January 4, 2011 by Leah
December was about as close to a free-for-all as it gets in our household. We didn’t set a budget. Aaron was adamantly against attempting to budget for Christmas because being on a budget makes him feel poor. That said, I think we restrained ourselves pretty admirably (because I did 90% of the shopping and preparation, from agonizing about gifts to baking endless batches of sweets). Still, Christmas as an independent householder couple was a far cry from being able to go over to Mom’s. I’m still exhausted and it’s, what, the tenth day of Christmas? I should have had enough time to recover by now.
We had a lot of company in December, and one unforeseen byproduct of this is that my friends and relatives all have different perspectives on things like money and employment and were happy to act as sounding boards for my occasional whining. (Not that Aaron isn’t an excellent discussion partner, but we tend to agree on what we should be doing and then procrastinate acting.)
My oldest friend, as usual, was the most outspoken of the bunch. It’s her opinion that student loans aren’t a bad thing – sure you’ll pay more in interest if you don’t pay them off ASAP, but the only thing they mean socially is that you’re educated, so it’s perfectly okay to pay them off slowly while striving for other financial goals (home ownership, emergency funds, etc.). It’s also her opinion that if Aaron is going to keep getting moved around thanks to his job, then I need a job that will move with me because my current job search is something of a depressing farce. She had told me this before but somehow the fact that she was sitting in my living room, waving a glass around to punctuate her sentiments, made me pay attention.
I’ve made noises about starting an internet editing business but haven’t really done anything about it. Thanks to Lizza, it dawned on me that what I need is a business plan. This was a complete “kick myself” moment, because I’ve written business plans – excellent ones. I even spent an entire semester in a class called “Entrepreneurship,” where pretty much all we did was write business plans. So why didn’t I think about writing one until weeks after I started thinking about an editing business? A business plan can serve as a feasibility study, strategic plan, and even detailed action plan, all in one living document. It’s exactly what I need; I’ve given myself until the end of this week to get an outline (with deadlines) together.