Goals. They’re a thing that seem to be going around this time of year. Everyone makes ’em, everyone breaks ’em…so I approach goals with a anticipatory curiosity and I have to wonder- how will this year pan out?
Last year, my major goal was to hustle and save $20,000 in 2014– which I sort of, almost accomplished. By December 2013, I hit about $19k of the goal, so it’s not a complete loss. I also no longer have a wedding to plan for, so it’s going to be an exciting year of new experiences (you know, not wedding related experiences) and opportunities to really put that money to work- and not for an overpriced cake and DJ.
Or you know, I could just order a three tier cake and hire a DJ for an hour while I eat it, alone and totally obnoxiously satisfied.
Ya, I could totally do that.
So anyway- 2015 goals…I have them. They are good. I am excited. I’m not sure how any of them will pan out because they are all totally out of my comfort zone. I have a passport which I’ve never used which I originally got for a trip to Scotland that didn’t happen in 2013 and now it’s time.
I am ready for a year of goals, but I’m starting from a place of gratitude. Though I’m hungry to cross them off my list, I’m stupid thankful. This time 4 years ago, I was just thinking of starting a blog. I was living off $800 a month in city that challenged everything about me (like checking the weather app each day, something I never did back home). I was scared I’d made the wrong career decision and didn’t want to stay on for my Ph.D. I finally decided that my life would be much better with a rescue pug and fostered an older pug, who I later adopted, Ralph- despite the warnings from my Dad that I didn’t need a dog or that an older dog would be a mistake. At the time, I was in an unhealthy, one-sided relationship with a man I cared for deeply but didn’t return the favor. I couldn’t touch my toes, I’d never tried to run a 5k and I got migraines every few weeks.
Am I where I want to be right now? No, and that’s a blessing. Being hungry for challenge and having motivation is a gift you miss when it’s gone. I have a whole new horizon to sail towards now and I sometimes have to remind myself that not having a map is okay- I’m not getting married this year like we’d planned. I’m not sure what I’ll do on 6-6-2015, our intended party date, but I’m open to ideas…so feel free to leave them in the comment section below. 😉
Now, onto the goals…
This makes me want to barf. Oh my gosh does it ever. Not the fact that I’m not getting married, but that I’m doing something unfamiliar with it and in a large quantity. (Go big or go home?) I’m not sure what frightens me more- saying siyonara to $10k or the actual idea of investing it.
I will not be paying for catering, a DJ or fancy stationary this year. I guess I will take solace in the idea that I won’t be investing into a partnership, I’ll be investing into my future. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ll be turning to some of my wiser, more stock-seasoned friends for guidance. My goal is to have this sorted out by March or April and then throw the money into an investment account and run away screaming. Wish me luck!
France, Japan & A Carnival Cruise…on my bucket list
I have a passport that I’ve never used. Sad right? I have never been out of the country beyond a brief drive into Mexico and a cruise to Canada. This is a thing that needs to change in 2015. A friend of mine (Hi Linds!) recently went to Europe and her Insta of the Eifel Tower sparkling in LED at night quite literally took my breath away.
I want to go to a tropical resort (suggestions) and eventually work my way to Japan, but Japan will be a 2016 trip that takes 2-3 weeks methinks…Japan is the ultimate bucket list trip. This year though, I need to figure out a place to go, how much it’ll cost and I am pretty overwhelmed on where to start, and where to go. How does one decide on where to pop her passport cherry? Halp.
Maybe I should plan something for June. June 6th specifically. Maybe it should involve scantily clad fellas or a beach of some sort. Maybe lots of adult beverages. I’d like your thoughts on that.
I currently have about $5k in an emergency fund from last year’s $20k in 2014 goal. I will need to put a few hundred from each paycheck into the emergency fund but since my expenses have risen (hello new neighborhood and life circumstances!) quite dramatically, and I want to travel- it’s going to be a heck of a challenge. I’m going to have to hustle. hard.
I have already set up automatic “payments” (as I call them, they’re really just money transfers but in my head I treat them as a bill) to my special savings account (which I highly recommend Capital One 360 for this!) and as long as I don’t make any premature withdrawls (hello, unnecessary shoe shopping habit) I should be on track.
I want to start going to classes for fitness or doing my workout DVDs again, but for now, I’m taking a few minutes each morning to stretch every day- my back, legs, hip flexors. Not every goal is going to be big and scary- I would rather have a little habit which makes a big impact and stretching is one silly little thing (like flossing) I know I should do, and would be super easy, yet I don’t do it regularly and I am so inflexible.
Here’s where I will be brutally honest- breaking off an engagement in 2014 was difficult, but luckily I had the support of many friends and loved ones to get me through that time. Without the folks in my life, I would not have stepped out of that chapter with even a shred of grace.
