Happy New Year! Ringing in ’17

I absolutely love celebrating the turning of the calendar year!  To me, it means fresh new budget spreadsheets, new plans to liven up the homeschool, a productive new business plan, and of course personal resolutions.

Here’s what I have in mind for the new year:

Personal Budgeting:

We have struggled with debt for a long time.  It’s amazing that a bad decision or two in our twenties could carry on into our thirties.  Ick.  Fortunately, we’re come to terms with it, paid off a huge chunk in ’16, and are on our way to financial freedom.  I’m quite certain we’ll get there in ’17.  Thankfully.  This year, we’ll continue with what we’ve been doing.  Sticking to a budget, using overages in Mr.’s paycheck to pay down debt, and overages in my paychecks to use as spending money.  When we get large lumps from the business, we’ll apply it to our spending categories; savings, clothes, holidays, vacation, taxes, etc.  Dealing with our finances this way will allow us to become closer to our goal, as well as give us permission to spend money on things that I used to feel guilty about spending on, like clothes.

Livening up the Homeschool:

I’m not changing too  much in our school, because I really like the way things have been going.  One thing we’ve been doing lately, is having a little morning crunch time, where the kids have a friendly math competition, do a little spelling quiz, and *sometimes* do some free writing.  In addition to that, I’d like to add in a quick science experiment once per week, in the morning.  Both kids have asked for more science this year, so this seems like a great way to incorporate it.  I’m taking ideas from Planet Smarty Pants, and doing something quick and easy (and almost free).

Since my girls have asked for more science, and I feel that Millie needs to be challenged more, I’m also adding the study of Botany to our year.  We’ll be using Botany in 8 Lessons.  I’m really excited about this!!  I think the girls will love doing all the activities that go along with it.  It doesn’t hurt that we have a wonderful conservatory to go to for field trips!

Business Planning:

In my past life, before I became a homeschool mom, I worked in the real estate business.  Mr still does, and I like to stay on top of the market, marketing trends, and all that.  Once per year, I get to write his business plan.  I love it!  It gives me a sense of purpose to be able to “work.”  I’m hoping to get more involved each year, as his business grows.

Personal Resolutions:

Every year I make personal resolutions (usually to lose weight), and I usually fail.  Waa!  This year, my resolution is to incorporate healthier eating habits into our lives; eating whole foods, only eating desserts I make at home, etc.  I’ll follow the Whole 30 (well, the Whole 21 for me.  I don’t want to be on that when I have my big girls weekend in January…), take a break, and then hop back on.  We’ll see how it goes.  Baby steps.

I’m so looking forward to 2017!!  Now, I get the fun job of writing out my detailed plans.  Squeee!

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