Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2009 goals, a review

Here are some goals I had written down for 2009, and an update on each...
  • Earn $40k
I missed this goal, but by less than I thought I would. I did raise my earnings significantly overall, but didn't really make money from side projects this year. That's ok, and I'll keep thinking about other things to do while I continue to move up career-wise. As a family unit, we ended up making a lot more this year than usual.
  • Save $5k
I missed this goal by $75, so I'm still really happy with where we ended up financially this year. By October, we were actively saving $500 a month sustainably. I'm really proud of that, and will set some goals for 2010 that challenge us a little more.
  • Pay off credit cards ~$4k
This was done very early on. Now all credit cards are paid in full automatically every month. We made a lot of headway on debt in 2009: paid off a car loan, a personal loan, a bike loan, sold some vehicles, bought a nice truck, and ended the year with 3 cars and a grand total of 3 loans: mortgage, truck, and student loan. This was a lot of work and big leap.
  • create a long-term, sustainable fitness habit
There was some success here. I took several aerobics classes, which were really motivating, and even some dance class! The moral of the story is that paying for classes is well worth it for me. This keeps me interested and motivated, and I push myself much harder. I will confess that the summer months were a bit of a slump in this category, but I improved from last year.
  • make 2 creative projects a month
I probably met this goal by averaging a few months of creativity throughout the year. I started with a collection of crochet bead necklaces, and opened an etsy shop to sell them. I didn't really sell much, and have since let my listings expire, but it was fun. A lot of the jewelry went to friends and family for free. I also did some sewing and tailoring this year, including a really cute halter top. I have some curtain projects lined up for this spring, and some gift projects in mind for 2010.
  • organize the house: our bedroom, hang curtains all over
I didn't manage to hang any curtains, but we really did make a good bit of headway here. We managed to give away quite a bit of stuff and made a lot of progress on the bedroom. The kitchen was our big win: my amazing hubby installed a dishwasher, and then picked out and installed some cabinets to make up for the cabinet that was removed. In the end we have more space and a dishwasher! Also we received a new tupperware set for Christmas, which made me sort through and end up giving away all the tupperware we had before, and there was a lot of it.
  • write an hour a week
This was mostly a bust, but I did spend more time writing than the past several years. Starting the blog helped, and it also motivated me to write in other ways, even if I haven't shared those tidbits with anyone ;).

A few other things I started this year...

A net worth document, that tracks our net worth month-to-month and calculates the percentage change. I really like this, and would recommend it to anyone. I can create a sample of the spreadsheet I use or find the instructions and link them.

A nearly automated bill-paying system, that really only needs me to check in once a week or so. Sometimes I don't even look that frequently. Setting the credit cards on auto-pay was really the last part of this puzzle, so that I actually only have one single bill that's entered manually into billpay every month.

We've really started a habit of giving things away this year that I hope will continue. I'm always thinking of more things to sort through and give away, which is the best defense against my pack-rat, hoarder genes. I have high hopes this year of really paring down the amount of stuff we have around the house.

What a great year!

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