Mornin’ my sexy budgeters! I just got back from a week away at the beach all last week (you didn’t even notice, huh?), and now I’m feeling fresher than the Prince of Bel-Air ;) And as always, I snuck in some of my favorite – and FREE! – activities while there:
- Hit up the Dogfish Head Brewery tour – One of the best things to do while on the Delaware shore! (And who doesn’t like free beer tastings at 11 am?)
- Went metal detecting again w/ my pops – And broke my winning streak for the first time in 10+ years :( Every year we take turns finding and digging, and almost every single time I come out finding more valuable stuff – but not this time! My dad more than doubled my 16 cents findings and took the prize ;) That pic up there is everything we came home with this week, haha… though in our defense we did only go once.
- Took dozens of walks along the beaches and other fascinating new places (like an art show!).
- And, of course, browsed all the antique and thrift stores we could find ;)
It was a fun-filled trip for sure, and it was nice to have built in baby-sitters with us all week too – Thanks grandma and grandpa!
My favorite part BY FAR, though, was when we all went around the table and talked about what we accomplished in the last year, and what we hoped to do so in the next one. I know most people like creating New Years Resolutions and all that every year – including myself – but the goals I set during our annual beach trips are always held at a higher level for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m much more relaxed and clearer minded at these times, or if it’s just the rush of the Summer and week-long vacationing that does the trick, but either way the last 2 years have been pretty prophetic (SAT Word!).
- In 2010, I hoped that I’d be living the good life and blogging full-time. It happened :)
- In 2011, I wanted to grow my blogging biz even more and start SAVING MONEY instead of breaking even all the time. This also happened!
Of course it didn’t just come overnight or with a snap of a finger – there was a lot of planning and hustling going on to reach these major milestones – but I will attribute a lot of the success to dreaming BIG and always working towards that next goal. And the beauty of these family vacations is that we do them every single year so we always have a solid point in time where we can stop and look back to see how much we’ve accomplished (or not). Kinda like New Year’s too I guess?
And this year was no different. We were drinking some beers down by the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk (one of the best kept secrets is the old English pub in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel btw) and when it was my turn to spill the beans, I thought long and hard and came up with the following list:
- I want to have Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy pregnant again. Something *not* on her list quite yet, haha… but I think that will change once she gets some decent sleep ;)
- I want to ONLY be working on BudgetsAreSexy and 1 other project – no more half- completed ideas all over the place (or even finished ones for that matter) taking up all the space in my head. It’s time to focus on as much of the stuff I LOVE as possible.
- And I want to move to a new area. Preferably out of state, but I’ll take any change at this point. My A.D.D. has finally gotten the best of me after living in the same house for more than 5 years now. Something I’m not used to having grown up in a military household!
Two of those things are already in the works (not #1 cuz I guess you have to wait 6 weeks until you can start having sex again? Pshhh…), but they’re not gonna be easy to pull off. For one, I suck at giving up and/or handing stuff off (which is why I end up working on so many things at a time!), and the moving part got put on hold after baby #1 came into the picture. With enough time and patience though, they’re all certainly do-able. Just a matter of prioritizing and taking the baby steps, right?
I think that’s the key to everything we talk about here Coming up with a goal and then taking all those tiny steps to achieve it. Some take years to accomplish like paying off your mortgage or getting rid of your student loan debts/etc, while others can be squashed much faster with a little research and ingenuity. What matters most though is that you’re WORKING towards them.
Here are the baby steps I’ll be taking to accomplish these three new goals of mine by next year:
- RE: Getting Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy pregnant – Well, you know how we make one of those ;) But in all seriousness, we def need to be on the same page with this one and make sure we’re BOTH happy with our finances and living situation/etc if we want to plug away at it again so quickly. So step #1 is to talk more seriously about it once things calm down over here in the Money household over the next few months, and then #2 would be to start trying if we do end up going for it.
