As we are quickly approaching June – the midpoint of the year – I thought now would be a good time to check on where we are with the goals we set at the beginning of 2019. First for the fun stuff…
We are in week 21 of our 48 Really Great Dates project and so far, we’ve managed to go on 20 dates. You won’t find any expensive dinners or theater outings, no opera nights or wine tastings on our list. Hello, we’re frugal minimalists! Our dates were so cheap that some were even free. Book signings, berry picking, waterfall hikes, and sharing a free chocolate croissant…that’s what you’ll find on our list.
Admittedly, we got off to a rocky start with dating. At first, I thought it was because we were out of sync – we’ve been together nearly a decade, after all – but I soon realized that wasn’t the case. We’re so used to doing what we want when we want that the concept of a structured weekly date was just so foreign to us that we almost failed. For the first few weeks, we found ourselves saving up the fun stuff so that we could execute one “epic” date. But the dates weren’t even that epic. In fact, a lot of the planned dates didn’t even go as planned and we ended up just doing something to “fill in the slot”. To fix it, we threw the rules out the window and started having fun again. A lot of our recent dates were planned on the fly and they, by far, have been the best ones yet.
Though it wasn’t one of our written goals for the year, we are always striving to be more frugal, self-sufficient, and minimalist. Though we failed at cutting our home internet service, we succeeded in not turning on the central heat at all this winter. We saved $91.12 (over the previous year) by operating only 2 electric heaters when necessary. February is our coldest month here. In 2018, our February electric bill was $177. This year, it was $102. I would love to say that we’re going without A/C this summer but that’s not happening. The dynamics that help make our home warm in the winter (east-facing windows and being the middle apartment in a 3-story building) also help make it hot in the summer.
Sadly, the farmer who has hosted our CSA for the past 3 years decided not to do a CSA this year. We thought about joining another CSA out of Kentucky. Though they are less than an hour away, we felt we weren’t really supporting our local farmers. We have so many wonderful folks who show up to sell at the Saturday market that it seemed a shame not to shop there first. Our previous CSA cost $25/week so we added that amount to our budget for the Saturday market. So far, we’ve enjoyed a variety of lettuces, onions, radishes, tomatoes and many, many delicious strawberries!
We also planted our “tiny” garden again this year. We have yellow squash, eggplant, okra, cow peas, onions, radishes, watermelon, sunflowers, and 3 different kinds of tomatoes. Inside our apartment, we’re even trying microgreens, along with a new crop of herbs. So far, things are looking good…well, except for the pesky mole that keeps running through the onions. We’ve already harvested a few radishes and our squash are in bloom.
Our other goal for 2019 was to work on defining our relationship with money so that we might peaceable coexist. When I first started writing this update, my intention was to talk about our progress here as well, but as I started typing (aka letting my thoughts ramble onto the page), I realized that this is a post all unto itself. Since we’re heading off on our first camping trip of the season today, I’ll save the money talk for next week. Until then, have a great week!
What goals did you set for 2019? Where are you with those goals?