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2016 New Year’s Resolutions – 9.5 Month Update (It’s Been Rough)

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The end of the year is coming up - how are your New Year's Resolutions doing? I'm glad that I saw this article, it's reminding me to check in on my own resolutions. Life can sure throw some curve balls. Repin this to remind you to see how you are doing with your goals and to make sure you are setting SMART goals!

I haven’t checked in on my New Year’s resolutions in about 6 months because it’s been incredibly sad with spots of awesome.  But I am a fierce beyatch, so here’s how it’s going!

1. See my parents and my grandparents at least once a month.

My grandma (July), then my aunt (August), and then my grandpa (September) died.  I did get to visit all of them, especially my grandparents, quite a bit though. In fact, I was visiting my grandparents so much that it has felt a bit empty without popping in at a hospital or nursing home every day.  Proof that you can get used to anything.

I mentioned in my 3 month update that my dad broke his collar bone.  He’s 90% healed up but still gets stiff with all those aches and problems that broken bones leave behind.  My mom has had fibromyalgia for a while and this year, it’s kicking her butt.  But I have been getting to see them pretty regularly.  Yeah, yeah, hospitals and funerals are not the happiest places to meet, but it counts!  AND, we did hang out for my little sister’s 21st birthday lunch!  Woot!

My in-laws are doing well.  At least they haven’t told me otherwise, and we’ve seen them about once a month.  They are enjoying retirement.  My mom-in-law is creating baked goods for sale…delicious and addictive…

My husband’s great uncle had made a full recovery from a brain aneurysm earlier this year but had to go back to the hospital for colon polyp removal (especially since one was malignant for sure).  He’s again making another full recovery it seems!  Strong 86 year old!

My husband’s maternal grandpa is still kicking butt with his new knees at age 89 (water aerobics twice a week for 30+ years for the win!).  His paternal grandparents are doing well too – little scares here and there but overall, okay.

I’ve told everyone that they are to stay alive and healthy for at least a year.  I am thisclose to losing my shit.  😉

2. Regular friend time.

I’ve been relying on my friends more than ever.  My friends keep me laughing and on track even through the roughest of times.

Dee has really had to hold me up sometimes.  She has a dark sense of humor like me, so she gets it.  She also only lives 15 minutes away now, so we see each other 2-3 times a week.  We were even able to run away for a few days to Canyon Lake to tube the river, drink at the coolest bar ever (Bar 306) within the week between when my grandma passed away and her funeral.  I really needed that.  Thank you, Dee.

Mandy worked for my grandpa 30+ hours a week for the last 2 months my grandma was around.  She really helped the family.  In August, she secured a full time teaching position (yay!), but that means she’s a first year teacher.  For anyone who doesn’t know, first year teacher’s operate in an alternate dimension – they are technically around a few hours every night, but for most intents and purposes, they don’t really exist.  The first year of teaching is exhausting, emotional, draining, and did I mention exhausting?

My other close friend (the artist), William, also doesn’t mind my sad days.  He lost his mom to cancer a few years ago and is a freaking rock.  We got to do our own trip to San Antonio before all the sadness, for which I am so thankful.  We hung out on the Riverwalk, took in the zoo and Japanese Tea Garden, and went to the Natural Bridge Caverns to hike, do the canopy maze, and to see the bats.  Just amazing.

Our friend, John, just lost his baby niece, so we’ve been touching base with each other recently to make sure neither one of us shuts down.

Hillary, Gary, Dean, Jenn, Luke, and our other gaming friends have been texting their support and pop up with hugs at our potlucks and meetups.  We’ve been able to grab meals with each of them occasionally throughout the past 6 months too.

The other couple we were double dating with (the one that inspired my post about 75+ Tips for a Cheap Wedding) has also had a really crappy 6 months.  Their home was broken into twice, so they decided to move back into their first home (had been their rental for a year).  The poor guy tore his ACL at the beginning of the summer, had surgery, and he’s still recovering.  Their wedding in Nebraska was this past weekend, and it was amazing.  Great family, picturesque views, and just a ton of fun. 🙂

Even during the gloom, we’ve hosted monthly potlucks as usual.  We had my hubby’s birthday party as planned.  I mentioned my trips with William and then with Dee.  All of the rough times remind you to take advantage of the good ones!

You are probably wondering how I get to see all of these people around pet sitting, my online work, and the time I spent at the hospitals and nursing homes…

As always, my friends have really stepped up and kept me sane. They meet me around my schedule, even late at night on the horrific days, and they never seem to hold the rest of my crazy life against me.  Best therapists ever.

I appreciate our friends and family more than they will ever understand.  I tell them, but I don’t know if any of them realize the depth.  Truly, grief is just one part of the process.  The depression and self-doubt are even worse.  And they all keep reminding me to be myself again just by being around.  I do know how extremely lucky I am.

3. Max out both Roth IRA’s for 2016. That’s $11,000 overall.

DONE IN JANUARY! The stock market crashes cried out to me…instead of “sell, sell, sell”, I heard “sale, sale, sale”!  I’m so happy this has been checked off!

Oh, and I haven’t been happy with the percent of our income we’ve been saving for the future specifically, so we started a SEP IRA and will be attempting to max it out every year. That will make our total IRA contributions about $25,000 a year and that’s 25% or more of our pre-tax income. That’s where I wanted to be. We had been trying to save up cash instead to buy rental properties, but the banks were making that so difficult with self-employment income that I’ve decided that retirement savings and paying off our current house early is the way to go.

4. Maintain our $15,000 emergency fund.

This year will hopefully have baby-making involved and we’d like to keep our emergency fund at $15,000…in fact, Mr. BFS wants us to try for $20,000 now just so our emergency fund (this) plus our blog income padding account (mentioned below) will add up to 6 months of expenses without any income at all. So, $40,000 in cash at all times just in case everything goes to hell at once. I think we don’t need that much, but I do not mind. And eventually we could get an interest rate higher than 0.75% on savings hopefully, lol.

As of right now, we are at $18,000 since we borrowed some money for hubby’s Lasik last month.  I’ll get that back to $20,000 by the end of the year.

5. Maintain our $20,000 self-employment fund.

Yep, on top of the investment fund and emergency fund, we also have a $20,000+ account that we use to pay ourselves each month for our online business. It fluctuates as we bring in more or less. But overall, I like to keep it at $20,000 or more because I am scared shitless of having no backup if our business ever crashes.

So far, so good.

6. HEALTH. I will weigh 150 pounds or less by July 2016 AND won’t go over 150 again in 2016. PERIOD. I was between 160-165 on January 1, 2016.

I want to lose weight and keep it off mainly for my back and joints. As of January 31, 2016, I was at 159.6. As of March 27, 2016, I was at 153.4.

Ummmm…but this year has been depressing, so I started eating too much crappy food, and now I’m all the way up to 168.  I’ll see what I can do by the end of the year in this respect…

How are you doing in 2016 so far?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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1 thought on “2016 New Year’s Resolutions – 9.5 Month Update (It’s Been Rough)

  1. AWW I Just want to give you a hug!! I’m sorry for your losses but like you said that is wonderful that you got to spend time with your loved ones. Every time I read your little excerpt at the bottom I just think I have nothing to write about for a blog but that’s just me. I also usually don’t make new year’s resolutions. I forget them so easily but just wanted to stop by and leave a comment and say I enjoyed this blog post.

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