1. Get our finances in order. Originally, this was about figuring out what to do with our savings. Except, ha ha, now we only have one income, and we're keeping our savings right where they are to serve as an investment and safety net, so suddenly "having our finances in order" doesn't mean "paying extra money toward our mortgage and starting a college savings account" anymore. Now it means "only spending what is absolutely necessary." And on that count, we've actually done very well. We've cut our grocery budget nearly in half, stopped eating out, and avoided buying anything that wasn't absolutely necessary. Other than the items budgeted for and mostly covered by my salary (mortgage, car payment, insurance, gas, utilities, gym membership, groceries, cleaning supplies, and health products) and business items, we purchased the following in January:
- Several months' worth of glucosamine pills, tartar control, and liver treats for the dog ($68)
- A small gift for Kristie to thank her for her awesome help answering my tax-related questions, since I plan to file our taxes myself ($15)
- A car wash to get the salt off our car after the last snowstorm ($8)
2. Start working on obtaining a child. Well, this one isn't happening right now for obvious reasons. Though we have definitely decided that at least for the first kid, our first attempt to obtain the child will be through me trying to get pregnant. If we have trouble with that, or want more kids in the future, we'll see about potential adoption, fostering, etc. But for now, the goal is pregnancy, but not yet. However, I'm going to go ahead and take this one off the list for future resolution reviews, because there may come a time when I'm not ready or willing to discuss this, and I don't want to feel required to discuss it, or like my choice not to discuss it speaks louder than words.
3. Help Torsten advance in his career. Um, CHECK.
4. Spruce up the house. Well, we got an awesome dining room table as a Christmas gift from his parents and an awesome bed frame for our guest room as an early birthday gift for both of us from my parents. So we moved our old, square, wooden dining room table to the family room, and moved the recliners from the family room into the living room. And that's as much sprucing as is going to happen this year (unless there is a need for a nursery down the line, and/or Torsten's business suddenly takes off well beyond our expectations). We have some pictures we'd like to frame and hang, but right now picture frames fall in the category of "unnecessary, and therefore not allowed during the spending freeze."
5. Be more deliberate about our food. I must say, despite all the changes that we have quite successfully implemented this month, I may be the most proud of this one. This past month, we only ate out once, and that was a business dinner that was paid for by our colleague. Every other night, we either cooked or ate leftovers. Torsten has been doing some cooking, but I've been doing most of it, using some of our old favorite recipes and also some new recipes that I'd never tried before. And I've discovered that I'm actually a good cook! We've been planning meals in advance, buying ingredients cheaply, and spending MUCH less on food than ever before. And we aren't suffering at all. The food we've been eating is tasty, filling, and healthy, and we almost always have leftovers around the house the next day, which means we're also eating much healthier lunches. And I don't mind cooking, and I don't feel resentful of how much time it takes, and I've enjoyed experimenting and trying new recipes. I have no idea how long this honeymoon period will last, but I'll take it. This has been fabulous.
So! Overall, an excellent start to these resolutions. Now the real test will be to keep them going throughout the year.