2010 is gonna rock!

You may have noticed I disappeared over the holidays. I had planned to continue posting, but realized pretty quickly that if I was going to enjoy my holiday (and my rare time off for my husband) then I needed to put the computer and my iPhone down, and back slowly away. Slowly, so they didn’t jump at me while my back was turned and reattach to my fingers.

It’s not that I don’t love to blog, read blogs, twitter, or the interwebs-I do! But I needed some perspective. Some time to chill, relax, and think over everything.

I have been blogging for nearly a year, but not with the same level of passion I‘ve thrown into it in the last 3 months. September-December is a complete blur of trips, busy schedules, blog posts I wrote in my head that never got to see the light of day, and immense frustration that I could do more.

With a little help from my always brilliant and kind husband I realized that I’ve been throwing myself into things like throwing spaghetti at a wall. Sometimes I was throwing something a little slimy, sometimes it was an underdone idea, and sometimes no matter how hard I threw myself at some project or idea it just would not stick.

What I was left with were the things that did stick. The things I loved, the things I cared about, the things that matter to me, and I’m basing my resolutions around what’s important to me. Sorry, twittering might take a hit.  Here is what you can expect from the ¢entsible life, and me, this year.

2010 is gonna rock!

the ¢entsible life will be even more awesome. Here’s how:

  • Add Subscribers: I have about 300 subscribers right now. I want to triple that number. My goal is to have 1000 subscribers by June. How can you help? Send a link to the ¢entsible life to friends and family, or share my site via social media (there are handy links at the bottom of all my posts).
  • Earn Revenue: I’ll be honest, I have earned a small amount of money from this site, and I’d like to earn more. Through ads you see running on the sidebars, or links that I get a few pennies for, and from several advertisers (again links are in the sidebars). My goal is to earn and extra $1,000/month from my site this year. (see more on this below in debt-free)
  • Honing my Focus: I started this blog to write about personal finance, which had become a slight obsession for me, but I realized that writing strictly about personal finance is not what I want to do. While the ¢entsible life will continue to cover personal finance, I also want to cover other areas related to family, finances, and fulfilling your dreams on a budget. I will be adding more posts (and eventually areas of the site) that will cover parenting, homeschooling, balancing working and staying at home and more.
  • Creating Community: One of the things I love about the internet is how close it makes people from all over the world. I want to talk to you more. Leave me a comment, send me an email, talk to me on twitter, or follow me on Facebook. I love to connect with people, and will answer almost any question you have.
  • Press: I love to write. I love to talk about things. You can see a partial list of where I’ve been featured, but I aim to make my press page a veritable who’s who of online and traditional media.
  • Projects: I am planning a few projects right now, and will share them with you soon. First is a teleseries called Independently Wealthy Women. I feel like a small fish in a very big pond, but am thrilled to be a part of the project.
  • Conferences: I’m seeking sponsorship (email me if you’re an interested sponsor!) for several conferences this year including Blissdom, Mom 2.0, BlogHer ’10, EVO,  and possibly more. I am aiming to attend at least 1 conference.
  • Giveaways!: I will doing more giveaways than ever before this year. Look for some great stuff around my blogiversary.

I am superwoman.

  • Play more: Over the last few months it has been extremely hard to find balance. Saying “yes” to everything worked for me for awhile, but it’s clear to me that just being mom isn’t enough, but being a workaholic mom doesn’t work either.  I will make time every day for “floor” time for each kid.
  • Exercise Daily: I also put my health, and fitness on the backburner, and that has simple got to stop. I’ve started doing Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred,  and will continue to exercise every day barring extreme injuries, or hospital-needing ill health. (more on this next week) I also plan on starting to train for a lifetime goal I have. (more on that when I start)
  • Eat Right: Another area I’ve been ignoring, and something I am extraordinarily  passionate about is eating well. The challenge won’t just be to eat well, but I am challenging myself to make every meal at home for the next year. (more on this tomorrow)
  • Read more BOOKS: I love blogs, but as an avid reader I need to make more time to read actual books. My goal is to read one book a week for a total of 52 books this year. I will write brief reviews each week of the books I read. I will read some personal finance books, but I’ll also mix in fiction, non-fiction, and parenting books.
  • Make my marriage a priority: This one is extremely important to me. My husband and I have been partners for 14 years, and married for 9 years yesterday. Every Saturday night whether we can get out of the house or not we have committed to date night. It’s been good for us. We put down computers and phones, put the kids to bed and watch movies, TV, or play a game.
  • Have 1 month’s expenses in our Emergency Fund: While we are still paying off debt it doesn’t make sense to have a huge emergency fund, but the baby emergency fund just isn’t enough. I set aside $50/paycheck to go to this goal. It isn’t much, but it will add up over the next year. Stretch goal: Fully fund 3 month’s expenses.
  • Pay off 1/2 our debt: It’s not a stretch, but it’s part of our plan, and since our plan has been working so far (we have paid off over $10K in debt already), we’ll stick with the plan. As I said above I’d like to earn more from the website, and EVERY penny of that will go to paying off our debt even further. Stretch goal: Pay off all our debt aside from our mortgage.

