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Phew! We made it to 2017!

January 1st, 2017 at 07:53 pm

I love the New Year's feeling. Finally, the stress and go-go of the Thanksgiving to Christmas season is finished and I can take time to get my/our lives back in order!

Our plan for New Years is similar to other years.

-Live on a cash weekly budget. $400/week for everything but bills.

When we stick to this, it improves our financial lives immensely. It's usually me who falls off track when I get busy or stressed out about the kids. So, fingers crossed, here we go again!

-Save money from every paycheck. (401k set to max out ($18,000) as usual. $500 every two weeks to savings, $288 every two weeks to property taxes, $200/month per kid to the 529.) My freelance checks go to my IRA.

-Give more. We set up our monthly contributions for charities in 2017, and we went from 2 a month to five a month. We'll see how this goes!

Our non financial and more life-quality goals include:

-Try new independently-owned bakeries and donut shops. The boys love seeking these out and it's a fun, not too expensive treat/adventure.

-Eat quality food, like meat from the local farm family, veggies from our garden and from our farmer's market, organic when possible, minimally processed as much as possible, etc. To this end, I am thinking of thrifting a bread machine to try to make my own. Some friends have one and love it, and I see the darn things everywhere for cheap!

For me:

-I'm ready to dress well. I've kind of let that part of me go since the kids but I'm ready to have a decent wardrobe. I'm not talking ridiculous designer duds. I mean a well-chosen, useful, mix n match minimalist wardrobe where everything is in good repair and fits.

I'll be doing a closet purge, and be on the lookout for useful items. I'm also going to read some books at the library about dressing for your body, etc. for ideas!

My goal is also to become a professional fiction author this year. Like CJ, I plan to self publish my first novel or two this year. The timeline I had planned is in question now, because I'm a finalist in two Romance Writers of America contests and as part of entering, agreed the books were not published. SO, I have to wait until that's all over. A good problem to have, I suppose.

Speaking of books, this time of year I usually dust off and re-read some of my favorite go-to books to get inspired not only for a more meaningful and frugal life, but also for my spring garden (Seeds are ordered already!)

These books are:

"The Freedom Manifesto" by Tom Hodgkinson. This is kind of a weird little book I picked up on a lark from Barnes and Noble ten years ago. And I love it. It's a very unusual personal finance -kind of- book.

"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. I can't tell you how many times I've read this. It helps on an intentional living front, on garden inspiration, on clean eating. All of it. And of course it's beautifully written.

"The Good Life." BY Scott and Helen Nearing. Technically a homesteading book, I like it for lots of reasons. Frugality, intentional living, garden plans, being resourceful, etc.

So, let the fun of 2017 begin!!

2 Responses to “Phew! We made it to 2017!”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Good goals! When you go clothes shopping, be picky. I speak from experience. For most of my life I have "settled" for stuff because it was one sale, or it might look OK, or...I refuse to buy stuff now if I don't like really, really like it, if it doesn't fit exactly the way I think it should, and I have no intention of trying to convince myself it will fit better if I lose weight. I have bought too many things that would fit better if I would lose a couple of pounds and we know all about best intentions on things. I know I feel a bit more confident if my clothes are decent.

    Good luck on your writing. Hope you and the other authors on SA do well. I'm pulling for all of you!

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Nice goals! Even though it's not a formal goal, I'm thinking we'll be giving a lot more to causes we support this year. We made quite a few donations in November and December, as the election made us realize it's on every person to try and move the world forward (or at least stave off disaster).

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