In January, I set 5 goals for the year as New Year Resolutions. I set goals for each of my four overarching principles: finance, knowledge, kindness and health.
We’ve now just entered the second quarter of the year, so here’s my progress so far with this year’s resolutions.
This year I set one primary finance goal… To get our standalone emergency fund up to 3 months of expenses, which is just under $15,000.
Given that we only had about 2.5 weeks worth of funds in the account, this wasn’t going to be an easy task. This is because my plan to increase our emergency fund to $15k was to happen in addition to our standard medium, long term and retirement savings accounts contributions.
Currently, our net income is pre-allocated in full to daily expenses (57%), medium and long term savings (29%), retirement savings (5%) and spending’s (9%). This means, that in order to grow our emergency account to $15k, we need to find the about $12k from other sources, such as pay rises, higher duties and side hustles.
Unfortunately, in the first quarter of the year, we’ve had a few things happen that have required us to dig into our existing emergency account.
Firstly, our washing machine died, so there went $900 for a new one. Secondly, my beloved smashed her phone, so there went $500 to fix that. Thirdly, our car battery died, so there went $200 as well.
Consequently, our emergency account has gone down $1600, or roughly half of what it was on January 1, in the first quarter.
As we’ve been paying money into this account throughout the quarter (as well as withdrawing from it!) we are almost back where we started. Going forward, we may need to review our plans and adjust some of our other savings plans to ensure we can get our emergency fund in good order by the end of the year.
1st quarter progress: Nil.
As I outlined in my new year resolution’s post, I have never been much of a reader. Other than textbooks for education purposes, books just simply haven’t been my thing.
Recently, I decided it was time introduce books into my life for recreation purposes. So, I set the goal of reading, or listening to, at least one book per month.
I am glad to report that I have just finished my 9th book for the year. I have gone from not being a book person, to always having a book, or two, on the go.
1st quarter progress: Killing it!
The kindness goal I set for myself this year was to get more involved with charities. When I set this goal, I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve it. I just knew that I was feeling disconnected from my younger, more altruistic self and wanted to be better in this regard.
In the first few weeks of the year, I thought a lot about what I was going to do to achieve this goal. With our budget preallocated and strict, I knew that simply increasing our current regular financial donations wasn’t the solution.
Additionally, I also knew that my time was already very limited between work, this blog, other side hustles, and life in general. So, regular volunteering may not be the answer either.
As a result, I decided go start up a tuck shop in my workplace, and then donate the profits to charity. My tuck shop sells snacks and soft drinks to fellow employees on my floor, at a profit of around 100% per item.
The tuck shop has only been running for a few weeks and has had mixed results so far. The chips are selling well and I think they could be a viable option. However, the soft drinks are not only selling slower… But, there’s a thief amongst the ranks who keeps taking drinks and not paying for them (yep, arseholes can be found everywhere)!
Due to the ongoing theft issues, the viability of my charity efforts in this regard is being reduced.
Nonetheless, I have been able to increase my charity efforts through this project.
Quarter 1 progress: on track.
Drink less alcohol
At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to drink less alcohol, by restricting my intake to no more than 9 drinks per week. Holidays, friends visits, etc are excluded from this, but not getting drunk or a hangover are my goals for these occasions.
So far, I’ve done really well at sticking to this goal. I have failed twice, and have had 10 drinks during one week and 11 during another. But, otherwise, I’ve stuck to the 9 or less drinks.
Additionally, I have not had a hangover, nor been drunk (even on the big events) to date this year.
Quarter 1 progress: on track.
Do more muscle strengthening exercise
As I’ve spoken about previously, I am pretty active from a cardio perspective. However, when it comes to strength exercises, I’m pretty useless.
As a result, I set myself the resolution to do 15 minutes of strength training 3 days per week and 15 mins of stretching exercises 2 times per week.
To date this year, I have barely done any muscle strengthening exercise. I have been a bit better with stretching; and have done yoga on and off, but not as part of a regular routine.
Quarter 1 progress. Miserable failure thus far. Improvement required!
Overall, my new years resolutions have been hit-and-miss thus far. Despite this, I’m not giving up! I’ll celebrate my first quarter wins and kick myself up the bum for my losses.
There are 9 months left of the year for New Year’s resolutions to be achieved… And it’s time to get moving!