I'm back and really happy to be here! I enjoyed a couple of days off at the end of the year and I'm glad to return. I think 2010 ended on a good note for me and I feel like a kid wanting the training wheels to be taken off of their bike! I'm ready for what 2011 has to offer :)
As an update, I went to traffic court on Monday and although I was able to get my fine for my ticket reduced (I used that word lightly), it was only dropped down to $450. The judge gave me 120 days to pay it off, so that was nice. I'm putting this behind me as a lesson learned and I don't plan to mention it again. On to better things!
Another update, "Santa" brought us a new antenna for our car to replace the one that was stolen when we were on our honeymoon. It's great being able to hear music clearly now!
One final update, I ended up reducing the minutes on our cell phone from 1400 to 700. It looks like I'll save about $20 per month. I know it's not a ton, but it's progress!
Here are my goals for 2011 -
Stick to our budget : We're starting to get the hang of paying in cash and zero based balancing, but there were some slip ups along the way. I really want to continue to make progress this year by better budgeting for expenses I didn't think about last year.
Replenish our emergency savings account : We were lucky enough to fund our emergency savings in 2010 but unfortunately, we depleted it. One of our big goals this year will be to replenish this back up to $1000 minimum.
Pay $20K towards debt : This is really aggressive and probably only possible if my niece doesn't need as much help with college this year, but we're going to try! If we are successful, that will reduce our debt by 1/3... I really hope we are successful.
Continue to find creative ways to lower our budget / increase our income : We've looked at getting a new (read - cheaper!) apartment, closer to our jobs, but haven't been successful... yet! The search for one will continue in the new year. I was able to lower or eliminate a few bills in 2010 and I hope to do more in 2011. I also keep toying with the idea of a side job to increase our income, but haven't quite come up with what will work yet. I hope to make progress on that as well this year.
Read more books : Since we've cut our cable and internet, I definitely have more time on my hands to read. I hope to read at least one book per quarter. Starting with finishing that book from early last year that I started! First, I need to find where I put it, then wipe the dust off...
Scrapbook : I've started a great scrapbook but have yet to finish it. I really enjoy being creative and want to spend time this year doing this.
Speak my mind more : At times I back away from confrontation and let things fester. My goal is to work on speaking my mind more before things become a bigger issue.
Learn to forgive more and really let things go : Overall, I am a pretty easygoing and forgiving person, but I have a couple of things that I have been holding onto. I know that if I can find a way to forgive and let these feelings go that I will be a better person for it.
Start a family : My husband and I have decided to start trying for children :) It's taken me a while to get here mentally (since I do enjoy our carefree lifestyle) but we both agree, that we'd like to have a family. As much as I'd like to be in a better situation financially before having a new addition, I am not getting any younger and more complications can arise with each year that we wait.
Continue to advance in my career : As I'm the breadwinner, I need to continuously think of my career and ways to advance. I hope I can continue to grow here with my current company, but if not, I'm prepared to move along to someplace I can grow with.
Those are my goals (so far) for 2011. If I come up with more, I'll add them to the list. I hope you'll join me on this journey of paying down our debt and enjoying our life along the way. Happy New Year all!