For 2011 I did a year in review as well as a spending summary in order to better determine what my 2012 goals should be. That uh, did not end up well. The goals I set were achievable in a perfect world, but 2012 was not the year I thought it would be. So this year, instead of making several very specific and numerical goals, I just made a huge list of everything that I would want to accomplish and then weeded out what was actually achievable this year based on what I know my spending habits to be and my anticipated income. I found that they really fit into three categories. I’ll be updating these as I achieve them on my Goals page, and doing a brief “This is where I stand!” at the end of each month.
I would love to be debt-free this year (wouldn’t we all?), but I know that’s in no way any kind of realistic unless a long lost relative leaves me some money or I win the lottery (which would be really amazing since I don’t play). From my 2012 spending analysis, I was able to really clearly see where I need to get more financially fit. Because I need to save up as much as I can to pay for tuition this year (since I a-don’t want to take out more loans and b-am ineligible to take out more government loans), I can’t do a lot in the way of debt repayment…but this year I do have pretty set monthly billing system and a steady income, which has not been true for any other year. I also saw my credit score…which is “average” (mid-600’s) but I don’t plan to leave it there. So what will I ultimately accomplish this year?
- Raise my credit score
- Raise my Networth by $2062.26 (minimum)
- Save $2580 for tuition
- Keep a standardized budget for each month and split excess funds between my Discover Card and my emergency fund
- Start an IRA fund
- Keep a mock portfolio with Morningstar
- Find an apartment with lower rent for 2012-2013
- Create a loan repayment plan
I could just sit here and say “Man I’m tired of feeling fat! I want to be skinny!” but, it’s much more than weight. Besides, weight doesn’t necessarily determine how fit you are (though I do have a numerical weight goal). I would like to be able to go hiking, buy boots that aren’t a size too big to fit my calves, and a slew of other things. I’ve been using My Fitness Pal so far this year to log everything I eat and all of my workouts, and of the 61 lbs I’d like to lose, I’m already down 10!
- Lose 61 lbs
- Do yoga regularly
- Run 5 miles straight
- Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity again
- Complete a 5k, 10k, & half-marathon
This not only includes managing my own mental health better, but also my education. I could say “I should have graduated in December” but really…I should have graduated years ago. BUT DARNIT – it’s happening this year! I have three classes left for my BS in mathematics (with a minor in psychology), and although I’m not quite sure what I want to do with it, I’m going to figure something out by then.
- Graduate with my BS with no additional loan debt
- Become CPR/First-Aid certified
- Read 100 books
- Relearn American Sign Language
- Learn to read sheet music
I do have a lot I wish to accomplish this year, but I don’t want to do a 2013 recap and be regretful of poor spending and realize that I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to again for lack of willpower and want. I guess a big difference this year is that I feel like a completely different person. It’s like I spent all of 2012 rediscovering who I was and creating my own identity independent of other people. Now that I know who I am and have and idea of where I want to go with my life and have people I want to keep in my life, I need to work on improving my life. A month ago I was hit with the sudden realization that I’m 24 with a full-time job and bills and have a future ahead of me outside of perpetual undergradhood, which is all I saw for myself this time last year.
And I guess all of that came to a head when my mom warned me of “how much my car insurance was and when it’s due.” Which, as of my phone contract ending (and me going with pay-as-you-go), means I am officially independent of my parents. So here’s to getting my life together!