Old and New New Year’s Resolutions


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2014 New Year's Resolutions

Alright, folks. Today’s the day. If you’ve got one final splurge, one final sin, one final felony, the countdown clock is ticking. Joanna just read that sentence over my shoulder and she rolled her eyes, so that must mean it’s really good advice.

As most folks do around this time of year, Joanna and I like to turn our sights toward the new year when we’ll shed our blah-skin and instantly be more frugal, healthy, philanthropic, savvy, and generally more awesome. It’s always fun to think about the new year’s possibilities, and it’s a great chance for Joanna and I to figure out what we hope to accomplish.

Before we jump in to 2014, we reluctantly decided to dust off our 2013 resolutions and see how we did(n’t). Here goes…

2013 Couple Resolutions

  • Take a long vacation together (at least a week). Nope. Didn’t happen. We did get away to Hilton Head for 3 days and Denver for a few hours. But we failed here.
  • Add $25k to savings. BOOM! This felt good to accomplish. And the only reason we know we hit it was because we started tracking our net worth in 2013.
  • Start contributing to a Roth IRA. I rolled over my 401k earlier this year. And at 9:34a tomorrow morning (totally arbitrary, but makes it seem more official), I’m going to max out our contributions for 2013.
  • Have our freaking baby. Easy peasy (says the husband).

2013 Joanna’s Resolutions

  • Run a 10k. She might not have run a 10k, but she’s definitely back on the horse. She’s up to about three miles a run (which translates to like, 200k’s, right?), but still wants to circle a 10k in 2014.
  • Save up enough side/freelance money for this 24-70mm lens. While the freelance money was saved, the lens was not purchased. It’s hard to justify a purchase that’s near the 2G range.
  • Read 5 financial books. Nope. Next.
  • Fit into my old jeans. Passed with flying colors, thanks to a very hungry, 99 percentile nursing baby.

2013 Johnny’s Resolutions

  • Figure out the most cost-effective/practical second mode of transportation. Like it wasn’t a thing. Read about our decision here.
  • Start rock climbing at a gym twice a week (and figure out how to pay for it). In an terrible twist of fate, the local rock gym in NC that I was planning on joining shut down two weeks after I wrote this post in 2013. BUT, there’s another rock gym near our new place in UT where I hope to make this one a reality.
  • Read 5 fictional books. I read the Steve Jobs biography… that counts, right?
  • Make a piece of furniture with my hands. A piece of furniture we did make, but the only role my hands played was typing out a few emails back and forth with a local carpenter to set dimensions and style for our $150 custom-made desk.

So all in all, we did sorta, pretty… OK. Some important hits, some major misses, but given how shellshocked we felt most of our Baby Girl’s first year of life, we’ll consider it a victory. Now on to 2014…

2014 Couple Resolutions

  • Contribute to a 529 plan. We’ve talked about it, we’ve calculated our contributions, and we still haven’t actually gotten the ball rolling on our little gal’s 529 plan… errrrgh. This will change come January.
  • Save 50% of our net income. We were close to this number in 2013, but it will be a great goal to strive for. It’s also a great goal if you want to immediately feel depressed about how different your gross and net incomes are. I’m looking at you, Uncle Sam.
  • Work smarter, not harder on OFB. This isn’t super specific, which is a cardinal sin in goal-setting. BUT, we have a few ideas up our sleeve about making our site easier to navigate, easier to digest, and less time-consuming for us so that we can focus on other OFB-related projects.
  • Take advantage of the outdoors. We are now Utahns, which means our backyard is full of some of the best outdoor destinations that the entire planet Earth has to offer. We’re hoping to spend some time exploring our new playground and soak in all that the Beehive State has to offer.

2014 Joanna’s Resolutions

  • Plan vacation time more purposefully. Last year got away from us, so sometime over the next few weeks, Joanna wants to sit down and actually plan, budget, and schedule our vacations for 2014. Hopefully, this will make R&R a higher priority and harder to brush aside as the year drags on.
  • Put ME first. After a year of adjusting to the selflessness of motherhood, Joanna wants to work on putting herself first more often. Instead of constantly accommodating others, she wants to focus more on what she wants and go for it — no apologies.
  • Go to sleep earlier. Joanna’s been harping on going to sleep earlier since the beginning of our marriage. I’m a bit of a night owl, so I tend to pressure her into staying up late with me. But she’s determined not to give in in 2014 and get to bed before midnight most nights this coming year.
  • Stay within our grocery budget. Having another mouth to feed has thrown our grocery budget for a bit of a loop the last few months. Since Joanna does most of our meal planning and grocery shopping, she’s itching to keep that area of our budget on track this year.

