The final day of 2014 is upon us. We have mere hours before we become our perfect 2015 selves. No more sleeping late, eating that tenth cookie, or waiting until 4:00 p.m. to shower on the weekends. As I type this, I’m stuffing my face with Christmas toffee, but tomorrow my 2015 self will crave only carrots and baby spinach. Okay, so maybe that will never happen, but Johnny and I are still excited for a new year to try to be just a little bit better.
Before the new year begins, we like to look back at our resolutions from the past year to see how resolute we really were (or weren’t). Let’s see how we did:
2014 Couple Resolutions
- Contribute to a 529 plan. We were well into 2014 before we hit this resolution, but I’m happy to say we’ve crossed it off the list. Now just to figure it all out again for baby #2…
- Save 50% of our net income. 2014 may have been one of our craziest years yet, but somehow we still managed to keep our budget in check and meet this goal. Be glad you didn’t see Johnny and me awkwardly high fiving each other earlier.
- Work smarter, not harder on OFB. Hmm… I’d give us a bright red FAIL on this one in 2014. But with our site redesign and some other planning and organization we’ve been working on, I think we’ll (hopefully) have this nailed down in 2015.
- Take advantage of the outdoors. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! From Zion to Arches to everywhere in between, we did more hiking last year than in all our other years of marriage combined.
2014 Joanna’s Resolutions
- Plan vacation time more purposefully. We did better with mini vacations this year, but we still never dropped everything for a week in the sand and sun — which was our goal. With baby #2 on the way, if we even get out of the house in 2015, I’ll be feeling real good.
- Put ME first. The first half of this year was a pretty selfish one for me. I quit my job, got into great post-baby shape finally, and got my groove back. Once August hit, I started growing another human, entered the terrible twos a few months early with Sally, and moved to a new city. But that’s what life is all about, so we’ll still call it a win.
- Go to sleep earlier. Yeah, this is never going to happen.
- Stay within our grocery budget. I worked on our grocery budget every month, but admittedly I still went over several months this year. That said, it wasn’t over by very much, and I’m especially determined to do better in 2015 now that we’re in a city where $5.00 milk is the norm.
2014 Johnny’s Resolutions
- Be better prepared for a zombie apocalypse. Or an earthquake. Or power outage. Or whatever terrifying scenario. Johnny passed this with flying colors, thanks to our preparedness month back in October. Zombies, we’re coming for YOU.
- Rock climbing. For real. Another pass. What an overachiever. We took a rock climbing class together in March, and Johnny’s been climbing regularly ever since.
- Read 12 books. Per my recommendation, Johnny finally read Ready Player One and Mockingjay, thanks to all his long flights to NYC earlier this year. And he read a few business-y books as well, but his quota was closer to 6 than 12. Maybe he’ll hit this goal in 2015 with his 30-minute subway commute each morning.
- Wake up earlier. Until we figure out the going-to-sleep-earlier thing, this one is never gonna happen. Then again, newborns have a way of changing things, like it or not :).
I managed to be selfish in 2014 just as I’d planned, Johnny is now ready to fight zombies, and we grew our nest egg — all while going to bed really late. Not awful, but we could use some improvement, which leads us to 2015…
2015 Couple Resolutions
- Save 50% of our net income. We’re going for round two on this baby, which will prove to be more of a challenge now that we’re living in NYC. Someday when we buy a house, we’d love to be able to put down a hefty downpayment without depleting our savings completely. We also plan to max out our Roth IRAs again this year, so optimizing our savings would help with this, too.
- Get out of NYC every other month. If we’re going to stay sane with two children in Manhattan, this is a must. Since we probably won’t be taking any huge vacations this year, we’re hoping to take several road trips to wide open spaces.
- Track our budget near-perfectly. Our tracking is going to have to be consistent each and every month this year. Now that we’re in NYC where everything is marked up, we can’t just go on our gut instincts with our regular spending. Even chain restaurants we frequent like Five Guys and Chipotle are significantly more expensive. We’ll have to track our budget to a T if we’re going to hit our savings goals.
- Potty train Sally before the baby comes. This may be a total bust, but we’re going to try it. And if we fail, at the very least we plan to teach her to change all the new baby’s diapers. Only kidding… kind of.
2015 Joanna’s Resolutions
- Lose the baby weight. Yep, I’m already thinking about getting back in shape 14 weeks out from delivery. It took a while after Sally, but I did it, and I’m hoping to do it again with baby #2. And what better incentive to take advantage of Central Park and Riverside Park and start running again, just like old times?
- Quit playing catch up. I feel like I spent all of 2014 with a to-do list I could never quite keep up with. I was always behind on something (and still am). I’m hoping with some better time management and organization, I can finally catch up in 2015.
- Contribute to our side income more consistently. Since I quit my job last May, my monetary contributions to the family income have been sporadic. We have a plan to remedy this in 2015 (namely getting a few hours/week of part-time help with Sally), but we’ll see if I actually have the nerve to follow through with it.
- Be content with myself. One aspect of living in NYC that I struggled with when we lived here last time was the pressure to be more and better. In a city of overachievers, it can be a good feeling to be motivated to be better, but it can also be overwhelming. I’m hoping this time around to avoid comparing myself to my fellow New Yorkers.
2015 Johnny’s Resolutions (in his own words)
- Work out every day. I know, I know, super cliche. But this year it’s going to be different. Know why? The Scientific 7-Minute Workout. I don’t do conventional “working out” for two reasons: it’s boring (hence why I rock climb) and it takes a long time. Now with this handy app, a wall, a chair, and two minutes shy of a Lynyrd Skynyrd “Freebird” sesh, I’m getting fit. Because science.
- Take advantage of NYC. I forgot how great this city is. It’s the energy. You’re surrounded by so many people, many of whom are far more talented and successful than you’ll ever be. I want to network and learn from those people. I want to see and experience more of what people from around the globe travel to this city to do. I want to live each day consciously out here. I also never want to use the phrase “live consciously” ever again.
- Listen to podcasts on commute. I’ve got a 34-minute commute to work every morning and night. After recently getting a belated introduction to how cool podcasts are (yes, it was Serial), I’m determined to maximize my commute time listening to business, blogging, and financial podcasts to soak up more knowledge instead of Taylor Swift lyrics…which presumes I even listen to her. Which I don’t. Sometimes.
- Increase side income every month. I’m always looking for the next hustle or idea, but it’s rarely tied to a specific or measurable purpose. No longer. The benchmark is now going to be to make a little more than the month prior. At some point (like maybe when a second little human enters our lives?), I’ll run out of extra time to make that extra dough which will mean working smarter, not harder. Here’s a chance at a 2014 goal redemption.
So there are our resolutions, listed publicly for better or for worse. So what’s your #1 resolution for 2015 — financial or otherwise? Let’s be accountable (and miserable at the end of 2015) together!