2009 in Review:
- January: BFF's parents announced they were divorcing. Won first game at league tennis. Obama inaugurated!
- February: My mom spent three weeks with me so I could help her go through family pictures. My kitchen cabinets started falling off the walls & and to be taken down & reattached.
- March: Reappearance of last year's death flu. First of many, many trips to Vancouver for the year.
- April: Visited Craigg & Vic in Denver and was introduced to the joys of Rockband. Bought my first “real” tennis racquet (ie one that cost more than $30.) Won first match at league tennis.
- May: Painted the guest bedrooms. Adopted a cat. Back to Vancouver.
- June: Apparently I did nothing exciting in June.
- July: Went home for the 4th. My great-nephew was born! I went back to Vancouver. Started a cross-stitch family tree for my mom's Christmas gift. Started dating K. :D Went to Adam Lambert concert (ok, American Idol show, but we're ignoring that) and Green Day concert.
- August: Painted guest bathroom. Went to Counting Crows concert. Back to Vancouver.
- September: Dragon*Con! My plumbing problems started. Then we had historic floods in Atlanta, and my sump pump wasn't working, so my whole bottom level flooded a bit.
- October: Got the drainage pipes replaced from the house to the street. More Vancouver trips.
- November: Instituted the Tennis & Tacos Friday nights. Got death flu AGAIN (not to be confused with swine flu) right before my parents and sister came down for Thanksgiving. Watched my cousin finish the Atlanta marathon.
- December: Squirrels in the attic OH NO. :( Went home for Christmas. Bought a Wii.
A quiet year, really. Lots of problems around the house, although really nothing overly serious. Everything's been kind of low-key, but not necessarily in a bad way.Last year's resolution: Learn to live within my means financially.
After buying the house, it's been really hard to keep the credit card debt down - I doubled my living expenses by living alone, and I had to furnish the house and put a new roof on, and then this year there was the shed and the lawn equipment. But there's always going to be something, and I need to learn to be more frugal.
1. Pay off credit card debt.
2. Increase savings to $5K in case of emergencies.
3. Eat out less.
4. Explore getting a roommate more aggressively. This one sort of pains me, because the only logical room to rent out is the room I now use as my office, which means I would have to shift some stuff around to move my office upstairs. But I am going to start feeling around work and friends to see if there are any connections to someone trustworthy.
Result: Pretty much a failure. I did pay off my credit card debt in early March but it didn't stick; I've run up another ~3K in debt since then. Part of the problem is that I make more money for the first half of the year than I do for the second, due to a bonus. That will change this year, as they are adding that to my regular salary, so I'm hoping to be able to regulate that a bit bettter. I also nearly made it to the $5K savings goal, but then had plumbing problems that had to be dealt with. I have been tracking my spending pretty closely, and while I'm not entirely changing the way I spend, I am at least more cognizant of where my money goes. I'm going to keep at it this year and try to learn more about budgeting.
Also, I have come to terms with the fact that I do not want a roommate, or at least not one who isn't already a friend. So if the situation ever comes up, great, if not, I'm just going to have to be better with my money.
My top 10 expenses were:
Last year's goals:
- Mortgage: unavoidable, but it did go down this year! I'm still paying the same amount though, so I'm paying more on the principal loan. It works out to about one extra payment for the year.
- Home Improvement: By the time I finish dealing with the squirrels, it will be close to $5K this year. About $1K of that was planned expense, the rest was a surprise. Oh, well, it's an investment! (That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.)
- Restaurants/Dining: Gotta work on this one, I know! I am going to try. I love eating out though! And it is a method of getting together with friends as well.
- Home Maintenance: This is both décor and upkeep. Some of this is unavoidable, like pest control and the like. I need to take a look at the breakdown and see what I could trim down.
- Utilities: I have switched my gas company this month, so hopefully that will lower the bill for the coming year. Also I am starting to track, and I have cut my electricity usage by about a third over this time last year. I have become my dad: “Shut that light OFF! You don't need the light on if you aren't in the room, you won't wear out the switch.”
- Pets/Pet Care: She's lucky she's a cute cat. I have spent a lot on her, but that is tapering off now. I also bought a lot in bulk, like her flea treatments and replacement litter bags, because it was cheaper or saved shipping. So some of that cost will be defrayed this year, hopefully.
- Telephone Services was listed next, but that's not accurate as most of that is actually reimbursed by my company. I do need to look at lowering my cell phone plan; I don't think I can, but it's worth checking.
- Groceries: I need to get this one higher on the list, swap places with the Restaurant expenses.
- Personal Care: This is hair, make up, etc. A girl's got to be pretty :) I continue to toy with switching hairdressers, particularly as she continues to raise her prices, but I love the way she cuts my hair! I have already cut out one hair cut per year this year.
- Clothing/Shoes: I was shocked that this one was on here, because I don't feel like I bought a lot of clothes this year. But then I remembered – tennis & Gina's wedding were big clothing expenditures. And I bought hiking shoes too.
- Entertainment: This is everything from concerts to comic books. I need to look at the breakdown on this one too, but again, I do not want to cut out the things that get me out of the house. I have hermit tendencies.
1. Resume my walking routine. I let this go when I started playing tennis, but I need to do both. Ideally I'd like to walk 2 miles a day.
Result: Ok, I had completely failed at this until the beginning of December, so hopefully I can keep going with that.
2. Finish my sweatshirt blanket, and in the process, re-learn how to use a sewing machine.
3. Finish my France sabbatical and childhood photo albums.
Result: Nope. I started a cross-stitch family tree for my mom's Christmas gift, which took all my crafting time from July on. It's finished now, so hopefully I can get back on track with my own projects. I'm itching to work on a photo album.
4. Paint the guestroom and hang my grandmother's quilt up.
Result: 50%. I painted the guestroom, but decided to hold off on hanging up the quilt until I buy a bed frame, as I want the hardware to match the bed frame.2010 Resolution: House Plants
Sounds like a silly resolution, I know, but there are no plants in my house right now. I am bad at remembering to water them, but my goal is to have something growing in every room so that I see them all the time. Also, I need to get a watering can. It's also part of the “save money” goal as well, since I love flowers and buy them often; I'm hoping to replace that with a flowering plant. I will have to learn what flowers seasonally so I can rotate them out, and I have to do all this with the flowers that are not toxic to cats, so it will require some research. There are a LOT of plants that are toxic, according to the ASPCA.2010 Goals
- Hang living room curtains that I bought in August.
- Continue working on budgeting and saving my money, learning to control how I use my credit cards, etc.
- Finish the college sweatshirt blanket.
- Finish my France sabbatical photo album.
- Continue augmenting my fitness routine with walking and working out on the Wii I plan to buy soon. I would like to lose 10 pounds and/or fit back into my clothes better (some of my jeans are now too tight to wear.)
- Post one non-meme, non-tweet related post to LJ each week, and go back through and tag things better.
- Try out one new recipe a month.
- Mail cards to my family on their birthdays and anniversaries. I used to be really good at this but have been slacking for the last few years.