The Winner of the January Money Resolutions Challenge!

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Our winner, Julie, with her son.

Last month at LearnVest, we were psyched to get a “new year, new you” fresh start with our money.

That’s why we challenged our readers to tell us their biggest money resolutions for 2014—and how they plan to stick to their new goals.

We received hundreds of inspirational responses—from people resolving to track their money more closely on a daily basis to those planning to tackle all their debt in 2014. Thank you to everyone who shared.

Congratulations to Julie, a small business owner from Maryland and the winner of our January Money Resolutions Challenge! Check out her clever resolution, below:

“In 2014 I want to become more cognizant of the amount of joy I receive for every dollar I spend. While not every dollar can be spent in a way that will make me happy—utility bills are the first thing that pop into mind—I do want to make sure I’m not wasting discretionary money on things that really don’t add value or joy to my life.

“I plan to maintain this goal by creating an actual ‘joy ledger.’ On one side, I will write down the item or activity I spent money on. On the other side, I’ll write down how much joy that purchase provided me. (I plan to wait to let the initial excitement wear off, and then rank it more truthfully after a week or even a month.) My scale: 10 is something I would do again in a heartbeat, 5 is something enjoyable, and 1 is something I wouldn’t spend money on again.

RELATED: How Making a Gratitude List Can Change Your Life

“A recent example in my ledger: $25 to visit a lighted Christmas display with my husband and son. Level of Joy: 9, because it was quality time with my family and my two-year-old-son is still talking about it!

“I hope this strategy will help change my overall spending patterns. Over time, I want to see my purchases reflect my values: Spending time with the people I love, doing the things we love to do together.”

Thank you for sharing, Julie!

  • Susan L

    This idea was also talked about in the book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.

  • Rhonda Cronkhite

    I had no idea how badly I was seduced by buying on the shopping channels on tv. I had the neighbor program them out and I have to give her $50 to get the pin! Unfortunately my husband found out and offered her $100 not to give it to me! I also have a 24 hour rule. If I want it that bad, it can wait 24 hours. Being older, I can remember when you actually had to walk into the store to spend money.