2014 Johnny’s Resolutions

  • Be better prepared for a zombie apocalypse. Or an earthquake. Or power outage. Or whatever terrifying scenario. But as the man of the house, I feel a primal responsibility to gear up and be better prepared for whatever comes in 2014 and beyond. I’ll use the list and comment suggestions from this post as a starting point.
  • Rock climbing. For real. For all the reasons I mentioned last year, they still hold true in 2014.
  • Read 12 books. This is a mostly unoriginal repeat from last year, too, but it needs to be a point of emphasis this year. I need to disconnect more and fight against my FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) syndrome when it comes to news and social media by immersing myself in content that requires a longer attention span. Cue books.
  • Wake up earlier. This coincides with Joanna’s “Go to sleep earlier” goal. I’m not a morning person, but I’d really like to be. I’d love to put two or three hours of freelance work, reading, etc. in the mornings before I roll into work each day. But in order to make this happen, it means earlier bedtimes and better exercise.

And there you have it. We’ll probably regret posting most of these in a week, but what’s a goal if you’re not accountable, right? So what’s your #1 resolution for 2014 — financial or otherwise? Let’s be accountable (and miserable at the end of 2014) together!

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31 Comments

  • Reply sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com December 31, 2013 at 9:12 am

    happy new year!
    my main financial goal is to pay off my credit card this year and other than the mortgage, I will have no outstanding debt.
    ever extra cent is going towards visa this year, even if I am living off of peanut butter and jelly for the duration of the year

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Awesome! Your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were my $1 NYC pizza slices. While we were slaying the Debt Monster, I’d eat that $2 lunch three days/week. My body probably wasn’t very happy, but our debt repayment sure did. :)

  • Reply Rob December 31, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Happy New Year, guys!

    Well, my numero uno 2014 resolution to become a kept man! :-) (in yer dreams, wifey says)

    Ok, then would you believe – try to stay healthy, wealthy, and wise. If I can continue to do that then life becomes “Easy Peasy” (as someone often says here!)

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Hopefully your wife warms up to numero uno. But based on what we know about you, you shouldn’t have any issues with numero dos. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  • Reply Teria December 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

    2014 is almost here and I’m sooooo excited I also took a look at some of the things I planned on getting done this year and some I did and some I didn’t. I need to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier lol.. Having twins can be a bit busy so in 2014 I would like to
    GET MORE ORGANIZED
    TAKE THE BOYS ON A NICE VACATION
    STICK TO MY NEW BUDGET ( Thanks to you guys!)
    READ MY BIBLE BEFORE BED AND WHEN I RISE
    MAKE SURE NO MATTER WHAT MY TITHES GET PAID (THIS IS NUMBER 1)

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Twins!! We have so much respect and admiration for parents of twins. We have no idea how you do it, so kudos. Great resolutions. Love the balance of financial, spiritual, and physical. Best of luck with them in 2014!

  • Reply Zoe @ my unhoardED life December 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

    This is an awesome list! I also love how you were able to revisit it as many people don’t do that. I have different categories of goals:
    1., Eating disorder: go 120 days without a binge
    2. Strength: do calisthenics 6 days each week
    3. Financial: close my credit cards and bank accounts so that I only have one of each kind and pay off half my student loan with side-hustle money
    4. Happiness: watch all of the simpsons episodes. laughing makes me feel good!

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

      Nice, categories make it all seem a little less discombobulated. Joanna and I would benefit by doing that. I might add #4 to my list, too. :) Here’s to an awesome 2014!

  • Reply Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change December 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I’m hoping to get my financial life on track. Since I finished my Bachelors in December (!!), it means I’ve now entered the grace period for my loans. I’m hoping to balance out my budget, and figure out my student loans, in addition to paying for my car loan and normal life expenses (rent, food, etc.).
    Personal goal is to pick a word to apply to my 2014. I like it better than hard core goals….because to me, you can make changes at any time during the year!

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Congrats on graduation! Now life officially begins — or so we thought. You’re absolutely right about making changes anytime of the year. Joanna and I are really into fresh slates, like new years and new months. But we’re going to try to adapt and make changes on the fly this year (which will probably happen in the next two or three weeks when we can’t accomplish any of our goals :)).

  • Reply Brian December 31, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Zombies are really scary and all, but are you preparing for the impending Robopocalypse? I mean they will probably be stronger, faster and smarter than us, which is the exact opposite of zombies! Scary stuff there….

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:36 am

      I see your point, but I’ve always felt like robots could be reasoned with. Like deep down inside their wired frames, there’s a soul and desire to be like humans. Where there’s intelligence, there’s an opportunity to teach. Or so I like think.

  • Reply Anna December 31, 2013 at 10:57 am

    As soon as I read these goals, I looked into rolling my 401K into a Roth IRA. Which was simultaneously exciting and stupefying. WHAT IS DIS MONIES STUFF. I have always kicked myself for not knowing enough about all things finances so, I am going to learn that stuff guys!
    Happy New Year!

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:38 am

      Whoever is in charge of dis monies stuff couldn’t have concocted a more confusing, less human-friendly system. Jerks. Best of luck with your goals and happy 2014!

  • Reply Michelle December 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Great list! We want to start doing more outdoorsy things as well. We made progress in 2013, but I really want to do better in 2014.

