December 2013 Recap & January 2014 Goals

Happy New Year! It’s 2014 and I am looking forward to killing it this year. But before I do that, let’s look at my last month of 2013.


Steve’s work offered pretend money bonuses for different sales made during November and December, to be used at a Christmas auction. We ended up with the biggest item up for grabs, a 51″ TV, as well as a $100 gift card to a nice restaurant. #ballerswithfakedollars

As we are getting along fine without a TV, but needed a second laptop (we were sharing, meaning Steve was S.O.L. when I was busy working), we exchanged the TV. Now we have a second laptop and still have extra funds to spend at Costco. Success!

Christmas was pretty low key — just food, alcohol, Netflix movies, and quality time together. I actually got sick on Christmas Eve and stayed that way for about five days. My parents both sent us goodies over the holidays — Dad sent 10 boxes of K-cups and Mom sent a box full of cookies and Christmas treats! We also received cash and gift cards. Happy holidays to us!

New Year’s Eve was rung in with pizza, beer, champagne, and Netflix. We keep things chill up in here.



We kicked Chase to the curb this month! Also, I revealed my debt load to you guys and y’all were super awesome about it. Thanks for the support, I’ll make you proud by killing it by our goal date of September 20, 2016.

We made $1690.81 in debt payments this month!

25 BEFORE 25

11 completed, 6 in progress, 1 early fail, and 7 not yet started. 5 months to go!


I definitely forgot about a place I tried last month because I didn’t pay for it and I forget everything unless it is on my bank statement. I went to Luc Lac with the lovely Melanie of Dear Debt! She was so sweet and treated me. Luc Lac has a great happy hour with $2 small plates and $4 beers. Dig it.

Steve and I finally tried ice cream from Salt & Straw. Oh. my. god. Don’t die until you’ve tried it. It’s amazing! I had sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbon and Steve had bourbon pecan pie ice cream — both were absolutely fantastic.

The aforementioned $100 gift card was for Portland City Grill, a restaurant 30 stories up that overlooks the city. It is pretty expensive, but we skipped on drinks and actually left with some money left on the card. The food was absolutely fab, I highly recommend!


Kick Chase to the curb! PASS! Boom, baby! Chase is gone forever.

Finish 2 books. PASS! I read Oryx and Crake and The Suitcase Entrepreneur — I recommend both! If we aren’t friends on Goodreads yet, add me here.


This year, I am breaking my annual goals into manageable, monthly steps. You can view my goals here. For this month, I hope to stay on track by accomplishing the following:

Increase net worth by $2,083.33* in order to reach an annual goal of a net worth increase of $25,000.

Read 3 books (at least 1 non-fiction) in order to reach an annual goal of reading 36 books (at least 12 non-fiction).

Walk an average of 10,000 steps per day in order to reach my goal of not sitting on my ass too much.

Hope you all had a wonderful December (and 2013)! What do you want to accomplish this month?

[Image from Imgur]

*This one will likely be a fail this month. Details to come at a later date.


  1. I’ve already read one book this month – I feel good about this since it’s only the 2nd 😉 I am going to make this goal, I know it!

    I am glad you’re feeling better after a battle with the long Christmas illness. I always get sick on vacations/time off. It’s like when I was in university and I could withhold the call of the exam germs, but the night after I wrote my last exam I was sick as a dog!

  2. Nice job on swapping the TV out for something you needed AND having money left over to spend! Can’t beat that 🙂 Glad you guys had nice, low key holidays – though sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well. Hope you are better now!

    • Yeah, definitely! We are a bit hardcore with minimalism, if we don’t need or love it, it’s gone ASAP!

      Thanks, I am better. A little congested still, but a lot better than I was!

  3. Got to love Costco’s awesome return policy! You could use that extra money to buy Brownie Bark (or don’t since I am pretty sure there is crack in it).

    I don’t really think we accomplished all that much this last month. We have been pretty lazy, which means we have to kick it into high gear this week before my inlaws come to stay at our house for a few days. Did I mention I LOATHE cleaning?

    • We don’t actually have a Costco membership, so we may just sell the gift card at value to one of Steve’s co-workers.

      Ugh, I loathe cleaning too. It’s the worst!

  4. I’m the same way about forgetting about things if it never goes into my monthly spreadsheet, especially if I use cash for things. Ehh, what are you gonna do?

    Anyway, I really like your monthly “cross-off-able” goals, I will definitely doing some of those for myself.

    • Yeah, I definitely go over my bank statements to write these recaps. I forget anything I don’t spend money on!

      Good luck with making cross-off-able goals, Andrew!

  5. J took me to Portland City Grill for my 30th birthday dinner and the food was AH-MAZING! We couldn’t get a seat by the window though. 🙁 I loved their vanilla bean creme bule, it’s to die for! I can totally see us both killing our debt in 2014! 🙂

  6. And getting a free laptop!!! Now that is an accomplishment! A TV would have made you sit on your butt even more!

    Didn’t really have any goals for this December, just make it through the holiday season alive (clearly somewhat accomplished). But definitely looking forward to getting started on my goals for this brand new year.

