So, anyhow. I'm obviously not done. I've decided that I need to challenge myself to make one change every month this next year (although starting now) to get on the path to where I want to be. "Where I want to be" is a very vague, nebulous idea I have right now which makes getting there a bit more difficult. Perhaps the correct thing would be, "to travel on the path I want to be on", but that makes me sound like a twit.
So far, half-way through this month I decided to give up my car. It is sitting in front of my house, but I'm only going to be doing that until January/February and then we are getting rid of it. We are going to be a 1 car family. It is totally ridicuous that we aren't given that we work within a 5 minute walking distance of one another (ok, maybe 10? Maybe 7? Anyway, close.) This forces us/me to:
-bike more! Yee!!! This is #1 reason! Bike! More! Yee!
-Take public transportation when it is perfectly reasonable alternative!
-Save thousands of dollars a year once we dump the car as we no longer have to pay insurance, gas, monthly parking, car doctor fees, etc.
-Actually walking the walk I wanna walk instead of just talking the talk,
-It demotivates me to work late in the evening and weekends because it is a "hassle". This is both at the bottom of some mental lists and the top of others.
December is going to be:
-getting rid of our stupid cell phone plans. We have like 98 batrillion zillion roll over minutes on our plan because neither of us talk on the phone very much. I calculated it out and we are spending like 22 gazillion cents per minute on our plan. Stupid.
-Plan the pantry/stockpile. "Stockpile" sounds so ominous doesn't it? I sound like a freaky survivalist, neh? Sure, I have fleeting thoughts about being a freaky survivalist more than I like to admit, but hello! I like to buy things cheap! Planning the pantry/stockpile also means getting better about learning how to USE WHAT I AM STOCKPILING. I don't want to be a hoarder. I just want to save as much money as possible. And lemme tell you--I was doing some stockpiling earlier in the year and you know what is awesome? Not running out of toilet paper for months. If I need more toothpaste, I just go into the cabinet to get more and don't need to worry about picking it up. Stockpiling is like nirvana for a lazy ass like me.
Just in case you didn't hear me the first time: Not. Running. Out. Of. Toilet. Paper. For. Months.
I should have just written that instead of talking about stockpiling. It is self-explanatory. Stockpilling is a slacker's paradise!!
-Start couponing better. I see people who do amazing things with coupons and spend like no money at all, but buy hundreds of dollars of crap. I can't imagine that I would be that adept as I still feel like I mostly purchase fresh fruits and veggies. I understand the idea about "well, if it is free, then get it anyway" mentality IF (and only IF) they were things that I could donate to shelters/folks in need of what I could obtain. It is something that i need to research a bit more (both in what do charities need in goods and if it is possible to obtain those sorts of things with crazy couponing). I can't imagine I'll be one of those ladies who is a coupon maverick. I don't have enough interest to spend hours a week on it. I want to make more and more from scratch, not less and less and coupons are often mostly pre-packaged foods or things I don't use.
But it would be nice to be able to stock up on things we DO use for months at a time and even better, if I can figure out how to stockpile what I don't actually need but someone else would be happy to have either at the food bank or shelter.
-Stay on top of our budget better. I have some pretty specific savings goals in mind. While we can't get down to a 1 person income while we are renting our current place. I'd like to get as close as possible. I'd like to have the freedom of one of us be able to go to school full time or have a family or something without the financial pressure. Sure, we'd be saving quite a bit every month--but really it is to start to train us to live differently.
This all culminates into 2011. I was originally going to name it, "The Year of The Farm", but I figure i don't want to set myself up for the absolute failure that was last year. I'm just going to say that I am very focused on my goals and that is: to get out of this city, get some land, and live the way I want to live. This is a process of learning, aquiring skills, changing habits. And that is what I'm aiming to do next year. If I want to homestead, then I need to homestead. And I can homestead on my little plot of land as well as 5 acres. In fact, it is much easier to homestead on my tiny lot with no farm animals than it would be to suddenly become a Gentleman Farmer tomorrow. I don't want to waste any more time with the opportunity to actually get some skill set before I "have" to. And so I won't.
I'd like to say that I'll write here more. I don't know. The idea of bandwidth seems new and I have been failing at it so badly that I hesitate to say more. I always seem to get my priorities straight and then I always get derailed. Perhaps for this month and the next and for 2011, the motto is: "Stay strong. Be firm."