- RE: Only working on 2 projects total – This one will require a LOT more work since my responsibilities are much higher with these guys, as well as my future cash flow for that matter (or the possibility of it with some of the projects), but I do think it’s possible if I sit down and sketch it out the right way. I just have to figure out *what* that right way is since at this given point in time I am the sole provider of our entire household. I can’t be nixing stuff willy nilly just because I want my perfect world! There’s things you have to do that are annoying, even with your dream job ;)
- RE: Moving – The easiest, but trickiest, of all my goals. Physically it’s pretty simple – you just pack up your stuff and head out to your new home! But rationally/emotionally/lifestyle’y, it’s a whole other ballgame. WHERE do we move? How far can we go away from friends/family now that a baby’s in the picture? What will the wife end up wanting to do? A ton of variables that we won’t know the answers to until mid-Winter comes along (The Mrs. will be starting and ending a fellowship by then, and then we’re 100% free to move anywhere in the world we want, all depending on her next move in the career department). Our next steps here, though, are as follows: 1) Make a list of 3 places we really think would be cool to live. 2) Go visit them on long weekends and pretend house-shop (or house-rent, which we’d first do starting out). And then 3) Have the Mrs. apply to any and all jobs she finds interesting no matter where it’s located. This would solve the problem of *where* if she decides she does in fact want a 9-5 again.
Lots of unknowns with all of these, but I’m feeling hopeful! And can’t wait to hit up next year’s family vacay to go over all our progress and see where others in our family have grown too :) Some of theirs on the list was: Make a million dollars of revenue with a new biz, find a steady girlfriend, stay at home creating art and raising their kids, and then advancing one more notch on the corporate ladder. All great goals to shoot for, and I wish them the best!
How about you guys? Where would you like to be one year from now? How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Mine are about 30% completed, but I think I’m gonna switch and stick with these new ones now going forward … those old ones were so last year ;)
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I’m new to retirement and blogging, so mine are more wide eyed and simple than yours :)
1. Attend FINCON12 next month. It happens to be in my city (Denver) so yay for that!
2. Get to know more bloggers.
3. Get to know more bloggees :) especially those interested in reversing their fortunes by actually making a lot more money when the next recession rolls around, instead of getting themselves into trouble like underwater mortgages, layoffs, etc.
It’s too early to quantify any of these, but that will hopefully be more possible this time next year.
Hey, ever thought of Denver as place to move? All the benefits of a city, all the benefits of a small place. We moved here from Orange County and it’s awesome!
Sounds like your family vacation was a much needed one! Crazy to think how fast one baby can make you want another. That’s another reason to wait a while for me :)
As far as moving do you guys have ANY idea where you want to go? I know where you live right now is rather expensive but when I moved to Panama City Beach Florida I was shocked how much further my money went. Are you trying to stay in the general area or are you looking for a biggggg move?
My dad was also military so we have a ton in common! We’ve been in this general area for about 2 years and I’m hoping to be able to stay in one place but I wonder if I’m going to hit a point where I’m going to want to move again.
As far as my new year’s resolution I got a new job which was goal #1 for me and then everything else is just kinda going along. Starting my blog was pretty huge though.
Glad you enjoyed your week off!
@William @ Drop Dead Money – Awesome! I shall meet you there at FINCON then – didn’t know you were going :) And that will by far be one of the best places to be in order to meet other bloggers out there, it’s really fun! And everyone’s super nice and excited to be there too, so I think you’ll really enjoy it. I don’t think Denver will be on our top 3 list to check out anytime soon, but I’ll agree I DO like it there a lot. Went for the first time last year and had a blast :)
@Lance @ Money Life and More – Yeah dude, seems like we do have some pretty similar backgrounds :) I’ve heard great things about Panama City too, but usually for their party scene, haha… so far the only place on our list that’s a must-see is Wilmington, NC – we’ve both been there before growing up and remember loving it, so we want to go back and see if it could be a good fit for our lives now. Other places we’re considering is Nashville, Charleston, and maybe somewhere in Pennsylvania… We’re giving ourselves until December to lock it in and then start visiting places!
This was my first year with a garden too. I have had some good and bad going on out there. The cucumbers and zucchini have been coming in faster than I can eat or pickle them. Our tomatoes are finally starting to ripen but they are smaller than id’s like. My okra never came in at all and I’m still waiting for a good green pepper as well.
