Update on Frugal Rules Goals for 2014
How crazy is it that we’re nearly four full months through 2014?! It just seems like Christmas was yesterday and now we’re enjoying warmer weather and gearing up for a summer full of traveling.
Like I said in my original goals for 2014, I’m not much for setting New Year’s Resolutions as I find they’re often generic and not measurable. Anyway, I love setting specific and measurable goals and figure that since I’m telling my readers to do so then I probably should as well. Call me crazy, but I like to practice what I preach.
I’ll spare you the recap of 2013 as I’ve written at length about that in different posts. That said, 2014 seems to be more of the same in terms of our business growth! This is terribly exciting, yet challenging at the same time as we deal with things like time management and hiring out certain things so we’re not turning away business. I plan on writing a few posts on that topic in the near future, but it can be a delicate balance between taking on too much client work and maintaining sanity. Anyhoo, let’s get on with checking in on the goals in the Frugal Rules home so far this year.
How Have the Goals Progressed?
- Start going to bed by 10:00 P.M. during the week…yea that one is a complete and utter fail! We’re still averaging around 11:30 at night for a bedtime. We really want to scale this back to closer to 10:00 P.M. but it just hasn’t happened. I had planned on us scaling back in 15 minute increments each week, but those plans have yet to materialize. It wouldn’t be such a big deal, but when we’re up by 5:00 most mornings it can be painful starting the day.
- Stop snacking once the kids go to bed. This, surprisingly, has been a success! We’ve completely changed our eating habits since the beginning of the year, to the point that I find myself craving all things green and even yogurt. This has been encouraging to see and the amount of energy I seem to have because of cutting processed foods and replacing them with much healthier options is awesome.
- Use our exercise bike 3-4 times per week. I’m 50/50 on this one with an overall pass. I’ve used it some, but I’m supplementing this a lot with getting out of the house and going for walks in the morning. Overall I’m happy with where I’m at on this and helps to get me out of the house, away from the computer and get my creative juices flowing.
- Add one more blog management client…yea, I went the other way on this as I’m no longer managing the one I had been. It was actually the end of the contract and the client is going another direction with their blog so it made sense. I have, however, picked up quite a bit more freelance writing – most recently with Daily Finance. Shameless plug, if you’re looking for a blog manager or writer then contact me.
- Buy another PF blog. I’m happy to say that I did finalize purchasing my first PF blog in late March. I learned quite a bit through it, redesigned it and getting ready to load it with more content now. Mrs. Frugal Rules thinks I’m crazy, but I’m on the lookout for other blogs to buy now.
- Getting back to being serious about saving for retirement. Balancing saving for retirement and being self-employed is tricky at best, but we’ve gotten back on the right track this year! We have Mrs. Frugal Rules Roth account maxed out, and mine basically is as well – we’re just waiting on one final client payment to do so, and started working on our SEP accounts. Scottrade doesn’t allow for electronic contributions into SEPs, as many brokerages don’t, so we have to be purposeful about taking in a deposit each month. It hasn’t been an issue thus far and don’t foresee it being one the rest of the year.
- Start actively saving for a new-to-us car each month. We’ve not started on this yet, and really need to. We’ve decided not to sell our second car as I just wasn’t comfortable with the risk involved. That said, we need to ramp this up and start saving for a new-to-us car.
- Reach a better balance at home between our work time and family time. I won’t sugar coat this one, it’s still way out of whack. This one lays solely on my shoulders as I struggle with always feeling like there is something to do. There might always be something to do, but the point is many things aren’t very high on the priority scale. I really want to work on this more the rest of the year so we both have more time to spend with the kiddos.
- Take the little Frugal Rules to Disney for free right before New Year’s. We’ve completely scrapped this one. My Mom and Step-Dad are taking us on a Disney cruise over Christmas and we thought why not churn some cards since we’d be out there anyway and go to Disney for a few days. After thinking it over logically, that would make for an awfully long trip, it’s their crazy busy time and the little ones likely wouldn’t even remember it, save maybe for our six year old. We’re still traveling quite a bit this year though. We’re planning a three week trip to San Diego to see the in-laws over August and we’ll be going to Disneyland then, and we’re going to Fincon in September. We’re also planning another smaller family trip somewhere here in the Midwest late summer or early fall, most likely Chicago or Minneapolis… all on points of course.
There you have it. Overall I feel like we’ve done fairly good thus far in 2014, though we still have a couple of things we need to actively work on.
How are your goals going so far this year? Is there anything new or exciting in your corner of the world?
Photo courtesy of: Gurdonark