Know Where Every Dollar Goes: We're steadily working toward this. We continue to look for a deal on YNAB. We've also contacted a new financial planner, as our current one just isn't really serving our needs. We look forward to meeting with this new planner in April. We're also in the process of finalizing our taxes, so that's helping us assess last year's spending.
Invest More for Retirement: Meeting with the financial planner will give us a clearer picture of exactly how much each month we need to invest. Once we have the upstairs space rented, this will be easier, as well as having the home equity line paid off. Currently, any additional income we make is going toward the baby fund or the home equity line.
Intentionally Work on our Home Improvement Projects: This year, we've got several things on the list that we'd like to tackle. Many of them are small projects, but they're also the type that we tend to put off just for that reason. We'd like to be very intentional about checking these off each month so that they're done by the end of the year. A lot of these projects will be tackled in the evenings after little man is in bed, or while he is at preschool, or on weekend afternoons.
- Paint trim in boys room, including closet doors by March. (This includes new caulk, etc. where needed) Maybe we'll get this done. Right now it's up to Benny, and I know painting is his least favorite thing to do.
Touch up trim/paint in rental spaces by end of January.Yay! This is done!
- Advertise upstairs rental through Samaratin's Purse and have rented by February, if not sooner. Advertise both spaces for August/when lease runs out and have filled by April for upcoming season. We've got the apartment rented, but are still advertising the upstairs space. We're hopeful that some of the recent inquiries we've had will pan out.
Install Ecobee thermostat in apartment by January 15 (this is when our new tenant moves in).This was done on time, hurray!
- Organize garage space by March 15. This includes installing some drywall and pegboard, as well as generally sorting and storing tools, etc. Ha, this is a mammoth task, especially with a three year old and pregnant mama. We are going to try to tackle another small corner this weekend.
- Have new mulch spread and gutters cleaned by March 15 (this is a job we will hire out).
- Paint shelving and trim in craft room downstairs by March 15. Paint chairs to go around table in craft room. We are thinking that once the home equity line is paid off, we might have the funds to pay a painter friend to spray these with his industrial sprayer. It would get the job done faster, and with a more professional finish.
- Move forsythia bushes to front bed and plant creeping Jenny ground cover. Have this done around the same time as mulch is spread so that mulch and compost can go here. (March-ish, depending on soil workability.)
- Mulch leaves with mower and add to compost by end of February. If the ground and leaves are ever dry enough, we'll get this done by the end of the month. We may also just add a few handfuls of leaves here and there as we add kitchen scraps. Hopefully they'll break down this way.
- Have mower serviced for spring by April 30. The local hardware place is running a 20% off labor for spring service right now, so I think we'll try to take advantage of this soon, maybe after payday.
- Paint exterior doors in chosen new color by June 30. I'm hoping this will be able to be done well before June, since it's a small job. Maybe it'll be something we can tackle while I'm home on maternity leave.
- Have new front porch railings installed and bead board on the ceiling of the porch. Maybe an outdoor ceiling fan installed over the table area? by June 30
- Can at least two batches of peach salsa and two of berry jam for Christmas gifting and personal use.
- Have both porches re-stained (we're thinking of hiring this out to a contractor who Benny does a lot of work for at the paint store).
- Maintain garden beds with regular weeding and trimming throughout growing season. Prepare for fall/winter by October 30.
- Make curtains for craft room shelves to hide some supply bins by November 30.
- Make reusable coffee sleeves for Christmas gifts by November 30. (And learn how to use new sewing machine)
- Make at least one batch of citrus marmalade by December 15 for Christmas gifting.
Have at least 26 dates with Benny: This works out to be at least two a month, which I think it do-able with a newborn being around. We're working towards this. Weather and Saturday school have gotten in the way, but we've had a lot of family time thanks to snow days. So, maybe it evens out. We are sure to have one date this coming week when Benny's mom comes up and has agreed to hang out with little man while we do an early dinner out with a gift card. Maybe 13 dates in a year is ok...
Read at least 26 new books this year: I've been doing really well with this one. So far, I've read a few books on toddler/preschool games for speech and educational growth, am working on my annual reading of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and I've put together a Barnes and Noble order for some new books to read while I'm nursing the new baby. We'll purchase these with Christmas gift cards.
Try at least two new recipes a month: This one has been going really well and has definitely added some new things to our menus. We've enjoyed breakfast banana bars, crockpot lasagna soup, crockpot Asian chicken, crockpot quinoa tacos, and baked pumpkin spice oatmeal. I still have another muffin recipe I want to try this month.