I recently had the awesome opportunity to write a guest post for one of my favorite personal finance sites Budgets are Sexy, in which I did a review of my favorite budgeting app YNAB. If you haven’t done so just yet, please check it out! If you’re a new reader as a result of the post, welcome! I hope you enjoy reading the random musings of this cheap dad…
I’m a bit late here, but I hope that everyone had a happy holidays and a wonderful new year! I spent most of the time at home in Southern California. We then spent a week in New Orleans to celebrate New Years with my brother’s family. Traveling with a toddler is a journey in itself! Packing a stroller, carseat along with your bags is madness. The flight was four hours so we did our best to keep Addie entertained with our phones and iPad loaded with Mickey Mouse videos for her. Fortunately, Addie slept a good portion of both flights.
Let me tell you, that place IS NOT the most baby friendly place. I guess that seems pretty obvious when they have Bourbon Street ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. There’s no place for strollers, everyone smokes, and people seem indifferent to having children around. Yes, I know I sound like a crabby old man. 😉
Still, New Orleans was amazing (and exhausting). Vacationing with kids is definitely worlds different than what my wife and I used to do before. Our days would begin at 6 am and end around 8 pm when the kids go to sleep. We went to museums, parks, and coffee shops. We ate and ate and ate. Seriously, I gained like 6 lbs in a week. For New Year’s we celebrated Noon Year’s Eve at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, where instead of counting down to midnight they count down to noon.
Now, to non parents those activities might seem lame compared to a night on the town, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. When you’re a parent, you could do the most boring activity, but the second your kid lights up in excitement it’s all worth it. 🙂
Turning the Page
In my last post, I reflected on the past year. This post is about moving forward and “turning the page”. The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can be tough to be have a productive routine with all the celebrations, gatherings, and whatnot. January is a good time to reset and look at some of the things I want to do. Here are a few of the things I want to accomplish this year:
• Get a Job
While I’ve written about how being unemployed hasn’t been too horrible due to the power of the budget, I do need to go back into the workforce eventually if my wife and I want to hit some of our longer term goals (early retirement, funding Addie’s college, paying off our house)
I’ve had a few interviews and callbacks since I was unemployed, but so far nothing has stuck. I just gotta get back into full job search mode again until I eventually land something. Thank you emergency fund for having our backs.
• Start a Side Hustle
I’ve dabbled into some side hustles here and there. Yard sales, craiglist, and credit card sign up bonuses are some of the things I’ve done before to make a few bucks. I’d like to figure out something I can do on a regular basis to make some additional money when I can. Something that might be a possibility is freelance writing, as I’ve made a few contacts in the past few weeks that might turn into some work.
• Buy Less Crap
I’ve been telling my wife that I “need” a new iPhone to replace my aging iPhone 5s. The reason why I haven’t pulled the trigger? Because in the back of my mind I know that my phone works well enough. Plus, I don’t really wanna drop the equivalent of a mortgage payment on a shiny new iPhone 6s Plus. I want to make sure that most of the things I spend money on line up with what I value most.
• Become a Better Father/Husband
I’ve been with my wife for 16+ years (married almost 8). Now THAT is a crazy long time. When you’re with someone that long, it can be easy to get too comfortable. It gets especially tough when you have a little one and they come first. When I’m with my two girls I want to put all my energy into taking care of both of them and keeping them happy.
• Go On Another Vacation
My wife and I had such a great time in New Orleans that we want to keep bringing Addie on adventures. While we’re not sure exactly where we wanna go, It most likely will involve flying and a hotel stay somewhere. Maybe I’ll give travel hacking a try to save some serious dough on the trip!
• Post More Consistently.
I’d like to get to a point where I’m posting once a week, which is easier said than done. Between looking for a job, and being a father and husband, it’s been a challenge. I don’t know how you bloggers do it. Doing a blog can be an all consuming venture.
• Transition to a Self Hosted Site to allow me to have a lot more control over my blog and the ability to put ads of my choosing instead of the random ones that people see from time to time.
• Network More
I’d like to reach out a little more to other bloggers by commenting on their posts and reaching out using social media. Maybe this shy guy can actually go out to a blog meet up one day? FinCon 2016 perhaps?
Those are only a few of the goals I had in mind for 2016. I know they’re pretty general right now, but I’ll be writing about some of these goals in more detail in the future. I’m sure through the course of the year I’ll add and revise this as I go. While I had a great 2015 (despite the layoff), I look forward to what 2016 will bring!
How about you? What are your goals for 2016? And why did The Martian win Best Picture for Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes?