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Home > Q1: A look at how well I'm hitting my 2015 resolutions

Q1: A look at how well I'm hitting my 2015 resolutions

April 3rd, 2015 at 04:27 pm

Here's a recap of my 2015 new year's resolutions, taken from my sidebar:

1. Save $34,000. ($23,000 of this is on auto pilot via 401k contributions; the remaining $11K I will save in taxable accounts.)
2. Become more involved in my community thru book club, historical society, genealogy group, Alzheimers support group.
3. Cultivate a greater consciousness of how I spend my money and the degree to which any particular purchase enhances the quality of my life.

#1. Save $34,000. This is not a random number. It syncs up with my 5-year "Countdown to Retirement" plan that I've summarized toward the very bottom of my sidebar here.

I am not sure I will be able to save $34,000 this year. It was a very ambitious goal. The $23,000 that's automatically deducted from my paycheck for my Roth 401k and Roth 401k catch-up is doing fine. But I was hoping to save another $11,000 in after-tax savings, based on what I saved the previous year.

YTD, I've saved $2400 in after-tax savings, which puts me "roughly" on track to save $11,000 except for the fact that I plan to spend those savings and then some on a home improvement project, the redo of the front walkway, landing, stone walls. (See earlier post today.)

My Year 1 target savings amount is $723,000; as of April 1 my investments total $683,722, which leaves me with $39,747 to save in the next 7 months. I'm not sure how realistic that is, particularly if anything bad happens in the stock market.

#2 goal: Become more involved in community....
I haven't done this at all. No time, between work and trying to look after my mother. However, I am still very much on the lookout for meetings I want to attend.

$3 goal Become more aware of my spending. This i think I have done fairly well. After a rocky spending start where I was still spending a little too freely, an after-effect of having lived hand to mouth for so long, I think I've reeled in my shopping demons. There's really not much I am dying to shop for, although home improvements are another matter.

Well, obviously I can't do everything and I only have so much $$ to spread around. I have already chosen to proceed with the front walkway project because my old stone walls are not in great shape, some of the bluestone steps are cracked, the stairs are too steep and so on. The redo should really enhance things with much wider steps (4 1/2 feet wide instead of 3 feet) and the circular paver pattern at the top will be pleasing to look at, adding more charm to my already charming home!

I really like the idea of adding what they call "brick lights" to one side of the to-be-rebuilt stone wall on one side of the stairs. This area is always very dark at night, even with the lights at my front door and down on the garage.

However, there's the added expense of an electrician to hook these up; i have calls out for bids now, just to get a rough idea.

A cheaper way to go, and my friend at work gave me this great idea, is to have the mason drill round holes in some of the stairs along the side. I'm thinking 2 would do it as it's 9 stairs total. Into these holes I could stick a few of my outdoor solar lights, the kind attached to a stake about 1 inch diameter. I could make sure they fit perfectly into the holes and there I go..instant light, without an expensive electrician. Since the stairs will be 4 and a half feet wide, there's ample room, say 6 inches, for these solar lights, without impeding the walkway.

Clever idea, don't you think? The only possible hitch is that these solar lights might not be fully charged by the sunlight while on this staircase. Since the stairs have stone walls to either side of them, it is somewhat shaded except for when the sun rolls around to the south. I'm guessing the sun hits those stairs for a few hours before it turns to shade. In winter, I suppose the lack of sun would be more apparent. I could always move the lights to a sunny location nearby in my yard, but having to do that regularly would of course be a nuisance.

2 Responses to “Q1: A look at how well I'm hitting my 2015 resolutions”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I'm not sure about the sun but it does sound like a nice idea, I'm sure it would be very pretty

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Solar lights sound like a good solution to making the stairs light up.

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