5 For Friday: New Year’s Resolution Check-in ;)

Haha… that’s right! Pop quiz, baby! Time to check in on how awesome or not you’re doing w/ your resolutions this year ;)  You didn’t think you could get away with hiding them, right?  With J. Money overwatching?  Shoooooot… I wanna hear all about ’em!

  1. What were your resolutions for this year?
  2. Are any of them new? Or are you still workin’ on the same ones?
  3. Have you knocked off any of them?
  4. How *hard* are you actually trying? ;)
  5. If you had to choose a brand new goal, right now, what would it be?
  6. *Bonus*  START THIS GOAL!!!  Not a question, just a demand ;)

Oh boy… time to go find my original post! Haha… I honestly don’t think of my answers before writing these ;) I just write whatever comes to my head and then I answer ’em like you… and some are hard!

  1. My resolutions: Looks like I just had one: “Work for myself for 12 months straight.” Here’s what I initially wrote: “That’s it – plain and simple. I don’t want to save a bazillion dollars this year, I don’t want to run for office or meet a celebrity, and I certainly don’t care about my hand writing any more (I’ve had that on my list for a solid 25 years already – I don’t think it’s going to happen! haha…).”
  2. New resolutions?  Yup! Very new.  And written right after I was laid off – when I was full of emotion and ambitious! Well, I still am ;)
  3. Completed?  Not yet, but we’re  still on track!  Half way to go, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. First time ever for me.
  4. How hard am I trying?  VERY HARD.  Like, 12-15 hours a day hard ;)  But of course I have my livelihood on the line, so it’s a bit different than all previous 30 resolutions I’ve had over the years…
  5. Brand new goal:  Hmmm… damn, this is hard.  Who wrote these questions? :) I guess if I had to choose a new goal right here and now, I would choose to pay off my 2nd mortgage more aggressively.  Maybe find a way to knock out an addition $500 each month? That dreaded $60k+ that just lingers there and laughs at me every time I log onto my account, it drives me crazy.  I’ve been half-assing it for years now, and I’m beginning to think it’s time to own up.   Maybe typing this out loud will get me to finally do it?
  6. *BONUS*  Haha… but I don’t wanna do it!!! I like my money! :)

Your turn! Time to confess whether you’ve been a good little boy or girl or not ;)  Extra points for any of the financial ones you’ve hit!

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  1. No Debt MBA July 8, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    1. / 2. I didn’t make new year’s resolutions but my big existing goal is to graduate from my top MBA program with no debt. The goal is three or four months old now.
    3. I’m making better progress than I thought! I’m going to be able to pay for my first year completely in CASH! and I’m only $15k short right now for the second year.
    4. Pretty hard. I don’t think I could try harder and have it be sustainable over the whole two year period. I can improve some though, hopefully it will get easier ;)
    5. Start running again
    6. Can you put an extra two hours in the day? I don’t wanna get up at 4:30am to do it

  2. Beckey & Jeff July 8, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    1, 2, 3, 4) I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, ever.
    5) Pay off both cars by the end of the year, we are already working towards this!
    6) Done in my mind!

  3. Philip July 8, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    What were your resolutions for this year?
    Are any of them new? Or are you still workin’ on the same ones?
    Have you knocked off any of them?
    How *hard* are you actually trying? ;)
    If you had to choose a brand new goal, right now, what would it be?
    *Bonus* START THIS GOAL!!! Not a question, just a demand ;)
    My new year resolution was to get out of current job.
    Yes, it is a new one.
    Starting a new position (though with same company) in one month, so met the goal! yay.
    Well… It kinda just fell in my lab, but it met the goal so I think it is good.
    New goal… start real savings outside of 401k etc. Maybe start paying off some student loans or mortgage or something.

    Have saved some and ready to pay off something, just having a hard time deciding… student loan is highest interest but home is underwater according to zillow now :(

  4. Melissa July 8, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    1. I made a new year’s resolution to read 52 books this year.
    2. I make this resolution EVERY year
    3. I have read exactly four books this year. EPIC MELISSA FAIL!
    4. Not very hard, I guess. There’s a lot of time I spend watching the Office that I really could spend reading. But I do SO much reading for work (newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc.) that I don’t have that same craving for fiction that I did when I was younger. It’s kind of a bummer.
    5. To read maybe…10 books this year?
    *BONUS* OK! I’ll let you know.

    What were your resolutions for this year?

