I'm Giving Up on This Financial Resolution After Failing at It 5 Years in a Row

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  • It's common to map out financial resolutions at the start of the year.
  • While I've been successful with some in my day, there's one that's always been too much of a challenge.
  • Try as I might, I can't give up my habit of ordering takeout meals.

Sometimes, you have to know when to call it quits.

It's hard to believe that 2023 is almost here. But at this point, a lot of people are busy finalizing their holiday plans and figuring out what they'll do on New Year's Eve. (Pajamas, movies, and books, anyone? Or is that just me?)

Now is also the time when a lot of people start setting their New Year's resolutions. And if you have financial goals you want to achieve in 2023, that's certainly not a bad thing to do.

In fact, I like to make a habit of setting a few financial goals at the start of the year. And in the past, I've been successful at some of them.

Years back, for example, my goal was to max out my retirement plan contributions, which sure enough, I did. Another year, I pledged to boost my emergency fund by several thousand dollars, and lo and behold, I closed out that year with a higher savings account balance.

But there's one thing I've resolved to do over the past five years that I've never managed to uphold. And so at this point, I think it's time to give up and focus on other ways I can improve my financial picture.

I can't shake my takeout habit

In the past, I've pledged to order less takeout for a couple of reasons. Not only is it more expensive than buying groceries and cooking, but it can also, in some cases, be a lot less healthy.

But for the past number of years, my efforts to cut back on takeout have been futile. For one thing, I have a pretty hectic schedule. I work full time, volunteer, and have three small humans to parent. I also have a lovable but demanding dog who requires several walks a day and lots of attention. So all told, I just don't have that many hours in my day to hang out in my kitchen and cook. And often, I need to fall back on takeout due to a lack of time.

Also, my kids, like many kids, are picky. So sometimes what'll happen is that I will make the effort to cook, only to end up having at least one child refuse to eat what I've prepared. Takeout solves that issue because we can order different items off of the same menu.

And finally, because I'm self-employed, the more I work, the more I can earn. If I don't have to spend several hours each week shopping for food, cooking, and cleaning up my kitchen afterward, I can spend more time hammering away at my desk. And as such, I can actually justify the cost of takeout to a large degree.

I won't set myself up for failure

As much as I'd like to say I'll order less takeout in 2023, that probably isn't in the cards. And I'm really okay with that.

The way I see it, there are other expenses I can seek to cut if doing so becomes necessary to meet my financial goals. But I don't feel compelled to cut back on the one luxury that makes my life much easier, addresses picky eater issues, and puts delicious food in my belly.

As far as the health aspect goes, I can address that by aiming to order healthier, veggie-packed meals more often, and cutting back on things like pizza and burritos. But all told, I won't be resolving to do anything that involves ordering takeout less frequently.

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