January 2023 Create Date – Creating a Budget

This month was a little rough as far as going on dates goes. I’m not going to lie, I thought we were going to have to skip it. Then I realized that we have some big goals coming up this year (travel, paying down debt, both girls in college in the fall) and we will probably need to be better about budgeting. So, we had a Create a Budget date at home.

I wish I could say that we didn’t find any surprises when we dove into our finances, but I would be lying. It is amazing how much we have been spending on restaurants – and I have actually been cooking a lot, so I would hate to see what it was just a couple months ago. Rising prices have not helped, but we have definitely gotten used to the convenience of grabbing food on the go or treating ourselves to a nice dinner more than we should.

We’ve also been spending more on coffee shops (Tim Hortons, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks) than I would have ever suspected. I will take full ownership that this is mostly me, and I have been taking steps to eat breakfast at home more, so I know this will improve dramatically.

After analyzing several categories over the past few months, we have made a budget that should allow us to pay down some debt and also save some money towards other goals. We did not include my income in the budget, so that is where our Adventure and Create dates will likely come from and also where things like hair cuts, mani/pedis, and gifts will come from. It isn’t perfect and will likely need adjusted, but it should make a real impact on our spending habits.

For your viewing pleasure, here is our workspace and our faces when we finished.

Do you have a budgeting system? Any tips on things we should always include? Let us know in the comments! 🙂

January 2023 Goals

I am having a very hard time believing we are in a new year – but I am super excited by the possibilities! I am currently working on reflecting on my goals from last year – what went well, what I need to update, what I want to add, what I want to leave behind. I can tell you that I did accomplish so much in the past year. I can also tell you that I had several goals that I did not even start or that I made progress on and then lost the progress. I do think I need to make my yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals line up just a little better. There are definitely monthly goals that were lovely but didn’t move the needle on my big goals. There were definitely things I could have been more consistent with. But there were also things I did very consistently and things that did impact my goals in big ways.

Let’s start this month by reflecting on my goals for last month. I think this is going to be a mixed bag because I was very sick for 2 weeks in December, so I did not do anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. But I know I also tried to plan goals that allowed me time to get ready for the holidays and celebrate with my family, so we shall see….

  • Add previews to my Time, Winter, and Arctic products – I did not start this. I am obviously at a block here, so I need to start really small with a goal for January that I can accomplish and that will move this forward.
  • Market my January classes on Instagram and Facebook groups to fill my classes – I have been doing this – I need to make a big push this week. I actually have decent enrollments right now for my classes that start next week. It could definitely still get better, though. 🙂
  • Add 20 Pinterest pins – I did not start this. Again, I know it is important to move the needle here, but I just need to rethink how it will work.
  • Figure out sewing machine logistics in my classroom and list a sewing class – I did not do this. But I do have ideas for a sewing club and will try to get it listed this week.
  • Make 4 blog posts – I did 2 blog posts – and then this will be the 4th one for this specific day in the beginning of January. I’m going to count this as a done.
  • Hang blinds and plates in my office – I did not start this one. I completely forgot about it, actually. Adding it to my list for this week.
  • Send Christmas cards to friends and family I did this! And they probably even received most of them before Christmas!
  • Make dinner 12 times – I am pretty sure I did this as well.
  • Hike 4 times – visit 4 winter hike series parks – We visited 4 of the winter hike series parks and we did 7 hikes total in December!
  • Do my 20 hours of continuing education for my SLP licensure – I actually ended up doing 22 hours of CE this month.

It looks like I get about a 6/10 on this one. I am super pleased with this because, as I said, I was out of commission for a good chunk of the month. I have been feeling really, really frustrated with having 2 businesses I am trying to grow at the same time recently. When I started my TpT business, I was averaging about $1500-$2000 a month on Outschool. I thought it was stable, so it seemed like it would be easy to maintain while also building my TpT business. Instead, I have really had to put in a lot of time into both. I am feeling stretched and need to find balance there. So, I think adjusting my goals a bit to fit where I am in my businesses and life will really help.

So, for January, while I am still working through goals and my visions for my businesses, I am going to make some pretty simple goals. Here is what I have:

  • Get my goals for 2023 and my first quarter goals ready.
  • Get matte screen protector for iPad so I can photograph Valentines products and get previews made.
  • At least 1 adventure and 1 create date with blog posts.
  • Film 12 craft videos for Crafty Phonics – L Sound FLEX class.
  • List a sewing class and a Communicate and Create for the Make Your Year Edventure Conference with classes to continue after.
  • Finish the ACE Educator process.
  • Walk outside or on treadmill 20x.
  • 12 hikes – finish my last few for 2022 and begin 2023 52 Hike Challenge.
  • Make dinner 20x.
  • Pay off $1500 in debt.

I’m not going to lie, a lot of this list is things that is already in progress. I am working through writing my goals. I have chosen the workshops for my ACE educator pillars. I have already hiked twice. I ordered the matte screen protector last night. I am paying bills this morning. But, if I write this list and actually finish the things on it, I know that it will propel me into February with so much momentum. I am excited and hopeful and feel more in control of my businesses already.

What are your goals for January? Do you have goals for this year to share? Let me know in the comments!