Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My New Year's Resolutions and My New Monthly Budget

I have been thinking about New Year's Resolutions lately.  Actually I was wondering if I should make any at all because I am notoriously bad at keeping them but there is something about a new, bright and shiny year that makes one want to throw themselves full force into self improvement.  So in the interest of improving myself (for however short a span it lasts), here's my new year's resolutions and my new monthly budget:
  1. Earn a black belt in karate.  I have dabbled in karate off and on over the years but I really want to focus on earning a black belt.  There is a karate school that I will check out tomorrow and while the price is around $100 per month, I noticed that their website is really old looking so maybe I can trade a few months of lessons for an updated website.
  2. Finish writing a book and get it published.  This has been on my list for ages but this is the year that I actually have time to focus on and complete this goal so I am going to give it a shot (and should it be successful, will add some funds to my meager savings).
  3. Add $100 to my emergency fund each month.  My emergency fund is currently on life support so any amount I can add each month would be helpful; hopefully with some freelance writing gigs I can deposit at least $100 a month.
  4. Go to Asia in the fall.  Last fall's trip to Japan and the Philippines was amazing and I realized that everyone we know there is getting older so it seems like it is better to go there as often as possible now while the people we know are still around.  This is going to take some major savings/work effort because we spent a boatload of money on our last trip!
  5. Work on our family genealogy, going directly back as far as possible.  Genealogy has only recently peaked my interest but it is so fascinating that I want to make time to do a complete and thorough research job so this will definitely be something I focus on during the upcoming year.
  6. Go to Europe next fall.  For some reason we always go to Asia but never to Europe.  The bit of genealogy research I have done has highlighted a couple of places in the UK where there is a heavy concentration of my ancestors so going there would have two benefits, the first, being to add some research to my family tree, and the second, to be able to enjoy traveling there while the hubby is still able to easily get around.
  7. Be fluent in Japanese.  Although I barely got to practice what Japanese I learned over last summer when I went to Japan, I still have two college textbooks on basic Japanese that I want to complete in full--mostly because I love learning new languages.
  8. Be fluent in Spanish.  Again, I would like to brush up on my Spanish language skills although I don't speak it here nearly as much as I used to when I was working in my non profit.  I would like to complete the entire "Practice Makes Perfect" Spanish series.
  9. Do some sort of physical challenge.  I haven't quite decided what that will be but the options I have been considering include biking from Canada to Mexico, doing the Warrior Challenge or Tough Mudder, or something to that affect.  I am stating the goal this way because I usually just put "be healthy and fit" on my list and that is too generic a thing to accomplish so with a specific physical fitness goal, I am hoping that it will make me concentrate on physical fitness enough to actually reach this goal.
  10. Take the family on a reunion cruise.  We used to have family reunions somewhere in the US at some family member's house but with an extended family of more than 100 people and growing, the logistics of this were just too overwhelming.  About five years ago we decided to hold the family reunion on a cruise ship and it was wonderful.  There were people to cook and clean for us, everyone was free to go do what they wanted yet we all met up for dinner each night, and most importantly, the family still talks about the cruise to this day so the memories made were pretty impressive.  The way we do this is that each "parent" in the family (meaning hubby and his brother and sisters) usually pays for all of their kids and grand kids to go on the trip because the kids and grand kids are at a point in their lives where they don't have the money to spare to pull this off.  This means that for just the hubby and I, we will need to pay for 17(!) people to go.  Without me working this is going to be a super difficult thing to do because we are talking about nearly $10,000(!).  So while this is on the list, it is probably the lowest priority just because it seems so out of reach yet I will still keep it on the list because for some odd reason, nearly everything I put on my "wish list" seem to work out some how.
So with these goals in mind, my monthly budget starting January 1st is...
  • Tithe $50 (I tithe every month to Unity)
  • Cell phones $80 ($50 for mine and $30 for hubby's)
  • Savings $100 (this will go into my emergency fund)
  • Grandson's school $40 (I have paid for his school since kindergarten and want to do this through college)
  • Electric bill $50+/- (hubby pays all of the bills but I would like to be able to help him out by paying at least one of our bills so that would be the electric bill.  In the winter the bill is low but I am a little afraid to see what the summer bills will be when we have the AC going 24/7)
  • Karate $100 (I hope to offset this by bartering if possible)
With this budget in mind, I need to some how earn around $500 a month.  It seems like such a piddly amount but as my last month's money challenge showed me, even earning this little bit takes a lot of effort!


  1. I hope you reach all of your goals!

  2. These are huge goals! I would be happy to do just ONE of them in a year! Japan, Europe, Asia and a cruise! You really think big. And why not? :)

  3. Wow!! Those are amazing goals! I'm excited to see what you accomplish! :) Good luck!!

  4. Thanks for the support! I will do what I can to reach these goals and rely on serendipity for the rest!!