I am looking forward to 2013. Our lives have changed tremendously in the last 3 months. We will be starting a whole new approch to our spending and saving next year.
Since my knees forced me into retirement, we are also undergoing change in our lives in 2013.
If your could share your goals or the changes you are making, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks
First a little background: I sat down & made a page on the computer for each room in the house, listing ALL the things that either need to be done, or that we would like to do. For instance, on the "front yard" page & also on the "library" page, was listed "storm door - front door". I used the last of my hospital Christmas bonus from 2011 & some Home Depot gift cards to bring the cost of the storm door from insane to reasonable. That is now competed, so I moved it to the top of both lists & typed "DONE" beside it. Most recently, last week I build rustic hinged shutters to sit on the wide window ledge in front of our guest bedroom window. The room is decorated in rustic western, so they fit, but more importantly, the cedar from the fence boards that I used will not sun-rot the way the curtains that hung there before did, & since the fence boards were free from a neighbor redoing part of her fence, the only cost of the hinged shutters was the hinges! That is one of the hallmarks of the goals this year - since I am not working, nearly all the materials have to be free: either things I already have, or that I can find on freecycle or craigslist. There are some things on the lists that will be expensive, like converting a tub to a walk-in shower, for which we will have to save, but that will need to be done sometime in the next 5 years. So 2013 will be doing all the "free" things on the lists.
1) In 2013, one of my goals is to build an arbor for my grapevine, over the garden seat I built this year from 4 cinder blocks & more of the cedar fenceboards. I have the wood for the crosspieces at the top, from the shipping base of the tool cabinet the kids gave DH for Father's Day this year. I also have some of the heavier cedar boards that used to be top & bottom edges for the fencing, that are at least 2" thick, & that I believe will work just fine for the uprights. Then more of the fence boards for the crosspieces from back to front. I want the arbor, because growing the grapevine up & over it will improve the yield & quality fo the grapes.
2) I am pushing back the boundaries of our growing season, using glass cloches, to grow lettuce outside the normal seasonal boundaries. I have 4 small glass domes from cheese boards, & one large one from a cake plate, in the garden right now, with Marvel of 4 Seasons lettuce growing under them It is not exactly a bumper crop, but it doesn't have to be, with only the 2 of us, & it IS growing. Last week I picked up another small cheese dome from freecycle, so come spring, I have 5 small cloches to use, plus the large one.
3) Our garden produced very well this year, partly because I was home to water it during the triple digit heat, I think. I fill all of our jars, & over the winter months, we will be eating lots of soups & stews made from what we put up from our garden. I expect that to help the budget when the taxes go up. I usually dig leaves into one of the 3 tiers of the garden every year, but this year I dug leaves into 2 tiers already & am working on the third, because the leaves are free fertilizer, & I suspect it will be a good idea to have a productive garden next year as well.
4) I bought Christmas presents all year in 2012, & expect to do the same in 2013. I was able to make some gifts, & bought others at severely reduced clearance prices, which has really helped the holiday budget. This year I was done by mid-October, & hope to be done even earlier in 2013.