That’s all. I think it looks like an EASY list. ;)  What are your goals for this year? Have a question about mine, let me know in the comments!

Kelly

About Kelly Whalen


Kelly Whalen is the founder of The Centsible Life, a blog where motherhood and money meet. Her goal is to help readers live well on less. Kelly is a mom to 4, and loves that she can stay at home with her kids, and still pursue her passions for writing, personal finance, and social media. You can often find her on twitter and Facebook talking money and motherhood.

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  • http://rainydaypennies.net Cathy

    They say you've got to dream big, to make it big! Best of luck, Kelly!

  • http://rainydaypennies.net/ Cathy

    They say you've got to dream big, to make it big! Best of luck, Kelly!

  • http://MoneySmartLife.com Ben

    Wow, you've got a lot to do this year! Sounds like you'll be a busy lady, good luck!

  • http://MoneySmartLife.com/ Ben

    Wow, you've got a lot to do this year! Sounds like you'll be a busy lady, good luck!

  • Ben

    Love the making your marriage a priority resolution. My wife and I have been married for a year and a half and we see other couples who aren't making their marriage their priority… it affects every part of their life: marriage, finances, work, in addition to family life.

  • http://www.thriftyapp.com/ Ben

    Love the making your marriage a priority resolution. My wife and I have been married for a year and a half and we see other couples who aren't making their marriage their priority… it affects every part of their life: marriage, finances, work, in addition to family life.

  • http://www.ultimatemoneyblog.com Mrs. Money

    Go Kelly go! You have great goals for 2010! I wish you the best. And if I could make $1,000 a month from my blog I would be totally THRILLED. Maybe we could exchange guest posts some time?
    xoxo

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      Thanks! I would too! It's a stretch right now, but I'm working hard to make it happen. I am swamped at the moment, but always welcome guest posts. :)

  • http://www.ultimatemoneyblog.com/ Mrs. Money

    Go Kelly go! You have great goals for 2010! I wish you the best. And if I could make $1,000 a month from my blog I would be totally THRILLED. Maybe we could exchange guest posts some time?
    xoxo

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      Thanks! I would too! It's a stretch right now, but I'm working hard to make it happen. I am swamped at the moment, but always welcome guest posts. :)

  • http://www.originalcouponcoach.com Amy

    I love these goals!! Reminds me that I need to be working on mine. I have a question for you…how do you get your husband on board for some of these, especially for the 365 homecooked meals? My husband is the spender and I am the saver in the family and it's so hard to get him to stick to goals we discuss but I'm really the only one passionate about.

    Thanks!!

    Amy

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      Thanks! I would love if you would share your goals. I love reading other people's goals/resolutions for the New Year.

      My husband is more like you, and I'm more like your husband. I LOVE eating out at nice restaurants, with good food, but it's not in our family budget.

      The challenge is for me so that I can add to our debt snowball but spending less on eating out, and get us on a path to eating healthier again. When we have been eating out or getting takeout it is garbage, and half the time our kids don't eat it, so it feels like throwing money away just because I've been lazy about planning, or getting groceries.

      I think to get your husband on board you have to find a way to compromise. My husband and I are complete opposites in some ways, and because of that we balance each other. If the goals aren't getting met, maybe they need to be adjusted to meet him midway? Say giving him a fun money budget to blow on eating out, or whatever he chooses. Or perhaps cutting back by 50% instead of cutting eating out altogether?

      • http://www.originalcouponcoach.com Amy

        Thanks for the advice on getting my husband on board. Eating out is definitely not in our family budget either. We also have debt to pay down and eating out is just plain silly for us when we have other things to pay for. We agreed to 1 lunch (he loves to take the kids to McD's for lunch) and 1 dinner out per month.

