The question I ask myself more frequently the older I get is, “Where did the time go?” This year is no exception. It really flew by with me spending half of it in my pajama bottoms. 2018 has been my year of self-pursuit. A year where for the first time in seven I didn’t step foot in a public school as an employee. A year where I learned you really can go back in time. It has also proved to me I can make a good living wage from my home.
Today marks my first full year with VIPKID! (Check out my Instagram @teachingpinapple for more information.) It has been an adventure from my own office room. I have taught students in the Beijing Subway, learned about dumplings, and saw the sunset over Shanghai. The kids are delightful, and I love meeting new ones every day!
The time has come to make my annual promises to myself. I always try to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. I come up with half a dozen on average and rarely keep them. Many of my major changes have been through circumstance, and not the passing of the new year. I adopted a healthy lifestyle when I got sick in 2015, cut spending in 2016 when my husband was laid off, and left a career in 2017 when I no longer felt happy there.
Now, I decided to put myself into an action-oriented mind frame for 2019. I will only adopt a few short-term goals and go from there. My first objective is my January to February no spend months. (Also known as a Spending Fast or Shopping Ban.) I have successfully completed two short term fasts. Once in 2016 and again at the beginning of 2018 when I began with VIPKID.
The Rules of My 2019 No Spend:
*Buy only the essentials. I can only spend money on groceries, toiletries/cleaning supplies that are out, and other required items.
*No tempting visits to Target, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Starbucks, and Dollar Tree. (Basically anywhere I shop on impulse because of selection and price.)
*No eating out or coffees to go.
*Inventory and repurpose things I already have.
In Cait Flanders book A Year of Less she created a few exceptions to her no shopping year. The purpose of her no spend year was to get out of the pattern of mindless spending. I will do the same in order to maintain some social activities and to maintain prior commitments. Here are my exceptions this time:
*I will still participate in our twice monthly Trivia game. Part because it is a lot of fun, and because the money goes to charity. I plan to have a small budget for weekly trivia.
*We will enjoy a trip to see a band in Pensacola, Florida. This is a Christmas gift for my husband.
*I will still give gifts for birthdays, showers, and weddings. (This includes going to restaurants for birthdays.)
* Anything essential to my online classroom like my headphones, computer, backup tablet, and webcam must be replaced if they break.
Everyone’s goals and needs are different. It is okay if you want to cut spending in one aspect of your life. It is also okay if you want to cut dozens of things.
So far, several friends are going to travel on this journey with me. I will post some tips throughout the week. I also invite you to keep track of my weekly progress on my Facebook group and Instagram @MySassyStarfish I intend to post weekly updates on both either in story, list, or live feed form.