Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Since I didn't spend that much during the holidays (a whopping $15 for two 4 by 6 inch picture frames) I didn't break my budget overdoing the peak consumer season.  However, my finances are in disrepair from a year of happy spending (house toys, my best friend's wedding, lots of trips and travels all while Jeff was on and off employment status) and so the upcoming year is going to be my big year of saving.

With a few notable exceptions, I have kept my plans for the upcoming year to a minimum.  I wanted maximum flexibility for spontaneous plans with friends or adventures in the wildernesses not too far from home.  Now that a new opportunity has sprung up, I'm doubly happy I gave myself plenty of space.

A pared down calendar is synonymous with less spending for me.  This coming year will be a time for me to focus on saving, paying down debt, and taking advantage of my skills and passions to earn extra income for the previous objectives.  Sure I have a couple of more elaborate plans during the course of the year, but they may not pan out either.  I'm keeping things open to possibilities.

Fortunately, we received a lot of gift cards to the movies for Christmas so that gives us something to do for free (other than the gas to get to the theater).  We also got some Amazon bucks to get some pretty toys or time wasters.  I may just use mine for household items that have been on my wishlist for awhile, like curtains for the bedroom or living room; or maybe more jars for canning deliciousness.

To earn some extra cash, I'm planning on throwing a yard sale in a couple weeks.  This means I'll have to buckle down and turn my living space into a chaotic staging area before things can be moved out front.  However, it'll be good to go through all our junk and make a bit of extra money.  Ten percent of whatever we make will be spent on something fun, another 10% will go into savings, and the remainder will go towards any past due household bills or credit card debt.

Also, I'm slowly whittling away at my existing commissioned yarn projects.  I completely missed my self-imposed deadlines, but I'm closing in on finishing.  I will working on smaller projects that I can mass produce easily for sale.  I may not get everything up on Etsy before the next holiday season, but I'd like to build some stock to take advantage of the buying season.  Income from this will be handled the same way, 10% fun, 10% savings, and the rest to bills.  All other crafting time will be focused on making stuff for the debut performance of Piper.  With her parentage, she's guaranteed to be the quirky and outrageous show-stopper.

I won't be pursuing yoga teacher training this year, but I intend on maintaining my once a week class schedule.  I may look at offering an additional class at night during the work week, but I'll base this off of demand.  Some people asked for bellydancing classes, but this is a big maybe.  I'm also playing with the idea of asking a bit more for classes, while offering a "discount card" deal.  During the first four months of me opening my home to classes, there were a lot of last minute cancellations.  I don't mind this at all, life happens.  But I hope by raising a single class price while offering a multi-class card will help encourage attendance and allow me to continue to invest in my own growth and training.  All income will go towards my own continuing education with a professional teacher, investing in props for students, and maintaining the space (like paint and carpet cleaner).  If I offer bellydancing classes, the income breakdown will work the same.

I have one more trick up my sleeve, but it hasn't quite panned out yet and I'm not ready to jinx it yet.  However, I hope to share more about it soon!

No comments: