2013: The Year of Possibilities

I had originally written out my goals for 2013 as a list but, after writing out the different areas of my life that I changed in 2012, I decided to place my goals in those same categories. If you look carefully, you’ll see that a number of goals could crossover into more than one category. That is… if I can accomplish them all!

Let’s take a look at what I hope to accomplish in 2013: the year of possibilities.

2013 is the year I will become debt-free. My goal is to pay off the last of my loans before June 7th, two years from the day I was maxed out. Seeing as that goal is only five months away, it is the top priority in my financial life. Any extra money I get from now until then will be put towards debt, including my tax return, which I’m hoping will be another $2K+.

As soon as my debt is paid off, I’m going into savings mode. It’s crazy to imagine that one day I will have an extra $750+/month to put into various savings accounts. My first savings goal is to boost my Emergency Fund to $5,000; to do that, I will need to save an extra $3,400. After that, I want to increase my RRSP contributions and start thinking about saving for a down payment.

Stealing a sentence from Chris Guillebeau, I want to make writing the most important thing I do all year. I have already accepted two freelance jobs, which could potentially bring in an extra few hundred dollars each month, and am currently working on setting up a second blog that showcases my writing, lists my services, and offers packages for blog management.

To help myself become both a better writer and a better manager, I’m going to start reading again this year. I say “reading again” because I basically stopped reading for pleasure when I was in school. Since getting a Kobo for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!) I’ve already finished one book. Any books that are blogging, managing, marketing, SEO and money-related should watch out! (Got any recommendations?)

Travel is one area that is seriously up in the air, this year. I have drafted a post about it for next week but I’m in… well, a number of weddings this year. So far, I’m attending four, I’m a bridesmaid in three, and there’s a chance I’ll be in another (the date hasn’t been finalized yet). Are you starting to see why I put a “Weddings” savings account in this month’s budget?

So, there’s that. Then, like my New York City goal in 2012, I’m not sure this will be possible… but I would love to go to San Francisco this year, so I can cross it off my bucket list (and visit all my friends, in the process!). I would also like to go to #FinCon13. Oh, and there are a some lovely ladies who are harassing me about going to Florida in May. Who knows where I’ll end up travelling this year!

Even though my health hasn’t been a top priority these past few months, that doesn’t mean I have forgotten about it. My biggest health goal for 2013 is simple: I want to get back on track with meal planning. This includes doing big grocery shops, being a healthier vegetarian, and trying a few new recipes every month. It also includes less takeout (and far fewer trips to Starbucks).

As for my weight, I may have lost 24 lbs. last year, but I’d like to lose another 17 lbs. this year. In general, I’d probably be on cloud nine, if I was anywhere near the 160′s… but I’m going to make 165 lbs. my goal weight for 2013. Along with meal planning, getting back into running (and maybe entering a couple 5K’s and 10K’s) should help me reach this goal.

Oh, Blonde on a Budget. I haven’t forgotten about you. To go along with my goal of making writing the most important thing I do all year, I have a number of goals for this blog. First, I want to write and maintain an editorial calendar each month. Second, I want to start a series of posts that helps readers. And third, I want to start guest posting in our community more and more.

My last goal for 2013 is going to sound crazy. Before the year ends, I want to take (and pass) the Investment Funds in Canada (IFC) course. Yes, it’s for people who want to sell mutual funds. But I’m lucky in that I have two close friends who have taken the course and both say I will not only learn how to be a better investor but it will help me become a better personal finance blogger.

Secretly (very secretly), I would love to take all of the course requirements to get my Personal Financial Planner (PFP) designation. But I don’t have the work experience required, in order to be certified. So, I’ll start with one course for now and see if I even pass! If not, at least I’ll have a massive textbook full of knowledge that I can pass onto all of you.

And that’s that! My outline for a year of possibilities. If you’re lost on what I mean by “possibilities,” try to imagine who I was even a year ago… honestly, accomplishing any of these goals seems crazy and foreign to me. But I’m not who I was a year ago, nor am I the girl who maxed herself out two years ago. It’s time to see what I can do next.

What is the “craziest” thing you want to accomplish in 2013?

Image: ashlynne.herrin