OK – first and foremost – I have to get this out there … I really like my birthday. I have no reason not to like my birthday, because I don’t mind getting old. In fact, I relish the idea that I become wiser and better every day that I’m walking, breathing, sleeping and eating. This is probably one of those times where I am annoyingly “glass half full” or in honor of my b-day – cake half there instead of half gone.
The awesome Frugal Duchess turned 51 a few weekends ago and she posted a wonderful article listing 51 frugal goals for her 51st year. I’m going to riff on that idea and make a post of my own. So here goes … 31 years into my life, here are the things I hope to acheive this next year – frugal, zenlike or otherwise …
1. Lose 31 pounds. Hell, I should lose more, but 31 sounds like a reasonable number.
2. Put $3,100 toward my (slowly but surely emerging) emergency fund.
3. Like the Frugal Duchess, I’m going to get rid of 31 items – whether it’s the mixer I replaced by getting married to my fab hubby or those jeans that don’t fit, never will fit and would not make my butt look good anyway – they’re going.
4. Watch 31 sunrises and truly enjoy them, as opposed to just driving to work and being oblivious to the wonderful world around me.
5. Learn to embrace my shortcomings and turn them into positive things and not stuff that I end up beating myself up over.
6. Either find a new job or quit bitching about my current one because I think I’m driving my husband nuts.
7. To not participate in office gossip.
8. To finally triumph over my irrational fear of baking with yeast. I will master bread in my 31st year of living!
9. To find a church home.
10. To organize my recipe collection.
11. To actually finish a first draft of my book (see birthday number 24, 27 and 29 … )
12. To actually make progress on Number 11.
13. To find a new county park and go hiking in it.
14. To see my out-of-town friends more often.
15. To go fishing with my dad.
16. To find a volunteer opportunity that I truly enjoy. I’ve been thinking about joining some sort of reading-mentor program. Reading is one of the things I enjoy most in life – I would like to share that joy with others.
17. To try and keep my car clean for 31 consecutive days in a row.
18. To make a budget and stick with it.
OK – I’m beginning to marvel at The Frugal Duchess for making 51 goals – holy hell, I’m burning out before 20!
19. To read 31 books that have to do with practical matters such as finance, DIY tricks, self-sustainable living, etc., and to write blog posts about each one of them.
20. To bookmark 31 frugal-living bloggers and read them regularly.
21. To try and not take myself too seriously.
22. To try and focus more at work and conquer my Twitter addiction. (I love the finance Tweeps, but I gotta tell you – those foodie Tweeps? They are FUNNY! And they post recipes! And now I have friends in Canada and India!)
23. To put myself in 31 situations that I wouldn’t normally be comfortable in – i.e. – finding a new church home and not inwardly grumbling during the “passing of the peace” (also known as the “passing of the peas” in more humorous settings), go to more Chamber of Commerce events to network with people, maybe join a book club???
24. Write 31 random notes to 31 of my random friends and surprise them with ACTUAL mail!
OK – these are truly more finance related.
25. In my 31st year, I will finally be free of credit card debt.
26. In my 31st year, I will be more mindful of my spending habits. I’m so much better than I was when I was 21 years old, but I still have my “trickle” habits and some outright poor ones (yes, I still love Jimmy John’s, but how can I justify paying $5 for a sandwich I could make at home?)
27. In my 31st year, I will pay off the Rattling Death Trap (RDT) and outright own a car for the first time since I was 16 years old and drove my beautiful blue Pontiac Sunbird that I bought from my cousin Jen. (And when I say “bought,” I bought half, my parents bought half and anytime I gave them lip, they reminded me that the “half” they owned consisted of the engine and the tires.)
28. In my 31st year, I’ll finally start investing my 401k again – and before you yell at me, I thought I had signed up, but the paperwork got mucked up!
29. In my 31st year, I will start paying attention to investment articles and make a genuine attempt at learning the lingo and actually understanding what they mean.
And finally …
30. In my 30th year, I got to marry my best friend in the whole wide world. In my 31st year, I will tell him daily that I love him, I will be better at not taking my bad days home with me from work and I will remember every day how lucky I am to be in such a great relationship.
31. I will try to think of 32 things to write next year, because I gotta be honest – this wasn’t as easy as it may look …
Anyway – love to all of you! I also promise in my 31st year that I will give you some more blog love. I’ve been swamped lately, but that’s no excuse to not commune with you regularly.