2013 Goals

I started making yearly goals (mostly focused on running) back in 2010, when I signed up for my first half marathon. It helps me to focus on what I want to achieve in the upcoming year, and frankly I like being able to check things off a list, even if it’s virtual.

new years eve new years eve

sparklers in the snow new years eve

These pictures are old, but I needed something to go with this post.


Running goals:

Don’t spend more than $500 on races for 2013.
Really, I should keep this number even lower, and if I can, awesome. This year’s race schedule will focus on quality, not quantity. Quality races and quality performances.

Get better at racing longer distances.
I feel like I’ve figured out how to “race” shorter distances (up to 10K). But I’m still working on “leaving it all on the course” for half marathons, and I do not feel like I left it all out there during the marathon. (But that wasn’t my goal.)

Finish my first relay race and my first trail race in one piece.
I’m already registered for Ragnar – Madison to Chicago and the North Country trail half marathon. I’ll be honest, I’m still wrapping my brain around both races. If I can just finish without a) peeing on myself during Ragnar if I have to run alone in the dark in a secluded/deserted place and b) needing medical attention during the trail race due to my own clumsiness (or anything else), then I will consider both a success.

Run 1,300 miles for the year.
I promise I was not trying to be cute with “run 1300 in ’13.” It’s just that I’m finishing 2012 with around 1,270 miles for the year… so you know, I just rounded up. That’s an average of 25 miles per week or 108.33 miles per month. Doable.

Weekly strength workouts.
If I can do more than one per week, even better. This will help my running and help prevent injuries. And come summer, I will look awesome.


Non-running goals:

Move out of my parents house. 
This really should have happened in 2012. But all we can do is look forward and try harder. I still have bad spending habits that I am trying to break. So I’m giving myself a bunch of smaller monthly goals (like limiting myself to $500 on races) to help achieve this big goal.

Read 12 books.
Seriously. One per month. According to Goodreads, I read five books in 2012. Sad. They don’t even have to be scholarly, impressive books. Chick lit counts.


Do you have any advice/tricks for curbing spending and/or getting a better handle on finances? Or advice for buying a house/condo? (That is our plan when we move out of here.)

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30 Comments on “2013 Goals”

  1. Plan spending ahead of time and write it all down! My husband and I took a Dave Ramsey course when we first started dating and it helped a ton. I used to be a major overspender. Now we sit down at the beginning of each month and lay out our expenses on a spreadsheet. From there we take out cash and put it in envelopes. That’s all we get!!! Seeing what we have to work with is key. We’ve managed to cut some areas (going out too much, food waste) and save in other areas. (home improvements, travel) Being aware of what you spend on is the most eye opening. Good luck!!!

  2. I’m totally with you on the reading more books (self-described chick lit lover too!) And that Ragnar Relay Race looks like fun- what a great idea and such a fun accomplishment!

    1. Yes:
      Get foot fixed
      Go on a Rick Bayless date with me
      Adopt a pet, like a bunny or some reptile
      Join a league team for an obscure sport like ping pong

  3. I love those NYE photos. I also think we need to be better about spending. My husband’s work is very cyclical and we tend to have more money in the summer and not much left for the winter. If we were better about saving in the summer months, we probably wouldn’t have as big of a problem. We also need to pay down some debt leftover from previous winters. Hopefully we’ll get it done soon…….

  4. If i can manage one book in 2013, i will be happy 🙂

    Also, i say stay at home as long as you can!! If i could live at home and make a dent in my debt, i totally would. Or, if you get a place, do you think i could move in with your folks?? 😉 See you at ragnar! (i will try not to pee myself also, for the sake of all of you.)

  5. I love the goal of not spending more than $500 on races. Seriously, they add up, especially the big full and halves. I enjoy doing small, local races. They don’t always offer a “free” t-shirt, but I have tons of t-shirts and could care less. Usually, the food, organization and volunteers are better too!

  6. Great goals! I really need to start tracking how much I spend on races. I don’t race as frequently as some people but I do tend to gravitate toward the more expensive races (Goofy Challenge for example…). Considering I still have loans to pay back, I should probably pay more attention to which races I run!

  7. So, this is how we do money – We have a small percentage of our paychecks go directly into individual checking accounts and that is our “fun” money. I can spend mine on whatever I want (clothes, races, etc) and Jason can do the same with his. The rest goes into our joint account and all bills are paid out of that. If we want to use that money for anything non-bill related we have to talk about it first.

    1. This is kind of how we’re thinking of doing it, but with a joint “fun” account. We just need to get his name a debit card linked to the fun account.

  8. Great goals! I haven’t had time to figure out my 2013 life yet. Can’t seem to get past Ragnar FL and now have the hoopla of the Lansing Marathon going. I figure a 2013 goal post next week after everyone has already done it, will have to work.

  9. Katie’s advice about planning out your spending ahead of time is one of the most helpful things I’ve ever read, and I’ve had money problems forever. And we have accounts set up the same way Erin suggested, and it’s so much easier to manage joint finances that way.