@Drop Dead Money I live in Denver as well. You should come to out FINCON local meetups. We have been doing them every month or two. Are you on the email list?
I looooove goals, and reading about the ones others set. Baby steps are always the best way of getting somewhere. I hope you’re able to accomplish them!
The one thing I will say is that two babies within a year of two of one another can be tough. Yes, I definitely enjoyed having a playmate my own age around all the time and wouldn’t trade that for anything, but my Mom always seemed so stressed out when we were younger. Also-think about college moneys!
As far as New Year’s Resolutions go, mine I think have fallen by the wayside. My biggest one was finding a new job. I’ve been searching, but let’s face it, that’s not the easiest task these days. I’d love to open my own business, but without capital, it’s near impossible. I still have hopes of getting the house in order, and possibly selling it (to move once we start our business).
JMoney – a word of advice on baby #2: it takes a woman’s body 2 full years to recover from having a child. So if I were you, and for the health of your wife, think twice about that one. Time to recoup is good, particularly if she had a C-section. :)
In the past, my yearly goals were too many and too complex so I typically ended up only hitting a portion of them. So going forward I’m setting my sights on things more tangible and realistic to reach (with a few stretch goals tossed in if I feel adventurous).
So here’s what I want to accomplish by this time in 2013:
1. Be 100% Debt Free
This is an easy one actually. We have no credit card debt, no mortgage etc. All we have is about $7k left on a car loan, and we have the cash-on-hand to pay this down. Only annoying thing is our loan holder has a limit on how much you can pay off in a 30 day period. So the “goal” aspect here is to just remember to put in the max amount every 30 days.
2. Start Blogging
I have a huge outline doc put together planning out a personal finance blog with about 3 months of post ideas jotted down. I’ve spent about a year and a half piecing all of this together to be sure I have a unique view on PF issues that can sustain new and interesting posts for at least several years. This isn’t a “I want to be a blogger full-time” project though. If I get any money from it, it’ll pay for my coffee habit maybe. I just want to get back into the saddle with writing on a regular basis again.
3. Lose 20 Pounds
Pretty simple here. I think I can manage this by doing some actual exercise. Just gotta get off my lazy rear and do something!
1. Finish off the “Down Payment” fund
Even though we’re not looking for a house at the moment, I still want to have the cash ready to go for a down payment on a good home should our housing needs/wants change. At the moment, we that’s probably about 75% funded.
Plus, it acts as a secondary emergency fund should life really throw us for a loop.
First of all, congrats on achieving what you set out to do those previous years! I love that you wrote this, “What matters most though is that you’re WORKING towards them.” I know sometimes I get down on myself for not always achieving everything I wanted, but I’ve made SO much progress. I need to reevaluate my yearly goals (thanks for the reminder) and get cracking on them! Good luck to you for this years goals.
Wanting to get your old lady pregnant again? Already? No offense but I think you are NUTS! I love my little guy more than anything and really feel like I should enjoy him for a couple years before thinking about another one. Of course I also have an irrational fear that out next kid(s) will be twin girls….
Great goals! Good luck convincing the Mrs. to have another child at this point. :)
We are happy with one kid. It took me over 10 years to convince her to have one kid.
How about Portland? It’s pretty nice here in general. Too much rain though.
My resolutions are ok. I need to make sure I’m on track and do the quarterly check up soon.
Haha, the Mrs. probably wants a longer break than that… but good luck ;)
In one year, I want to be living and working in Toronto. And I’d love to be 100% debt free!
Sounds like a good year! Hopefully you complete everything :)
My next year will be GREAT. I will finally have a ton of free time, and I have too much on my list.
I’d like to have my fiance’s student loan mostly paid off (or all paid off) so we can concentrate on mine and our other debt. I’d also love to have a fully funded efund and be halfway to having a new to us car. For family? At this point we want to start saving up to have a baby as we would only have been married for almost 2 months.
Geez make me remember my New Years Resolutions on a Monday when I start school! Brain. Not. Working. lol. Actually this is cool you brought up what we want for next year. With me starting school, this is a perfect time for me to look ahead and dream of what can come from hard work and make me relax a little more today :)
Off the top of my head I think they were:
1) Start and stay in school CHECK (Started Class today)
2) Travel for fun CHECK (One time to NY a few times to see my mom and some friends)
3) Save money for retirement CHECK (On track and hopefully will get better!)
