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I can’t believe that it’s already New Year’s eve!  I always have goals in mind for the months and years ahead, but in the spirit of the cliché “New Year’s Resolution” trend I guess I will actually write a few of them down.

I expect this year to be very interesting, and probably very stressful.  My husband and I own a house in Hawaii, and are currently renting it out.  We might have difficulty finding new tenants late next year so that is weighing heavily on our minds (and our finances).  Ideally we would be living in it today, but the military doesn’t exactly let you decide where you live when you want to live there.  My husband and I would like to start a family this year, too … I realize that we will probably be broke as hell towards the end of the year, but if we keep waiting until the “right time” then we will never have kids!  So, most of my goals (or hopes) for this year revolve around either making, saving, or not spending any money.

First of all, I need to photograph more and upload more to iStock (that’s my #1 priority).  I also am considering building a portrait business … fortunately there is no significant cost to getting this started, since I already have all my gear.  I will just need to do the paperwork and pay a few small fees.  Hopefully these efforts will bring in some extra income to help reduce our bills.  I have thought about getting an actual “job”, but I really want to be able to work from home with photography and on the computer so I can stay home with our future kids.  That is really important to me, and if it means that we have to pinch pennies then that’s what we’ll have to do.

Aside from (hopefully) making more money this year, I really need to make sure that I don’t spend too much!  I already have a lot of great photo and computer equipment, and even though there are some things that I will need to upgrade one day (including my computer) I need to be happy with what I have right now.  In the past, when I had money, I bought a lot of equipment that I just don’t use that much so I need to fight the urge to spend my money on the “bestest-newest-greatest” gear and just use what I have.  It’s going to be tough, especially if Nikon comes out with a new camera that fits my needs (yes, I follow the Nikon Rumors!) but I’ll just have to hold off and make sure I stick to my priorities.  (One place that I now look for a lot of great props is thrift-stores and garage-sales; I got the scarf in the above photo at a thrift store for $5 … and I’ve even started knitting my own.)

My last (but not least) goal is to save my money.  If I do end up getting anything expensive this year, it will be because I saved every penny for it.  Delayed gratification is a very powerful thing, and something I need to enforce on myself more often.  Plus, it will be good to have the money saved up just in case it needs to go towards something else (like a house payment … blech!).

I’m really looking forward to next year … a lot has changed in our lives for the better, and I’m excited to see where it will take us. :)