Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Obligatory New Years Post Here

In 2011 I started this thing where I made 'resolutions' (read goals to work towards) for all the different areas of my life. This made sense to me for two reasons. One - A single resolution isn't going to move me forward in life and Two - with several goals I can miss the mark and still claim a bit of success!

With two girls in college by August of this year, Money matters are really my main focus.

1. No shopping. 
This bears explanation and a couple of exceptions. Obviously groceries don't count although I need to have a menu to buy toward not just willey nilley.

Also   If I really need something during the year (say I tear my work pants) it has to go on a list and then I have to try to find it second hand before going to a store. You may think this weird but I actually think of this as a greener way to shop besides cheaper.

 The hard part about this is that I can't browse the online sale sights or second hand stores and end up buying stuff just because it was an amazing deal. It may be an amazing deal, but this year it won't be MY amazing deal.

2. Keep Flying
I am going to keep preaching all the benefits of following the FlyLady ( www.flylady.net )way of keeping house. It takes so much stress off of me and still my house if rarely a total disaster and if I get better at following the FlyLady way, it could even be pristine! Without stress and without being totally OCD. Click on the picture to go to her website. Even if you are a good housekeeper, it really does take all the stress out of it
It is so easy! It is cheap and it makes sense. 

3.  Read more
 - self-explanatory. Quit creepin' on facebook. Don't put that movie in (I got rid of TV 2 years ago but stream netflix ). Go Read!! Get the book off the nightstand from time to time! You can read before 9:00 p.m. too!

4.  Blog
 Now I know this sorta goes against the Read resolution, but I have to write about what I read about!! and I have to see what you all are reading too! Just not over do it. There is plenty of time for both. Tons of instances where reading would not be feasible, but perusing the blogs or slapping in a quick post or meme would be fine. Usually when the girls and I are all together in the living room. We're girls, we can multitask and still interact with one another!

5.  Work on my Novel
...said it before...someday I would like to say..work on REVISING that novel. Can't do one without the other. I received quite a few compliments this past semester on my writing so it really should follow that while that side of my brain is engaged I should do this...now balancing this resolution with the Reading resolution is a little trickier!


6.  Work on Nutrition - 
I'm not saying lose weight (but that too) just for once don't go through the produce section just to see the pretty colors woman! Stop and buy something! Lettuce is for more than Tacos!

7.  Cut Expenses - 
Tough one. But Necessary for my next Resolution. And there is room. I can cut a lot of expenses with just two letters... the letter N and the letter O. I love my girls, but I have to curb my desire to spoil them :) I can also do little things that I hope will add up. Turn the heat down, turn off lights, combine errands to save gas.

9.  Get out of debt - 
I have debt.  I'm tired of having debt. So I'm going to be brave and list my debt and work on getting rid of it.
I have the dreaded Credit Card - 9500. Wowzers. I know.
Home improvement loan -3800
Auto loan -  4500
Mortgage - 75000 (which I don't expect to fully pay off. I'm listing it just so I know)

The idea is to make the payments but with some extra money start paying down the highest interest one and then when it's paid off go to the next. Etc. So that means Credit card to home improvement to auto to mortgage. I can take care of a pretty big chunk of the credit card come tax time.

I am taking on some student loan debt for my girls. But I'm not going to list that just yet. I look at it as necessary to give them the education they need to be productive and employable.
I've lived hand to mouth and I always fear having to again so I'd rather not have to worry about who I owe thanks!

10.  Liquidate the un-necessary! 
These funds can then go towards debt relief plus it makes for a tidier home. I still have plenty to get rid of too!

11. Balance Volunteer Positions 
I have a few to work with
  • Friends of the Library - I stock the revolving book sale once a week & attend meetings
  • Church positions:
  •       Financial Secretary - every week at least 2 hours
  •       Youth board - monthly meeting and events
  •       Church Co-Librarian - as necessary, I'll work on this every week after I do the financials
  •       Vision Committee - we are dormant at the moment 
  •       Circle of Friends - a monthly fellowship group, co-organizer
  •       Ruth Circle Member - monthly meeting and 1 big event in May
  • Hosting a Choir event dinner at my home
  • Pink Drinks on a Thursday Evening - monthly book club - founder and defacto leader

12. Faith 

Doing volunteer work isn't the same as focusing on my faith. I want to enrich my faith through study, worship and service. Another retreat would be awesome!

13.  Work

Rededicated my work ethic. We've had a rather laid back couple of years. Now it's time to buckle down in order to get things done.

14. Style

Yes I know I can't shop. I also know there are good things in my wardrobe and accessories and make up and hair styles and manicures and pedicures that I can all mix and match to create add some flair to my world. 

15. Exercise

Well I did just buy a stationary bike. So I better use it!!

16. School 

This has been on my list for a long time. Starting in 2011 I wanted to get my Associates. And I did. And I"ve been working on my BA at the University of Iowa. So is my oldest daughter.  But now I think I need to set myself aside for my girls and take a break from these strivings (unless I get more financial aid).

17. No Dating

I've been on the internet dating sites and I've met some very nice guys. But not THE guy. At least I don't think so. So I'm going to take a break for at least a year unless someone pursues me. (not stalks just pursues...asks for my number, calls me up, drives to see me...something masculine!!). I certainly barely have time for dating... I think. Or DO I?

So here's to 2013!

I'll do some updates from time to time. Especially on the debt issues.

I know this wasn't a very bookish post. I hope to do an annual re-cap of my reading as well as my hopes for some of what I want to get to in the upcoming months.  The cool part is what will come at me spontaneously. I don't know about you, but I can't wait! :)


1 comment:

  1. Great goals post. I've been working on whittling down debt for about six months. I found Suze Orman's 9 Steps to Financial Freedom pretty helpful if you are into that sort of thing.