        The financial goals I have come up so far include:
        1. Pay off minivan (which will leave us car payment-FREE for the first time ever!)
        2. Pay down credit card debt (scheduled to pay off in 2011)
        3. Build emergency fund
        4. Finally open 529 accounts for the kids (this has been a goal for over 2 years now)
        5. Track small expenses not covered in the budget to see where we can save

        I just joined mint.com as well, which is awesome! I love that it has an iPhone app so I can always see what is going on in the bank accounts. I get into slumps where I feel that if I don't have to look at the activity or balance in the bank account, then it's always going to be fine. Total denial. I plan to check on our accounts very regularly so I can take control of our finances once and for all.

        It's tough to stay motivated. How do you do it? Do you have any online support networks? Any motivational tricks of the trade?

  • http://www.originalcouponcoach.com/ Amy

    I love these goals!! Reminds me that I need to be working on mine. I have a question for you…how do you get your husband on board for some of these, especially for the 365 homecooked meals? My husband is the spender and I am the saver in the family and it's so hard to get him to stick to goals we discuss but I'm really the only one passionate about.

    Thanks!!

    Amy

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      Thanks! I would love if you would share your goals. I love reading other people's goals/resolutions for the New Year.

      My husband is more like you, and I'm more like your husband. I LOVE eating out at nice restaurants, with good food, but it's not in our family budget.

      The challenge is for me so that I can add to our debt snowball but spending less on eating out, and get us on a path to eating healthier again. When we have been eating out or getting takeout it is garbage, and half the time our kids don't eat it, so it feels like throwing money away just because I've been lazy about planning, or getting groceries.

      I think to get your husband on board you have to find a way to compromise. My husband and I are complete opposites in some ways, and because of that we balance each other. If the goals aren't getting met, maybe they need to be adjusted to meet him midway? Say giving him a fun money budget to blow on eating out, or whatever he chooses. Or perhaps cutting back by 50% instead of cutting eating out altogether?

      • http://www.originalcouponcoach.com/ Amy

        Thanks for the advice on getting my husband on board. Eating out is definitely not in our family budget either. We also have debt to pay down and eating out is just plain silly for us when we have other things to pay for. We agreed to 1 lunch (he loves to take the kids to McD's for lunch) and 1 dinner out per month.

        The financial goals I have come up so far include:
        1. Pay off minivan (which will leave us car payment-FREE for the first time ever!)
        2. Pay down credit card debt (scheduled to pay off in 2011)
        3. Build emergency fund
        4. Finally open 529 accounts for the kids (this has been a goal for over 2 years now)
        5. Track small expenses not covered in the budget to see where we can save

        I just joined mint.com as well, which is awesome! I love that it has an iPhone app so I can always see what is going on in the bank accounts. I get into slumps where I feel that if I don't have to look at the activity or balance in the bank account, then it's always going to be fine. Total denial. I plan to check on our accounts very regularly so I can take control of our finances once and for all.

        It's tough to stay motivated. How do you do it? Do you have any online support networks? Any motivational tricks of the trade?

  • Sheila

    While I like your goals, I do wonder if they follow the SMART goal setting idea, especially the Realistic and Attainable part. Now I'm not knocking the goals, but 365 days of eating at home (and I did read your exceptions) is tough as is exercising every day. Even when I was losing 100 lbs, I took one day off, although it was usually "active" rest (go for a walk rather than the gym). Your body needs some time to rest plus you become more prone to injury. Maybe being more specific about "eating well?" Specific could be "include vegetables with each meal" and "eat three fruits a day."

    My goals are to read one classic this year, probably The Great Gatsby, and one non-fiction book. I read too many mysteries. :-) I also want to take a quilting class and stay below my "redline" weight all year. My husband and I are doing some goal setting this afternoon, and I think one of them will be to cut our eating out budget in half. Last year we spent $208 a month eating out. I'd rather spend that $1,200 on some travel or pay down our mortgage (our only debt) even faster.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      I know it doesn't seem realistic, but we really don't ever need to eat out. I'd rather give the kids breakfast for dinner, or even cereal versus spending $40 or more a week on a meal that is usually less than enjoyable.

      As far exercising daily, I feel so much better when I do, so even if I'm just doing walking I still need that time every day for my sanity (and fitness).

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      I know it doesn't seem realistic, but we really don't ever need to eat out. I'd rather give the kids breakfast for dinner, or even cereal versus spending $40 or more a week on a meal that is usually less than enjoyable.

