It’s the last Friday of the month, and the year.
I’ve had my Resolutions in place for over a week now.
A writing schedule. A work schedule. A home schedule.
A food budget. A recipe budget. A home budget. An emergency budget.

I have a plan. I plan… to plan.

Since July, 2011 I sort of flew by the seat of my pants. Until I started working again.
Without child support and only 35 hours a week, my income isn’t that great. But it’s mine. And I’m doing the best I can.

I have never wanted to go on Welfare. I’m frustrated with the stigma that causes. I understand the system isn’t perfect, but nothing ever is. I don’t like the perception that “everyone” on welfare is lazy or taking advantage of others. There is no shame in finding help when it’s vital to existence. But I refuse to burden society with my debts. I’ve always managed to pay my bills… late, past due, those fees add up. But at least I’m the one paying them. And someday soon, it will get better.

We’re going to tighten the belt even more around here. Now that the holiday specials are over, I’m suspending my TV subscription for a few months. That money will go toward paying off the smallest bill in January. So in February, I can take the TV money and the smallest bill money, and put that toward the next smallest bill. After another month, that’s two bills paid off.

If the Fiscal Cliff isn’t as horrid as we’re being scared into thinking, my tax refund should help pay off a few more small debts.

My goal, God willing and the Creek Don’t Rise, is to be nearly debt-free by the end of 2013. The only remaining debts should by my mortgage, car, and student loans.

That’s the plan.

I don’t know how realistic it is. If anything changes, I don’t know how I’ll handle it.

I received four books for Christmas. Dot gave me a wonderful edition of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. It includes maps, has a leather cover, and is pocket size. It’s perfect! The other three are from my brother. Three books on better blogging. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to read! (Another reason the TV won’t be missed.)

I’m making a menu plan for January. That’s a separate post. I was gifted with a $100 gift card for Christmas, and I intend to use it strictly for my food budget. I want to see how long it will last if I plan ahead. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a few snacks. I’m choosing foods that will go a long way: one box of Malt-o-Meal is two weeks’ breakfast for us. My Slow Cooker Ratatouille will feed us for days as a hot dish, pizza topping, and in my Baked Frittata.

I’m going to cut out fast food eating, too. That means no Starbucks in January, and I can’t begin to tell you how I feel about that. I’m only six drinks shy of keeping my Gold Card Status, too. Well, my tastebuds won’t thank me, but my wallet will!

And then there’s the writing. Oh, the writing! Recipes. Dragons. And everything in between. I miss posting daily links at BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo, but I don’t miss my trite, nonsensical postings. With the Cookbook Campaign, the Series with Megan, the Study on the Ten Commandments, and a few other starter projects, my writing plate is overflowing with goodies!

And today is Friday. The last Friday of the month and year. But really… it’s just the Beginning.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

My January Meal Plan
"What's the Word?" Wednesday: December 26, 2012
Sweeten my tea and share: