Shoestring Cottage resolutions for 2019


I love a brand new shiny year with all its possibilities. New resolutions aren’t confined to January for me; I make them all year round. However, I like to plan ahead with my goals and the new year is the perfect time to do this. The last days of December can be a time for introspection and to evaluate the life choices you made the previous year. Your resolutions and goals can be ambitious, but they also need to be realistic and achievable. Here are my resolutions for 2019.

Work and change

2019 is likely to be a time of change for me. My workplace is cutting back dramatically on staff. Many long time and valued colleagues have already gone.

Change is hard. But it can also bring opportunities. If the option of redundancy comes my way I resolve to grab it with both hands and do more of what I love on a self employed basis. That means writing, blogging and eBay reselling.

I don’t get time to achieve what I want to in any of these areas, so 2019 could be the time to start.

Alternatively I could jump at a promotion. The jobs that remain after the cuts tend to be better paid with more responsibility.

One of my resolutions for 2019 is to be open to change and look for the opportunities it brings rather than running round in a blind panic!


I have done a little bit of freelance writing during 2018. A blog I love for giving guidance on freelance writing is RuthMakesMoney. Ruth writes from experience. She has been a self-employed writer, blogger and reseller for years. This is the direction I would like to move in.

So I am working on my portfolio and need to start actively looking for writing opportunities during 2019.

A healthier year


As I lie in bed typing this, I have a head full of snot (thanks for sharing, Mr S) and a constantly aching neck. I have never been so unhealthy. Before this I don’t think I have had a heavy cold for maybe 10 years. The winter vomiting virus also got me a month or so ago. But the past few months have taught me a valuable lesson. To never take my good health for granted again.

I tend to think we eat a pretty nutritious diet, and we do in comparison to many other people. However, there is always room for improvement. We will be eating a lot more fruit and vegetables in the new year, as well as cutting back on sugar and alcohol.

I have some food intolerances that would make a vegan diet really difficult for me. However, I can see the benefits, from an environmental perspective mainly. We do all eat too much meat and our planet can’t support this. There is also much scientific evidence to suggest that eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables is better for our bodies. Therefore one of my resolutions for 2019 is to eat completely vegan one and possibly even two days each week.

More exercise

I say this every year, and every year I don’t do enough to keep fit! I want to start a much stricter exercise programme to get myself fitter and stronger. Because I still have the trapped nerve in my neck I can’t start properly until that is sorted. My exercise programme needs to take into account the fact that I have fibromyalgia so don’t always have lots of energy.

I have done Pilates recently and really enjoyed it, so plan to enrol in a weekly class. Tai chi is another gentle form of exercise that I believe will suit me so I am looking into that too. In addition, I will restart my 15 minutes a day of yoga. I feel much better physically and mentally when I practice regularly.

I am not beating myself up about this until my neck is better. But my physio said it is likely the fibromyalgia lead to the trapped nerve as I am moving so much less and doing less exercise.

Saving more

Because the future is uncertain, on the job front and with Brexit looming, I want to save even more than we did last year into our emergency fund. This really means side hustling (and hopefully the freelance writing I mentioned above). I put anything extra I earn other than my full time employment straight into savings and will continue to do so.

Reducing waste

I have written during 2018 about our efforts to cut food waste and reduce plastics, especially single use ones. I am absolutely passionate about protecting our environment and intend to do all I can to make our life here at Shoestring Cottage greener and to be as eco-friendly as we possibly can.



Whatever happens we will have at least one holiday! This is what we scrimp and save all year for. We don’t go on luxury cruises but always end up somewhere lovely and have a great time. This year we are looking at driving up to the west coast of Scotland. I visited Scotland years ago but Mr S has never been, so it will be an adventure.

I am also desperate to get back to France, but we will have to see how the finances and job situation pans out first.

No spend January

I almost forgot! My first resolution is a complete no spend January to kick start our savings goals. If you want to join in read this post. You can also come and find me on Instagram where I will be posting regular tips and updates on my no spend month! I am @shoestringcottage.

So there you have it – the Shoestring Cottage resolutions for 2019. Do you have any goals for the coming year?

