At the beginning of the year, I outlined a number of changes I wanted to make in different areas of my life, including: my finances, career, travel, health and this blog. Only a few months into the year, it’s interesting looking back and seeing how some of my priorities have already changed so drastically. Let’s take a look at what I had planned for, where I’m at now, and where I see myself going forward.
2013 will absolutely be the year I become debt-free. My goal was to pay off the last of my debt before June 7th and I’m still on track to making that happen. To get there, however, I have put a short hold on my savings goals. In fact, other than putting a little money aside each month for the weddings I’m going to this year, I haven’t put anything in my Emergency Fund or RRSPs since early February. As soon as I’m debt-free, I’ll start saving again. My first goal will be to bump my Emergency Fund up to $5,000. After that, I’m going to double (or even triple) my usual RRSP contributions.
In January, I was so focused on freelancing, making extra money, etc. that my career goal for the year was to accept any new writing job that came my way and offer my writing and blog management services on the side. That goal quickly changed when I realized all of my spare time was being eaten up by it, giving me no time to have a life! I have still been reading books about blogging, managing, marketing, etc. but only when I’m feeling inspired. My major career goal for this year, now, is to obviously move to Vancouver, take my job with me and build a presence for us on the West Coast.
My three travel goals for 2013 were to: 1) save up and pay for all the weddings I am going to, 2) go to San Francisco, and 3) go to #FinCon13. Since I am moving back to the West Coast, where most of the weddings are, I am excited to say that all of these should be doable! Right now, I’m thinking of going to San Francisco mid-July. Then I’m flying to PEI for a wedding at the end of August. And #FinCon13 is in St. Louis mid-October. Other than that, a summer on the West Coast = camping on Hornby Island and weekends in Parksville, Tofino and the Okanagan.
In 2012, I lost 24 lbs. So far this year, I have already lost 4 more. I’d love to lose another 13-18 lbs. but I am not going to stress about how that happens. Why? Because last month, I did the craziest thing I have ever done: I registered for my first half marathon. And while I won’t be using my training as a weight loss method, there’s no doubt a few pounds will naturally fall off during it. I have already mapped out a 16-week training program starting April 15th, taking me to race day (August 10th). But I’ll start going for short runs, as soon as I get back to BC (which will hurt, because I am not in good shape right now!).
My goals for Blonde on a Budget this year were to: 1) write and maintain a monthly editorial calendar, 2) start a series of posts that would help my readers, and 3) start guest posting in the personal finance community more. So far, I have done all of those things! And I’d like to write a few more guest posts soon. But what I hadn’t planned for this year was to stop writing this blog altogether, which is exactly what I plan on doing when my debt is paid off. The next blog I want to start is already ready and waiting… and I am so excited to finish one project and start something new!
If I had to prioritize these goals, I would say my top priority is my health and the last priority would be this blog. That’s not to say that everything on this list isn’t important to me, but it’s interesting to see how lowering my debt by almost $4,000 so far this year has shifted my focus. As one reporter said, “At this point, reaching $0 is more of an emotional goal than a financial one.” I couldn’t agree more.
Did you set any goals for 2013? How’s your progress so far?