Friday, January 9, 2009

New Year’s Resolutions 2009

From what I know so far, my income is going to be reduced—maxing out my flex spending will reduce my monthly income by a few hundred dollars a month, money I can’t really afford to lose. I will need to be resourceful and creative in my budgeting and learn to give up some luxuries I’ve taken for granted.

So here are a few goals, financial and otherwise that I've set for myself this year:

Health/fitness
1 Do yoga three times a week. I can’t afford (time or money-wise) to take classes or go to the gym, but I CAN do yoga on my own yoga mat in my living room. I find it calming and exhilarating, and I want to incorporate both of those feelings into my life.

2 Go to bed early/get up on time and eat a healthy breakfast at home (starting two days a week). This one is going to be tough, but at least I have Peanut on my side. I’m going to start slowly and do some make-ahead breakfasts. This will be an ongoing challenge throughout the year.

3 Cook more often and more interesting things in order to stop eating out so much. This is about health as well as money. When I get bored with what I’m cooking, I want to eat out. But if I learn to make veggie sushi, for example, I won’t need to pay for delivery.

Personal
4 Handle some things with my family and finish therapy. There have been some upheavals in my family life in the last year, and there are still things that need to be said. I need to learn to speak my mind and set some boundaries. Therapy is helping with this but is expensive and doesn’t need to be ongoing indefinitely. I would like to start being proactive about resolving some of these issues now (like, this weekend), and stop going to therapy by June if I feel I can handle the changes on my own.

5 Keep GPA above 3.8. My current cumulative GPA is 3.85 (the same as undergrad!) and I will be taking a similar load this year. I would like to keep making A’s if I can do so without killing myself.

6 Start stepping away from the internet a little more and focus on real life, specifically at work. Despite the goal below, I would like to stop wasting so much time on the internet. I know there are blogs I read that I don’t need to keep up with and mindless surfing that doesn’t fulfill me.

7 Update this blog three times a week. I would like to stay on top of posting in a more regular way. I like having a blog to look back as a way of documenting my life, and I find it motivating when I need accountability.

Financial
8 Develop and stick to a new budget and stay under flex spending cap. This year is going to be a little tight—my actual income will be decreasing since I maxed out the flex spending, and I won’t know my monthly income until January 31. I’m sure I’ll still be able to manage it, but I’m not going to have quite as much play money as I did before.

9 Start saving for “future” fund. I really debated this one, since nothing is guaranteed, but I have a feeling I need to start this now regardless. Here’s the honest truth: I have a very strong feeling that I will be planning a wedding in the next two years. Peanut and I are already talking very seriously about moving in together in the near future. We are talking a little less seriously about the longer-term future, but just the other night for example we discussed whether I would change my name if we got married (it’s important to him!) and how many kids we thought we might have and when.

I would like to be married by the time I’m 30, and if things keep going the way they’re going, that suddenly seems like a very real possibility. A wedding funded by my parents comes with lots of strings attached, so I want to be prepared to pay for the wedding of MY dreams with my own money--and suddenly it is time to start saving for that.

(And if things don’t work out between Peanut and I, well...then I’ll have a nice-sized fund to take care of myself with!)

That's it for now--I'm going to also continue doing monthly goals, and I'll post a few for January here in a bit.

6 comments:

  1. I think it is smart to start saving for a wedding. A lot of people don't start until they are engaged, and for many, that isn't enough time. I quietly expect to use some of my various funds that are earmarked for this or that towards a small inexpensive wedding in the next year or so. But I don't post that on my blog, because... well, you know.

    All in all, a good set of goals

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  2. Yoga and Real life. Yes

    Two things I have to improve on via your post.

    ANd saving early for a wedding is such a fab idea!!!!!

    Fabulously Broke in the City
    Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver...

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  3. But I don't post that on my blog, because... well, you know.

    Yes, I really wrestled with that. But I'm not doing it in the interest of rushing things here--if we don't end up married in two years, I'm not going to be disappointed (I hope...). I just want to be realistic, and one of the things I've realized about my family over the last year is that their gifts come with strangling strings attached. I do not intend to have a long engagement when it comes right down to it, so I'd rather start thinking along those lines now.

    Peanut knows I keep a blog, and he knows how to find it if he wants to. I don't think he reads it, but if he did, nothing I've said would come as a surprise to him. In fact, this might be a very good way to announce what cut of ring I prefer without actually having to tell him! ;)

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  4. I've been reading your blog for a while! I hope everything works out for you! It is smart to start saving for a potential wedding. Best wishes for the future!

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  5. Thanks LIL! I will pop over and take a look at your blog too!

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  6. "In fact, this might be a very good way to announce what cut of ring I prefer without actually having to tell him! ;)"

    Ha! Right, if you end up with a fund and no wedding plans, that is much better than ending up with a wedding plan and no fund!

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Thanks for commenting!