What if you just focused on one thing for an extended period of time? What if, instead of constantly jumping for hobby to hobby you concentrated on a hobby you have already started?

We are, in fact, surrounded by a wealth of stimulating and educational material, but  most of us fail to take advantage of it. We are too easily stumped by obstacles and distracted by new, more exciting projects.

We love the idea of trying something new. Or buying something new. And we really need to stop.

This is what David McCain, who writes at Raptitude: Getting Better at Being Human has proposed an antidote to this tendency.

My Personal Finances Need Improving

So for this year I have decided that I need to improve my personal finances. I consider myself a minimalist. But I can improve in a number of areas.

I need to improve my frugality. And after looking at my spending for the month of December, it is clear that I waste a lot of money. Another area for improvement.

Related: How To Drastically Cut Household Expenses

So the idea behind doing a Depth Year is to go deeper not wider.

Not only does this commitment improve you as an individual, but it is an interesting way of rejecting the consumer culture that thrives on a societal obsession with chasing cheap thrills:

“The consumer economy nurtures this sweet tooth. There’s just so much money to be made in selling people new paths — new equipment, new books, new possibilities. The last thing marketers want is for people to get their excitement and fulfillment from what they already have access to. They would hate for you to discover the incredible wealth remaining in what you already own.” – Raptitude

How Much Stuff Do You Have?

How many kitchen gadgets does a person need? How many books are on your shelves that are unread? And that treadmill that you swore you would use everyday sits there untouched. It has become a place to hang clothes!

And on and on it goes.

Why not focus on the stuff you already have? Chances are you have more than enough. In fact I dare say that a fair number of you could stand to do a bit of decluttering.

Related: 15 Great Decluttering Tips

Cain suggests you consider dusting off that old guitar in the closet, firing up your neglected blog, reading the books you already have and making this year a “depth year.”

Think of the savings financially! Think of how much you may actually grow as a person. You will learn to appreciate all that you already have.

Are you willing to live with constraints of your own? Are you interested in going deeper or wider? What would a “Depth Year” look like for you?







6 thoughts on “A “Depth Year” of Personal Finance

  1. I have put some thought into this topic before as well. I feel as if I read books about many different topics and, while they are interesting while I’m reading them, I pretty much forget about them when I am done and I move on to the next book. I see this pattern emerging in other parts of my life where I am in a rush to bounce around from hobby to hobby. One way I have tried to combat this, at least with reading, is to go deeper into each book I read by highlighting and posting sticky notes on important topics in the book as well as writing a summary of each book while I am reading it. I have found that when writing a summary, it forces you to go deeper into the book.

    1. It seems like I just read on a blog that someone else feels this way about reading. Especially when it comes to self improvement books. There are just so many and yes when reading them they certainly resonate but then what? How many of us put things from THAT book into practice? And then in a month we hear about the next greatest book and off we go to grab it. Maybe it is like this with hobbies as well for some people. I am at the point where I am very content with doing nothing 🙂
      Your tip about taking your own notes and using sticky notes is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing that.

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