In less than two days, it will be 2014. I don’t know about you, but I’m simply floored by that idea; 2013 seemed to go so fast, and I barely remember some of the months this past year. (Although to be fair, part of that might be due to our newborn baby and her decision to impede my sleep…)
Regardless of what I may be ready for, the new year is nearly here, and with that thought in mind, it’s a good time to think about what you hope to accomplish in this coming year. Yes, I know, I know, a resolution for the new year – it’s certainly a cliché. Still, if you seek to make improvements in your life, it’s good to set goals, and doing so at a time when everyone is trying to achieve their own goals means that there will be lots of people sharing your goals, providing support, and in many cases, sharing their advice (whether you want it or not).
So, as is common among bloggers (and really, every form of media) around this time, I’m going to share a resolution or two that I would like to achieve before this time next year. But before we get to the new resolutions, it’s important to look back at what I set out to do this year, and see if I’ve accomplished all I hope to do. So now, I bring to you:
Roger’s 2013 Resolution Review
1. Start Earning $3000 per Month in Alternate Income: Did I Succeed? – Not Really
Yeah, I don’t need to tell any regular readers, but I haven’t gotten near $3000 per month; I hadn’t even broke at a total of $1000 for the year as of the start of December, and things haven’t changed too much in these past 30 days. So short of an insane level of traffic tomorrow, I’m far from $3000 for this month with this blog. (That I haven’t gotten any other forms of alternate income running is another factor, one I intend to correct in 2014.) Of course, this is alternate income we’re talking about; if I had a regular job, there would be a lot fewer worries about how much The Amateur Financier brought in, and hopefully, no other financial issues. That brings us to the next resolution:
2. Get a Job: Did I Succeed? – Not at All
Another one where I don’t have success to report. I still lack a regular nine-to-five job, which definitely complicates many other parts of my life, with the finances for my family being at the top of the list. Part of the matter is I’m still suffering from epilepsy which is not completely controlled (with seizures, luckily minor seizures, occurring as recently as Saturday), preventing many job options and limiting my job hunting opportunities. But there are other alternatives I could have considered, mainly work-at-home style options, which I haven’t put enough effort into during this past year, which I’ll have to look into closer if I hope to make a profit while at home (and I do).
3. Care for My Wife and Child: Did I Succeed? – Absolutely
This is the last one I included, which (I will admit) I did in part to have something I could mark as accomplished when I did this review post for this year. That said, I did care for my wife and my daughter very well this year, thank you much. I have spent a goodly amount of this past year doing things like changing a cute baby, preparing her food, bathing her, and watching her while my wife was doing any number of other tasks, baby related or otherwise. While I am not the primary caretaker, I am sure that I made a major difference in how my wife handles my daughter (and that said wife would have had a lot more trouble handling said daughter without me).
So, with all that out of the way, the question is then: what are the resolutions for 2014? Well, let’s get to:
Roger’s Resolution for 2014
Here it is:
Pay Down $3000 in Debt
No, you’re not missing any resolutions; this time around, I’m only making one resolution. Having too many resolutions just ends up drawing my attention (or yours, should you be planning to make resolutions yourself) into too many directions, making it all the harder to focus on any particular goal. This time around, I’m also focusing on making my goal S.M.A.R.T. It’s specific ($3000 in debt gone, not just ‘lowering my debt’), measurable (I can easily count the amount of remaining debt), achievable ($3000 in a year, or $250 per month, is tough given my current situation, but far from impossible), relevant (less debt would affect many parts of my life) and time specific (I’ve already broken things down to monthly goals, to keep things flowing).
This is not to say that I don’t have other goals for this year; I still have my goals from last year (and from the year before) in mind as I work toward this objective. Doing things like getting a job, getting the Alexa ranking of this blog under 100,000 (which I’m doing a pretty good job on, but that’s another story), and of course, paying down my credit card debt will all help to achieve this resolution and let me be a success. In fact, things like helping my wife to start her business/sell her crafts and working to get a job will only help to achieve my goal, even if they aren’t explicitly laid out as resolutions.
Before we go, here’s a few last points. First, paying down debt means completely eliminating that much in debt, not simply transferring it. This brings up a point I’ve been avoiding; I’ve been getting help from family members to cover bills during my troubled times, and while I have been keeping track of how much I owe everyone, I haven’t been displaying it in the Net Worth Updates. I’ll have to do so, starting with the Net Worth Update later this week, if I hope to have a truly accurate idea of how much debt is eliminated.
Second, there are other issues that must be tackled while working to achieve this goal. My wife wants to build up a reserve of several thousand dollars to cover our monthly bills and keep us from generating more debt, which is a very worthy goal. As much as I want to go right into paying down the debt, it will be better for my family and our overall financial state to focus on other issues before going full-bore into debt repayment.
On a final, more pleasant note, while $3000 is a pretty impressive goal when you and your wife are bringing in less than $1200 per month, should I get a job that pays a wage typical for someone with a Masters in Chemistry (which can start at more than $60,000 per year), it will be a whole different ball of wax. Similar situations would result if I start making thousands of dollars in side income and can become a full-time blogger or my wife’s business becomes a world-wide enterprise. As a result, I’ll be sure to increase the debt elimination goals accordingly; I’d love to be debt-free as soon as possible, and if it that is sooner than I can currently imagine, I’d be thrived.