Where have I been? Well, the last two weeks have been great! I was in New York for 4 days and in Portland with my friends and family for a week...and I thought I should take a break from all things, including blogging, for the holidays. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Any good last minute shopping deals or day-after sales stories?
Now that the Christmas excitement has worn off, the reality of another year ending is upon us. Not just a year, but a decade! This is also usually the time when people evaluate their lives and start goal setting again, also known as New Year's resolutions. Lose 10 lbs, spend more time with family and friends, travel - these have been my resolutions of the past until I decided that goals made on January 1st were pretty arbitrary and never made it past Easter (I now do birthday resolutions instead - read about them here). But let's do some checking in and see what I need to do financially for 2010.
SAVE MORE - my birthday resolution was to have 6 months of living expenses saved. This time last year, I literally had $100 in my savings account ($100.21 to be exact). By April, I had $300 when I made saving a priority. This year, I have $5200! I did not come into a large sum of money - on the contrary. I work for a non-profit so my paychecks are not huge and my husband was unemployed for 5 months. But I made deliberate choices with what I did with my money and altered my habits a bit. I still have digital cable, I still have a gym membership, I still go out to dinner...but I spend time clipping coupons, I don't buy things at the mall for full price, and I turn out lights and take shorter showers. Seriously - take a few minutes a month to monitor your budget and figure out where you can save a little can save you A LOT. Honestly, I think writing this blog and hearing from you all has helped me too! So thanks!
PREPARE TO BUY A HOUSE - as mentioned in this post, the husband and I are getting ready to achieve the American dream and buy a house. We've saved our downpayment, plus some money for closing costs, moving, and all those other miscellaneous costs that come with buying a house (um, new furniture!). It is definitely the biggest investment we'll ever make and we are (mostly) ready. Stay tuned!
BABY FUND - yup. Baby. The train to Babytown has not left the station yet, but we figure kids are expensive. I have 4 much younger siblings, and just buying them toys and taking them out for excursions costs a small fortune. Have you seen how much diapers cost? Anyway, the average cost of a child hovers around $15,000/year, according to Baby Center and I'm guessing it'll be easier to save before the baby is here than try to save later, ya dig?
What are my non-financial New Year's resolutions? Sit less. I calculated how much time I spend sitting at work and at home, and it was DEPRESSING. More water breaks, more walks around the block, less TV. I know. We'll see...
How about you? Making any financial (or otherwise) goals for the new year and new decade? I'd love to hear them!