How did my 2010 resolutions go?
Guest blogger Trent Hamm holds himself accountable for his 2010 goals.
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I’ve been lucky to have a great piano instructor, Diane Helmer, who really needs to have a website to promote her work. She didn’t just sit down and make me learn things the way she thought I “ought” to learn them, but instead figured out what my goals were and is helping me to achieve them. Diane, get a website and you’ll get a link from The Simple Dollar!Skip to next paragraph
The Simple Dollar is a blog for those of us who need both cents and sense: people fighting debt and bad spending habits while building a financially secure future and still affording a latte or two. Our busy lives are crazy enough without having to compare five hundred mutual funds – we just want simple ways to manage our finances and save a little money.
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I fully intend to keep up my piano playing for years to come, and my two oldest children are beginning to express interest as well (which was an ulterior motive of this).
Result: Middling success
My calculation so far is that my entertainment and hobby spending in 2010 is down about 35% from 2009, which is close to my goal but didn’t quite reach it.
Here’s why I still see some success, though: I took to doing a lot of trading via the internet of DVDs, books, board games, and other items this year. If you do not include the postage for these trades, I’m actually very close to my 50% reduction that I planned for for this year.
My hobby and entertainment spending did go down drastically. The biggest drop was in DVD purchases, which almost vanished. Gaming spending had about a 10% drop overall. Book spending went down about 40%. The only area that went up was a subscription to Netflix.
I’m happy with the changes, and I suspect 2011 will have lower spending than 2010 because right now I actually have a backlog of games to play, books to read, and films to watch.
I’m pretty pleased with my 2010 resolution performance. It’s not perfect, but I set some very stiff goals for myself during the year and I achieved (or mostly achieved) all of them.
Going through this process has helped me figure out some goals for 2011, which I’m going to share with you in the coming weeks. I tentatively have three of them in place and you should be able to guess one of them if you’ve read this article.
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