The Home Stretch

Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks 2007
Image by Christopher Chan via Flickr

Random Thought of the Day: I can’t find my mailbox. I was led to believe that my mailbox would be in front of my apartment building rather than in a central kiosk somewhere, but I haven’t seen it. Maybe where I enter is actually the back and I have to go around the building to get my mail. If I don’t find the box by Saturday, I’ll have to call in the reinforcements.

One really good thing about moving is the unique opportunity it is affording me to position myself for next year financially. Because I had to pay my first month’s rent when I moved, I don’t have to pay rent with this paycheck or the next paycheck. While it hurt to use my last paycheck to pay for December’s rent, it has put me in the unique position of being able to pay up my bills and position myself to focus on paying down debt in 2011, instead of playing catch up as I have for most of 2010.  

I’m saving most of my goals for 2011 for the New Years Goals/Word of the Year post that I like to do, but I will give you a couple of them now. The first is to not have any overdraft fees in 2011. Since I’ve switched banks, I haven’t had this problem at all. In fact, if you overdraft by less than $5, it won’t charge you a fee. Also, when I opened my account, I selected the option that does not let my card go through if it will result in a negative balance. The only thing to watch out for are automatic withdrawals, as these automatic withdrawals will still come out on schedule.

In a similar vein, another goal is to not incur late fees. I incurred a few last year that helped keep me far behind on my bills, and didn’t go towards paying anything down/off. It’s basically giving away money. I can’t pay bills on time. There’s no reason for me to make a habit of giving away money.

The third goal is to not use any cash advance/payday loans or borrowing to cover my expenses. These have high interest rates and fees, and end up costing you more than you get in return.

All of this may sound very pedestrian to you, and I’m sure most people don’t make a habit of paying overdraft fees and late fees, but this post will serve as a reminder to myself (and provide some Accountability). Of course, these aren’t the only financial goals I have, but you’ll have to stay tuned to read those.

What about my other goals? I’m back in the gym, taking classes in yoga and pilates. I’m finally working in Underwriting again at work and doing well. I’ve been writing more, and I’ve been working on my spiritual growth. There’s progress in most areas, but there’s still a lot to be done.

I’m taking suggestions for the word/phrase of the year. As you may know, I don’t so much make resolutions as goal, and I use a word that describes what I want to focus on for the year. I’ve used growth, ameliorate, and accountability the last three years; what would you suggest?

What did you set out to accomplish this year? Were you successful? What problems did you run into. What are you planning to do differently next year?

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