I will say though, I have amazing friends all over the country and all over the world- but I don’t feel I have a core of really close friends here in the Chicago area that I could call on a moment’s notice to go grab a drink or help me clean out my closets or whatever else I feel like doing locally. Being totally transparent, there were times I knew I could reach out on the phone to any number of amazing people who would take my call- but when I broke up with my fiancé, it put a weird strain on many of the local friendships I had developed.
Yes, people somehow believed they should take sides or avoid the two of us entirely despite the fact we ended on good terms. I can’t entirely blame them, nor do I harbor any hurt over it, but I will say I learned a valuable lesson- have a tribe in your own zipcode. I want to focus on cultivating relationships all over the board, but I do need some folks I can ping at 3pm on a Wednesday and say “Who is totally up for happy hour tonight?” since right now, I work all the time and that type of clique is not a thing I have.
Ya, I feel like the new kid at school all over again, but I want to foster relationships locally and I need to get over the weird stigma I feel in admitting that. I have the most amazing people in my life but I need to take responsibility to cultivate relationships here and afar and I hope I never rest on my laurels on developing friendships again if I get into another relationship. The importance of friendships in your life cannot be understated!
So much to do this year and I’m not afraid to admit what’s in my heart anymore. Finances, fitness, friends and travel…it’s going to be a whirlwind in 2015, thank you for being along for the ride.
I don’t even know you but I am so dang proud of you! And you inspire me so much.
Thank you so much, that means a lot!
I think on what was your wedding date, you should go on a girlfriend cruise. See if any of your friends across the country want to take a few days and bask in the tropical sun with you. Carnival’s great, and websites like Cruisesonly.com have great prices and great customer service. I’ve got a Disney Girlfriend cruise coming up in October, so I’m a big fan of girlfriend trips. 🙂
Also, maybe you can make Scotland happen sometime THIS year. 🙂
I love that idea – thanks for the tip on cruiseonly.com! A Disneyland Girlfriend cruise sounds great!
I definitely think you should cross a few items off your ‘2015 to do’ list and go for a cruise on June 6th to somewhere that has gorgeous tan skinned men with limited English skills, and invite me. I’m so in.
Haha, that sounds lovely!
I’m here! In Chicago that is. Let’s do happy hour at Ceres in the board of trade building. You can meet some good looking stock brokers and talk investing. Lots of birds with one stone 😉
I like the way you think Stephanie! Multi-tasking mingling!! I love it! We should meet up sometime!
I love your blog and your attitude!
For the trip you should check out skyscanner – put in your tentative dates and a departure city, leave the location blank and see what’s economical and available! I definitely recommend South America, particularly Colombia or Panama for budget travel. There’s a good mix of beach and culture/history. From what it sounds like, you’re the type of person who will want to go more and more places once you get a taste.
Also, if you’re going to invest use robinhood! Free trades! And read the magic formula and then try it if you’re bold!
Thank you for the suggestions and the tips! I’ll have to look into Skyscanner.
For travel, I hear that Greece is really nice in June (and relatively cheap, too)! Of course, I’m also partial to Amsterdam, despite its lack of tropical climate. But I’m pretty sure that if you want to get something out of your mind, Amsterdam is a good place to do it.
Thank you for the suggestions!
First time reader here and I had to comment on what a beautiful post this is. I don’t know your whole story but it sounds like 2015 is going to be a big discovery year for you.
If you’re looking for some sun and sand, I recommend an all-inclusive in Jamaica or a Caribbean cruise with Carnival. Both options were a lot of fun 🙂 If you need someone to travel brainstorm with, hollatchagirl.
Thank you so much! Going to the Caribbean sounds nice right about now.
Don’t be afraid of savings! I highly recommend sorting out the investing prior to Apr 15, so that you can make it as tax-efficient as possible. It will go even further that way!
Thanks for the tip, Anne!
I too have a goal to get more comfortable with the world that is stocks/bonds/investing. I will be looking out for any posts you may have on the topic. Good luck with all your goals!
Thank you! I hope investing goes well for both of us.
This is all so exciting! You should send me an email re: stock (I can help!) and travel! I love love love travel and want to go to Japan asap! It’s on my list for before we have kids! I thinks it’s great you are investing the money you saved for your wedding in your future! Here’s to a wonderful 2015!
Awesome, and thank you for the support! I hope you have a wonderful 2015, too!