    • Hell yeah, gotta love free laptops 🙂

      Glad to hear you made it through December relatively unscathed, Amanda! Good luck on your 2014 goals!

  7. “Walk an average of 10,000 steps per day in order to reach my goal of not sitting on my ass too much.” LOL! Good luck with everything. I’m so bad at finding time to read. At this point I think I’ve moved back to a second grade reading level. Sigh…do blogs count?

    • I walked over 10,000 yesterday (just over, but still!) so I’m on the right track 🙂

      If blogs counted, I would blow this goal out of the water every month. But alas, they do not (at least not for my challenge!)

  8. I think I have to stop reading your blog. I feel accomplished when I fold the laundry the same day I wash it. Or at least, I used to feel accomplished. You probably wash it, fold it AND put it away, all in the same day. Sigh.
    Seriously, yay for the accomplishment of those goals, super yay for the new laptop and money leftover at Costco!

  9. *droll* I loooove Portland City Grill! Their Kung Pao Calamari is ah.mah.zing. Seriously. Now I want some.

    • Damn, I’ll have to try that next time! It’s pricey, so it will probably be a while before I get back there.

      • I don’t even really like calamari…I mean it’s ok, but not my favorite dish by any means. But this…just get it for takeout one night, seriously. It’s that good, and it’s totally big enough to be a meal for two people, so you don’t even have to do the whole pricey dinner out thing to enjoy it.

        I need to plan a trip to Portland now.

        • It looks like it is on the happy hour menu! We’ll have to go back for HH for schmancy drinks and calamari 🙂

          Portland rocks. I really dig living here.

          • Woohoo! I live about 2 hours north in Olympia, WA, which is surprisingly similar to Portland! Although Portland does seem to be a lot more laid back. I always like visiting Portland, though, it’s a nice change of pace while still feeling homey!

  10. Second laptop awesomeness! Congrats. Good luck on all your goals next year!

    • Thanks, dear! So happy to have the second one — I feel bad when I leave town and Steve is stuck without a laptop, tablet, or TV. Wow, #firstworldproblems much?

  11. I love how your goals are so detailed! If you’re looking for a good non-fiction book, try “The Power of Habit” by Duhigg or “Nudge” (a book about decisions… behavioral econ) by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler.

  12. Awesome- your NYE sounds just like ours. Of course, we didn’t spend any money or worry about getting hit by a drunk driver, so it’s a win-win. Way to go on meeting those December goals! I definitely need to read more, too. There’s always so much going on, sometimes I like to zone out in front of the TV, but I never really gain much from that. Good luck with those January goals!

    • This is why I don’t go out for NYE — I have no desire to be on the roads with drunk drivers and I refuse to drive while intoxicated. Staying home means I can drink safely and keep off the streets 🙂

      Thanks, Ryan!

  13. A free laptop and fancy dinner! That’s one heck of a Christmas bonus. Way to go!

  14. You know there’s a bunch of things I SHOULD accomplish this month but since I’m taking a trip back home later in January, I’m going to hold off on trying to make any lifestyle choices until I get home, because I know a trip away will throw me off.

    • Yeah, I may have a big trip coming up that was not previously anticipated (which is why I noted I won’t be able to reach the NW increase goal). I’m still determined to reach my steps and reading goals. Here’s to making it happen!

  15. Any recommendations on fiction books? I’m always on the lookout for new authors. I recently read Shades of Honey (light reading, very quick read) and The Book Thief (heavier, but totally engrossing). Currently reading 1Q84 (on page, like 20). I tend to read biographies for my nonfictions and mostly about horrendous things like surviving escaping North Korea or the Holocaust. I dunno why. They seem to just pull me in and I have to marvel at the resilience of the human spirit.

    Like yours in paying off debt! And increasing your net worth! And even if you don’t make it to the full goal amount (details to be read later ;), you’re at least increasing it! 🙂 Even if you DO leave your laundry in a pile on the closet floor. Mine is in a pile in a hamper in the closet. Clean, but also unfolded :T

  16. Family crisises are never enjoyable 🙁 I hope you guys get through it and come out well on the other side. At any rate, you have a huge readership that’s rooting you on 🙂

  17. I am so sorry to hear you got sick on Christmas eve, but I hope that now you are feeling better.
    I am glad to hear that you guys spent quality time together, and I like your enthusiasm to starting off a new year!!!
    Happy New Year!

  18. That’s so awesome that you won a TV! If you ever decide to get a TV for free local broadcast channels and for larger screen Netflix streaming, you can always score an awesome deal after the Superbowl when electronics stores have to get rid of their excess inventory. I also think that incentive your husband’s work did is really creative.

    Also, yay on Chase debt payoff! As far as your January goals, I too should be reading more. I’m currently reading Getting to 50/50 which is about being a working mom in a happy marriage. I’m far from having kids but it’s definitely a good read thus far.

  19. Oh, girl, you gotta go back to Portland City Grill for the drinks! Sometimes Jonathan and I go there for happy hour drinks and the view, nothing else. They run around $10 apiece, but they are really, really good.

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