The Year of Possibilities: Q1 Update

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?

  • Great goals, Cait! Keep up the good work.

    My 2013 goals and progress to-date:
    healthy – so far not as good as I would had wished but the year is still young
    wealthy – still no complaints
    wise – always a work in progress

  • Sounds like you’re making great progress with your goals! So far I seem to be on track with mine, though I haven’t gotten a raise yet (one of my goals) but I’ve got all year to wrangle that. My debt repayment goal is definitely the one I’ve made the most progress on, I’m 56% of the way to completing it already.

  • I think it’s smart you readjusted your goals and did a quarterly update. A lot can change in just a few months — as I know too well myself.

    I started 2013 with the intention to “figure myself out” which meant I was either going to change to part-time work at my job or quit altogether. With the help of my business coach, my quitting date is May 1st and I’ll be jumping head first into full-time freelancing. I couldn’t be more excited or scared! Ha!

    This is something that will be a challenge for me in my both my career and finances, but I have faith (and a plan!) that will help make that happen. I also have some pretty crazy goals of traveling this year, and hope to spend the summer in Portland and Seattle, along with seeing you at FinCon13! Should be a fantastic year for us both!

    • If you spend the summer in Portland or Seattle, you HAVE to come up to Vancouver! Or I’ll come down. Either way, we will see each other more than once this year.

      So excited for you, roomie!

  • Cait – Congrats this is awesome!

    Which Marathon are you running?

    Also, if you are ever in Kelowna – let’s go for drinks!


    • You know, I’ve never really had a reason to go to Kelowna… but I should sometime! Oh, and I’m running the Lululemon SeaWheeze.

  • OMG congrats on the weight loss! You will love the half marathon. I think it is the perfect distance, enough to challenge you without killing yourself. I have done several, but I won’t touch the full marathon. I know I could do it if I tried, but it just doesn’t sound fun. Half’s are fun though. Which one are you doing? The Rock N’ Roll series are a lot of fun, albeit pretty crowded.

    • I’m doing the Lululemon SeaWheeze. I kinda wish it wasn’t so soon, haha… I am not in good enough shape for it, right now! But that’s what training is for, I guess!

  • I think your goal setting is great! If you are planning to come to SF would you be interested in seeing how many readers you have in the Bay Area and have a meet and greet?? I dont know if others would be intersted to meet blondeonabudget in person, but I would. :) well I hope to set more goals for myself personally and professionally.

    • I don’t know that I have enough readers for that, hehe, but I’d love to grab coffee or something when I come down! :)

  • Can’t wait to find out more about your new blog project! And good luck with the half marathon training. I’m not sure I’m ready for that quite yet, but if I keep up my running like I am maybe I’ll sign up for one too!

    • You should! I’m a little terrified of mine, right now, haha… but we’ll see. I’ll definitely talk a bit about training on here.

  • The West Coast is great! I spent half my life there before moving more interior! Good for you! The best of luck with the half marathon – it sounds like you’re well on your way.

    I know that I started out this year with wanting to spend more time with friends and family, I never imagined starting a PF blog and building completely new relationships in an online community. It’s amazing how things evolve as the year progresses.

    I’m also aiming for FinCon13 but there’s a few other things I have to do first…

    Thanks for the great post

  • Congrats on becoming almost debt free! You journey has been a rollercoaster but you’re almost at the end.

    Can’t wait to hear more about the marathon training!

  • Congrats! It has got to feel amazing knowing that you are almost debt free!

    My goal? To be happy. :) My other goal is to pay off my $10k debt and to save 3-5 months worth of living expenses. I just paid off one credit card last week. Such a relief!

    Good luck with the half marathon training! It sounds like you have put together a really good plan to conquer it.

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