4) Save money for school CHECK (Although I went overboard with classes this semester and actually ended up with 5 classes and had to spend an extra $1000 and some oops)
I am right on track on all my resolutions and since they are continuing I can mark them as done. Guess I can write down what I want for next year.
1) Would like to move. I am like you, my family moved a lot and I am getting restless after 7 years in the same spot. The only difference is my house can move with me lol. Thinking about out of state, possibly just more north to be around one of the colleges I want to transfer to.
2) Continue school and save more
3) Save more in retirement
4) Look more in depth at having a baby. Still not sold on the baby part, maybe adopt. Still not sure how to have a baby/go to school/make my dreams come true/have money/have retirment.
5) Stay debt free!!! This is hard when I want to move, have a baby, go to school, etc. Sometimes I just want to say f it and do everything all at once. That would be bad, very bad.
6) Start blogging as a journal of my experiences-Started already
7) Get through this freaking 5 course semester and reevaluate goals at New Years. :)
I honestly don’t remember any goals I made at New Years. I’ve kind of given up because they always seem to change, or I de-prioritize them. We did have some house goals that we just met yesterday. We finished our brick patio and had some friends come over for s’mores. We also are looking at getting pregnant again soon, not sure when.
I think it’s awesome you have family get togethers wher eyou can all share your goals and dreams. It’s probably much more powerful than a facebook commitment on Jan. 1 to change your life this year…
Jealous! Dogfish Head Brewery Tour is on my wish list.
A year from now, I’d like to have paid back my parents a decent amount of money for helping me with the house. Hopefully continuing to invest in my house, I think next spring is going to be yard work spring.
I’d like to be making money freelance writing / blogging.
And traveling more. A lot more.
A year from now, I want to:
1) Understand more about investing so that I can earn more from our investments.
2) At least be making a part-time income (since I don’t work) to help contribute. Either by making money from blogging or by actually getting a real job. I’d prefer blogging though. :)
3) Have a 2nd car. OMG it sucks being stuck at home all the time.
4) Have some sort of balance in my life. Spending 12 hours a day on blogging related tasks is not right. ;) Haha, maybe I just mean to get a life.
5) Double our net worth.
That’s fairly amazing about your summer goals sticking more that New Years. I’m guessing your other family members are also high achievers too.
Hey J. Money – I grew up in Wilmington, NC and my parents still live there. I now live about two hours away in the Raleigh area, but visit quite often. Hit me up via email if you have questions.
Granted, I haven’t raised any kids myself, but from my experience, siblings that are a few years apart in age get along much better than those a year apart. That may be something to consider when the two of you sit down to decide when is the right time to try for a second.
Pretty much the only thing on my list for what I want to have done by this time next year is find a “real” job. Something full-time, permanent, and involves using my brain.
One year from today I plan to be starting at my Cal State School! And still be Debt free and 1 year ahead of my peers.
This post so got to me!!!
I have accomplished a few things this year. Went on a diet and lost weight,left a toxic work environment for a slightly less toxic but pays way better environment, booked the dream vacation (Australia in Feb) but the biggest nagging thing is work and housing.
I have a job that is not in line with my personal beliefs so I do not enjoy it. It pays very well and I can afford to buy a modest condo in my city but it would mean I have to continue to be a wage slave wage. Housing is my biggest expense and that makes me crazy. Since I live in Canada, we managed to escape the foreclosure epidemic so prices are still high and supply low.
I would like to cut my housing expenses in half, and by doing so I would only have to work 3 days a week. I am not a spender. My main hobbies are reading and writing. Since I am in excellent health, I don’t have to worry too much about health care costs. I have no debt, no dependents and a modest amount of savings. The type of housing for me is a small trailer, because I have no problem living in 400-500 square feet. Just trying to gather the nerve to pull the trigger and buy something outright (be mortgage free but also budgeting for the inevitable renovations) is my big stumbling block. Need to focus on that for 2013.
Nice job on the accomplishments from the prior two years. Those were no small tasks!
