December 31, 2009

2010 New Years Resolutions

Ah, New Years Eve. A day to ponder, reflect on the past year, then stay up late and drink copious amounts of alcohol. Unless you're us. And your husband is working on a co-worker's yard tomorrow. In which case you accomplish the first 2 and then go to bed at your normal time. So let's focus on that "ponder and reflect".

Here is what I've come up with for my 2010 resolutions.

1. Choose one thing to give up buying. For those who know me, you're aware that I'm horribly obsessed with knitting. However, with knitting comes yarn (you can't really knit without it). A product which I am even more obsessed with. If I were to give up knitting I would be perfectly content as long as I just had piles and piles of yarn around me. The problem is it is pricey. So I have resolved that this year I will not make a single purchase for yarn or knitting related thing with money that I or Ben make/receive (unless it is a gift certificate). I have a lot of stash yarn that I need to use up so that should keep me busy. However, I told my mom this and for Christmas she gave me a coupon stating she will get me $20 worth of yarn/supplies every month. So I won't be totally deprived. :)

2. Become better at blogging. My biggest problem is remembering to take pictures. I will try to be better about this. Also, not just letting my mind wander and rambling away. To create posts that people would actually want to read.

3. Become a more self-sufficient family. This year we want to get chickens and plant a garden. This will hopefully mean we don't have to go to the store as often and can buy less since we can get food from our own backyard. This will mean building a chicken coop. I am hoping that we can use our tax return to do that. We are zoned for a maximum of 12 chickens or other small creatures for "food or fur-bearing purposes". So maybe I can finagle a goat as well. Ben's mom is also doing her garden again this year, so I am hoping that we can plant whatever she doesn't and we can trade.

4. Fix up the house so that it is more comfortable. This will not save us money, but in some areas is necessary.We have a very nice house, but it was in bad shape when we moved in. We need a new roof - it leaks. We also only have a fireplace insert and two room heaters to heat the whole house in the winter, and a swamp cooler for summer. While these do work and we can live fairly comfortably, the house is still very chilly some days, as well as very hot in the summer. I am hoping that this year we can at least replace the door in our room and the window in the boys room and get a new roof. This will help with less cold coming into the rooms during the night. We will be doing these ourselves, with the help of family, so it will be cheaper than hiring someone.

5. Work more on the grocery budget. Within the next week I will post how we did for December. My goal is to lower the grocery bill by using less meat and moving toward produce that is in season. Making even more things than buying it as long as it is cost effective to do it at home. It doesn't make much sense to make something if it will be more expensive than buying, unless there is a severe health benefit.

I could probably add lots more things to the list, but I think this is a very good list as it is. So I will leave it. I think these are all very reasonable goals that can be done this year. We'll see how it goes.

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