The Sky Is The Limit In 2013

 

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and took the opportunity to spend some quality time with your friends and family. I certainly ate far too much and overindulged plenty! I’m not feeling too bad about it though, because I managed to fit in a trip to the gym on Christmas Eve and am planning another few sessions this week back in Scotland (as well as Skiing)!

Mrs Scot and I made it back to Scotland yesterday in great time – we left London at around 06:30 and the roads were absolutely dead! It was almost as if we were spared in the end-of-world apocalypse as we hurtled up north. It is great to see my family and have Christmas all over again!

 

 

 

Comedy at Christmas

Among lots of great presents, Mrs Scot gave me a few of the Karl Pilkington books. -  Has anyone see idiot abroad? If not, I highly recommend it; the man is an unintentional comical genius! As I read the book, the voice inside my head narrates the words in his simple and whingey tone – hilarious!

Another comedian that has got me hooked again this Christmas is the Irishman Brendan O’Carroll with ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ – If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! Even my friends across the pond should find it funny!

 

2013 Planning

I wrote a post last week entitled 2012 – What a Freaking Year, which looked back over some of the major things that have happened in my life through 2012. From marriage to buying a house and going on honeymoon to starting a blog; these things don’t happen automatically or without any thought. In order to achieve milestones or make progress, we are required to set goals and make plans. New Year’s Resolutions – clichéd as they might have become – are a fantastic opportunity to plan your year ahead. They are not however, an excuse or justification for being irresponsible for the last few months of the previous year!

I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I have many a friend of Facebook who is always talking about how much they drink and that it will be a new years resolution to stop! **SLAP** You are missing the point entirely! Start reducing the amount now and drink in moderation… the same thing can be applied to eating, health, fitness, spending money etc.

 

Setting Goals not Resolutions

Many bloggers write about how to set goals when saving money and the technicalities behind them. When setting general goals, I consider two main things:

  1. What do I want to better in myself or what do I want to achieve?
  2. How much time / work is required to get there?

Quite simple really – you choose goals yourself. Don’t pick a generic goal, or somebody else’s; rather something that you want to accomplish. Secondly, make sure that the goal is realistic and that you have the time to achieve it. The last thing you want to do is set an unobtainable goal or conflicting goals – for example you wouldn’t want to set a goal to lose x amount of weight and also bulk up with muscle, or to travel extensively as well as spending extra time with family and friends when you have limited vacation.

 

Set clear and non-conflicting goals, which are definitely achievable. Aim for the sky, but concentrate on a few main objectives.

 

My Goals for 2013

I am setting myself goals under the following categories:

Financial

Clear Credit Cards – As some of the longer-term readers will know, Mrs Scot and I bought the furniture for our new house on a credit card. This was intentional and you can read all about it here. In 2013, we are going to eliminate all credit card debt!

Reduce Base Monthly Outgoings – Like any responsible person should, I evaluate our monthly outgoings regularly. The end of the year marks a great opportunity to re-assess tariffs and memberships of all varieties: energy, mobile, internet, TV, gym, shopping, wine clubs etc. Do you really need it at all? Has Netflix and iTunes replaced the need for cable/satellite? Are you exercising inside off-peak hours when you are paying for a peak membership? Are you even using the gym enough? For me this will involve haggling with many of these companies and playing them off against their competitors. I am not afraid to move providers and neither should you be!

Continue Investing – Although I have not discussed investing much on this blog, we have been investing in an ISA wrapper over the last few months. If you want to learn more about this, then you will have to sign up for the SavvyScot newsletter! For those of you who read the above goal and are questioning why we are investing with credit card debt, read the linked post. The credit cards are interest free until after summer.

Make at Least Two Overpayments on Mortgage – This is something that I discussed earlier this year on a post ‘Why Amortization is Important’. Our ultimate short-term financial goal is to pay-off our mortgage. The best place to start is with overpayments!

