Wednesday, January 4, 2017


I'm not one to actually set New Year's resolutions.  It is more likely that I will make a list of goals/things to accomplish for the year.  That really is no different than pretty much every day...lists are my friend.  It's safe to say that there are a lot of lists floating around in my world and even, that on occasion, there have been lists to organize my lists.

That being said, this is one of my favorite times of year.  My files get purged of old and unnecessary items and then set up for the upcoming year.  My handy dandy labeler gets a lot of use.  File folders, file labels and section tabs abound!  It truly makes me giddy!

For as long as I can remember, I have kept a detailed line item budget for my finances.  The depth of detail has varied over the years depending on what changes I wished to make and goals that were being worked towards.  It baffles me how so few people have any sort of real handle on where their finances go or how to make them work for them.  Last year I decided to keep a log of exactly what we spent for a handful of budget line items.  I've done this several times over the course of my adult life and it is always an eye opener.  My goal was to see where we spend, how much we spend (for every outlay) on average each week and to get an idea of what our actual farming costs are.  This past year was the first full year of having bees, chickens and sheep.  While we don't keep them for financial gain...yet...we do have some long term goals for them.  The bees will provide us with honey.  The chickens provide eggs on a daily basis that we freely share with friends and family and they provide meat. The sheep provide for pasture grass maintenance, give us fiber that I can process for spinning and knitting with, and potentially offer another meat source.  Care for all of these critters does come with a cost, but it is one that we believe is far outweighed by the benefits that are provided both short and long term.  That being said, it behooves one to know what your costs are to be able to properly budget.

As the year came to an end and I was doing some number crunching, it was interesting to see how our finances were being utilized and where changes could be made.  Do I have to?  No, but I choose to.  So, my major goal for the year is to keep another full year log, but even more specific.  Instead of only tracking eight breakout lines, there will be twenty-three sub-lines to monitor.  It is a means to an end of minimalizing multiple aspects of our life.

Other goals for the year include: finally getting the train wreck piles of photos (digital and physical prints) purged of unnecessary photos and organizing and dividing for myself and my sons to have copies; installing the kitchen backsplash...the tile and supplies have been sitting and staring at me for long enough!; installing and painting the rest of the trim work upstairs; and rumor has it that the mammoth project of finishing out the basement may start this year...but I'm not holding my breath.  The only other goal in my little world is to improve the speed with which I process the fleeces from the sheep.  Last April I foolishly proclaimed that I could and would process and spin up all nineteen fleeces before the next year's shearing.  HAHAHA!  Didn't happen.  Annnnnd, I had to resort to sending a portion of them out to a fiber processing mill.  It's good to have goals, but also so very important to recognize your limitations and come up with a workable alternate plan.

That's it.  Perhaps if I keep the goals few and properly planned for they will get accomplished.  If not, then they will roll over to the next year having been replaced in the current year by any number of items that may or may not have been on my Master List.  It is all good.  Everything eventually gets done in the right time.

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