Reaching the end of 2020 does feel like we have run a marathon, mostly on a wonky treadmill at home with lots of stops and starts! When I was thinking about my goals for 2021 I was tempted to just type ‘don’t get Covid’. However, since that is not entirely under my control I am going to plan ahead as best I can and hope for a brighter year.
All we can do really is try to be optimistic and make the best of things, but I find planning ahead a bit does help with my mindset.
Last year’s goals
When I set my goals for 2020, how could I have possibly known the crazy times that lay ahead? I wanted to be more business focussed and try to get more freelancing work. Instead, I just chugged along. Many of the companies I would normally have been attempting to work for furloughed many of their own staff, so weren’t in the market for freelancers. It’s hard to build a business in an epidemic.
I intended to have a good declutter, which has happened in some parts of the house, but not all. Mr S did the two big sheds in the garden and I did all of the cupboards and drawers in the house. However, neither of us has been able to face the attic and a smaller shed really needs sorting out.
I planned to incorporate more Pilates into my daily yoga practice. This has been a bit of a fail, although there are a few movements that I do now include. It would be nice to get to some classes, but who knows when it will feel safe to try that?
I did manage to wholly achieve my goal to have a no spend January. I have done this several years on the trot, and it really helps to get my post-Christmas finances into shape!
Goals for 2021
So, onto my goals for 2021. Because it is hard to plan exactly, some of them may be wishful thinking. If we all manage to get our anti-covid vaccinations, we might be back to some kind of normality by the summer. Keeping everything crossed!
Budget, budget, budget
I want to be even more frugal during 2021. This is partly because things look so uncertain in the economy.
I will be meal planning and wasting nothing, buying as little of everything as possible, being conscious of the energy we use and making things last as long as possible.
Being frugal will hopefully enable us to do some of the things we want to, even if our income does take a dip or prices increase a lot. Which leads me onto my next goal…
Buying only second hand – my big challenge!
My pledge for 2021 is to buy only second hand for the whole year. As I purchase a lot of second hand items anyway, this may not be as difficult for me as it might be for other people. However, there are a lot of things that will take quite a bit of effort to source second hand.
I explain the rules and my full challenge in this post. You can also join my Facebook group, My Second Hand Life, where we discuss all things frugal and show off our second hand finds. There is already quite a nice little community developing!
Food for free
As part of my plan to live super frugally (and because I hate food waste), I intend to use the Olio app as much as possible to pick up free food at it’s use by date. There are quite a lot of Olio food heroes in my local area, picking up from businesses and offering to the app users.
Hopefully I can collect things when I take Archie for a walk in the evening, so no added food miles either.
We have a pretty healthy emergency fund. It was reassuring to have this at the start of the pandemic particularly. In the end, we didn’t need to use it, thank goodness.
However, we did use the money we saved for Christmas and a holiday. Therefore, this fund needs replenishing. After the year we have all had, getting away for a break will be so welcome.
Last summer we went to Norfolk in September. We had glorious weather and it was absolutely magical. For a cheap holiday, it was one of the best we have ever had.
I think we are likely to do something similar this year. In any event, I doubt we will be flying anywhere!
Write a regular newsletter
I have finally got around to starting a newsletter – you have probably noticed the invitation to join when you came onto the site.
I plan to write at least a monthly newsletter, maybe more often, depending on what there is to say.
It would be lovely to make this a bit of a community newsletter, so I will be asking my Facebook group for their hints and tips on various aspects of frugal living to share. Come over and join in the discussion!
Decorate the hallway
This has been on our list for a looooong time! We intended to finally do it in the spring, but then we got Archie, the naughty cockerpoo. He has proceeded to eat the carpet and underlay, the spindles on the bannisters, the window sill and the wallpaper!
Unsurprisingly, we decided to wait a bit. He is still chewing, but is getting a bit better so hopefully we can do it early in 2021. It will be a very cheap revamp. What’s the point in spending a lot of money until we know the dog isn’t going to damage it again? We already have all of the paint, so most of the cost of this has already been spent.
Just as well, since second hand paint might be hard to source. Actually, one of my rules is that I can buy new items if they are going to be used to repair or revamp something, so I could justify buying more if absolutely necessary. However, we will use what we have and also explore the community repaint scheme. We don’t have one in our town, but we travel to see my family in Brentwood from time to time and there is one there.
Finish the book I started two years ago!
Oh my goodness, this one frustrates me. I have writing a book based on my blog on and off for several years. I abandoned the original draft and started from scratch at the back end of 2019 but still haven’t finished it.
I can make all kinds of excuses about not having the time, but in the end it boils down to not giving it priority. So I am going to dedicate one day a week to this until it is done.
It’s not as if I don’t have plenty of material; it’s simply a matter of getting on with it!
Let’s hope I manage to achieve all of my goals for 2021. One other thing I am desperate to do is to host a big family garden party. However, I am not making this an official goal as I need to see how this wretched virus pans out. But keeping this in my sights cheers me up.
Here’s to the future and a brighter 2021! Do you have any aims for the new year?