2014 went out with a bang. The BF and I attended a small celebration at a friends home New Years Eve. Now I am energized and ready to tackle 2015. Since I don’t have resolutions per se, everything I do this year will revolve around the following concepts…..
Increasing my Net Worth
401[K]: I have 3% automatically placed in to my 401[K] and my company matches 50% of that. December 30th of this year I will celebrate my four year anniversary with the company and will be fully vested in the company portion. We are going to a new provider so the last time I checked my balance was at $10,301.34. I expect to put an additional $2,744 [$1,829 me + $915 company] in that account this year. I also expect a $10,000 401[K] to be opened for me this month or next as part of my divorce settlement.
Savings: $100 will automatically be deposited in to my savings account every pay day. That is $2,600 without even thinking about it. My goal for 2015 is to have $5,000 in savings on December 31st. This means an additional $200 per month. This is a somewhat aggressive savings plan and things happen – we do not live in a bubble. If I end up with $3,500 in savings at the end of the year I will be extremely happy.
Debt: Another way to increase my net worth is to get some other small debts I have paid off. My car will be paid off in July. Lastly, I have a large loan to my mother that my ex husband refuses to help pay. This will take me about five years to pay off but is not reported to my credit.
Slush: Christmas snuck up on me this year and I was not prepared financially. I have a “slush fund” in my checkbook where I round up to the next dollar every time I spend money. This slush fund will finance my gift giving this year. Not only for Christmas but birthdays too. Whatever I have left over at the end of the year will be transferred to my savings account. B and my 2nd anniversary is in February so I have about six weeks to build up this fund before I dip in to it – if I have to. I tested the slush fund concept in December and built up $99.11 but borrowed from it for Christmas gifts.
Projected savings for the month:
- 401[K] me: $211.11
- 401[K] company: $105.55
- Savings: $235 [have to borrow $65 from my $300]
- Slush: $90 [based on December 2014]
- Debt Payments: $641.58
- Total Various Savings: $641.66
The Great Outdoors
The BF [B], my dog [Beej] and I camped in his Vannagon at least once a month in 2014 and that will continue. I will be better about documenting our trips here on the blog and coming soon, a year in review camping post. There were a couple cold and wet trips and I plan to acquire more weather appropriate gear. To start, for Christmas I used some of my REI gift cards to purchase these Keen hiking shoes.
We want to add more hiking, snowshoeing, geocashing and cross country skiing to these outings. We are also planning a trip to Baltimore in April to visit a friend of BF’s and a Vannagon road trip this summer from our home in Washington to central California to visit BF’s grandparents. Along the way we will stop at some breweries and hit some national parks. I would also love to go up to Whistler resort and try one of their Zip Line Tours which requires me getting my passport. My mom has a time share there so the cost of the trip should be minimal. All of this outdorseyness will be great for my relationship with B, help me lose weight and achieve greater health.
I enjoy sewing & knitting and have pinned items I want to make on my Pinterest board for 2015. I tried the Project 333 wardrobe in October and will do a variation of that this year. I have pinned some outfits I want to buy or make clothing for. The board will be curated throughout the year so some things may drop off and others may be added due to time or financial constraints.
- Start the bee keepers quilt which I hope to complete this year.
- Make hanging storage for the back of the passenger seat in the Vannagon.
- Create utensil storage for the Vannagon.
- Start a recipe book for all my “go to” recipe’s.
- Start a compost bin for the house and compost pile for yard.
- Purchase black leggings and a denim button down shirt.
- Make this citrus enzyme cleaner and this cooking spray.
- Make this bathroom storage utilizing a mason jar & votive holder.
Many of these projects do not require much time or money so I feel these goals are realistic for January.
I enjoy gardening and so does B. He has a lot of projects around the house this year so much of the gardening will be left up to me. The chicken yard is fair game for a vegetable garden this year [we will be doing chickens again in the spring of 2016]. I would like to grow beans, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, green onion, bell pepper, zucchini, squash and pumpkin to start.
Indoor gardening is limited to our spare room. B has three cats and they are not nice to indoor plants. The cats are not allowed in the spare room so that is where we will keep a few indoor plants. Right now we have a Spider Plant and I have a cutting of a Wandering Jew.
There are a few areas around the yard I plan on working on this year. I would like to plant some strawberries in the blueberry beds. I would like to plant along the back side of the house. We have an area I call “woodland” that is a mound under the trees I would like to add ferns, hostas, bleeding heart and potophylum. Things that take care of themselves and come back every year. I would also like to plant a clematis [which will need something to climb on] and a peony.
I have been on a minimalist journey for a few years now. Many of the things I own are compared to the basic concept of “does this further my personal journey the way I see it today”. If yes, it stays. If no, it goes. Simple. If maybe, I set it aside and deal with it in a month or two.
In January I plan on trying out the I Quit Sugar plan. It’s no secret I want to lose weight and except for my weight I am a very healthy person. Diabetes runs in my family and I certainly do NOT want to develop it. I picked up one of Sarah’s books and the concept seems fairly easy. I’m not giving up sugar forever, just cleansing my body and eventually eating less of the “white stuff”.
I also plan on following a workout plan two days a week with Yoga on a third day. Combine that with my gardening efforts and camping activities and I should be able to lose some weight in a very enjoyable way.