The 2016 100 — or — How to Build a Better Casey

I can’t even lie, guys — coming up with a list of 100 goals for the fourth year in a row was hard — ridiculously so. I’m a very different me than I was when The 2013 100 came out, back when free time was still an abundant commodity I didn’t even know I was taking for granted, trying to fill it with countless things that’d keep life interesting.

A problem I most definitely don’t have in 2016!

As I work at surviving the upcoming year — especially with our second child’s imminent arrival — I needed to make the list a lot more realistic; I’m all too skilled at chasing ambitions that exceed my lifestyle’s capacity, and I’ll need to keep wary of that in 2016 if I want to see myself make it out the other side!

So without further ado, The 2016 100. It took a couple of days to polish off after recovering from the gauntlet that was 2015, but I feel like it’s a list that will really make waves in this life o’ mine should I see it finished!

But hey — that’s what I say every year ????

Thanks for reading!


1) Write an amazing series for Black History Month
2) Win a vacation for my dry cleaner
3) Watch Creed; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Martian; Ant-Man
4) Take Eric to a sporting event so he can stop complaining about getting left from sporting events
5) Phase my old 3.5″ hard drive out
6) Get rid of my old electronics
7) Stop biting my nails
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent
9) Clean out the basement crawl space
10) Build shelves into the crawl space
11) Give my FWD Powershot 2 to my old manager the hockey coach
12) Do the CN Tower Edgewalk
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP
14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad

Though a chiropractor I started seeing late into 2015 told me I’d developed some mild sciatica in my back, I didn’t need him to tell me I carry too much STUFF. In a digital age where we can pack mountains of information into a single device, there’s really NO NEED for me to carry all the draft posts and note that I do — save the fact that working from hard copy’s the way my brain’s WIRED.

In 2016, I need a little more focus to keep all my ideas stored in one place so I’m not constantly carrying EVERYTHING in my house made of paper, knowing that I probably scribbled SOMETHING on ALL of ’em.

15) Sort out the Internet situation at home so I can stop relying on tethering to LTE data
16) Learn enough Spanish to understand my sister-in-law’s Mexican wedding in May
17) Find time for date nights, which will involve finding someone who wants to babysit two kids… how about we just find more awesome things to do at home, just in case?
18) Try Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake
19) Get to 0 drafts on CaseyPalmer.com by converting everything into live posts
20) Install the growth chart for my kids that we got at my office baby shower
21) Update all the old content on CaseyPalmer.com
22) Upgrade the site infrastructure to better support contest traffic
23) Redesign the heck out of the blog (Twenty Sixteen, what up)
24) Find the time to pack more lunches for work
25) Clean up and optimize my Pinterest account (I still have that copy of Pinterest Savvy lying around somewhere)
26) Shave more regularly
27) Hand out my remaining business “cep” cards so I can put in a new order (wait — do we still do business cards?)
28) Clear out the bookshelves to prepare for Baby #2
29) Replace the lost key to our 2011 Ford Edge
30) Figure out what I ACTUALLY need to run my site and invest in THAT.
31) Replace our bathroom sink
32) Meet with the people who I never seemed to schedule in through 2015 (Aaron, Emma, Ria, Adrienne, Dianna)
33) Get a Brookhaven Computer Cabinet

The 1% of the Casa de Palmer workspace I use to do all the things isn’t the best — in fact, it’s falling apart. As I get older and start formalizing my #BloggerLife, Sarah and I agree that my workspace should evolve to show that. It’ll take some saving to make it happen, but it’d be a nice addition to the home.

GIVEAWAY POST: I’m Not a Businessman, I’m a Business, MAN!!! — Getting My Grown Blog On!

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man… let me handle my business, damn.”
— Jay-Z on Kanye West’s “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix)”, Late Registration (2005)

When is a hobby not a hobby? When it becomes a full-time job.

I can’t honestly tell you I planned for the blog to blow up into something requiring my effort and attention every night to keep it sorted — when I started writing all those years ago, I didn’t know what I  was doing; I just liked telling stories, and a blog presented a perfect way to do it.

But somewhere along the way, something happened. Maybe it was the change in approach from a casual endeavour to something a little more intentional, aiming to take my life’s stories and package them into something anyone could digest — not just the person who lived it. Maybe it was the realization that in a global digital world besieging us with so much noise every moment, there’s a demand for content with real heart behind it — stuff you can see someone investing the time to perfect, not just creators trying to hit some quota.

Day 1: Admitting that there’s a problem.

Good evening, one and all – my name is Casey Palmer, and I have debt.

Granted, it could be a lot worse – as I used to work for a bank, I’ve seen tons of people who’re way in over their heads when it comes to the credit beast, but it should’ve never come to this.

I suppose you could say that I grew up as a very naïve young man.

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I was given my first credit card at the age of 18, when I was still finishing my last year of high school. What it meant to me then was that I had a no-strings attached method of being able to buy all the food, clothes, video games and such that I wanted. I was having a great time as I went on trips to other provinces and out with friends after school. I had no problem paying off more than the minimum payments and generally staying out of financial woe.

But then university came about and changed things up.

Having spent so much time in high school focusing on everything but school work, I got accepted to York University with no offer of a scholarship, something I could have likely attained if I’d just focused. So here I was with my dismal savings habits and tuition to pay for the next whoever knew how long.

So in came limit increases, overdraft protection on my chequing account and the introduction to the magic of the student line of credit. Really, this would all have been fine…

…if I’d been more conscientious of my spending habits.

If I remember correctly, I bought my laptop on a Future Shop card.

I know I had a Best Buy card.

There was a Sears card somewhere in the mix.

I have a Macy’s card and I barely ever go over the border into the United States.

And so on and so forth…

The years of school would progress, and though I would always be in the midst of a good job – nay, a BANK job which gave me access to low interest rates, for some reason, I always believed myself invincible and never having to worry about tomorrow. The next bill. Or anything that was coming.

Upon recently graduating, I was left with:

  • A student loan, locked because I was no longer a full-time student (and hadn’t been for some time – I was taking part-time courses)
  • A TD Gold Select Visa with a very shameful amount racked up on it for no decent reason
  • Overdraft on my chequing account
  • A Henry’s card for several pieces of camera equipment I’d bought over time

A month or so after this, I sat down and really started to look at my finances. With the job I had at the time as an intern for the Government of Ontario, the monthly minimum payment for the Visa ALONE was eating up somewhere around 15-20% of my take-home pay per month! And even my monthly expenses were getting ridiculous:

  • $100 for a monthly pass for the subway
  • $90 for passes for the train in from the suburbs
  • $220 to my parents for “rent” (one should note I’m rarely at home)
  • $270 tithe to my church (though I only started in November)

Plus food and entertainment.

Something had to give and give QUICK.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the fact that I’d reconsidered a trip to Africa in 2009 due to the fact that I had all of this debt and it seriously needed paying off. After severely disappointing my girlfriend with this news, I decided that serious action needed to happen. I’d been working on a new plan for about a month before said discussion, but now it was time to commit to an approach to get rid of this issue. The three things I’ve committed to doing are as follows:

  • Taking a more aggressive stance to monthly payments – I plan to use a larger percentage of my pay cheque to pay down my debt — especially the Visa, so that there’s less interest to set me back
  • Thinking up new ways to generate secondary income to go towards paying off the debts – whether I have to sell my stuff on eBay, draw commissions like a fiend or find another avenue
  • Change my spending habits so that there’s less to worry about at month end when the charges come and it’s time to pay the piper

I hope you choose to follow my journey and I also hope that I present you all with a better situation as time passes.

Thanks, y’all.

–case p.