The List: Fun goals to accomplish before 2011

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Just generally kind of blah. It’s taken me some time to figure out what could be causing it, especially since everything is going so well for us right now.

I’ve always had a tendency to be preoccupied with the future. Instead of enjoying what I have right now, I’m looking ahead to a new home, a baby, and everything else that’s coming up in the next stage of our lives.

Unfortunately, all this looking ahead is a good way to miss out on what’s good about right now. We have almost two years before we close this chapter in our lives and move on to the next. It’s two years of time together to experience new things and enjoy each other’s undivided attention. That’s a pretty good place to be.

Lately we’ve been talking about ways to make the most of this time. There are so many things we want to do and see before we settle down and start a family, but we’ve been so focused on lofty financial goals and day-to-day life that we’ve lost sight of those things.

We’re in a good place financially. We’re debt-free except for our student loans, and we’ll be paying off that debt for quite some time no matter how I crunch the numbers. That’s okay with me. We’re on track to complete our emergency fund in about a year, and we should have the money saved for our trip to Europe in a little under a year.

When we decided to plan our trip to Europe, it was partly because we realized this is the best time in our lives to do it. With no children and few financial obligations, we have more freedom now than we’ll have for quite some time after we have a baby and buy a house.

Acknowledging this freedom made us start to think about other things we’d like to do. We may not be able to accomplish them all, but focusing on the list will be a nice diversion for me in the coming year and a half while I count down to the next chapter of our lives.

Some of the things on The List won’t cost us a thing; others are quite expensive. We’re still committed to our other financial goals (living debt free, saving for retirement, and completing our emergency fund) and we don’t want this list to distract us too much from those goals. By setting priorities and being more frugal in other aspects of our lives, we should be able to focus a little money on travel and other things we’ve always wanted to do without detracting from our other goals.

I put up a rough draft of The List on a separate page where I can track what we’ve accomplished and add to it. We have about 20 months to do as much as we can before Tony graduates. These are fun things, so you won’t find any financial goals here.

The challenge is to accomplish them frugally without getting into debt or affecting our savings too much. We may discover that some of these things aren’t possible at this point in our lives. We’ll have to examine our priorities and plan ahead to make some of them happen. Whether we’re able to do it all or not, I’m really looking forward to trying and sharing our experiences with you as we cross things off.

What do you think we should do before we settle down? Take a look at The List, and let me know if you have any suggestions!

3 thoughts on “The List: Fun goals to accomplish before 2011

  1. Kacie

    Very fun! I hope you’ll be able to do these things. I think I read a news story somewhere that lobster prices are pretty low right now. Maybe checkitout in your area to see if now’s a good time to do that one.

    You have lots of traveling ones — yay travel!

    As far as the ‘stay up all night’ one, if you don’t accomplish that one before you have kids, don’t worry cuz they’ll help you check it off :).

    And for the “take more photos” one, I’d like to see it become a more concrete goal. Right now it’s too vague.

    Kacie’s last blog post..Credit crunch could keep people in debt longer

  2. Karen

    Ha! I guess I should have specified … stay up all night for fun. Staying all up with a baby sounds sorta not fun. :)

    As for the photos, I guess you’re right. It’s kind of vague, but I don’t know how to benchmark it. The main point for me was just that we so rarely remember the camera, even when we’d like to have pictures of whatever it is we’re doing. So I just want to remember to take them. Any suggestions for how to benchmark something like that?

  3. Fern

    Hello, I stumbled upon your blog while researching frugal weekend ideas. You’ve got a great list going!

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