Still Looking at 2014, but My Head is Spinning

Not even joking guys, my head is in a royal tailspin.

When The Boy asked me to marry him over Christmas holidays, I wasn’t entirely prepared for it. You see, we met and started dating right around the same time one of his parents was at the tail end of a nasty divorce. There was some trepidation when it came towards the subject of marriage on his side. I was told early on, more or less point blank, that he would never ask someone to marry him unless they had been dating for at least 5 years.

That was about 2.5 years ago?

So yeah, I hadn’t seriously expected to start squirrelling away money for a wedding and that whole process for a few more years. Those aggressive financial goals I set for myself a week before he asked me to marry him? So not going to happen now. Well, not all of them anyway.

This year is straight up busy.

January is traditionally a decluttering month for me. The last couple years I’ve been doing Carla’s No/Low Spend and Decluttering double challenge, which has been a really good reset for both my home and finances after the December craziness. It also starts the new year off on the right foot in my opinion. Since I was starting to feeling like the number of items I own isn’t excessive anymore, and my home is getting closer to finished, I was thinking about doing Apartment Therapy’s January Cure instead to get my home pulled together for the new year and work on styling some of my rooms. That was the plan going into Christmas anyway.

Now? Now January is going to be a hard decluttering month, because I’m moving into his house in February. We are quite literally going to put two full houses worth of stuff into one house, so I need to purge the unnecessary stuff.

Crazy eh?

We plan on putting my house on the market in the spring, which means we need to get the last of it finished up. We’ve been at a standstill since the snow started flying, because using the power tools inside would result in everything I own being covered in sawdust. I’ve been there before, and it’s not particularly fun. Once my stuff is moved out of the house we can use the power tools inside without that niggling concern, so we can get everything finished up before the ground thaws.

Meanwhile we’re also in the process of talking to wedding venues and photographers. Oh, and I have to finish planning a trip to Greece this summer for my sister’s wedding.

No wonder my head is spinning!

Keeping this in mind, I’ve modified my goals for this year. I’ve gotten rid of the goal of maintaining a $0 balance on my credit card at the beginning of every pay period just because for the first few months of the year it won’t be realistic. I am going to continue trying to maintain the $0 in interest side of things though, as I’ve been doing for the last few years. I’ve also gotten rid of the stretch goals. There’s too much going on at the moment, and I’m going to drive myself nuts looking at the stretch goals asking myself why I can’t hit an aggressive goal that I set before life changed its course.

Financial Well Being

Goal: Build my TFSA up to 6 months worth of emergency living expenses ($15,000) by the end of 2014.

What? You made your base goal more aggressive?

Yeah, I did. Basically, this is what’s going to happen:

I’m going to continue plunking $100 into my TFSA every two weeks. When I sell my home, I’m going take (minimum) $10,000 worth of that equity and put it into my TFSA.

That basically kills this goal. It kind of feels like cheating, but at the same time it more accurately reflects the fact that my finances are going to be very non-linear this year. It also helps correct part of the problem I currently have where I have a lot of net worth tied up in my house and not in liquid assets. I’m going to have to reassess this goal later in the year as well. $15,000 is 6 months of living expenses at my house, but I don’t know yet what 6 months of living expenses at The Boy’s house looks like.

Goal: Track my daily spending and start punching it into a spreadsheet.

This goal is in progress. I downloaded a free app called Spending that keeps track of my income and spending, and produces little spending reports and pie charts on my phone. So far so good!

Goal: Increase the automatic retirement contributions from my paycheque to 10%.

I knocked this one down a couple percentage points for now. I’m going to increase my contributions to 10% to start. If I get a raise this year, I’ll increase it by that amount as well. If once things get settled out at the new house I find I have more than sufficient income to reach my savings goals, I’ll bump it right up to 18%. We’re going to start with 10% though.

Goal: Increase my net worth to $150,000 by the end of the year.

This goal is going to stand as it is. I don’t know yet how it will happen, but I’m going to leave it.

Personal Well Being

Goal: Work out 2 hours per week.

My plan is to start running outside on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so long as the ambient temperature is higher than -15. If it’s cold on Tuesday (like today), but warm the rest of the week, then my running day will get bumped to another day. The reason why I’ve picked Tuesday and Thursday is because I’ve declared those days to be “Wedding Free” – no wedding magazines, websites, planning, etc… I figure working out on those days will help me maintain some semblance of balance.

On weeks where we have consistently cold temperatures, I’m going to have to go to yoga or something along those lines.

Goal: Get 7 hours of sleep at least 5 nights a week.

This one stays. So far so good!

Goal: Replace all of my worn out undergarments (socks, bras, underwear).

This one is staying as well. I figure I’ll weed out the worn out stuff this month while I’m decluttering, so it will give me a better idea of how much I need to replace.

Goal: Get a haircut at least every 3 months.

This one stays too. My next appointment is in March, so I’ll just have to continue booking myself in for my next appointment 3 months later every time I get my hair cut.

