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Thinking Ahead

December 28th, 2015 at 06:02 am

I have been thinking about the upcoming year, and what my aspirations are. I don't want to make resolutions or even set goals -- I guess I am more interested in continuous improvement in small increments. Even before TD posted about her "theme" I had already decided on a theme, which was coincidentally her last year's theme -- attentiveness/mindfulness. I just need to be more aware. To listen -- not just to people, but to the events in my life. To pay attention to what is happening around me and to me. To have my brain turned on, for Pete's sake! I spend too much time daydreaming.

Financially, I know that there are three things I have to save for. The Key West trip, the cruise, and my gap year. My gap year is the time between my last stipend from the College and the first "upgraded" Social Security payment, when I switch to my own benefit. I think it will be actually a little more than a year. I will need to make up $275 a month. I have two and a half years before it begins.

That sounds pretty formidable, given that my income is pretty low. That's where I'm hoping that mindfulness will create new revenue streams, and new ideas about cutting corners.

Today I tackle the last 15 hours of work. I was going to drive in today, as I am so much more focused there (and can use a better computer) but the weather is not cooperating. An ice storm is predicted, so I am going to stay off the roads.

Today's menu:

Breakfast: Toast
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwich, applesauce
Dinner: Veggies & pita bread

7 Responses to “Thinking Ahead”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    "I guess I am more interested in continuous improvement in small increments."

    I like that. I will probably steal it.

  2. pjmama Says:

    I second MonkeyMama - resolutions are easy to start strong and trail off. Thinking of it from a bigger picture standpoint gives you room to embrace it more as a lifestyle than a box to be checked off. Good luck Big Grin

  3. laura Says:


    Smile My theme: intentionality.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    I like it! Are you thinking of contract or PT work to make up your gap year?

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    This kind of goes along with an article I read today on Yahoo Finance --
    Here's the link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/12/27/pete-planner-why-financial-new-years-resolutions-dumb/77299886/

    He essentially says that if you have to make resolutions or goals, to do them in small amounts/increments - such as a monthly goal.

    So let's say you have to make up for 15 months * 275 (4,125)
    You have 36 months to save for it. So all you have to do is find $114 a month and you'll have it. Smile You could probably come up with $75 of it from Swagbucks or other money maker sites, maybe look into doing some tutoring during the school year, etc., etc.

    You could even break it up into smaller goals - like say in January I want to find an extra $75 to put towards the Gap year. Then in February find $100 and so on.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    Hey Laura, thanks for doing the math for me! I already have $1217 that I've saved from my variables budget, plus the $2K+ slush fund. But I have the two trips to factor in, too. (Maybe $1K for each?) I have $3K+ coming from the museum, but a big tax bite from that.

    Maybe I will tweak my variables budget and make $114 for gap year a line item.

    EC, I will take any contract work that comes my way, and will keep an eye out for part-time opportunities.

    I'm also going to start selling my antique booth inventory on eBay. Don't know if I'll get anything, but it's worth a try.

  7. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Sounds like you've got it. Smile

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