25 thoughts on “Shoestring Cottage resolutions for 2019

  1. I love your blog Jane although I may be a teeny bit biased being your mum. My ambitions for 2019 are to lose a bit of weight and to go on holiday to the west coast of Scotland . We don’t waste much food but I think some of the chocs and other goodies will have to be shared liberally or I shall be enormous. Carry on blogging Jane and getting healthier.

  2. Firstly let me wish you a healthy and happy New Year. I love reading your blog and thank you for it.
    I became 60 last December and have done lots of exciting things this year. My last lifestyle change was to become vegan from this November, the transition from being vegetarian was much easier than I thought for someone who loved Cheddar cheese and also milk chocolate. My tastes have changed and I don’t miss anything one bit, so I will now stay vegan. Like you I want to focus on savings. I still work 5 days a week in a school as a teaching assistant and that shouldn’t change until our mortgage is paid in just under 3 years time. Who knows what will happen then. I would like to dig my keyboard out of mothballs and learn to play it as a piano. Practice is the key here. I want to be less of a consumer although I don’t shop that much, but want to reduce that anyway. Exercise is also a key one for me too and Pilates is also something I am keen to restart to tone up. Becoming vegan means you lose weight if doing it healthily. Also continue with my weekly yoga class and learn not to beat myself up for being so inflexible. Practice is the key again I think. There’s much more to do but that’s enough for now. May I once again wish you and yours a fabulously frugal fun filled 2019. Keeep blogging.

  3. What a lovely set of resolutions! Good luck with work, but it’s sensible to have a contingent plan, just in case.

    After years of resolution failure, I now chop my goals into 8 x 6 week blocks throughout the year. Any I don’t meet, I just resolve to try harder in the next block, or change as opportunities arise.
    I never set any resolutions for January, instead I use it to finish up Christmas foods and rid the house of bad stuff and give some thought what I’m going to do during the year, then on 1st Feb – Spring Equinox I give up sugar like a slightly ‘off-calendar’ Lent.

    “Getting fit” is a perennial resolution. Last year I picked up a yoga mat but kind of let it slip after 6 months or so – mainly because the only place to do it was right in the way of people going past and I was fed up with being caught with my bum in the air! 😀 Now we have a spare room during term time I can hide myself in there.

    I want to walk more too. A while back I saw a blog about a 365 Challenge where you resolve to do something outside in nature every single day of the year which I like the sound of so will look into how I can modify it for city life.

    Last summer we went to Cornwall, which was our first holiday without the kids in 25 years, and I’m keen to repeat it in 2019 – maybe more than once now DH is retired and the kids at home can be trusted not to starve or kill each other!

    I also want to ‘do something’ with the front garden this year. It’s been at the back of my mind for a few years now, but especially so since the summer drought killed off at least one of the screening bushes. Will be mulling that over in January along with what I can grow in the containers in the back garden (including vegetables) that are drought tolerant in case we do get away and have to leave an offspring in charge of watering again!

    Finally I need to set aside days on the calendar to visit National Trust/English Heritage places otherwise another year will slip by without us making the most of our membership!

  4. I feel I could almost cut and paste to my NewYears resolution list. You should do well as all are tangible. Good luck with your goals.

  5. If you get to Scotland this year try starting in the far south west where we live stunning scenery and empty roads, they don’t call it The Secret Corner for nothing.
    Dumfries and Galloway is also a shorter drive for you and you can also take a day trip to Ireland

  6. 2019 is going to be a challenging and emotional year for me and hopefully a life changing one for my son. just before Christmas we were told because of the severity of my son’s seizures he is to have brain surgery to remove the part of the brain they believe the seizures to be coming from, this is huge but we are encouraged by the consultants advice. I am not too healthy myself so this is my year to change that and I am hoping the transition from veggie to vegan will help as well as more excercise and stress reducing activities. We have already made changes to reduce waste and be more eco friendly but will try even harder and I do not want to buy another ready meal, even when fed up with cooking as something on toast, fruit and a yoghurt is sufficient as a meal. I also aim to be more patient , as I got older, now 63 ,I find I am not as patient and tolerant as I was and I don’t like that. So my aim is to help make this world a better place for me and everybody else and be grateful for what I have(aided by the odd bit of Green and Blacks chocolate ),

