As a goal oriented person, I always love setting New Year Resolutions, or New Year Goals, every year. I know alot of people that are adamantly against this. People say, “why bother if you’re just going to fail.” I see their point (kinda), but I have always followed the ideology of it’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get back up. Fear of failure isn’t an option, but what’s more, it gives me something to work towards, as well as an opportunity to set an intention.
One of my New Year Goals for 2020 was to raise my credit score to 800. This one was tricky because I knew so much of this achievement would be out of my hands. First of all, there are 3 credit bureaus calling the shots and they don’t even agree with each other. Second, it’s a mystery to me how it even works. There is a lot of bait involved in this credit business. For example, my credit score would slowly tick up as I paid off debts and kept lower balances, but when I had a car emergency and had to take out a car loan, I was stunned to see that my credit score shot up several points after taking on this new large debt. Why? I didn’t feel I should be rewarded for that, but it’s some weird formula to encourage you to keep spending, and most people spend beyond their means when it comes to credit. Third, it took me years to get to 700 alone. I got my first credit card in college, along with the school loans, and promptly threw my score in the gutter for over a decade at just over 300 points. To say I was irresponsible with my credit is an understatement. I came from extreme poverty with a subzero financial IQ before I turned this ship around.
So, as you can see in the image, I did not achieve my goal of 800 points, BUT I did gain 89 points from the year before. In December 2019 before I made this goal I had just hit 700 even. Is this a failure? NOPE. This goal gave me mindfulness. Every month I recorded my updated score. I was encouraged because I was actively paying down debt, learning to live within a budget, and watching the score go up. I’ve been working on my budget for years but it takes a long time to master! Having this goal made me focused and vigilant to get the best results possible by persevering and course correcting as needed. I’d call this a win.
A credit score of 800 or higher is considered perfect and I was able to get so close that now I can definitely have it as an achievable goal for 2021. Even though it will take me a little longer to get there, I’m stoked to have stayed the course and to keep reaching higher.
What financial goals are you setting for yourself in 2021? Remember, it’s never too late to start anew. I re-evaluate my New Year Resolutions every quarter to make sure I’m on track and make updates if anything has shifted. It’s not written in stone, it’s your life novel to write and edit as you deem fit. You can do anything you set your mind to. I believe in you!