1. Do what I can do to make a difference.
In January, I was sworn in as a resident board representative on my local neighborhood council. In my zone, we have about 100,000 people, including students from our local Cal State University.
I marched in my local Women’s March on Jan. 21.
I counted homeless in LA on Jan. 24.
I called my representatives multiple times about six issues that are important to me. I wrote 24 postcards. I wrote 10 emails.
I am making people listen to my voice. It feels harder living in California. I agree with my reps; they’re already doing what I want.
But I’ve also started thinking strategically about how to have conversations with people who voted differently than me. I want to win hearts and minds.
Living with the 45th president is scary as shit, though.
2. Consume less. For years, I’ve been eating fewer things that are processed and making more myself and reusing. I buy less. I own less. Everything I want from the world is less.
Clothing: $0/$262.50. I bought no clothes in January.
House: I’m pledging to scour Craigslist/Freecycle/Buy Nothing/ReStore for two weeks before buying items for my house in 2017. I made two benches. I bought paint (matching an existing color in my house). I also used a leftover sample from our kitchen project.
Food: I don’t think I’ve gotten terribly better, but we did do Gobble boxes for a few weeks and that was helpful — we didn’t buy groceries we didn’t use, and it made dinner on the weekends easier.
3. Move my 401(k)s.
I signed up for a rollover account, but I need to call to finalize things and haven’t gotten there. February!
DIY: I need to tackle some home projects myself to save a few thousand dollars.
I painted my entry way.
$3,000: This is actually going to be hard because Josh was off most of January when he normally isn’t. We used savings to cover it, but I want to pay that back AND add $3,000 this year.
$1,000: This is the amount I want to add to Thomas’ savings in 2017. $0/$1,000.
Stock purchase: Holding strong for now. Raises are in June, so no need to change my election yet.
Josh and I discussed budgeting and he’s tentatively on board with YNAB.
5. Find joy.