  5. J. Money July 8, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    @No Debt MBA – Haha, if I could buy extra time I would be one WEALTHYYYYYYY man! The one thing in life everyone wants more of ;) Congrats on that 1st year paying w/ cash! That’s incredible!!
    @Beckey & Jeff – Haha, really? You and No Debt MBA above :) I like the tradition of it all, even if I suck some years.
    @Philip – Yeah, that’s a hard one. I usually go “all in” until I clear away the whole section of debt, but when we’re talking about homes and student loans they’re just too big to go 100% gungho like that. I always end up paying a little on each instead of all on one, but that’s not as exciting ;) The good thing is that you now have extra money to apply though, that’s great! And congrats on getting your new job!!
    @Melissa – WOW! 52 books? If I can get through 2 books I’d be impressed with myself ;) haha… though I read a lot online like you do too. And I’m 100% focused on my little empire here so no time for too many extras… that was my NY’s resolution – to work 100% for myself w/out getting, or applying, to another job :) So far so good!

  6. Walnut July 8, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    J – you should start a 2nd mortgage payoff sinking fund. This way, you’ll have the money if you need it for something else (who knows when an opportunity will present itself?), but should you one day feel like knocking a ton of cash off the 2nd mortgage, the money will be ready and waiting.

  7. Jennifer Lissette July 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    1) I had two new years resolutions, one personal & one financial. Financial was to pay off ten percent of my mortgage principal this year. The financial was to lose my temper no more than once per month with my husband and older son.

    2) Both of these are new and both are areas of my life that I’ve been wanting to tackle for years. I was definitely tired of feeling like a hot-headed debt slave.

    3) I’ve paid off 9.2% of my mortgage principal so far in 2011. I’m so close! As for the temper… it’s a mixed bag. I’ve kept my resolution in regards to my husband. But when I was in my third trimester and my two year old was bouncing off the walls, I probably sent him to time out more often when I should’ve taken him to the park. Now that the new baby is here and I can move again, I’ve gotten lots of compliments on my patience with my two year old. So I guess I’m improving. :)

    4) Definitely trying hard when it comes to my temper… I’m Mexican and Italian and my maiden name literally MEANS hard-headed in Italian. I’m fighting my nature here, people! I’m trying hard with the mortgage, too, but I think saving comes a bit more naturally to me than patience.

    5) I actually started a new goal one week ago… To get down to my pre-baby weight. Three pounds down, eighteen to go! I guess this could be seen as a personal goal with financial repercussions, after all, healthy bodies cost less money!

  8. Kathy July 8, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    What were your resolutions for this year? I don’t make NY resolutions….stopped doing that many moons ago…cuz I never stuck with them. I tend to make lifestyle changes throughout the year. The last one I made was to quit buying stuff I ‘wanted”, just because I wanted it. Now I factor in ‘need’. Also, I no longer have credit cards and I pay cash for everything….so, I now have to ‘save up’ because I don’t use my 911 fund unless it’s an actual 911.

    Are any of them new? Or are you still workin’ on the same ones? My newest is to become debt free & I’m workin’ on it!

    Have you knocked off any of them? I’m at my LAST payment for a credit card…just trying to get the final payoff.

    How *hard* are you actually trying? ;) HARD!

    If you had to choose a brand new goal, right now, what would it be? saving up to buy a new, used car

    *Bonus* START THIS GOAL!!! Not a question, just a demand ;) now that I’m paying my last payment for my c.c., it will be started!

  9. Ashley @ Money Talks July 8, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    1.What were your resolutions for this year? To pay off all my non mortgage debt; paint the living room; and read 25 books.
    2.Are any of them new? Or are you still workin’ on the same ones? same ones since the start of the year.
    3.Have you knocked off any of them? I’ve painted the living room, and I’m on track for the others.
    4.How *hard* are you actually trying? I’m trying.
    5.If you had to choose a brand new goal, right now, what would it be? hmm… hard one. I also want to pay $10.000 off the mortgage on the rental property. It’s not a “new” goal but it’s an unofficial goal.

  10. LB July 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    1) Pay off all debt, go back to school, save money
    2) Pay for surgery without using credit
    3) I don’t have them finished yet, but I have a great start. Signed up for school, and paid off my home, but still need to work on my school schedule with work and pay off the rest of my debt.
    4)Some days I am trying more than others. Went on vacation for the 4th and went way over my budget. Other than that trying to save every dime.
    5) New goal- Get through this year without pulling my hair out.
    Bonus-Yoga and QiGong are amazing help, but I refuse to do either at work. The guys I work with would get a kick out of it, but not sure I know them enough to do crazy stretching things.

