Thursday, January 1, 2015

My New Years money resolutions

Until last year, I hadn't been one for New Years resolutions. I made them, certainly, but they were always vague, and mildly impossible. Last year, instead of ambiguous big picture items, I made concrete goals. Most of them were a reach, but none of them were totally out of the question. Looking back at the things I've done this year, I think I did a great job!

For this year, I'm focused a lot on my finances, with a couple of other goals thrown in for kicks (and to keep myself from turning into a robot). So, here they are:

  • get my stafford loans under 9k - if I pay according to the plan in place now, I'll be under 10k, but I'd like to believe I can do better than that. It's about reaching, after all, and if I don't succeed, I'll still have paid off more than I would have otherwise.
  • find a way to earn from a creative side hustle, whether knitting on etsy, writing, or some other wort of creative work.
  • learn a new skill, preferably a marketable one. Whether it's something I learn at work, through a professional development class, or by teaching myself, I'd like to walk away this year with something learned.
  • take advantage of my employer match for my 403(b). That will kind of happen automatically, but it's still a big deal. This is assuming I stay at my current job through at least July, or that my new employer considers time previously served.
  • don't spend beyond my travel budget. I've been contributing for the past few months to a travel savings account, and I'll continue to do so. By this summer, I'll have several hundred dollars saved, which is what I'll use to find my airfare and any housing costs for my trips. When I run out, I'll ever have to find it elsewhere in my budget (lighten the grocery load, spend less on entertainment, etc) or else stop traveling, period. Which means I'd better figure out where I want to go, how much I'll need to save, and get on that!
  • open and contribute to a holiday/birthday savings account. I don't buy for a lot of people, but it sure will be nice to be able to pull from there instead of trying to scrape money together each time something comes up. As more of my friends start getting married, this will also be the one for wedding/shower gifts. Man, having friends and family is expensive...
  • continue to use mint to track finances regularly

So, a kind of long list, and it doesn't take into account my other resolutions/goals, but in general, I feel pretty good about it. Most of it is just taking what I'm already doing and stepping it up a notch. All in all, I think it's going to be a good year.

Happy 2015 everyone!

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