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!