It’s a little late in the year and a little early in this blog to recapping my goals but I wanted to let readers know where I’m at on this journey and where I want to take my finances and my life in the future. This way, when I share my revised 2015 goals in January, everything will tie in together.
When I was pregnant with my son I joined a ‘first time parents group’ to connect with other first time moms and learn more about parenting and resources through a mentor. I enjoyed my relationship with my mentor, Sara, who helped answer questions, keep me informed, and share community resources and parenting tips even after I gave birth to my son.
Every six months Sara would give me a goals sheet and I had to make three major goals; One goal I would like to complete for myself, one goal I wanted my son to achieve, and one goal we would achieve together. Every 3-6 months come hell or high water Sara would hand me my goals sheet and follow up with me to discuss my progress. I didn’t appreciate much it then because I had always set goals and deadlines for myself, but actually writing those goals downs and being held accountable for them was something that really became valuable in my life.
Since I plan to use this blog to hold me accountable for my goals, I’ve reinvented Sara’s method to accommodate my financial, life and parenting goals. Here is my progress thus far:
Goals For My Finances
Set up an Emergency Fund and Contribute Regularly – PASS! I’ve had savings accounts before, but this year I really began to commit to saving and building up an emergency fund for when unexpected life events pop up. Each month I’m happy to pay myself first and I love the assurance my EF gives me.
Get A Head Start Paying Up Loans – PASS! I really left myself no choice but to achieve this particular goal. While my grace period on my student loans just ended last month, I made a commitment to avoid deferring the balance and just tackle it head on to get it out of my way. I chose the graduated payment plan and talked to my loan service provider who told me my loans were earning about $1.50 per day. I quickly gathered up the funds to pay a majority of the accumulated interest before my grace period ended to prevent it from capitalizing and being added to my principal balance and I’m paying more than the minimum each month.
Build/Increase Credit Score –FAIL? Despite adding a new account (my car loan) earlier this year and trying to maintain my two credit cards my credit score has been kind of stagnant and hasn’t budged in a while. I’ll get more into pinpointing my issues with increasing my credit score in a future post but I’m thinking my credit card utilization each month along with any small revolving debt might be the culprit. I had a few months out of the year where I utilized slightly over 30% of my credit limit and I’m sure that could’ve hurt my score.
Goals For Myself
Eat Healthier and Stay Active – PASS! I really wanted to get healthier this year and I think so far so good. After reading helpful food blogs and cookbooks I began to try out some new recipes.Turns out I love to cook 🙂 and I prepare meals 90% of the time avoiding processed and restaurant foods. I’ve also found a way to make working out less painful by doing shorter yet effective targeted workouts each week mixed with activities like Zumba and running.
Manage Time Better – PASSISHH – This is often a goal I struggle with since I truly believe there are not enough hours in a day to do everything I want to do. I try to work with what I’ve got by remaining super organized and prioritizing my day starting with the things that absolutely need to get done and ending with low priority tasks that can be done at another time. I realize that I’m human and I’m not going to get everything right like a robot, but I like my method of organizing priorities while I cut out activities that waste time along with being a stickler about being on time and meeting deadlines. I’m also thinking about getting up at 5 a.m. on weekdays to work on this blog, since I am most productive in the morning, but we’ll see how that goes.
Organize my House, Declutter – FAIL – we moved again in September to a cheaper place with more room and while I was able to unpack most of the house in one day, there’s still a few trinkets I need to go through and get rid of. My closet needs to be organized and I’d like to break the house up into sections and sell or get rid of the things we don’t need while eliminating any clutter.
Goals to Achieve with My Son
Help Him Get Ready For Kindergarten – PASSSISHH – I can’t give this a full pass because he just started preschool this past August and we’re still working on some things. But he’s a smart boy and doing great so far so I’m pretty excited about him spending a whole day at school next year and I think he’ll be ready.
Spend More Time Together – PASS! This is another recurring goal since I’m forever trying to optimize my time and make sure I give him the attention he needs. Getting out and doing stuff together always fits into my frugal lifestyle because it’s super easy to find a lot of free or cheap activities.
I enjoy taking him out and teaching him things about life and the way things work so he can become well rounded and knowledgeable about the world around him. Just this year we’ve done a ton of activities together including: crafts at Michaels, movies in the park, storytimes at the library, riding the Metra to the city, petting zoos, and more!
There’s still a little more time to make progress in 2014. How have your goals turned out?