I’m not really the “New Year, New Me” type. Personality-wise, I’ve been the same forever, and feel quite comfortable where I am. I don’t really intend on changing much about who I am at my core, and if ever I see a habit that needs to be tweaked, I definitely don’t wait until January 1st to do it. In fact, I’ve written about different goals of mine often throughout the past year on TFD.
This year, January 1st was more important to me, because it marked the first official day of me living with my boyfriend. Because of the huge life change, I did actually sit down and adjust my current #lifegoals to work according to my new home and new lifestyle. Here are the six things I am working towards in this new chapter of my life.
1. Not buying lunch at work/grabbing random food during the day.
This isn’t a big one for me, but Drew is a very busy young man, and he often rushes through his early morning routine without leaving time for preparing and packing himself lunch. This means that he often buys food in the cafeteria where he works. This is fine once in a while, but he could definitely save big bucks if he meal-prepped once a week and packed himself good lunches.
Although I personally am not as guilty of this, I definitely spent a lot of time on campus over the past year, so I was really quick to grab a bite to eat in the student center or on-campus Dunkin’ Donuts when I didn’t have time to pack a lunch. Now that my schedule requires me to hardly be on campus at all, I’m hoping to pretty much cut those on-the-go food expenses from my budget entirely. My moving into his place marked the beginning of a new “cooking every day” adventure we plan to go on together, which leads to our next goal:
2. Not going out to restaurants.
Drew and I set this rule to try and curb our spending on meals out. However, we quickly adjusted this resolution from “not going out at all” to “not going out as much”. Enjoying delicious restaurant meals is a pleasure I’ve decided I’m not entirely willing to give up. But more on that soon.
3. The ability to (eventually) split living costs evenly with my boyfriend.
I have mentioned before that Drew and I split our rent in proportion to our income since he makes more money than I do. I hope to start making more money once I graduate, and although I’m not sure I’ll be making quite the same as him, I hope to be able to split the rent evenly (or at the very least, a little bit closer to “evenly”) with him by summertime. It isn’t super important, and he definitely doesn’t make me feel like our home is less “ours” because I don’t pay as much, but it is important to me personally to feel like I can afford my own life, and not like I wouldn’t have my home if it weren’t for him.
4. The ability to (eventually) afford a better home.
We have a lil’ place, and it is sweet, but we’re hoping to move on pretty quickly to a place where we can have the two most important things ever: a dog, and a washer/dryer. Hopefully we can make this happen soon after my graduation in May, but we’ll see what kind of work I find for myself by then. Stay tuned.
5. Having a dedicated emergency fund.
I have a savings account, a checking account, and a mason jar of (not-so-secret) money I keep at home. What I don’t have is a fund of money that was calculated and saved with the sole purpose of being an “emergency fund” if I should find myself out of work or otherwise unable to pay for my life in the coming months. It is my hope that within the next year, I will be able to intentionally set money aside for that purpose alone, rather than just seeing my savings account as a multi-purpose savings account that I can use on anything if I want, but also gently considering it my “emergency fund” if I haven’t dipped into it in a while. I want my emergency fund to be for emergencies only, and my general savings account to be savings for the future – like if I want to eventually buy a home, start a family, or make some sort of other big, important purchase.
6. Being a little less “extra”.
I’ve talked a lot about how certain things, like fashion, are important to me as personal hobbies. However, although I’m not in any bad financial position right now, I feel like this is the year where I want to take a small step back from things like that (even more so than I did last year), even though they bring me a ton of joy – just so I can save a little extra. I would be able to carry on the way I have for a while now, since I don’t spend very much on my hobbies anyway – but this is a time in my life where things are going to begin to change rapidly. I no longer live with my parents, and soon I’ll be graduating from school after a loooong five years of pursuing my degree. Big life changes sometimes call for big lifestyle changes – or at least temporary lifestyle changes – in order to manage all the new things that are happening.
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