Better late than never … HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hello everyone and a very happy new 2014 to you! I hope your Christmas was peaceful and that you enjoyed the celebrations :) It’s the 5th of January already, can you believe it? I am so excited
I loved this quote above that I found on Pinterest because it sums up my feelings for the year ahead :)

5 Goals for 2014
1. New Job: I am going to find a new job hopefully early this year and this I am VERY excited about. I have in the past, really only ever taken jobs out of necessity to keep working or after periods of unemployment. In 2014 though, I’m optimistic this time around that I am going to find the best job yet and I have already started preparations for making this happen :)

2. Visit Japan in Spring 2015: Initially this was earmarked for 2014, but this is realistically in 3 months time now! My, doesn’t time fly? LOL! I’m not what you would call a seasoned world traveller by any means and I have never been to Asia before, so I want to do my homework a little bit more so as we can get the full enjoyment out of it. SFT, I will be paying close attention and hoping to cog some notes and ideas! I’m not sure how much we should put away for this, but we will need at least €1400 for the flights alone that means putting away 120€ a month each if we want to book at the beginning of July. We will also try to learn a bit of basic Japanese (hello library card)

3. Keep in Touch: When I moved to Germany first, I used to write an email to my closest friends once a week on a Sunday and this has slowly drifted out of habit over time. This is something I would like to try to make a better effort to do.

4. Take Care of Myself: Start each morning with a glass of water, look after my mental health (gratitude diary, learning and practising new techniques to change behaviours), do yoga every day to help my shoulder. I’ve already come such a long way on the mental health and from what I read, exercise is a great boost for this too.

I bought myself the present of Dashama’s DVD which I find very challenging but found her free 30 day Yoga Challenge videos on Youtube to be very very beneficial when I hadn’t a bean to my name. I have considered joining a class to get my bum out of the office on time but am finding it hard to part with €90 for 8 classes :/

5. Get my Pension sorted and be more Charitable

Have you any New Year’s Resolutions for this year? Do you think it’s better to give to charity as you see fit, to who needs it when you can or to specify and “budget” for it? I’m not too sure how to go about this. All I know is that I feel blessed with what I have and there are so many who could use a helping hand.

In any case I wish you all the best year yet for 2014:)



  1. Happy New Year! Are you sorting out your pension as in getting your Irish contributions transferred over here to get credit for the time you paid in over there? Be warned that they’ll want details you didn’t ever think you’d need again. Because I worked when I was in school, they want me to send them confirmation letters from college AND school that I was a student during the time I said I was. Finally managed to get a letter from DIT (and hoping they don’t notice the mistakes) but no luck from school yet. Mad really. Going to try sending in copies of my inter and leaving certs and hoping that’ll suffice.
    I don’t normally make resolutions as I have ongoing goals anyway but this year, as I was lying in bed on 31st December and just letting my mind wander I came to a decision. I’ve been building up to it anyway and have various plans in progress to help but out of the blue a very firm idea came to me and I’m going to stick to it. So, for my birthday next year (beginning of December) if it hasn’t happened before then, I’m treating myself to a resignation – even if I don’t have another job lined up. Feel so, so happy with that decision that I know it’s right.
    And, just to make this the longest comment ever (again!), I give monthly to Concern, Doctors without Borders, my local Tafel and just added CIWF to the mix too. None of them are large amounts (I think it’s 100 in total) but I prefer to have them going out automatically with other monthly bills at the start of the month because best intentions never come to pass with me so the money has to go and that’s that. I do sometimes give to various causes that come up during the year but never feel obliged to and it always depends on whether I happen to have money at the time. Last year, for example, when I got my tax return back I donated 10% of that to my choir as we put on a big concert and that needs a lot of funding. When I’m out of debt I want to put an amount aside to use for micro-lending through a company such as Kiva, too – think that’s a great idea.

  2. Thanks Moonwaves, that’s really helpful and something to think about firstly about the pension. Actually I’d never thought about transferring credits from home to here, since I (have no idea) but I imagine I will return home (not sure when) and may end up doing the opposite- yay! future fun and games at the Amt! I have no idea what I mean by pension, I thought you could do like a “separate/private” savings scheme that is then tax-offsetable. Maybe that was a dream that a past-bookkeeper advised me to look into many years ago.

    But, that’s the stage I’m at, the completely hopeless clueless haven’t-done-any-research stage. But thanks for the head’s up! LOL!

    As for your resignation, I personally find that there is nothing more satisfying than writing a minimum-effort copy-and-paste resignation for future delivery to give you extra motivation to figure out your next move, and you have plenty of time before your birthday. I’m reading between the lines that that things at your place of employment aren’t going very well and wish you the best of luck in finding something much better very, very soon :) I have found that in the past a few weeks away (doctor’s orders) gave me the courage I needed to finally leave quite a complicated employment-scenario. If that’s what I can call it now!

    The Tafel is a wonderful charity and the old saying of “charity begins at home” also comes to mind in a kind of community way. I personally am more of a sporadic and spontaneous giver than a planned giver but feel like I should do more.

  3. The whole area of pensions is a minefield. I have a Riesterrente that I pay into every month – did do lots of reading at the time and all that but it’s the kind of thing that makes sense to me when someone is explaining and so I made a decision but after that, I don’t want to bother about it anymore. There is at least one really good thread on the toytowngermany forum about Riester vs. Rurup pensions, well worth a read through. I’m pretty certain I’m going to stay here so that did kind of make my decision a bit easier I suppose. If you think you might end up back in Ireland you might be better off taking out a plan over there, PRSAs were the ones that were introduced a few years ago (I always had a pension through work so I didn’t have one of them but I think they’re fairly standard ‘private’ ones). Don’t know whether contributions to an Irish plan can be offset for tax purposes here though – definitely would need a good accountant/advisor for that. I can highly recommend the forums for Irish financial stuff though. It’s all head-melting to me but if you have a bit of time to devote to it, it’ll probably pay off in the long-term. Good luck with it all!

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