I love the goal of having another child! I hope you can get the Mrs on board! Moving to a new area also sounds cool. I’m considering starting up a few new projects. Should I just skip a year to where you are and not even bother – just focus on my main blog? :)
I feel you about wanting to get out of the DC area. One year from now I’ll be half way through my AS in Culinary Arts and I’d like to start making some money from my cooking skills. Well, more than the occasional $20 order from a co-worker that wants cookies. I want to get rid of 1/3 of my stuff so that I have less to cull when I’m ready to move and 10% of me so I’ll have more energy to conquer the world.
It’s nice hearing about all your goals, too! Freakin’ love blogging ;)
@Sean @ One Smart Dollar – Ooooh zucchini’s yummy! I can’t even imagine how they taste all fresh like that too, very cool.
@Lauren @ LBee and the Money Tree – Haha, I know – probably not the smartest financially and stressfully (word?) but for some reason I just really want to keep going? :)
@Laura Brown – Depending on what kind of business you were trying to open, you may not need *that much* – especially if you started it online and at least got it off the ground there? That only takes about $100 or so a year for domain and hosting stuff, and maybe it’ll get you more motivated/excited? Good to know about the 2 year period with mothers too – hadn’t heard that before :)
@MikeTheRed – Damn dude, that’s a helluva great list you’ve got there. Y’all are some smarties! Def. let me know when that blog comes about too – would love to help promote it a bit for you and get some traffic flowing :) If you ever have any questions or ideas you want help with, just shoot me an email. And what’s up with that weird car lender of yours?? A limit on how much you can pay off?? Haven’t heard of that in over 10 years – pretty lame if you ask me.
@Budget & the Beach – I wish someone would email me that once a week and keep ME reminded too :) I fee like we’re all doing incredible things here, but we get so immersed in it, and always wanting to be doing MORE and FASTER that we don’t stop and enjoy our daily accomplishments as much… we all need pats on our backs eveyr now and then to keep smiling!
@Brian – Haha… I’d LOVE twin girls! Does that make me even *more* nutso? ;)
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – Awwww, well I’m so glad you were able to get one then! That’s awesome :) And yeah I’ve breifly considered Portland too, and still REALLY want to go there some day if it’s anything like Seattle which I love!, but the only thing it doesn’t have going for it is that it’s on the West coast :( Which we’re trying to avoid due to distance between family/friends… the only way we’d get out there is if the Mrs. finds a great job or if we end up saying “F it” and we move to L.A. once and for all which we’ve always dreamed about… but that’s like a 2% chance of happening at the present moment.
@Cait – Cool! That would be fun :)
@Michelle – Awesome!! What changed from this year to that one to allow you to have so much more free time? Is there a secret I should know about? ;)
@bogofdebt – We all gotta start somewhere :) I love it that you guys are helping pay each other’s debts off like that, very cool (and smart) of y’all for sure.
@LB – Hah! Forgot your house moved – I’m jealous ;) Congrats on starting school already though, that’s wonderful! I guess you’ll still have the time to read this blog it looks like too? Haha… rock it out!
@Jacob @ iheartbudgets – Haha… indeed. Maybe I’ll put “get rid of Facebook” on my list too, actually. It bothers me more than it does excite me usually ;) (my personal account that is, not my J$ one)
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Ooooh I didn’t know you wanted to blog on the side… I think it’s a great idea since you’re already famililar with how it all works. If you ever need help, let me know okay? :)
@Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – If you’re spending 12 hours a day on blogging, then I agree – you DEF need to be making some money from it! haha… or spending some of those hours on something that does ;) Maybe you can start selling stuff online and see what happens? That would give you instant cash and allow you to still stay at home on the computer?
@Brent Pittman – Yeah, well at least big dreamers ;) But that’s what I love about it all – every year we talk about our perfect worlds and all our goals we want to accomplish, and then when some of us hit them it’s wonderful cuz we all remember when they were first being talked about! Gives us all hope that stuff is possible, ya know?