How are your guys’ goals looking so far this year? Is anyone doing a big decluttering this month? How about combining households? Any tips?

Recommended Reading: How to be a one-percenter <– not just about money!

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23 thoughts on “Still Looking at 2014, but My Head is Spinning

  1. Hi Cassie. Thanks for recommending my post. I’m flattered.

    I like the looks of your blog. I’ll have to peruse it some more when I have the time. Good list of goals here. If you are anything like me, I think you’ll find publishing them out here for all the world to see will make them more likely to “stick”.

    All the best and Happy New Year.

    • Hey Buck, not a problem, I really enjoyed your post :)

      I’m definitely more like to hit my targets when I make them public, but I find even just the act of writing the goals down makes a big difference too.

  2. Yep, that is a head-spinning number of goals and changes! I love your idea of having two days a week free of wedding planning – so smart! You’ve made a lot of big decisions which “require” you to stay on track so I’m sure things will get done.

  3. I am intent in deck uttering – perhaps a little slower than just this month… But organization is really necessary here. After a move that I didn’t properly purge for, and downsizing the home… It’s a little chaotic. I need multifunctional items that are relatively nice looking because storage space is at a premium..

      • I knew what you meant ;)

        I didn’t purge at all before my last move, and holy crow was that a doozy! This one I’m hoping will go a little easier on the moving front because it’s being done gradually instead of all on one day. The organizing at his house on the other hand… THAT is going to be a task and a half.

  4. Well it definitely sounds like you’ve got a busy year ahead of you, but it sounds exciting all the same! :) I’m doing the same thing as you re: TFSA… aiming to have $15K total (however $5K of that is in our main account saving us $13/bank fee’s per month. Next month I plan on decluttering like crazy as well… lol! Good luck!! :)

  5. As you might recall, I did the house merging about 6 months ago, but interestingly, he has next to no stuff seeing he’d moved cross country about 1.5 years prior. So I don’t have a lot of tips, other than just talking a lot about where things will go. I liked (when I bought my own place) to plan where I would store different things, so on moving day, I knew what went where etc. It can work well!

    I also love the idea of two wedding free days, great idea! Otherwise I’m sure it can be a vortex!

    • I do recall your house merging. I could only wish for one that went as reasonably seamlessly as yours went, but given that my fiance has already acknowledged a few times previously that he has too much stuff, me moving mine in is going to temporarily compound that issue. I appreciate the tip though.

      It’s a huge vortex! For someone who doesn’t consider herself a girly girl, I’m surprised at how much it’s sucked me in.

  6. Nice goals! Very exciting to be engaged and moving in together :) I’m sure selling your place will help meeting some of the financial goals. I totally agree with wedding free days, helps with the sanity. Also having date nights with the fiancé without talking wedding is also very important. Looking forward to reading about more details :)

  7. Congratulations on your engagement! What an exciting year ahead of you. The ring is lovely, by the way. Despite the (good) curveballs, I think your goals haven’t changed much; the increase in the TFSA will be nice.

    I am working on decluttering in February. I’m trying to get other things in order first, like sleeping 7 hours, 5 times a week :)

  8. I’m in the EXACT same spot as you!! My boyfriend also proposed (just before Christmas) and we already had some awesome, but expensive goals for 2014. (Get a dog, go on a trip (already half paid for), shuffle a lot into student loans). But, with this engagement, it’s a lot to handle and we set the date for 2015 so it gives us some breathing room to save up and take a breath instead of having to drain our savings.
    2014 is going to be a roller coaster ride financially.

    • Congratulations on your engagement! I hear you about the roller coaster for sure. I’m kind of wondering if my head is going to spin like this all year…

    • Yeah, MASSIVE changes for me happening all at once! I’m thinking I’ll be booking myself into more yoga classes and (work reimbursed) massages this year.

  9. Good on you for keeping some personal wellbeing goals in there. I’m assuming if you want to work out 2 hrs per week and only have 2 runs per week scheduled, you must do other things on the other days. You might want to consider trying to run at least three times per week. If you do a Thurs run and then take 4 days off until the next Tues, you will essentially lose all the benefit of that run – so it will be very hard to see any improvement which can be frustrating. Obviously any calories burned are still burned, but most of the physical adaptations you would get from the training that would eventually make the run feel easier or allow you to go farther/faster will be lost over a 4 day period. Adding one more run session in should prevent this, and the gradual improvement or feeling that you are getting more fit will help keep you motivated. Just my two cents. take care.

    • I’d like to move running up to 3-4 time a week by this summer, but currently I’m leaving it at 2 because of everything else that’s going on (moving, etc…). Thanks for the advice though.

  10. You got goals. You got a strategy. p’-‘q Good luck.

    As for me, I’m on a mini-decluttering. I do so every time around winter and spring. Usually just a purge of clothes and junk.

  11. Pingback: Spending Analysis – February 2014 | Tales from the Trenches

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