Every year, around New Year’s Eve, my husband and I take time out of our schedules to sit down and discuss our accomplishments from the year. We are each other’s accountability partners and we measure how well we did at meeting our goals through the year. It is at this same time that we discuss our goals for the coming year. It is a great time for both of us. Maybe because it is so hard to squeeze more than an hour or so together throughout the weekly routine to just relax, talk, dream and share. We do this annual retreat from life over a period of a day or two and we are very diligent about appreciating this time and purpose. Somewhere during this time, we almost always are reviewing our budget. This is when we look hard at anticipated expenses or new income as a result of setting new goals. For example, one year, I wanted to speed up the completion of my master’s degree. That meant we needed more money set aside for education than in the years before. Then there was the year we found out that my husband was taking a new position which was going to almost double our income. We new we want to put that money into our retirement. There was just no question about it. The new year brings us opportunities to reflect and to look forward. Make sure you don’t forget to include this time to review and plan from a budget perspective!