      As far exercising daily, I feel so much better when I do, so even if I'm just doing walking I still need that time every day for my sanity (and fitness).

  • Sheila

    While I like your goals, I do wonder if they follow the SMART goal setting idea, especially the Realistic and Attainable part. Now I'm not knocking the goals, but 365 days of eating at home (and I did read your exceptions) is tough as is exercising every day. Even when I was losing 100 lbs, I took one day off, although it was usually "active" rest (go for a walk rather than the gym). Your body needs some time to rest plus you become more prone to injury. Maybe being more specific about "eating well?" Specific could be "include vegetables with each meal" and "eat three fruits a day."

    My goals are to read one classic this year, probably The Great Gatsby, and one non-fiction book. I read too many mysteries. :-) I also want to take a quilting class and stay below my "redline" weight all year. My husband and I are doing some goal setting this afternoon, and I think one of them will be to cut our eating out budget in half. Last year we spent $208 a month eating out. I'd rather spend that $1,200 on some travel or pay down our mortgage (our only debt) even faster.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      I know it doesn't seem realistic, but we really don't ever need to eat out. I'd rather give the kids breakfast for dinner, or even cereal versus spending $40 or more a week on a meal that is usually less than enjoyable.

      As far exercising daily, I feel so much better when I do, so even if I'm just doing walking I still need that time every day for my sanity (and fitness).

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      I know it doesn't seem realistic, but we really don't ever need to eat out. I'd rather give the kids breakfast for dinner, or even cereal versus spending $40 or more a week on a meal that is usually less than enjoyable.

      As far exercising daily, I feel so much better when I do, so even if I'm just doing walking I still need that time every day for my sanity (and fitness).

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  • http://www.nomorespending.net Laura@nomorespending

    Good luck Kelly; really great goals :-)

  • http://www.nomorespending.net/ Laura@nomorespending

    Good luck Kelly; really great goals :-)

  • http://www.erica.biz/ Erica Douglass

    Great list! I would add — make it a priority to get tested for food intolerances.

    -Erica

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      I will!

  • http://erica.biz ericabiz

    Great list! I would add — make it a priority to get tested for food intolerances.

    -Erica

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      I will!

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  • http://www.remodelingthislife.com Emily

    I love all of your goals. Has anyone ever told you that you are an overachiever? And did you get a few extra hours per day for Christmas? :)

    Good luck, Kelly!!

    I will enjoy cheering you on. And I'd be happy to try to help the subscriber number.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      Overacheiver? Who me?

      I think the kids (and hubby) tamed the Type-A part of me.
      Christmas was so mellow here, and my hubs was off for the whole week after. Total bliss!

      Thank you! Much obliged. :)

  • http://www.remodelingthislife.com/ Emily

    I love all of your goals. Has anyone ever told you that you are an overachiever? And did you get a few extra hours per day for Christmas? :)

    Good luck, Kelly!!

    I will enjoy cheering you on. And I'd be happy to try to help the subscriber number.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      Overacheiver? Who me?

      I think the kids (and hubby) tamed the Type-A part of me.
      Christmas was so mellow here, and my hubs was off for the whole week after. Total bliss!

      Thank you! Much obliged. :)

  • http://www.highimpactmom.com Amanda@HighImpactMom

    Wow Kelly! Sounds like you've really got it all figured out! Great goals for the coming year! Mine sound much the same, especially the reading more BOOKs thing. I know all about it…I read a ton of blogs, but really miss the getaway that reading a good historical fiction story gives me.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      I like to sound "together" only my husband (and kids) know the truth. Shh… ;)
      I'll be your book buddy! Maybe a book club on twitter? That would be a fun twitter party.

      I'm starting with Gary V's book, Chris Brogan's book, a book called Writer Mama, and FOUR personal finance books. Should keep me busy for awhile. :)

  • http://www.highimpactmom.com/ Amanda@HighImpactMom

    Wow Kelly! Sounds like you've really got it all figured out! Great goals for the coming year! Mine sound much the same, especially the reading more BOOKs thing. I know all about it…I read a ton of blogs, but really miss the getaway that reading a good historical fiction story gives me.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/CentsibleLife CentsibleLife

      I like to sound "together" only my husband (and kids) know the truth. Shh… ;)
      I'll be your book buddy! Maybe a book club on twitter? That would be a fun twitter party.

      I'm starting with Gary V's book, Chris Brogan's book, a book called Writer Mama, and FOUR personal finance books. Should keep me busy for awhile. :)

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