  11. Jenna July 8, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    1. I only had one official resolution, which was to organize my house (one room/month). There were also a couple things I wanted to do financially, which was pay off my higher interest student loan, and after that to bump up my retirement savings by 1%.
    2. Nope, same ones.
    3. Almost…the loan will be paid off in August!
    4. I made great progress on the organizing the first four months, and then got a little behind, but I’m getting back at it! The loan is obviously almost done (yay!), and the retirement savings bump can’t be done until the loan is paid off. I guess I’d say I’m doing very well!
    5. To figure out what the heck I need to be saving for retirement!
    *Bonus* That’s one of those things that I seem to never have time for. I guess I need to plan a weekend afternoon to just sit down and play around with calculators and figure it out. That would be a good thing to do around the time when I bump up my savings.

  12. Jen @ Master the Art of Saving July 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    My Resolution: Since I’m more of a goal-orientated chick, my resolution was to do at least 1 thing each day, in every category (financial, health, fitness, reading etc.) to help me get closer to achieving my goals.

    New or same ones: This is a newbie—after never keeping up w/ resolutions I thought I’d make it more simple.

    Knocked off: Nope, it’s an everyday kinda thing—but I’m doing better with consistency.

    Trying: Never hard enough! I just get busy and distracted a lot, can’t keep focusing on one thing for too long. :-(

    Brand new goal: I’m kinda stretched as it is, so how about I just work a bit harder at my other goals.

  13. AH July 8, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    1. a) Read 25 books and a minimum of 9125 pages (25/day)
    b) max out my 401k
    c) eat more vegetables! (specifically, serve two types of vegetables at dinner every night)
    2. None new.
    3. Making appropriate progress; I’ve read 16 books and ~5500 pages (mix of books, from Anna Karenina to Twilight and Tom Sawyer to keep it fun!); automatic 401k contribution is evenly spread throughout the year; sometimes this happens by happy accident (e.g. green salad w/beets), but usually only one.
    4. Trying pretty hard on a/b; sort of forgot about c, will need to step it up!
    5. Finish my half of the thank-you notes from my May wedding (my husband already did his)–yikes, I’m behind! Maybe no more reading until they’re done? Also, be more appreciative of my husband. We both work hard, and it’s easy to forget to say “thanks” for all the effort he puts in.

    @Melissa–after several years of wanting to “read more” and tackle a few bigger books, last year in March I finally listed 12 books I wanted to read, and then broke the books down by chapter/page goals aligned with dates (assuming anywhere between 30-60 minutes of reading time/day). It helped me to see progress along the way–and felt good if I got ahead. If I fell way behind, I just rewrote the mini-goals so that I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed and it would still feel fun. Not sure if any of that would help you?

  14. Melissa July 8, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    AH, that’s a great idea! I think I will try that. X pages a day seems way more doable than as many goods in a year. I think I’ll try it. Thanks!

  15. Emily July 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    I don’t really do NY resolutions, but I am doing okay with my goals. Building an online biz is SLOW when you have severe dry eye syndrome.

  16. The Tin Man July 8, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    1. Get my car title by my birthday.
    2. New.
    3. Car paid off June 30. Birthday is July 24. Title expected in 1-2 weeks. YES!!!!
    4. I didn’t go super out of my way. I could have done better to lower expenses, though the girlfriend makes that tricky!. I had to drain my savings to hit the goal instead of cash-flowing it. Still counts.
    5. I guess my new goal is to replenish my savings. And move out of my current apartment at the end of August with fewer things than I moved in with. And that “exercise consistently” thing.
    6. Yes sir!

  17. rainbowfish July 9, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    1. I don’t make resolutions anymore, I pick a word that encompasses several goals I want to work toward. This year’s word: Healthy
    2. I will work on this all year, and beyond. Healthy Mind: not worrying about things I can’t change, being in control of my life (money, work, etc…), Healthy Body: lose weight, get in exercise, take care of myself, Healthy Spirit: travel more, relax more, enjoy life, find peace
    3. I have made lots of progress in all areas, lost weight, gone on vacation, saved some money, spent time for myself, etc…
    4. I think about the goals several times a week. I have reminders in my house to help me be aware of my goals.
    5. Not adding a goal as the above covers so much.

