Review: 2020 Resolutions

In this awkward week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I figured it would be the best time to reflect on my 2020 resolutions. I don’t think it can be said enough; this has been a year! I reread my “2020 Resolutions” post from the beginning of the year and laugh at myself. Mostly for the big travel plans, but also for the unexpected accomplishment of purchasing my condo (the condo was in my 5-year plan for my 30s; I didn’t expect to cross it off the list on the first year). If I’ve learned anything from this year, it’s how to expect the unexpected. 

Looking back on my goals for this year, they seemed reasonably obtainable; Travel, save, pay off debt, etc. So, how many resolutions did I keep?

Resolution Goal 1 – Save Money

I feel a bit icky talking about money when so many people are struggling and out of work. This section is not meant to come off as insensitive to other people’s circumstances. I have been fortunate enough to work continuously throughout this year, which has allowed me to achieve specific goals. However, I know this is not the case for everyone. 

Goal achieved! I met my savings goal of $8,000 and then (within the same week) wrote a check for the closing of the condo. Because I didn’t go on a big vacation or have as many opportunities to go out this year, saving was easier than expected. There were a few hiccups, like unexpectedly buying four new tires for my car and some unplanned weekend trips. The $1200 stimulus check didn’t hurt either; most, if not all, went into savings. Not knowing if the bottom would fall out at any minute motivated me to shop less. I went to the thrift stores when I felt the need to shop for clothing and learned to entertain myself by baking new recipes. This year has taught me to live with less, which positively impacted my savings account. 

Resolution 2 – Pay Off One Student Loan

One down, two more to go. Each time I pay a loan off, it gets a bit easier. As mentioned in the 2020 Resolutions post, I pay the minimum monthly payments while also putting money into savings each month. Once I have enough to pay the loan off in one lump sum, I write one massive check. Is this the right thing to do? Probably not. But it’s my process.  

Resolution 3 – Visit One New Country

Well, we all know this didn’t happen. Covid shattered my dreams of attending Oktoberfest this year. I was growing my hair out to braid, and I was deep into researching each beer tent’s history and the best way to make reservations. On the bright side, I visited two new cities within the U.S; Charleston and Key West. I wrote about my travels in these cities HERE & HERE. Although traveling didn’t happen to the extent I wanted, it didn’t stop me from daydreaming about places to visit when things start to open back up. 


Resolution 4 – Renew Passport

This was a saga! I sent my passport off for renewal in January, and I did not receive my new one until August. I wasn’t leaving the country in the middle of a pandemic, but in the beginning stages of quarantining, most of us thought shutting down for two weeks would solve the problem. On the off chance this was true, I was still holding out hope I would travel by fall. Many phone calls and one mailing mistake later, I got my passport! Hopefully, in ten years, I won’t have as much trouble renewing my passport. 

Resolution 5 – Make a Dentist Appointment

I’m happy to report not only did I make one dentist appointment, but I made a standing appointment every six months. This way, I wouldn’t have to make it a resolution again. After my exam (and three fillings), I was given a consult for Invisalign. To be completely honest, I had a bit of sticker shock when I got the quote. Purchasing the condo happened simultaneously, which left Invisalign on the back burner for at least another year. I’m sure it will be easier to commit in the future now that I have regularly scheduled cleanings. 


Resolution 6 – Deliver Engaging Content Regularly on All Things Karissa

This year of blogging has brought me SO much joy! I have a space to be creative, share things I love, and interact with people from all over the world. For the past six months, I have been pretty consistent on this blog. I started the year posting twice a month. Now I’ve progressed into every Sunday with an additional Rose & Thorns post to review each month’s highs and lows. I feel like I’ve gotten into a rhythm with scheduling my time to create each post. I hope those reading my blog posts have found as much joy in reading as I have in writing. 

If there are topics you would like me to cover in the new year, please leave a suggestion in the comments. I want All Things Karissa to be entertaining and provide value to all readers who stumble across my blog. 🙂

I want to hear from you! Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If so, what did you accomplish this year? 

9 thoughts on “Review: 2020 Resolutions

  1. Hey Karissa. I have some comments and you may use them as you wish. I have student debts too. We’ve been fortunate to have a moratorium on payments without interest still piling on. I suggest paying what you can if able to rid this debt. However, Biden is under pressure to eliminate at least 10K of student debt via executive order so I stopped paying in the hope my debt will canceled. I suggest research on your debt. Just friendly advice. Oh, and if 2021 allows Oktoberfest… DO IT! You will not be sorry. Take care and thanks for another enjoyable read.

    1. Thank you for the advice! It looks like executive order or not, it’s not going to cover private loans. Which I unfortunately have. Oh well. I’ll get there eventually.

      My friends think 2022 will be our next attempt for Oktoberfest. Hopefully, things will have calmed down by then.

  2. Hi Karissa,

    Good post. I have a few comments on your resolutions.

    Resolution Goal 1 – Save Money.
    This is always a good goal, but you can save money in different ways. Caveat: I am not a financial advisor, only a retired engineer.

    1. You should always have some amount of liquid assets, money you can get to quickly with little effort. The amount depends on your current situation. Think major car repair or other potential need.
    2. Beyond that, attack your loan interests. When you can, use extra cash to pay down the principal on loans (credit cards, student loans, etc.) based on the highest interest rate first. I agree with @TOMKorocz172 that if there is a moratorium on the payments, by all means take advantage.
    3. Since you purchased a Condo, one thing I have always done is pay double the amount of the principal payment each month. Initially, it should be a relatively small amount of your payment. Near the end of your loan period, it will be almost double your current payment. The idea is that as you proceed in your career, your income will increase, and you can afford the extra payment. If you can keep this up, for example a 30-year loan will be paid off in about 10 years with a large savings in interest.
    4. Begin saving for your retirement NOW! Believe me, retirement happens fast, and social security helps but is not the answer. Open an IRA with your employer, especially if they have a matching program.

    Resolution 3 – Visit One New Country.
    Yeah, us too. This was our goal when we retired, not necessarily a new country, but another country. Now we consider North Dakota a new country.

    Resolution 5 – Make a Dentist Appointment.
    Invisalign? Um, really? I get it, dentists are businessmen wanting to maximize profits and, in some industries, this may be important for cosmetic reasons, but unless it is for oral health, think about it. If you were not worried about it going in, do you really need it.

    Resolution 6 – Deliver Engaging Content Regularly on This Blog.
    As a late follower, so far, so good. You’ve set high standards for 2021. Then again, anything would be high standards for 2020. We rarely stay up on New Year’s Eve, but this year we will, not to usher in the new year, but to make sure 2020 leaves.

    1. WOW! Thank you for the great feedback! Setting up additional retirement accounts and opening additional IRAs is something I plan on doing this year. I would like to retire early and travel just as you have.

      Getting invisalign is purely for vanity. This is probably why I keep putting it off.

      Thank you for engaging with my post. I’m so happy you spent time to thoughtfully comment. I’m hoping 2021 will be better to all of us.

      Happy New Year! 🙂

  3. Loved this! I also just posted my recap of the year. It’s funny that you started writing twice a month and now write weekly. Last year, for me I was writing randomly and this year I finally got into a rhythm in posting every other Monday at 12pm. Looking forward to reading more of your posts next year.

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