43. Hello, 2014. Nice to meet you.

Happy New Year!  I know I’m a day late…sue me.

I realize that I haven’t written in over a month, but things have been nutso on my end.  Luckily, things are starting to quiet down, which means I can get back to crafting and telling you folks all about it.  This year will be the best yet!

I usually find New Year’s resolutions lame.  Why do you need to wait for a new year to make positive changes in your life?  I obviously made some resolutions anyway.  *jumps on bandwagon*

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Live a more healthy life.

I am lazy.  This past year, I basically stopped doing any kind of physical activity, and if I’m really honest…I eat like crap and I definitely don’t drink enough water.  Time for that to change, because even though I’m not by any means “fat” or even “overweight”, I just feel sluggish and doughy, and my clothes are fitting tighter.  There is no excuse for my laziness.  I am an able-bodied person without any physical maladies, so I should be using my body to it’s full potential, and no longer fill it with garbage, but healthy, nutritious food instead.

2. Write at least 200 posts this year.

Believe it or not, I only wrote 33 posts last year.  That’s it!  What I’m really getting at is being more consistent, and if I set a goal of 200, that should keep me on track to post at least 3 to 4 times a week.  I hope you’re ready for the barrage of material coming your way!

3. Increase productivity at work.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been slacking a bit at my regular job.  My boss hasn’t brought it up at all, but I know if I don’t step up my game, he’ll definitely be calling me in for a discussion.  I am also up for a pay increase in July, so I need to make sure I’m working my hardest and putting out the best work I possibly can.  Science is all about data and results, and writing those up into manuscript form for journal submission.  I have a project that is on it’s way to a published paper, but it’s still a ways off before I can call it “complete”.  I will be putting in more hours at the bench.  I’m a salaried employee…working more hours does not equal more pay, but I’ll still be setting myself up for a more successful career in general.  I will also be cutting out the amount of time I spend online while at work (unless I’m using it to look up papers to read).  Time to be a super scientist!

4. Save money.

Another thing I’m ashamed to admit: my husband and I have no savings.  Like, literally zero dollars in a savings account.  I think this is really sad considering I’m 28 and Jason is turning 31.  We are adults!  A lot of this has to do with the fact that we are in a LOT of debt (most of it is student loans from my undergrad degree…see next point).  I’ve already set up an automatic transfer for $25/week, which will add up to $1300 by year’s end.  Not too shabby!  We have to start somewhere considering we’d eventually like to be homeowners.

5. Pay down debt.

I’ve made plenty of financial blunders over the years, and unfortunately my husband has as well.  However, we’ve definitely learned from our mistakes and have taken steps to move in the right direction.  Last year, we paid off two credit accounts, which I think is fantastic considering I also had to start paying back my student loans…which are $725/month.  Yep, you read that correctly.  Now do you see why we have no savings and can’t buy a house?!  I call it my “mortgage payment”.  I may qualify for the NIH’s loan repayment program to erase some of the $80K in student loans, but I won’t be applying for that until the fall (and there is no guarantee I will be accepted).  For now, we’ll just have to grin and bear it, although it does feel like I’m just tossing money in the trash once a month.

We will also be able to pay off four additional credit accounts and the majority of money we owe my in-laws.  (If you are wondering why we owe them money, they rolled all but one of my husband’s credit accounts and his student loans into their mortgage when they refinanced, and we just pay them a small amount each month.)  We’ll still have a large chunk left to pay after this year (2 credit cards, a car loan, my student loans, and a small amount left to the in-laws), but we’ll have made a sizable dent in our debt AND we’ll have money in our savings account.  That’s a win in my book.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season, and I wish you all the best of luck and good fortune in 2014!


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One thought on “43. Hello, 2014. Nice to meet you.

  1. Pingback: The Craft Queen | 50. Let’s revisit January!

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