Resolutions old and new

As this year comes to a close I am going to take some time to revisit those pesky resolutions from last year and set some new ones for the year ahead. You can find the details of my resolutions here.

1. Consume less- Yet again I got a strong start with this, but when the holidays came around I just didn't have the time to make fancy packing materials. I have been buying fewer new materials, my shopping list usually consists of soaps and food items. The downside of so little time is that Philip and I have been eating out more than we should (which I guess is a way to both buy locally and consume less.)

2. Buy locally- I rocked out on this one. Since we had a booth at the Farmers' Market over the summer I automatically bought my produce there just out of convenience. I have also been making most of my purchases at neighborhood stores and my store sells as many products made by local individuals as we can get.

3. Fix my bike- I seriously thought about doing this, but the more I rode my bike around my neighborhood, the more I preferred walking so this didn't get done. I will probably address the issue again in the spring.

4. Learn to bake- I did at least twice as much baking this year than in previous years, but I still don't feel proficient in it. This has been added to my 40 before 40 list so I have more time to work it out. Sarah did get me a cake decorating set for Christmas so there is the possibility of lots of cupcakes in the year ahead.

5. Start my own business- I actually accomplished this, with a lot of help from friends and family. When I made the goal I was still having strong doubts and honestly without the push of Sarah, my business partner and long time friend, I don't think it would have happened.

Even though I didn't accomplish all of my goals for the year, 2006 was my best year ever and I am a little sad to see it go. I have high hopes for 2007, but a lingering fear that my life has peaked and it is all downhill from here.

My goal for the new year is to really start saving money. Philip and I sat down and figured out our budget and our savings goal for the next year. Things are going to be very tight, but I know we can do it. When we lived in Norfolk, we went on a hardcore budget and managed to save quite a bit of money (which we used up during our move and Philip's four months of unemployment last year.) We currently have a cushion in our bank account, but not as much as we should have and whenever we have unplanned expenses, like Astrid's big vet visit next month, things get tighter then they should. We started a trial of our new budget at the beginning of this month and even with all of the holiday expenditure we are in a better financial place at the end of this month than we have been in quite a while. This makes me very optimistic that by the end of January we will have 10% of our projected savings. I am adding a project bar for our savings goal on the side of my blog to chart our progress. Also, if you have any financial tips I would love to hear them.

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