Saturday, January 9, 2016

Looking Forward: 2016

Starting off the on the right foot? Hardly! The last week turned my face scarlet more than a few times.

A combination of moving too much money to our savings account and extra-large holiday expenses shoved our bank account into overdraft. Oops! Rather embarassing for an accountant, no?

The simple fact is that my Wife and put finances largely on auto-pilot: Don't eat out too much, don't spend extravagantly, and watch money piles grow.  We knew we short-changed the future, but buying a house and improving our careers meant cutting back time somewhere. I'd log in once in a while to see the overall pile of cash grow and verify everything made sense.

Other than that, no discussions about money.

Then we bought furniture for the home. Damn! Let me be clear, we knew we could afford the furniture, and indeed we still sit on the same cash pile we did back in September (which isn;t good either, since we didn't save anything, but we expected that).

The real problem was placing too much money into some other accounts and insufficient money in the primary checking account.


Obviously 2016 is the year of formalizing a budget for the Beta household, both to drive increase savings and so we do not run into this little fiasco again. I won't end up like Mr. Money Mustache, obviously, but we will sleep better at night. 

2016 will also be a back to basics year in other ways. I had a few grand ideas last year, like "find a new job" and "finish NaNoWriMo novel" which did not materialize.

This year will focus on habits more than final goals, and making sure the habits are good ones. So there's plenty of simple goals, with high impact:


Drink a glass of water every morning.

Stupid for a New Years Resolution, I suppose. But I've found over the last month that I am rather dehydrated in the mornings...the bowels don't move quite right, my head cannot think quite straight, and drinking coffee just makes me want to vomit. I already throw down a glass of orange juice every morning, in addition to my breakfast, but the extra water perks up mood and gets me in a debit-and-credit-fighting state of mind.

Focusing on that, making it automatic, and then moving onto the next basic habit, means a lifetime of increased energy for everything else.

2016 might not be the most exciting. I probably will not end up with a new job, I probably will not climb a mountain, and I probably will not run for President, but hopefully setting new habits will set me up for a positive future.

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