I started making New Year’s resolutions and keeping track of them in 2013. For the most part, they include losing a certain amount of weight, being a better father, reading more books, etc. I would keep track of my progress for a few months and then my attention falls off until it’s time to work on the next year’s resolutions. I imagine that most of us are in the same boat in this regard.

For 2017, I’ve made the usual resolutions as for the past four years. Maybe by publishing them online, I can have a little bit of extra accountability. These aren’t all of my resolutions, but rather just those that relate to this blog and that I want to publish online 🙂

  1. Publish a Monday Minute at least 48 Mondays out of the year and then 52 or more longer articles, preferably once a week.  100 articles has a nice ring to it.
  2. Limit our dining/eating out expenses to $500/mo.  That reserves a reasonable amount for some special occasion meals that I will track separately.
  3. Keep our grocery bill to under $800/mo, with some allowance for parties and other special occasions. If we barely fail with this goal but succeed with the dining budget, then I will consider it a victory overall. I will keep track of both of these in Mint and update our progress every few months.
  4. Reduce our overall expenses by 10% compared to last year. Some of this should automatically happen by some timing issues with disability insurance payments and taxes. The rest will happen by old fashioned cost-cutting.  We will be swimming upstream, in a good way, against our total spending goal because we are increasing our charitable giving quite a bit. I’m not comfortable throwing dollar amounts online for the total spending, but I will keep track of our family’s progress on a percentage basis.
  5. Involve Christy in tracking our spending. In twelve years of marriage she hasn’t had the time or much interest in being involved, but it has gotten so easy to go to Mint, wait 5 seconds for it to update all of our accounts, and then see what we spent the past week. The whole process shouldn’t take five minutes each week, and hopefully it will help us to hold ourselves accountable for our spending and finding ways to save more.

-Richard

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