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Maybe we’ll see you out in the great outdoors! If you need help spotting us, we’ll be the pasty white, out-of-breath backpackers with a screaming baby in tow. :)

  • Reply Melanie December 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Well, I am officially debt free!! My goal was to be debt free by the end of 2013 and I achieved it! I own my car, my educations are paid for, and have paid back my Mom’s loan-hooray! I also opened a Roth IRA and began contributing. I was introduced to Dave Ramsey (not in person) this year and read several of his books, tuned into podcasts, and took Financial Peace University. It all helped!! :)
    Now, my goal for 2014 is to complete my $12K emergency savings account. I’ve calculated it per month, drawn up my little thermometer goal chart, and am ready to go! But I like the idea of putting it in writing like you guys did, so I’m going to spend some time New Year’s Day writing my goals down, making a solid plan for them, etc.
    Happy New Year!

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Awesome! Congrats, Melanie! All of that stuff is 100% yours now — especially that money that was going to debt repayment. Now on to an even more prosperous, successful 2014! Best of luck, and congrats again.

  • Reply Miranda December 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Happy New Year! Congrats on meeting your savings goal, that’s huge! Also, the Beehive State? Really, you learn something new everyday… For me, I’m continuing to roll over resolutions from 2012 (no soda), 2013 (no sweets), and to add to this year, no fast food. As for financials, saving up the ol’ emergency fund will financial priority number one this year, and on the home front, my husband has 200 hours of saved vacation time that has to be used so we will be taking a trip or just a nice staycation of some sort. Also, I started a blog of my own, so I will be growing that and seeing where that takes me. And for funsies, I’m also going to make it a goal to crash a really fun wedding this year. Wish me luck!

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:45 am

      I like the idea of rollover resolutions. I don’t know how well I’d do with your last three years’ health resolutions, but all power to ya for being stronger than my Diet Coke addiction. And can’t wait to read about your wedding crashing experience on your blog! Haha, I must admit, I’m jealous I didn’t come up with that.

  • Reply Kirby @ TheSimpleMoneyBlog.com December 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I don’t quite know what it is, but there is just something so entertaining about setting goals and seeing other people set goals! This is always such a good time of year. Great job on the progress for your 2013 goals (we’re in the same boat where some goals just slipped by the way-side…ummm…completely), but when you step back and look at what all 2013 had to bring, there was just as much change for you all as there was for us (http://thesimplemoneyblog.com/2013/2013-a-year-in-review), and A LOT has been accomplished!

    Best of luck with your 2014 goals. Hopefully this time next year, you’ll have been able to check “complete” for all those you have listed above, right, right!? Cheers to a New Year!

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Agreed, no better time than the New Year for feeling inspired. And goals accomplished or not, lots and lots of awesome happened in 2013. Happy 2014 to you and Angela!

  • Reply Broke Millennial December 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Cute to do individual and couple resolutions. Take that vacation for sure! Go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier is on my to-do list, but never seems to happen. We’ll see if I can make it priority in 2014.

    Happy New Year!

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:49 am

      Well, if January 1st is any indication on how we’ll we do with the earlier bedtime and waking up… it’s going to be a long year. :) We’ll try harder tonight. And tomorrow.

      Here’s to a more rested you (and us) in 2014! Happy New Year.

  • Reply Becky @ RunFunDone December 31, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I”ve got a few goals in different areas that I posted today on my blog! Last year I only had one goal, and I reached it! I finished my first triathlon! Woot!

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Congrats on the triathlon! I can’t even begin to fathom the amount of work it’d take to get in shape to complete one of those. Super impressive. I really liked your 27% long-term savings goal and look forward to hearing the story behind “27,” because yes, it’s random.

  • Reply Hilary December 31, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Our goal is to pay $13,200 toward our combined debts (car, credit cards, and student loans, which are sadly coming due as my grace period comes to an end). I’m hoping we’ll even beat that goal but wanted to make our resolution realistic and attainable in and of itself, instead of aiming too high and possibly being super disappointed at year’s end. And to keep me motivated and on track, I committed to this goal on Facebook before our friends and family, and promised quarterly updates! I’m hoping that thumbs-ups and cheery comments from our supporters will keep me excited about making progress.

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Awesome goal. And smart thinking on staying grounded and realistic. You’ve got two more supporters/cheerleaders in Joanna and I, so keep us updated, too. We love to hear about fellow get-out-of-debtors’ progress and success.

      Happy 2014!

  • Reply jane savers @ solving the money puzzle January 1, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I have set 2014 HELOC destruction and savings goals for myself but I can’t imagine anyone ever setting a goal to get up earlier.

    As for your reading goals – Levar Burton has written a book called Aftermath that you might enjoy and rock climber Aron Ralston has written Between A Rock And A Hard Place. Aron’s real life climbing adventure was the inspiration behind the climbing movie 127 Hours.

    Happy New Year.

    • Reply Johnny January 2, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Oooo… LeVar Burton is an author?! Sounds like I’ve already got one book to add to my 2014 reads. And the Aron Ralston one sounds really interesting, too. We really enjoyed 127 Hours… well, enjoyed might not be the best word given the subject matter, but it was really compelling.

      Happy New Year, Jane!

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