I had some very cool opportunities to partner with brands like Nive Girl and TANYA HEATH on the fashion side and was able to expand my audience on the finance side through interviews and mentions in “best of” financial content lists. Linking a few below for those of you interested in reading:
- Bloomberg – Recessions Lead People to Make Big Money Mistakes
- Medill School of Journalism – Stimulus Recipients Consider Spending or Saving Their Checks
- USA Today – After the Wedding, should you marry your money in a joint account?
For those of you in the finance world, you’ll appreciate that my posts of the Home Buying Process and Roth Conversions were highlighted on Abnormal Returns. This was a pinch me moment and it validated the hard work I’ve been putting into this blog.
If I haven’t already said it this year, thank you to my readers. It means so much!
This year I am adding a new category to my highlight posts to include financial highlights. This past month I’ve begun sharing more and more about our personal financial situation and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to open-up more to this community. Much as I encourage you all to write down your financial goals and have money dates with your inner circle, I truly practice what I preach and enjoy sharing our goals with you all to hold me accountable as my inner circle.
The financial highlights of 2020 are as follows:
- Home Purchase
- Paid off Student Loans – $50k in 12 months!
- Proactive Roth Conversions
- Improved Household Cash Flow Planning
This was a big financial year for us and am excited to continue to build off the good habits we created in 2020 in the years to come as we save for our next set of financial goals.
What’s on your highlight reel for 2020?? If you haven’t already, I encourage you all to find some time over the next few days and reflect on your personal highlights of this year. Here are some questions to help kick off the self-reflection process.
- What was your single favorite moment from 2020?
- How did you feel in that moment?
- What would you have to do in 2021 to recreate that feeling?
- What do you hope to see on your 2021 highlight reel?
- At the end of 2021, the following has happened, and I feel great satisfaction with myself and my life…