Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012: The Plan

Generic image, couldn't think of anything clever--sorry.
As I mentioned before, with new job starting, I have no idea how much my take-home pay is going to be.  I claimed zero dependents on my tax form, which means that the maximum amount of taxes are going to be taken out of my check, and I also have health, dental, union dues and 401k.  Wow, that's a lot of deductions when you write it all down.  In an effort to not lose my mind in the coming months, I'm going to just live as frugally as I can, and start re-tracking expenses and income to come up with a whole new budget.  Obviously, since I went over in all categories last year, I need to make a change.

Also, I'm going to do something a little fun (nerdy fun).  My car is almost at the 100,000 mile mark.  When I was commuting 28 days a month, I was also putting on about 3000 miles every three months--I know this because of that little oil change sticker on my car window--MATH!  So now that I'm going to be commuting by bike or foot (I walked to new job yesterday and it was lovely!!), I'm going to see how many miles I put on that car each month.  I'm going to take it in for repairs, which I've been putting off for a year and a half, and then hopefully it will spend most of its time in the driveway.

Also, obviously, I would like to reign in my clothes spending, which I hope having a normal schedule will help me do.  Presently, I'm in the mindset that my new job will right all the wrongs in my life and turn me into one of those shiny happy people who eat right, dress well, get an appropriate amount of exercise and never complain about anything. I anticipate that this feeling will last about two months.  But seriously, folks, this is a truly fresh start, which is pretty awesome.  So instead of trying to plan EVERYTHING, I'm going to try to take it as it comes.

The plan--minimal plan:
  1. Track spending and expenses to come up with a new budget.
  2. Drive as little as possible.
  3. Take car in for repair.
  4. Take new bike in for repair and learn how to ride it.
  5. Do more cooking at home.
  6. Spend more time with friends doing fun things.
  7. Take in some culture--man, I miss culture.
  8. Do fun things on the weekend.  I've heard of these "weekends" that people are always excited about, perhaps if I manage to stay on top of household tasks during the week, I can spend these weekends doing fun things?  Is that how it works?
  9. Explore hobbies--I should have hobbies, but not expensive ones like big game hunting or sailing, except I do plan to take sailing lessons...
  10. Write more!  More blogging, and for god's sake get to work on that damn novel!
So, my minimal plans resulted in a list of ten items, which is not minimal.  BUT, I have some fun thrown in there too.  It's a mix, a healthy mix.  I feel good.


  1. Congrats! BTW, you can combine 7 and 8 by doing a cultural event on the weekend.