Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New year, new goals.

Rather than resolutions this year - things I am going to do - I am instead working on goals - things I want to work on doing.

The cliche of course: weight and health. In November we had Levi's Marine Corps ball and I worked hard for eight weeks ahead of time to lose over 15 pounds and fit into my dress. I still have a way to go until I am at a weight that I feel comfortable with. Since the holiday season started immediately after the ball with Thanksgiving, my eating habits haven't been that great. I haven't gained any weight back, thankfully, but surprisingly. I have been eating junk and I feel like junk. I am really looking forward to meal planning and getting real food into my body again. In using food to improve my health, I'll hopefully garner a trimmer waistline as well.

I am also really hoping to work on friendships. I have made three friends since originally coming to North Carolina that I felt particularly close to, and two have already moved away. Of course, since we're all military families, that's bound to happen. I am terrible about keeping up with friends, I know. While we had friends over this past weekend, I was using my friend's phone and she received several messages from one of our friends who's moved and it occurred to me that they're in touch while I am not. I know that's largely my fault; I have never demonstrated I am capable of or willing to mutually work to keep in touch. There is just no excuse for that in this age of technology and I feel so badly about it. I really want to work harder to put myself out there for those I consider my friends and keep those friendships from dying due to distance and a lack of contact.

Another somewhat cliche goal is to work on our finances. We are very lucky to have a steady paycheck, health insurance, and no credit card debt. However, we don't have savings. A military salary doesn't allow for loads of extra cash, but there is no reason for us to be living relatively paycheck to paycheck. We simply spend too much money on things we don't need to be buying. I came across a great piece about using several different bank accounts to better manage your finances (I hate watching videos when I want to look over information; keep scrolling down, it's all written out below the video). At first it seemed counter intuitive that spreading out your money helps you to use it more efficiently, but organization can never be wrong, right? By separating out our money as soon as each paycheck hits, we'll never spend more than we should be on any one thing. Bills and household expenses, Levi's individual spending (like gas, haircuts, coffee, and whatever he wants to spend on), my individual spending (like gas, groceries, and various children's expenses), and a few different types of savings accounts. Our plan is to set up multiple accounts when we get our tax return this year so we can start out our savings with a nice cushion.

At the end of last year I spent a few days going through our bank statements from the past three months, totally up and averaging our spending and bills. Now we know what we've been spending, and what we should be spending, so when the time comes we can divvy up our paycheck into the proper amounts for each of the bank accounts. In the meantime I've decided I want to stick with cash for my spending. We went away for an overnight for New Years Eve and only used cash while we were gone. I haven't liked using cash in the past because it can be harder for me to keep track of where it goes without the ease of the bank statement we get from using our check cards. While we were away though, I realized we're a lot less likely to spend unnecessarily when we have to hand over tangible cash. I think using cash will really keep me in check for now. I've left it up to Levi to decide how he wants to handle his spending for now, but he has his budget number and he better stick to it!

My final goal for the year is to get back on with knitting. I have been working on a project for most of the last year that I am very excited about, but it's taken so long it's sucked most of the fun out of knitting for me. When we were away for the new year we went to a calendar shop where everything was 50% off to buy our kitchen wall calendar for 2013. I also found a really neat daily knitting calendar that I'm hoping will help with my knitting funk. It has 1-3 days per page, and 1-4 pages per project, so you can theoretically complete all of the projects in the calendar if you work a bit each day. I'm hoping those short, easily completely projects will get me back in a knitting mood. Ideally I'd like to get my business, Knits By Nani, back off the ground. I was quite busy and successful with it earlier last year. Not that it was making enough money to live off, but enough to help pad our savings accounts that we'll be setting up.

Lots and lots planned for my 2013. I hope yours is full and productive as well!

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog!

    We have several bank accounts and live on percentages. Eventually it becomes second nature.

    50% into household account
    10% into savings
    10% into a holiday account
    10% Cash for food
    10% Cash for gas/car expenses
    10% Spending money. We divide it and spend it on whatever we like...knowing we have everything else covered.

    Best of luck for 2013.