Wow, I am so excited for you this year! Truly, you’re inspiring. And I think you’ll find investing a lot easier once you get started. You can ‘set it and forget it’ with target date funds, or you can invest in mutual funds and bonds. Just don’t forget to rebalance once a year (aka just check on your portfolio and make sure it’s going in the way you want it to :))
Personally, my vote for tropical resort is Costa Rica. I was supposed to go in 2011 and did a ton of planning… only to have the whole thing canceled (ugh). I’ve been dreaming about it since, so of course I encourage everyone I know to go! Cloud forest! Monkeys! Beautiful beaches! Yoga! Sustainability! Surfing! What’s not to love? 😉
Thank you for the tips! I’m sorry your Costa Rica trip got canceled, especially after so much planning. I’ll have to check it out!
i just found your blog for the first time and I already love so much about what his post has to say, I subscribed…even though my life is probably as far removed what your circumstances, I can’t wait to see where you go in 2015. Have you heard of Dave Ramsey’s 7 babysteps (for money?) best wishes!
Thank you, glad you enjoy it already! I am familiar with Dave Ramsey’s philosophy on money.
You should definitely take yourself (maybe have a friend join you) on a trip somewhere fabulous and be celebrating what would have been your wedding day. Scotland! Paris! Vienna! All of them?
I recently started investing 4% of each paycheck into an IRA through my work and they have a choice where you just give your approximate retirement date and they invest the money for you based on when that is (farther away means more risk, closer means less risk). I would have zero idea what to do with it myself.
I hear you about the tribe. My best friend lives in the suburbs with her husband, my other best friend lives in Milwaukee with her husband, and I too feel like I don’t have any girl friends to ask about last minute happy hour. That’s why I started joining groups and participating in them – mainly running groups to help develop friendships. I’m also in Chicago (lake view) and I’m totally happy to meet and gab over a glass of wine if you’d like!
I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier but I’m so glad I did!! I’m in a neighborhood right by you and I’d love to meet up sometime! What running groups have you joined? I used to run with 3-Run-2 in Logan Square but since I’ve relocated I don’t feel like trekking it all the way over there… it just wasn’t feasible so I’m bummed 🙁
50 times YES on the wine 😉 Wine is always a thing I am game for! 😉 hahah
I love love love this post Shannyn. I hope 2015 is a great year for you. I also have a passport that I’ve never used. Went on a cruise last year to many countries and it wasn’t needed once!
P.S. I’d be down to travel somewhere. We should have a girl blogger’s vaca!
Thanks, I hope you have an awesome 2015 too! A girl blogger’s vacation would be fun!
Haha how funny, I also resolved to stretch every day! I look at it as a minute to engage with my body, breathe deeply, and release a little stress. Good luck to you on your goals!
Good luck to you as well!
I love your goals!
2015 is going to be a year of discovery for you and I look forward to hearing all about it.
You know how I feel about travel. DO IT!!
I need to build a Phoenix tribe. I have not done that yet. That’s a goal for me. Also, I need to become a bit more saving savvy. I believe you are just the person to help me with this.
You are amazing!!
Hey Lindsey! Yes, you and I can keep each other accountable to build our local tribes. We’re both transplants and pug lovers, I know we can find a tribe!
I remember reading your first post about the new turn your life was taking, and it is so cool to see a post like this with a perspective and outlook that is so different from then 🙂 Im glad to see that you have a good head on your shoulders and know that 2015 is about to be whatever you decide to make it be! it looks like you are off to a freakin awesome start.
Thank you so much!
I am right there with you on the stretching goal! I want to do more yoga, since it’s helped me with depression/anxiety in the past, and I kind of sense those feelings creeping up on me again. You have some amazing goals set!!
Good luck on doing more yoga! It’s a great way to deal with stress.
I love your goals and this post!
It’s tough to build a tribe as an adult but so worth it…then you’ll have some extra travel buddies too 🙂
Rock on darling! love these goals! I want to start running again in 2015 🙂 and I totally recommend the south of france for popping the travel cherry! can’t wait to see where you go though!
Thank you, and good luck on running again!
Yes! Put that passport to use! Pick up a couple of the travel/airline credit cards and in no time you’ll have a free or almost free plane ticket somewhere nice! I’m heading to Europe in late May/early June. The US Airways card is a killer deal right now (50,000 miles on your first purchase plus the $85 annual fee) and the Barclays Arrival Plus is a great general all-around travel card. No foreign transaction fees and the points can pay for anything travel-related!
And good luck with the investing! I think that’s one of my 2016 goals.
Thanks for the help! Traveling for free is the plan.
Planning a trip abroad is definitely overwhelming. I used Brad from Richmond Savers to help us book a flight for cheap and I love Rick Steves’ guidebooks. Reddit is also an awesome resource. I still get overwhelmed planning trips, but there are definitely ways to make it easier.
Awesome, thanks for those tips!
You look so happy in the first photo. Keep inspiring us!!!
Watch youtube videos or read about Warren Buffett. His investment strategies are really great (considering what he has earned through it). Read about Qualitative Analysis about investing. Good luck! Last piece of advise on that, be patient.