Resolutions, Smesolutions

As you may have gathered by now, I’m not so great on follow-through.  So New Year’s resolutions are kinda like setting myself up for failure from the start.

But this year…  This year is different.  A new job.  A new routine.  A new lifestyle. 

I may have to break my own rule a bit this year.  I know.  I’m such a rebel.

With this new employment opportunity, I know that I have the power to make some big changes for my family.  And that’s a pretty strong motivator to rally against my lazy ways.

So, I’m creating a plan to set myself up for success and I want you all to hold me accountable. 

2011 Goals:

  • Pay off credit card debt.  Since being laid off in 2008, we haven’t been in much of a position to pay more than the minimum on our credit cards.  While on paper it seemed like there should have been enough money to cover our basic living expenses every month, there were many times we needed credit cards to put food on the table and gas in the car.  And unplanned expenses?  Pull out the Discover.  It makes me sick every time I balance the accounts to know that we are digging ourselves deeper and deeper into the debt hole.  So this is the year that it’s going to stop.  According to my rough preliminary calculations, we should be bringing in approximately $1000 more per month.  I figured with that kind of extra income, we could get the plastic paid off in a year, no problem.  Until I realized that we are carrying $11,745 in credit card debt.  And once you add in interest rates ranging from 8.24% to 23.99%, it’s actually more like $12,305 (should we pay them off in one year).  And $12,305/12 months = $1025/month.  So that doesn’t really leave much for anything else…  But I’m not giving up yet…  If we get another good tax return this year, we should be able to throw another $3000 towards the debt.  And that makes it possible.  So, while I’m scared that I am biting off more than I can chew, the possibility of living credit card free is definitely worth it.
  • Take more photos.  On New Year’s Eve I was making our 2011 calendar on Shutterfly (I’m so good at planning in advance) and I discovered that I hardly have any good pictures of the kid after 15 months.  Coincidentally, that is when she began running walking.  So most of the pictures I took were blurry.  Or poorly exposed.  Which brings me to part 2 of this goal…  Save for a faster lens.  I’ve been pining for one since I bought my dSLR, but could never justify the expense.  However, I found a low-end 50mm f/1.8 lens for about $100.  And I think I will just have to find a way to purchase it.  So, if you see me on the corner with a coffee cup, please throw me some change!
  • Spend more time on my marriage.  Since our daughter joined the family, I have this overwhelming need to put her first.  And honestly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  But I do recognize that perhaps my husband and I need some “non-parenting” time, both alone and together.  However, I feel like my time with her is so limited now that I’m working, that I don’t want to leave her for a selfish desire to get out of the house.  But I want to work on that.  Because I know that we need that as a couple and as individuals.

I know it’s only three goals, but I need to start small.  So, please keep me in line and if you see me straying, feel free to give me a little nudge (or a big shove).  And feel free to link up your 2011 resolutions/goals!

Next Post in the War on Debt Series: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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3 Responses to Resolutions, Smesolutions

  1. Kristy says:

    Great resolutions! And yeah, um, I really like buttons :) Well, and your blog too of course

  2. Anonymous says:

    You should really check out the Dave Ramsey stuff. Almost all my friends swear by it. We don't actually use the cash deal, but we have a budget and we subtract as we spend like we are using cash. It's made a big difference in planning how we use our money, though we don't have debt to pay off, it's even better for that.

    Marriage should always come before children, but I know I'm very guilty of not following through on that. Maybe I need a resolution…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oops that was Kim…