    My husband and I just bought our condo a year and a half ago, so I have tons of advice about that, depending on what you want to know 🙂 But the key is, like anything else, stick with your budget. Fortunately banks kind of force you to during the approval process, but definitely be realistic about what your monthly expenses already are and how much you’d be able to afford for a mortgage, utilities, assessments, taxes, homeowner’s insurance, etc. We got an FHA loan, which means you only have to put 3.5% down, which I really recommend if you’re not able to come up with a 20% down payment (and who is? seriously?). We do have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance until we’ve paid off 20% of our principal, but it’s only a little extra each month, and easier than 20% up front. If either of you have a 401(k), consider taking a loan from that for your down payment. Most plans don’t penalize you for this kind of withdrawal, you’re still young so this is the best time to dip into that because it’ll have time to rebuild, you’ll get a lower interest rate than you would taking out a private loan for that, and that interest gets paid back to your own account as you pay down the loan through payroll deductions (um, can you tell I work in retirement?). So…. that should be everything. Clear as mud, right?

    1. Thank you! This is very helpful. Good to know about the option to take a loan from my 401k.

      My hope is that if we can be really strict about our spending for the next few months, channeling as much money as possible to our credit card debt, when we’re doing paying that off, we’ll continue to live as we have been, and the amount we’re putting toward credit card debt will equal all the new costs we’ll has as home owners. And then maybe by then one of us will have a raise so we can buy furniture.

      1. That’s a good plan! For credit cards, I think lenders want to see you using only about 30%-40% of your available balance on any given card, so that may help with the way you pay them down/off. I talked to a lot of different banks and financial people in our buying process, so I learned a lot about the best way to get out of debt while trying to buy a home. So seriously if you ever have questions or want to talk about any of this, I’d be more than happy to help!

        1. Thanks! I will keep you in mind as questions come up. Right now our top priority is paying off our credit cards. Luckily we don’t have a strict timeline since we’re living with my parents and I doubt they’ll kick us out anytime soon.

  10. Get a recommendation from a friend for a realtor. There are some really shady ones out there.

    Before you start looking, decide what you want out of a house and how much you can spend. Prioritize your wants and needs and come to an agreement with your spouse.

    1. Thanks! Luckily my husband works for a real estate company, so we’ll be able to work with someone trustworthy. And he is going to sit for his real estate license this month (although he doesn’t want to be a residential realtor), so he’ll have a good handle on that process. At least better than I do.

  11. Great goals! I am setting a budget for races too. Trying to keep them below $500 as well. I was going to shoot for something lower but I keep signing up for longer distances (well as in 10 miles or above) which of course are more expensive and add up super fast!

  12. I was given the advice to change my “save $” goal into “save X amount of money by the end of the year” so I’m sharing this with you. For me, I’m going to cut down on spending money on extra expenses like lunch and coffee, then adding that to my savings account each month. Good luck!

  13. I have to echo the recommendations to get rid of your credit card, car loan, and student loan debt as soon as you can. Once your debt is gone you’ll be amazed how much money you have to work with. It’s always a good idea to know where your money is going too. Some credit cards have spending analyzers, mint.com has good tools too (and it’s free), or if you are trying to work cash-only you would need to write it down, but it’s a lot easier to reduce if you know where it’s going first. My husband and I eat dinner out a few times a week, but we almost never go without a coupon! Restaurant.com is a great place to find deals on dinner (you buy dinner coupons at participating restaurants) and we scope out the mailers for restaurants in our area that are sending coupons. And we also don’t buy processed food–when you break it down to basic foodstuffs (rice, pasta, eggs, vegetables, etc.), it’s cheaper to make it yourself and doesn’t take all that long to prepare. As far as racing goes, I find that training-wise, timing-wise, and finance-wise, one race a month works out pretty well.

    On the home ownership part, there are calculators you can use to tell you how much you can afford, but always take a look at that number in terms of your mortgage payment and decide if you are comfortable doing without that much of your monthly income. Our mortgage payment is a lot lower than what we can theoretically afford, which means if one of us loses a job (which happened in 2007) our quality of life doesn’t change all that much. And don’t forget to factor in property taxes! Short sale properties suddenly look much more affordable but might not be–we saw something in a fancy neighborhood that was almost within our price range, but the taxes are FIVE TIMES what we are paying now. No thank you.

    Good luck with your goals! 🙂

  14. Great goals! One of my top running goals is also to spend less money on races (I spent waaay too much for my liking this past year) and concentrate on fewer but more prominent races like half marathons. And I love your goal of getting better at running longer distances – that is definitely on my list as well. 2012 was the year of short races for me, and I finally feel like I got the 5k/8k distance down. It’s time to build some endurance and kick a$$ on those longer races!

  15. This is a fantastic listing of goals and I think you will be able to achieve them ALL in 2013! Like many others, I very much appreciate the goal of spending less on races this year and trying to focus on just doing the select races that REALLY appeal to me.

    My biggest tip regarding spending is to write everything down, similar to keeping a food journal. Something about having to write down everything you spend makes you think twice about purchases that you don’t REALLY need!

  16. Great goals! I think the spending less than $500 for races would be super difficult for me. Some of the marathons I’m looking at are almost a third of that. Eek! I think you are going to do amazing at the relay and trail race.

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