    • That’s worrying for you, Chrissie . I sincerely hope that your son’s surgery is successful. I would need more than a bit of chocolate! You sound as if you are doing everything you can to keep yourself healthy and sane. Best wishes to you and your family x

          • Thank you, both your good wishes and Jane’s are very kind, I have been following Jane’s blog for a while and being able to write my thoughts as a comment seem to help, I can’t let my family know how scared I am but is a release to tell somebody and to put in writing my fears and aspirations for a new year. I wish you both everything you aim for in the coming year.x

  7. It sounds as though 2019 could be a year for more of following your dreams, Jane. I put my life on hold to help out a family member (gosh I am being polite about it) in 2018, but 2019 is the year for more writing, and for teaching a few more deep spirituality workshops. I always have exercise goals, which is a bit of a mission as I have an anaemia & blood volume problem, so I can get really weak. Nevertheless, when ever I have to take a few days off to recuperate, I’m then restarting the yoga as soon as possible. I have done this for most of my life. Out of necessity. I do get so frustrated. And I want to build up to at least 30 minutes brisk walking each day. Which is nothing, really, but can be difficult at times for me. But, hey, I am grateful for being able to do anything physical. I know a few people who have fibromyalgia, I empathise with you for dealing so well with it.

      • I would be interested in that too. My poor shoulder is now permanently aching thanks to lugging all the groceries home on the bus twice a week!
        I hope you are able to fit in more “Frugal Fitness” posts during 2019 – it seems there are a few of us who are interested in it.

  8. I don’t often comment but read your blog most days, thank you. We are the same age. I would agree with you above about increasing savings. This is not always possible for those on a low income, I know, but after my husband suffered ill health and then redundancy two years ago, we started saving even harder when he got a new job. Thank goodness we did as he suffered a heart attack , cardiac arrest and had a heart bypass this summer and still isn’t back to work full time! Savings and being frugal helped provide the security to ride the storm. Wishing you a healthier and peaceful year ahead. I love the expression about ‘Can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf’ x

    • Wow, you have had some tricky times. I really think it’s important to have some kind of savings and to know how to save money when it’s necessary. I hope your husband makes a full recovery soon

  9. My resolutions are the usual ones but I do have to be very serious about it this year.

    Financially: I need to get more PT hours (either at the church where I presently work or somewhere else) as pension money plus debt does not make for a balanced budget. I have a new day-timer (purchased on sale and with a GC) where I intend to track everything! It will be a very low spend year out of necessity and because I like a challenge.

    Food: I have a well stocked pantry and fridge/freezer so the goal is to keep food shopping to a minimum while still eating well. I have a lot of cookbooks so I’m going through them to find some interesting new recipes – especially for veggies. Grocery money will mainly go towards dairy and fresh fruit & veg (which have all gone up in price by some shocking amounts)!

    Weight Loss: This ties in with food as I have to get more weight off – asap. I have an appointment with my cardiologist at the end of April and he’s a bit scary (in a good way) so it’s low carb all the way – which works well for me. I also find two meals a day combined with intermittent fasting works to keep me from overeating while not starving myself. I have looked out my yoga mat and my small weights and combining those workouts with more walking will help. I have some mobility issues and RA & Fibromyalgia so need to pace myself so as not to bring on the spells of exhaustion that can flare up so it’s always a balancing act.

    De-Cluttering: I am about 80% finished with cleaning out my apt. so I am determined to finish off that last 20% this year. Again, it doesn’t need to be done all at once but one box at a time will keep me motivated and the end is in sight!

    Fun: Since money is tight I will be looking at finding free things to do throughout the year. Living in a big city means there is always something going on – and living by the water makes for some lovely walks so I’m trying not to feel too sorry for myself. 🙂

    Lots of people are trying challenges like this in 2019 so I’ll be following everyone’s progress with great interest. Thank you for all your interesting posts throughout the year and have a very happy New Year.

  10. I love all these resolutions, and can’t wait to see your adventures during 2019. Thanks so much for the mention, too! 🙂

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