Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015: a year of focus (part three: financial and personal goals)

hip, hip, horray! weve made it to the last part of my 2015 goals series, and after today, we can jump back on the exciting new blog schedule that ive been working on!

today im talking about my personal and financial goals, which ive tacked on to the end here because while in past years financial and personal goals have consumed my whole life. but this year, things are different, and im really excited to start a year with way less pressure in these departments. 

but, of course, this doesnt mean that im not going to make financial and personal goals, because theyre still important. just not, as important as they used to be. and without further ado, here we go: 

financial goals: 

1. set a reasonable monthly budget and stick to it. after spending years in bare-bones survival mode, our recent (relative) financial stability has been a HUGE relief. but its also been a HUGE learning curve as weve had to adjust everything that we do as we figure out the balance of fitting what we need, what we want, and saving money for later (seriously, having leftover money for those last two things is completely foreign to me), within an income thats not quite predictable (construction has its ebb and flow over the course of the year). my goal for this year is to find that middle ground (frugal and intentional, but not austere and depriving), and consistently keep it month-to-month. 

2. keep improving my credit score and get a card with better rewards. over the summer i was finally able to get my first real credit card, and i have been using it very responsibly every month, both to improve my credit score (which was nothing) as well as to earn a tiny bit of cash back on all the money we spend anyway (might as well make the bills we pay anyway work for us, right?). now id really like to get a card with nicer rewards to maybe help us save up for a vacation and my credit score is almost to the point where i would qualify for one of the nicer cards (and not get dinged for having too many accounts in too short of a time), so while i wait til the right time, i also need to research my options. 

3. get at least 1/2 way to our emergency fund goal. james and i have been doing a lot of talking about our long-term financial goals. and while there are a lot of things that we just arent ready/able to do much work on (like buying a house, funding our retirement, possibly dabbling in investing), there is one thing we just need to get cracking on: a decent emergency fund that would actually be able to float us out of an actual emergency. we sat down to decide what that would entail (six months expenses plus all our insurance deductibles), and came up with the very, very scary number of $13,500. obviously, we are not going to be able to get there in just one year. but two? yeah, maybe we can. 

personal goals: 

1. stay in school and continue to get straight a's. maybe this seems really obvious and like it should be something i can just do and not something i have to make into a goal, but let me tell you something: im totally a quitter. it is really, really, really rare for me to finish a thing that i start. and well, this is one thing i really want to finish. to learn the skills i need to build my business, to be actually employable should the time come for me to need a real job, to prove to myself that i can finish big things. also, because i was such a crappy student the first time around, it would really be awesome to graduate with honors this time (though, given how few classes i have left, i dont know if that will be possible, even if i do get straight a's in my next eight classes). 

2. maintain a part-time income with jamberry. this is another area where im easily discouraged and prone to want to give up. lots of women are out there making jamberry a full time career, pulling six figures, and going on all-expense-paid incentive trips in cancun. but honestly, my goal isnt to advance in the company, turn this into my career and make the big bucks. i just need a part time job so that we can have some fun money/a little help in the slow months until i graduate/am actually bringing in money with PL. and with jamberry (and the super amazing team of thirteen ladies working with me), this is totally possible. but only if i keep with it. 

3. experiment in the kitchen more and learn some new recipes. im not a naturally adventurous person, and in general prefer to stick to what i know works. especially when it comes to cooking (much to the dismay of my husband). when it comes to the dinners we eat at home, we tend to stick on a pretty solid rotation of the same eight or nine favorites. and its kind of getting old. so this year is going to involve a lot more cook books, a lot more pinterest, and a lot more sucking it up and taking the risk with a new recipe. 

so with that, does anyone have any recommendations for rewards cards or food blogs? 

p.s. stay tuned for next time when i introduce 2015's first regular feature!

p.p.s. dont forget that ALL sponsorships are 50% off with the code JAN15! check my sponsor page for details!


  1. When it comes to budgeting, I SUCK! I've tried multiple times and trying again this year, hopefully it works this time.


  2. i totally understand! when we first got married, we tried MULTIPLE budget "formats" and none of them worked for us. we kind of gave up for a while before making our own method, but that needs a lot of adjusting now. good luck!

  3. I love the idea of your emergency fund and how you decided it. Sounds smart! I'm great at setting a budget but as it turns out, absolute crap at sticking to it. I like sales, okay?! But good for you anyways :)