I’m not a huge fan of New Years’ Resolutions. They are really easy to break. It’s too simple to mess up on say, January 2, and then the whole list is shot to hell. Am I right?
That’s usually what happens to me. The past several years, I’ve switched to goals that I start working on as part of a new year. It seems like a good cut-off to end the holiday excess and start fresh. A new year is another new chance to do better. At least for me.
Last year, I tried to enter a year of radical simplicity and radical frugality. That backfired all too quickly when we began experiencing insanely high power bills in early March, due to a defect in the home we were renting. Those power bills pretty much bankrupted our spring and summer, but by way of random things accidentally falling into place, we ended up buying a home when we thought we’d never qualify in this millenium. We got into the new house but lost a ton of money in legal fees related to the fradulent rental situation, which still isn’t resolved.
In true Tom&Michele fashion, everything was going just a little too well in spite of the issues with the unscrupulous landlord and management company…so something had to fall apart. Due to restructuring and budget cuts, we lost a very lucrative consulting job and just like *that* we have found our income slashed by about 35%. Ouch. In 2013, we took on two car payments and a whole lot of extra monthly expenses, with a very detailed plan on paying everything off because we had a very comfortable income going. Now, not so much.
With a mantra that pretty much just goes, “it’s only money…” we’ve been forging forward and I’ve been working diligently at other ways to earn a little extra income. Several weeks ago I was upset over the fact that the chunk of money we’d earmarked for new window coverings and garage cabinets had to be funneled into the legal fund. Now I’ve got to worry how I’m going to make the mortgage and car payments while still coming up with funds for dance and piano and voice and choir and…basically everything else that keeps our homeschooled kids happy and our household running.
This is where my 2014 resolution comes in. Emeals, coupons and Costco (or Sam’s). I have the memberships, I get the newspapers. I know how to do it right. I just have been too lazy. That’s something I want to work on in 2014–not only just figuring out how to save money but also figuring out how to do it without it becoming all-consuming.