@Sara – Oh cool! Did you like growing up there? What are some of the pros and cons? If we ever end up moving there, I’ll hit you up for a coffee or beer meeting :)
@Edward Antrobus – That’s one damn good goal, my friend. If you remind me again what your perfect job would be, I can let you know when similar jobs pass by my desk. Every now and then I get notified about some random job opps.
@Debt Free Teen – Awesome, gotta love that :)
@Slackerjo – I remember working for a job that didn’t inspire or excite me either – but ofcourse the money def. helps with all that stuff :) It’s great that you know yourself well though, and what you’re comfortable with as far as housing and all! I could do with a trailor too actually, but the wife wouldn’t ever allow it. Unless it was temporary and involved traveling the country or something (so I guess more like an RV?). In fact, I’m gonna run that idea by her when she’s awake and see what she thinks, haha… wish me luck!
@My Money Design – Haha, probably not. You have to go through the process and see what you’re feeling by the end of it all ;) Maybe you’ll turn into a mogul and end up loving it!
@Kitchen Penguin – YES! PERFECT!!! I like those goals of yours :) And hopefully one day our paths will cross in the “real world” so I can sample some of your cuisinary arts too! You’ll have to invite me to your graduation or something, hehe…
Absolutely agree about Dogfish Head Brewery! Dela-Where(?) doesn’t have much to offer, but it does have some nice beaches and one heck of a brewery. What were they brewing when you went?
I love IPA’s!!! :) The pink dogfish is my favorite.
Nice job on all your goals. I’m sure it took a ton of work to get where you are and it’s very rewarding. Blogging full time sounds like fun, provided you have a constant flow of information and ideas :D.
My new years resolutions are going ok. I got a new job, which pays more, but somehow it doesn’t all add up with the increased cost of the commute (too bad I couldn’t find something closer!). It does however offer potential for a higher paying job in the future. Finances are so stressful!
I’ve gained some new hobbies. One is running, and I ran two 5k’s so far, and hope to do 2 more before the end of the year but keeping up the motivation is a challenge! There is always an excuse not to run, and the internet is one of them! I also got really into rally driving and have been loving that. I took up rally cross driving and trying to promote my team with the hopes that I’ll gain valuable people skills/marketing experience/driving skills. So far it’s been going well too.
I think my goals focus around personal growth and creating genuine connections with people who are interested in the things I am too. I know that’s really broad, but as long as I feel like I am working towards those things I am happy!
Wow, pregs within another year could be tough. Good luck with that one! My goals for the next year are to pay off our current mortgage by the end of 2013, build back up our emergency fund to $30,000 after closing on our new house next month, and to enjoy the crap out of our new, way-more-expensive-than-necessary house…wanna get my money’s worth, lol.
@DebtKiller – You know it! Hmmm… let’s see if I can remember here… I don’t know what was actually brewing in all their systems there, but I do know that some of the test samples on tap were Namaste (yum!), Midas Touch (so-so), and Burton Baton (bleh). It’s an experience I enjoy almost every single year – highly recommend :)
@Cat – I like that a lot actually! Growing a network of fun and awesome people is great – oddly enough not many people go out of their way to do that :) And how cool does rally driving sound – wow! I wanna try!! Sorry to hear your finances are kinda stressful at times, but I promise you it gets better. Especially as you get older and get a good system down. I sucked at money until I hit 25, so I’ve only been better for a handful of years. But the beauty it that once you figure it out, you’re good forever!! So keep hanging in there, I swear it’ll get easier :)
@Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter – Haha yay!!!! No mortgage in 2013 would be hot!!
I think I can give a bit of advice on the close pregnancies thing — I have ten kids. my oldest is fifteen, youngest is one. closest spacing is 13months, furthest is just under three years. I will say that having a toddler and a newborn is *hard* but totally doable. I wouldn’t recommend less than a year apart though – you want them in separate grades once they aren’t twins. but 15 -17 months is a good spread (meaning get pregnant when your first is around 6 months old and not before.)
Although if your wife is exclusively breastfeeding, she may have some natural protection for a space of at least two years. on the other hand, all of mine were exclusively breastfed and I didn’t get very much space out of it.and not
Woahhhhh look at you go! That’s awesome!! You still planning on having any more? :) Good info for sure, thx!