  18. J. Money July 9, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    @Walnut – Yeah, every now and then I think about just knocking off a ton of it in one big shot, but I still feel more comfortable w/ it all in savings/money markets :) I could start diverting a little into it’s own “mortgage” fund though…
    @Jennifer Lissette – Haha, well that’s good! In both areas of your life ;) SO GOOD you are already at 9%, you’ll def. go over 10 at this rate!
    @Kathy – Awesome! Having no c/c debt will be HUGE. Goood job killing that, now time to use that money toward your newest goals :)
    @Ashley @ Money Talks – I hate mortgages, so anyone who’s working on knocking it down has my utmost respect! Haha… it’s the only area I still struggle with, but I’m getting there ;) Congrats on sticking with your goals so far!
    @LB – I LOVE the school one! Really really smart, good job.
    @Jenna – Do you have 12 rooms?? Haha… I like that one though, anything having to do w/ minimalism is a friend of mine ;) And I think cleaning def. goes in there.
    @Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – Wow, yeah that’s a lot of things to check off every day. Pretty impressive if you’re sticking to it! Have you ever read The Power of Less by Leo Babauta? If not, I think you’ll like it. He says to break it down into small steps too, only concentrate on one for a while until you master it, then add on another, and another, etc. It’s worth the read :)
    @AH – Your husband is beating you??? Hah! That is something! I am always sooooo slow at thank you’s, esp my wedding ones ;) AWESOME about the books! I admire big readers — I’ve only done well with magazines lately. (though, they are financial ones so at least I’m learning a lot :))
    @Emily – Ouch, yeah I bet :( What kind of online biz do you have? I love learning about new ones.
    @The Tin Man – Haha, yup that still counts :) Good luck on that replenishing! (I won’t make any jokes about the gf, my wife may be reading!)
    @rainbowfish – Oh that’s kinda cool, I like that. What were some of your previous words you’ve concentrated on? Finance? Career? I like this way of doings :) Though kinda hard to measure, unless you’re *good* at following it (which it seems you are).

  19. rainbowfish July 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    I have been doing this for 4 years. I do set parameters or minigoals under the word, kind of define how the word applies to career, personal stuff, etc… Some years are better than others. I put the word all around me. I have made vinyl versions of the word or definition and put that on my wall. It is in my signature on a couple forums I visit daily. This year, I made a book of quotes. (I am a crafter, which I how I got the idea in the first place) previous words:
    This is by far my best year.

  20. J. Money July 11, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    brilliant! LOVE “Create” and “Communicate” — that is just fabulous. Thanks for sharing this with us, it helps inspire me :)

  21. sandra July 11, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    1) a. Pay off consumer debt. b. increase TFSA and savings.
    2) Yes indeed. Start planning for retirement…first, where to live.
    3) YAHOO! As of Friday, we will be consumer debt free……..from 26K 2 years ago to 0$ I can’t freakin’ believe it! Of course, I also can’t believe how stupid stupid stupid we were. Stupid.
    4) We worked unbelievably hard to achieve this – we haven’t eaten out once (at our expense) in 2 years; have had staycations exclusively (I just spent 2 weeks playing in the dirt in my garden); have not gone to a movie; sold lots of crap; found a little extra income; took every possible financial hint and at least tried them once (with varying degrees of success); became a once-a-week fixture at the local library instead of Chapters – and have read well over 5 books a week etc. etc.
    5) Iincrease the mortgage payments.

  22. Barb Friedberg July 11, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Life really does happen :) Most of my goals are on hold as I am living in limbo while my hubby and I wait to relocate across the country. For no fault of our own, our home is not ready and we are living out of suitcases and working in Starbucks. WEll… it’s only temporary.

  23. J. Money July 11, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    @sandra – Wow, GOOD FOR YOU!!! That’s incredible! If you ever feel like doing a tell-all, you better reach out to me ;) Perfect guest post “How I defeated $26,000 of debt in 2 years” — congrats!!
    @Barb Friedberg – That sounds fun!!! And also like 10 previous moves of mine when our family was doing the military-life ;) I miss it! But hope you get to your destination before you lose your sanity.

  24. Super Frugalette July 12, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Reading the bible cover to cover. I am Catholic so I have 7 extra books to go through. Currently on page 456, chapter 3 of Nehemiah. It looks like I have covered 35% so far…no new goals…the old ones are enough.

  25. J. Money July 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    Wow, good for you! I wish I had the patience and desire to give the Bible a shot :) You are awesome.