Monday, December 31, 2012

See ya 2012 - Hello 2013!

I'm not one to be thankful for the last year being over. Really, it's just another day? Typically I even work on New Year's Eve because otherwise I'll just be in bed around the Midnight time. This year I'm working the 10-8 shift so I'll be home to ring in the new year. What will I probably do? Fall asleep on the couch :)

Well maybe we'll set off some fireworks. My mom and step-dad picked some up in Wyoming this summer and since we can't just set off fireworks whenever we want to, we kept them hidden and maybe we'll so them tonight. Depends on how cold it is.

So I usually don't make "New Years Resolutions." Instead I make "goals" to accomplish. And looking back through my files, I didn't do one for 2012. Granted, I was pregnant and that eliminates all "lose weight" goals and we were saving for maternity leave so there goes the "get out of debt goals.

So now I present my 5 simple 2014 goals....

Goals for 2013

1. Organize our house from top to bottom - We've been in this house for 7 years. I have boxes of stuff from moving in that I haven't even touched. I want to purge stuff we don't use and organize the stuff we do use. I want to de-clutter our lives and live more simply. I'm also participating in this...

Ask Anna

Winning prizes would be cool, but the areas she's starting with are some things that I really need to focus on. So I'll be updating with before/after shots on the blog to show you the areas I'm cleaning. This week it's an office area and where I don't have an office, I do have a corner in the basement with my filing cabinet and office supplies. That's getting gutted and redone. Old bills getting shredded, stuff put into better boxes, etc. I also have a box of CDs that I need to go through and purge. Seriously, do people buy CDs anymore? I have a few that I'll keep but most I'm going to sell to Hastings for credit. Then we can get the girls some books (hello next Christmas's "Something to Read" gift!!)

Bur I figure I can go through our entire house in a year. That should be plenty of time, right?

2. Focus on our Debt Snowball and staying on track financially. We will pay off my car this year. That's based on minimum car payments alone! But we have some extra money from this December and we've been sticking to our budget really well the last few months, which usually means we have some extra money at the end of the month. It also means no vacations, no movies, no eating out, etc. But you know what, in a few years we're going to not owe anyone any money. That will feel GREAT!  We're waiting to see what happens with our taxes before using that extra money on the car. We have this bad habit of owing taxes. Last two years we didn't but the 3-4 years before that we did. Ugh. It's frustrating. So we'll see. 

So this year we'll pay off my car and then I'd like to pay off all the hospital bills for Bethany too. Paying minimum on that would take us 2 years. Once the car is paid off, we'll snowball the debt onto the hospital bills which will be an extra payment and a half every month. 

If we can pay that off this year too (which could happen depends on tax returns and our willingness to stick to a budget) then the next debt is our line of credit. This is totally our "stupid tax". We opened a line of credit through Wells Fargo about 4 years ago. We wanted to finish our yard and we needed to install a sprinkler system and seed. If we would have just saved money for a year we probably could have done it with cash the next summer, but we were impatient. So we opened this line of credit because we didn't have enough equity for a Home Equity Loan (and I'm so thankful we didn't do that). The positive thing about that was we moved a balance from a credit card with a 25% interest rate to the line of credit at 15% interest. So in the long run we'll save some money but still....hind sight is 20/20, right? This is the debt with the highest interest rate so some say we should work on paying it off first, but I'd rather snowball the other payments onto it when we get there. And we will.

3. SWAGBUCKS! I proved to my husband this past Christmas that I can do a lot with Swagbucks. And with MyPoints and ExpoTV. I ended up with about $250 in Amazon giftcards because of online marketing/rewards that I do. My goal is to double that this year and completely pay for Christmas next year (we used about $100 in cash for clothes) and be able to get each other gifts too. I'm going to try and max out my rewards each month. Yes it does take time, but I think it's worth it. And I wasn't freaking out in December because we suddenly had to pay for Christmas (after having to pay for 2 birthdays for kid #1 & #2). But really, most of those gift cards were earned from August until the end of the year, so I think that's possible.

Kind of going back to #2, we're also being smart with our budget this year and taking out money each month to pay for our vehicle registrations. We were smart (ahem, no) and purchased cars in November & December so now their plate registration is due then. So by setting aside a little extra money each month for those, we won't be hating life in December.

4. Lose 40 lbs. Bethany is 5 months old. I can't keep using a new baby as an excuse for still having the baby weight. I can use the fact that I'm nursing as an excuse, but not that good of one. I need to make better food choices and we need to stick to our meal planning each month. We usually do pretty good. My problem is the gelato at work (cause it's sooooo good) and my other meals at work (usually fried, greasy foods). And late at night. I need to stop eating after 8:00. No matter what. We'll see how this goes.

5. Ok I know I had a #5 when I started this post earlier, but now it's 10:44 at night and I've had a helluva day and I'm ready for bed. So maybe I'll think of it later.

Other things I'll do this year:
Potty train Mercy
Nurse BB until she's 1 year old. Almost half way there!!
Do a cross-stitch for BB's birth (ya I know it was last year)
NOT have another baby.

Wish me luck!!!

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