The Year of Possibilities: Q2 Update

This past week, I’ve been doing a lot of what you’re seeing here: laying around, drinking too much coffee, eating way too much food, and running a number of hot baths but continuously refusing to put my feet in the water. I know we’re not at the end of Q2 yet, but one of the effects of injuring yourself is that you all of a sudden have extra time on your hands. And, since it’s quickly becoming obvious that my foot isn’t going to get better overnight, I decided to use that time to reevaluate some of my priorities and goals for the year.

My first financial goal for this year was to become debt-free, which I accomplished just a few weeks ago. Since then, money has been flying out of my hands. Most of it has been cash I had saved up in my Weddings account, but I’ve also quickly realized that a month of travelling = a month of dining out. While I can’t do much to change that, I can get down to business and look at what I want to accomplish next with my finances. I could (and will) dedicate an entire post to some of the discoveries I’ve made about my savings patterns recently, but for now I will say this: I am ready to start putting huge chunks of cash into savings. I want a minimum of $5,000 in an Emergency Fund, by the end of this year, and I need to start contributing to my RRSPs again. More on this later this month.

In January, I decided to take a breather from freelancing on the side, because my schedule (and life) just couldn’t handle it. Since being back on the West Coast, I have been writing and editing more than ever – mostly just for myself, but I feel more inspired here than I have in a long time. I can’t say I’m ready to pick up the amount of work I was doing before, but I am looking at a couple of new sites and publications to contribute to. Aside from that, life as a remote worker is… well, amazing. I can see why it wouldn’t work for everyone, and I can’t deny that I miss the team in Toronto, but the flexibility helps me enjoy my personal life more while the responsibility keeps me moving forward. No changes to be made here.

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. It’s all happening and being paid for with cash. I also went to Tofino last month and want to try to make it down to Portland in October.

If I had to say that one area of my life was at the top of my priorities these days, it would be my health. Again, some of this is deserving of separate blog posts (like my major diet change last month)… but my half marathon training is over, so it’s time to switch gears. I didn’t want to set any type of weight loss goal for 2013, because last year was so successful on its own, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a magic number I wanted to reach. So, when my foot is better, it’s back to the gym 4-5 days/week for me! I didn’t have to push myself too hard last year, to lose the weight that I did… I just had to get moving! So no crazy diets or anything like that… I just want to slim down and tone up. Cardio, yoga and weights will do that!

I’ve had all kinds of ideas re: maintaining and expanding my blog this year but, honestly, I’ve come to the decision that Blonde on a Budget is just another space for me to write. I won’t stop – which is something I had considered earlier this year – but I don’t want to expand either. So no e-books, no products, nothing like that… I’m just a person writing about trying to live a more balanced life – one without debt. Now, I’d say that the writing I’m doing privately for myself has become more important. There are journal entries, there are stories, there are characters. It’s fun and creative and honest… and I’m loving it.

Did you set any goals for 2013? How’s your progress so far?

Image: The Fresh Exchange

  • It sounds like you are in a very healthy space in your life right now. I have five goals for the year. One I’ve already accomplished (paying off student loans), three are completely on track, and one is looking iffy. The iffy one is the running 500km goal. After the wedding chaos subsides, I’m going to really get back into running in a healthy, sustainable way. I’m not sure I’ll be able to hit my goal, but if I can’t for health reasons, I’m ok with that.

    • I definitely wouldn’t stress about hitting 500K. I mean, that’d be amazing! But so is any running that you get in.

  • You’re doing so great! You’re such a huge inspiration too. A friend of mine is in a bit of credit card debt and starting to make changes to eliminate it, when she started telling me about how she was feeling overwhelmed I directed her to your blog and just said ”read it”. She loves you and realizes that she’s not alone I hope the next 2 annual quarters are just as successful for you!

    • That’s so sweet, Catherine. Thank you for sharing it with her! Hope she can eliminate her debt quickly and move past it :)

  • You’re doing so great — I’m actually feeling inspired after this post to try to set some goals for myself, I haven’t been super dedicated to personal progress lately.

    And now I just read Catherine’s comment right above mine and realized I’m basically just saying the same thing hahaha sorry about that.

    I’m really happy to hear you’re not going to stop blogging! I know what it’s like to kind of feel like the PF theme is boring or limiting, but you’re right: it’s just another place to write. And we’d miss you so much if you ever left!

  • Wow. Looks like you’re hitting a lot of your goals super-early. Congrats. Hadn’t heard that you might be stopping blogging but I’m now glad to hear you’re not

    I may ask you more about this “fincon13” thing, by and by.

  • “I’m just a person writing about trying to live a more balanced life – one without debt.”

    I just got back from a week’s trip out of town to visit with my mom, my bro and his family, and catch up with some old school buddies from back in the day. From some of those whom I met up with, it was pretty depressing to see how they are so much in debt – as well as in denial to that fact, continuing to lead a wasteful spending lifestyle. That said, I kept my opinions to myself, having learnt long ago how fruitless it was to try to influence / guide them into leading a better financial lifestyle. So Cait, fortunately like yourself, I continue to have my act fully in gear financially as well as maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

    Which, to sum up, just proves that one must first admit to having a problem (whatever it may be) in order to then take effective steps to fix it. Right?

  • I love goal setting. Like, I kind of get nerdishly enthusiastic about it. One of the goals I set for myself this year that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves is my goal to learn French. I’ve been pretty good with the rest of my goals, which means that half of the problem is balancing everything.

    I think my next goal should be getting better at time management :-S

    • That’s always a tough one, Sara! Is there anything you can cut out completely, or mostly, to help?

      • That’s a good question. It feels like my time is always full of doing things that I need to do, but knowing me that can’t possibly be true. I imagine I spend more time wasting time than I actually realize.

        I’m thinking it might be worth trying to schedule some specific time slots for studying into my week and make them non-negotiable. I’ll label it “This is time is for French: No cuts, no buts, no coconuts” in my calendar and see what happens ;)

  • Hi Cait
    I think it’s awesome you’re bouncing back after your injury. I know sometimes I get really frustrated with myself when I set a goal and can’t complete it. I can spend a lot of time getting upset and discouraged about something like that.
    So instead of getting mired in angst about not being able to complete your half marathon, you’re busy setting other goals for yourself.
    I’ll have to remember that for my own goals. Cheers buddy.

    • Thanks, Lindsey! I don’t know that I’ve bounced back so much as I’m realizing that sitting on my butt is going to drive me crazy, haha… so I have to at least make plans for things I can do when I’m all healed up!

  • Portland in October!!!!!!!!!!!!! What what! I am going to put it on my calendar and bug you incessantly about it ;]

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