2010 Plans (& Goals)

January 3, 2010 at 7:59 am (goals)

I’m going to stick to the basics in 2010, mostly things I’m excited to do and change: stick to my debt-paying strategies, get rid of stuff while making a little money on the side, and become more active and healthy, and work on my relationship. I’m not going to artificially list a bunch of goals to achieve, but rather leave room for growth to happen and focus on what will make me happiest.

Pay another 20% towards my debt
I want to pay off another 1/5 of my debt in 2010. This is a specific dollar figure, but based on past history (all of 2009!), I know I can manage it in 2010. I’ve made it a priority as of 14 months ago, and I’ve still stuck to it, so I’ve proved that I mean it! Ideally, I’d love to end the year with 40% of my initial debt paid. Currently I’m at 18%. This would put my debt at $27,100 at the end of the year. That means I’ll have to pay $9,894 this year, or $825 each month on the principal.

Have a big yard sale
Moving is always an opportunity to see how much stuff you have and don’t need. I just moved on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, cold, rainy, winter weather is not the ideal time to have a big yard sale and meet the neighbors. I’m going to shoot for June/July. Anything that doesn’t make it will probably end up on Ebay and Craigslist, now that I finally am able to have internet at home! J will be doing this with me – he has lots of stuff to unload as well!

Grow a HUGE garden this year
Not much I have to do about this. It will happen with or without me, but I know that I will be involved (maybe not so much when it comes time to weed, but I’m good for the rest of it!). We’ve already rototilled a 10×20′ patch in the back yard and still have to plant several large raised beds in the front yard (that’s the only area that will get full sun). The landlord is fine with that, luckily. J has a farm background and has already ordered all the heirlooms seeds necessary to grow everything. Now we just have to get the soil/compost delivered and build the beds. At least we can get all the free wood we want from work (it already built our compost bin). It will be nice to have most of the vegetables we use come from the garden. Plus all the canning we’re going to do, now that the garden is at the same place as where we live! J still wants to keep our community P-Patch for growing potatoes, since they did so well there, and no one stole them, unlike the onions (which I still don’t understand). This should help a lot with grocery spending this summer and fall.

We’ve got seeds for corn (ears and popping varieties), pumpkins (1 for halloween and 2 for eating/canning), melon, peppers (2 varieties of sweets), tomatoes (4-5 varieties for canning, eating, and cherry tomatoes), lettuces (that’s my interest, I’ve got 10 kinds!), onions, leeks, zucchini (I’ve never grown them!), fava beans for the fall, cucumbers, beans (1 or 2 varieties for drying), peas, pole beans, carrots. Potatoes we’ll have to get locally later in the year. Oh, and of course garlic! Still not sure where to plant the herb garden – that’s the most important part! Rosemary, chives, thymes, sage, oregano, & parsley. Luckily herbs grow super well in the Pacific NW.

Be more active
I’m not setting specific goals with this one, but I want to start going outside and doing things like I used to. I think I’m over the worst since my Sept/2008 car accident, so I should go out for regular weekend hikes! I haven’t done that for 2 years now and I’m really noticing the lack. I have started taking walks in the neighborhood, since I have one to use finally! I never wanted to walk around our dark, deserted, sketchy industrial park that had nothing but cheap housing , deserted warehouses and bars nearby, oh and of course the tons of homeless people. That’s partly why I moved! No yard, no outdoors, and really sketchy people walking past our windows looking in when we had them open, and we were always afraid of break-ins. Now it’s quiet, there are hardly ever any cars, everyone walks their dogs, I have great views of Puget Sound and Vashon Island and the Olympic mountains.

Save for medical costs
I am going to add a medical/health fund to save up for in my budget. I have a few things that are going to be coming this year. I don’t buy a lot of health care items, like lotions and medicines and the like, but I need something to pay for vitamins and co-pays. So this year I’m starting one so I don’t have to hide it in something like my food budget.

Switch my bank to a credit union
I have been wanting to “buy local” and stop supporting fat-cat corporations. I want to say goodbye to my Wells Fargo accounts and I’ve decided to go with BECU (Boeing Employees, but it’s open to all WA state residents). There’s a branch right by work and also a mile from home. I was going to do this 2 months ago, but thought I should wait until my SBA loan matured and the redistribution of the balance got resolved. I didn’t want to leave WF and then ask for them to increase my personal line of credit limit (I had expected to have to move a bunch of money out of the SBA when it matures next summer). My thinking was that by having a different bank for personal needs, they would not be as generous with extending my credit limits. However, they have just informed me that they are keeping the loan at 5% and transferring it to a business line of credit, once the SBA matures. That solves my biggest looming financial problem. 

I think I can safely transfer my personal checking account to BECU now. I can’t wait to open multiple savings accounts to keep all my mini-funds organized and separate (and no longer a wad of cash at home, which always felt a little wierd). I expect this will get done by end of February.

Create a Date Fund with J
I told J that he has to put $20 each paycheck in the kitty for going out. We get paid twice monthly, so we’ll each be contributing $40 each month to going out and splurging. Could be a dinner and a movie, or drinks and the symphony. I’m not going to make a separate budget for this, but I’ll take it out of the restaurant portion of my budget, since most of it will be spent on food. J is completely on board on this. I think he wants to have an approved spending outlet that he doesn’t have to feel guilty about. It’ll be a pseudo-date night. This will help keep our relationship fun. I think everyone should do this!

That’s it! Nothing about my net worth (can’t control the stock market, and I want to pay off debt rather than save), nothing about snowflaking, and just the minimum to continue on my path. Here’s to fun times and improved financial stability in 2010!!!!

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