Goals for 2009, or This Ox Is On The Move

Here we are, kids—as promised, a list of goals for the upcoming year.

Image courtesy of www.peter-photos.com

Image courtesy of http://www.peter-photos.com

To be honest, I usually don’t make New Year resolutions, let alone enough to require an entire post. This year is a bit different, though, due to some things that have happened in 2008.

The biggest thing, I suppose, is that I went from living on my own in a fairly big city, to living in my old room at my parents place in a rather small town. This summer, I wrote a post about why I was making the move. My main reason was to spend quality time with my family, and I was also excited about saving money and having a chance to reconnect with old friends in the process.

Almost a full five months into my stay here, and I was surprised to realize that I wasn’t making any progress toward moving—my paltry savings included, the money I have on hand right now wouldn’t be enough to cover the expenses of a move. I don’t know where I’m going to live, or where I’m going to work, either. EEK!!!!

A sad state of affairs, really. Could there be a magical way to get on the right track? BAM! Take the time of year, combine it with my lust for lists, and I get not only a list of things that need to be addressed inre: my move , but a decent blog post as well. Planning FTW!

  • Dedicate myself to saving more, and spending less. This probably isn’t much of a goal, as much as it is a lifestyle change. Still, it’s something I want to do. The money to get back to the city isn’t going to appear out of thin air, it’s going to take some dedicated saving. That means funneling money into a interest-earning savings account, and leaving it there. It also means being a little smarter about how I spend money—instead of putting an extra $20 toward going out to dinner or a Wii Points card (that second one hurts a bit) I could put it in the savings account to help cover future expenses. It’s possible that setting up an automatic withdrawl from my checking account to my savings might be a good tool to use in this endeavor.
  • Build a savings cushion. Unless something crazy happens and I end up getting a job as soon as I move, I’m going to need a cushion full of dead presidents to keep me afloat until I get back to earning a regular paycheck. Not to mention that having a good bit of living expenses in a savings account is a fine idea, anyway—Trent over at The Simple Dollar actually recommends keeping six months’ worth of expenses, I believe. A site worth checking out. I need to sit down and crunch some numbers; to satisfy my brain, a formula involving cost of rent, gas, phone, and other such debts will be necessary. Hopefully, I’ll have this within the first week of 2009—then, I can start to build.
  • Determine my housing situation. This is a no-brainer—if I’m planning on living somewhere else, I’d like to pin it down a bit. Specifically, I’d like to know the city (most of the options are in Lexington, but Louisville is possible, too) and who I’d be splitting rent with. At the present time, I have no less than four options to choose from, but I can’t be sure as to the stability of any of them. That’s not an insult to the people offering, plans have a way of changing. Also, will the place be furnished, or will I need to bring things like a bed, shelves, etc.? That would certainly affect how much my expenses are, as well as the “stuff” inventory I mention below. I hope to have a solid decision on this no later than mid-April.
  • Update my resume. If I’m going to be doing some job shopping, I’ll need to make sure my resume is in order. Something I find handy is to write down the tasks I do and responsibilities I’m given during a day’s work, then work them into my resume when I get home. It’s much easier for me to write about a job I’m doing now than to remember the nuances of a job I held two years ago. I also need to update the “Skills” section—have I learned anything different that might make me more valuable/marketable? Should I change the skills I put on the resume based on what position I’m applying for? This should be a fairly easy task, and I have plenty of time in which to get it done.
  • Do a “stuff inventory. I’m firmly convinced that the only time a person knows exactly how much stuff he has is when he has to move it all. Moving in and out of the dorm, my parents’ house, and my apartment over the last few years helped me realized this. In the spring, I’m going to start making a list (what up, Google Docs) of all the things that I’ll need to take, a list of things I’ll want to have with me, and a list of things to sell or donate. See, this is going to be my last move out of my parents’ place, and I’d like to get as much stuff out of their way as possible; for far too long, I’ve taken up a decent chunk of their storage space with my packrat ways. The move should help me decide whether all the stuff I have is really worth keeping.

And that, my babies, is my Move-Out Resolution List. While writing this, I thought of all sorts of other things I could resolve to do—lose a little weight, learn the entire Led Zeppelin discography—but none of them focused on this task. The move will need a lot of my attention for a decent amount of time, as it is going to be a big deal in many ways—it will be a financial biggie, due to the costs of transporting stuff and the bills that come regardless of the steadiness of my paycheck; a physical biggie, because I’ll be the one lugging most of the stuff I have (yet another motivator for that inventory); and an emotional biggie, because no doubt I’ll feel a little guilty about leaving Mom and Dad.

It’s been fun spending time with my parents, but this goldfish found a bigger bowl, and it’s hard to squeeze back into the one I had in high school. I suppose that’s when we know it’s time to fly, to mix my animal metaphors. Captain Birdfish, at your service.

What about you? Anyone else making their first resolution(s), or making any at all? Speak up!

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One response to “Goals for 2009, or This Ox Is On The Move

  1. Sounds like a good plan. I would highly recommend that you find a job prior to moving. The job market is a bit crazy these days and the last thing you want to do is move and not find anything, or move and then decide you should have moved elsewhere. You are more then welcome to spend a time at my place while you job hunt. Also as far as savings. I have always heard/been told to have atleast 3 months salary readily accessible. This can be a savings account, bonds(always a good option), money market accouts, or under your mattress.

    I know what you are going through at the moment, I have been trying to decide what I will do when my current lease is up. I really want to get out of apartments, but renting a house is so expensive I might as well buy. I will need to make some changes to get enough money to make a down payment if I decide to look for a house.

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