i need tangible goals. i will admit that i enjoyed the annual review process and goal setting when i worked in corporate america. i know, i am a sick person. yet there was something rewarding and fulfilling about knowing what was expected of you for that upcoming year.
the first year after i was laid off was all about survival: could we pull off living happily on one salary plus my part time meager income? once i knew the answer was yes, i knew i needed to challenge myself. in the absence of goals, i tend to lose focus on the bigger picture. to combat this, last year i set a few financial goals, never even sharing them with anyone but my husband. i was thrilled that by december 1, 2010 we had met all goals!
for 2011, i needed to change it up. i stumbled upon a simple organized living article in november which spoke of items a certain frugal family never pays for. i was intrigued. click here to read it. subsequently, i spent time over the holidays reviewing our 2010 budget. specifically, i was curious which categories we spent the most in and where we might have room for additional savings.
let’s be serious. i wasn’t willing to go to any extreme. i refuse to cut out diet coke, a margarita here and there, 1-2 monthly restaurant outings, my iphone, running shoes, gutter cleaning, or the rare trip to the dollar movie theater with the kids. first, i made a decision to not renew any magazines during 2011. this is no biggie since i have ZERO time to read them anyways. plus i know i can find the same, if not better information, online.
next comes the second and much larger goal. during 2011, my husband and i will refrain from purchasing clothing and accessories for ourselves, with the exception of running shoes. although my husband would probably survive given the +15 pairs of running shoes he has around the house currently, i am not willing to injure myself in the process of meeting this goal!
in the 31 days since 2011 started, this goal has already not been easy – for me. my husband will probably not notice that the year has passed without new clothes – men!! me on the other hand, i have been eyeballing a more functional winter jacket and have gotten ticked off at the lack of water protection on my current winter boots. yet, almost daily i remind myself that they are perfectly fine and i do not need anything.
on the plus side, i am looking very closely at everything i wear (and don’t wear) and already have a nice pile of items to donate. i am fairly certain that by the end of this year, i will know exactly what items i truly need and will be much more conscious about clicking “add to cart” and “submit order” in the future. i also hope to sock enough away in our family vacation fund that we can actually go somewhere this year and pay for it all up front – maybe even disney!
i can now say that – whew – i made it through one month. only 11 more to go. wish me luck.