Hello all! As the number of minutes to 2013 quickly diminish, it’s time for me to take stock of where I’ve been and where I’m going in 2013 and conduct a yearly review. This post is mostly for me, but it’s also something that will have an effect on the goings on of Living in Flux.
I imagine this post will be a doozy, but it’s important stuff! First, I’ll talk about how 2012 went for me: what went well in life, career, money and travel. Then I’ll talk about what didn’t go as well for those areas. I’ll follow-up tomorrow (just in time for midnight) to highlight my goals for 2013.
What Went Well
In general, this was a great year for me! At the beginning of 2012, I quit a job that was a terrible fit for me in many more ways than I’d like to recount here. After quitting my job in rural Missouri, I started freelancing for the company I work for now and moved back to Rochester, NY. While I was there, I had the pleasure of meeting my current boyfriend and then being offered a full-time position in the New York. Since then, I’ve been working my butt off and have been having many a Google Hangout with my boo. While that has all been good, the highlight of my year was definitely winning the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge.
This year, I was able to successfully transition to a new career path: user experience design. Freelancing and then being offered a full-time position was pretty exciting in itself, but as I mentioned above, the highlight was the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge. It was a great experience working on something that I really cared about and even more fun to be able to share my experiences at Money2020 and at the ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum. Of course, I also started this blog, Living In Flux, which at the end of the day, I see as a tool for me to figure out where I want to go with my career and a tool to help me get there.
I was able to achieve a lot of my personal money goals this year. Changing jobs allowed me to increase my income by a substantial amount (although my living expenses are much higher). I also won $10,000 through the MMAU Challenge. This increase income allowed me to establish a solid emergency fund and pay off a large sum of my student loans, while not having to sacrifice too many daily amenities.
As you may have seen on my flux list, one of my goals is to travel to all 50 states. This year, I was able to travel to Kentucky, Arizona, and California – all new-to-me states. I also made it up to Toronto to add some international flavor to my travels. I’m pleasantly surprised with my travels in 2012, considering that I’ve been working full-time and navigating a long distance relationship. I went to some new and some old cities, including Louisville, Atlantic City, Rochester (many times), Toronto, DC (a few times), Philadelphia (a few times), Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego (highlighted in 1, 2, 3 parts), San Francisco, and Charleston.
What Did Not Go Well
You’ve probably noticed, but my follow through on the blog has not been what I would have liked it to be since the end of October. Superstorm Sandy really put a wrench in the beginning of November and in general, I’ve taken on a few too many things in the past month and a half. I’ve felt overwhelmed and that I haven’t been able to put in the amount of effort into everything I’ve been doing. Moving forward, I’m going to try to lighten my load so that I can focus on the things that are most important to me and that really fit into my goals for moving forward.
I was able to achieve a lot of my big financial goals in 2012, but I’m still struggling with the smaller everyday things that are involved with sticking to a budget and living frugally. As I move forward, I hope to buy my lunch less (or at least be more money conscious about it), pay more attention to my discretionary spending and focus on finding ways to save money on the purchases that I do make.
Career-wise, everything has been going as I hoped it would go in 2012, but now I’m getting to the point where I’m wondering what comes next. What are my uber-career goals now that I’m in this new field? I’ve had some time to become familiar with my job and my coworkers, but I certainly haven’t spent enough time trying to figure out how I want my career to develop. What direction do I really want to take Living In Flux? I’ve really not been as attentive to this blog as I would have liked, so I’m going to make that a focus in 2013.
Really, I had a pretty good travel year. I’ve been able to successfully fit in a bunch of trips without needing to take off a lot of time from work, but I think that trying to steal away for the weekend too often really starts to wear on me. Sometimes I just need a weekend to unwind and I don’t think I’ve had enough of those lately.