Earn 5 Figures with SavvyScot – Quite self-explanatory and hopefully quite achievable – for more information, check out the Newsletter!

 

Health, Sport and Fitness

Complete a Tough Mudder – I have signed up a for a Tough Mudder challenge in summer 2013. I think that most people will have heard of this, but essentially it consists of a half-marathon run around a military assault course with some pretty wicked obstacles! Check it out! This will require a LOT of training and dedication over the next few months – including healthy eating!

Start Cycling to Work – As some of you will remember, my commute is over 30 miles. My goal here is to start cycling to work in the summer (at least one-way).

Stick at Wakeboarding – Mrs Scot and I discovered how much we enjoyed wakeboarding late last year. In 2013 we plan to continue with this and I want to be able to land a jump!

 

Relationship and Family

Marriage – The last year (our first year) of marriage has been an absolute blast! I have seriously had the best time ever and I am aware that like anything, marriages require effort. The goal here is to ensure that Mrs Scot and continue to make time for each other and don’t let our jobs get in the way of our relationship!

Date Night – We got quite sloppy at having our date night towards the end of 2012. This was mainly due to being so tired with long work hours etc. To continue in 2013!

 

Other

Learn Afrikaans – Given that half my family speak this as their first language, I need to get the finger out and properly learn Afrikaans this year. While I can understand a lot, I need to be able to speak fluently before we have kids. I don’t want Mum having a secret language do I?

 

What is your top goal for next year?

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Comments

  1. I just did a similar goals post. Learning more about investing should have been on my list. Right now I’m putting money in a 403b through work, but I should start learning about other options.

    I love your, “other” goal. I keep telling the bf he needs to learn Tagalog properly, so we can teach our kids (when we have some, someday). He’s basically fluent, but will stop sometimes mid-sentence and use English words then resume speaking Tagalog. I don’t speak any Tagalog so it’s something that is important for me to learn as well. Maybe I should add Rosetta Stone to my budget this year.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted..2013 GoalsMy Profile

    • What is a 403b? Is that a pre-tax share scheme type thing? Tagalog sounds amazing!! Admittedly, I had to look up where it originated, but I say go for it! There are some great and much cheaper alternatives to Rosetta Stone you know – you should check out some of the podcasts on iTunes! :)

  2. I totally know what you mean about people posting that kind of stuff on FB. It’s a set up for failure. It’s also like the people who say “I will exercise 6 days a week, no matter what!” Guess what? You won’t…so why don’t you just wake up each day and just get in, at the very least, a walk…it’s all about inertia. Anyway, that’s my tangent.
    I would also like to do a mud run…totally achievable although mine might be of the wimpy, girly variety. Hey gotta start somewhere! Good luck with your goals!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..Looking Back, Looking Forward Part 3My Profile

    • It is awful isn’t it!! Procrastination is awful! As you say, the only thing they are doing is setting themselves up for a bigggg fall!!! You should totally get on the Tough Mudder… they do them all over the world!!! Then we can train and motivate each other! :)

  3. Great list. Very well balanced. Our list is similar. We need to look at spending better time together and not being so busy with to dos. We are also looking to save more.

    For me I set goals all year long. Not just in the new year.

    Best of luck with your goals. I am sure you are going to do great.
    Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter recently posted..How To Organize A ProjectMy Profile

    • Why Thank You! :) Glad that you guys also realise the significance and importance of spending time together! I agree with the method of setting goals all year – or at least constantly re-evaluating them! Have you got any plans for NYE?

  4. K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! says:

    You have some good goals for 2013. I’ll be doing a similar post next Monday so you can read about them then :)
    K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! recently posted..Sunday High Fives!My Profile

  5. Good luck with your goals! Have you started your newsletter? I didn’t get anything.
    Pauline recently posted..The tale of two broadband providers: the very best and the very worstMy Profile

    • Thanks Pauline… sorry for the lack of comments over the last week – been SO busy seeing everyone now I am back home! I have started drafting it, but am yet to send it out!! It is coming.. I promise!! :) Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to you guys in paradise!

  6. Savvy I love the new site design mate! Can’t wait to see where your goals take you in 2013. I am writing a post for my websites goals in 2013. It makes me kind of nervous announcing my intentions on the internet, so people will know if I fail. But it will also make me work harder to achieve my goals. A late merry Christmas to you and Mrs Scot, and happy New year!
    Stephen S. recently posted..Featured Country: Why You Need to Visit CroatiaMy Profile

    • Hey Steve! Cheers buddy – I feel that I have been a little under-ambitious… we shall see. This is the first time I have written a goals post so am also a little bit cautious about failure! That said, the accountability might help a lot! Merry Christmas to you too and hope you have an AMAZING New Year – Got any plans for the bells?

  7. I’m with you on trying to earn five figures with my blog. I broke 4 figures this year and would like to go for the gold in 2013. Perhaps you can use those funds to max out that ISA!
    My Money Design recently posted..My Stocks with High Dividends Income Report – December 2012My Profile

    • Good stuff! I am sure we can do it.. let’s hope there is still strong interest from advertisers in 2013! I have done exactly that this year – I have put all funds into some stocks with an ISA wrapper! What have you done with your earnings?

  8. Pretty good goals, especially the financial ones. Making 5 figures on a blog would be so awesome :D My top goals for next year will mostly be a repeat of 2012′s because I was too lazy to get anything important done this year, haha. Good luck learning Afrikaans, that sounds interesting.
    Liquid recently posted..My New Saskatchewan FarmMy Profile

  9. Nice list mate, I would love to learn another language. I started learning Chinese a while back and I still remember quite a bit, but I have seriously slacked off in that area.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..MPB – Pool Room Posts #10My Profile

    • Cheers Buddy! Chinese is awesome… I had a friend who moved to China after 6th year in school and became totally fluent in a year!! It is very hard to learn a language as an adult though IMO. How good did you get?

  10. I like what you’ve done with your goals there. I’ve often thought setting too many resolutions/goals is a recipe for failure, but as you’ve split them all up like that, it actually looks acheivable. In fact, your financial ones look like you’re pretty much carrying on in the same vein as this year.
    I’m doing the same in some respects: one of my resolutions won;t be to get fit in 2013, but to STAY fit :) 2 questions though:
    1. With mortgage rates so low, wouldn’t your money be better off being invested rather than paying down the mortgage? For now at least?
    2. I watch very little TV at the moment, but I like Diara O’Brein, is he really in Mrs Brown’s Boys??
    Matt recently posted..Your finances as a CoupleMy Profile

    • Cheers Matt! My financial ones are just that… not too much new this year, but that’s OK IMO!
      Staying fit is always better than getting fit :P
      In answer to your questions:

      Our rate is quite low, but not ridiculously low (4.19%). This is fixed for three years and we want to make enough overpayments to own enough equity to unlock a better rate when it comes to remortgaging. I don’t want to tie up too much money in short term investments when we have just over 2 years until the fixed rate ends. All the money from this blog is going into investment instead. This also helps us to track goals!

      Secondly, you are spot on – It is not O’Brien at all… Mrs Scot laughed at me when I wrote that (it is of course Brendan O’Carroll) but I wanted to see if anyone picked up on it – GOLD STAR!! :)

      Any plans for NYE?

  11. My associate optometrist did a Tough Mudder this fall. I was all in until I found out they electrocute you at the end. Really shoot electric current at you. I touched enough electric fences when I was a kid to remember how bad that feels. Any other non-electric race and I’m on.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs #19- I’m on VacationMy Profile

    • Haha! Yes that is one part that I am not looking forward to as much… I have similar childhood memories of grabbing a fence and my hand spasming around it!!

  12. It’s a great feeling when you clear a credit card

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