2014 Goals Review

Happy New Year!!  I cannot believe it is 2015. I feel like I just wrote our 2014 goals!  For the past few years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.) I have made and updated our financial and life goals here on my site.  I’d like to review our 2014 goals and see how we did!  Here are our goals, and how we measured up.

I’d like to get $5,000 paid down on the principal of our mortgage.  SUCCESS!  We actually paid off $5105.29 this year!  I didn’t make any huge extra principal payments- we refinanced last summer and went with a 20 year mortgage and because of that a lot more of our payment is going toward principal versus interest because of amortization.  Every month I do add a little bit extra to our normal payment so we are chipping away at the principal.  

Replace the back roof. FAIL.  This is a good thing, though!  We had a roofer come out and he determined that the roof is actually in pretty good shape and didn’t need replacing.  Great news for our budget.  

Replace 3 front windows. FAIL. This never happened.  Honestly, I wish Mr. Money was much better about this stuff and could do it all on his own.  I worry too much about this crap! 

I need to set up a Christmas savings account so that I’m not stressing about money in December again next year. FAIL. Hah.  The other day I mentioned to Mr. Money that I needed to start this NOW for next year and he was like “You say this every year!”  I’m wondering if it would be easier for me to have a Christmas envelope and just put cash in it every time Mr. Money gets paid.  I think I may try that versus opening up a new savings account.

I’d like to get pregnant in 2014!  FAIL. This we really didn’t have that much control over.  

Save more money in general and be more aware of where our money goes.  SUCCESS! I’d say we did a pretty good job of this!

I think goals are always good to have as they help keep you focused and on track.  Mr. Money and I sat down the other day and talked about our goals and where we’d like to see ourselves in a few years.  I’m excited about the future!

How did you do with your 2014 Goals?

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A Minimalist Holiday Season

For the longest time, Christmas stressed me out.  Then last year came, and Mr. Money had just lost his job, and we were on no-spending mode so we really didn’t do too much as far as gifts went.  This year we’re dealing with a huge pay cut, so we’re being very careful with how we spend the money we have budgeted for Christmas.  I’ve also decided that instead of being stressed out about buying gifts for everyone is not something I’m going to do this year.

Mr. Money and I don’t typically buy each other extravagant birthday, anniversary, or Christmas presents.  A lot of the time we don’t really need anything so to go out and buy something just because feels silly to me.  I try to keep our clutter to a minimum, so buying some tchotchke does not bring a smile to my face.  Last year Mr. Money bought me one present: a Home Alone DVD, and that meant more to me than if he had bought me a diamond ring.  I love that movie, and it was such a thoughtful gift!

Penny is going to be almost two (what!!) at Christmas time so she still doesn’t really fully grasp the idea of presents.  I’m sure she’s going to enjoy opening them, but whether she has 3 presents or 30 I think she’ll be happy.  For that reason, I’ve decided I’d like to get her one big present (probably a nice doll if I can decide which one) and then some accessories.  I’m going to make some cloth diapers for her doll, a baby carrier she can wear her baby in, and I’ll knit her some mittens too.  I know she’ll be happy with all that, and I won’t have a million plastic toys taking over my house.  I’ve already done the great toy purge in anticipation of some new ones making their way into our house.

As far as other presents go, I’m planning on knitting some items for people, making some wool dryer balls and figuring out some other things that Penny and I can make.  I always feel like I am the worst gift-giver so I’m trying to put a lot of thought into things we can make that will be nice and others can enjoy.  Sometimes I feel like people don’t appreciate hand made items and think it’s a crappy gift.  I’ve got to stop thinking that way- I know that when I receive a hand made bar of soap or hand knit item I cherish it because I know the work involved in it.  Someone invested their time into making something for me!

I hate being stressed out, and Christmas surely can do that to people.  This year I hope to avoid most of it by getting everything done early so I’ve got time to enjoy the season.  I can’t believe there is a little more than a month left until Christmas.  I know if we buckle down we’ll be able to get everything in order and then enjoy the rest of the season.

How do you avoid stress at the holidays?

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I Don’t Have a Cell Phone

I left my job at the bank in January of 2012 before Penny was born. Mr. Money was working for a restaurant and they provided him with a cell phone (an iPhone) that they paid the bill for.  When he lost his job, he obviously lost the previously paid-for cell phone plan.  This left us with a dilemma: we needed to figure out what we were going to do about our cell phone service.  Prior to him having that job, we both had Motorola Razrs (ha!) that we had on a family plan with Verizon.  The phones served their purpose and we had a basic plan. We’ve thought about starting our own business and then we could use both phones for that, but once we realized the importance of business loans we squashed that idea.

Mr. Money became spoiled by the iPhone and wanted to keep the phone active.  We checked with various providers and the plans were around $80 a month, a lot more than I wanted to spend. We discussed putting both of us on a family plan again but I was hesitant to sign a two year contract.  That feels like debt to me, and I don’t like contracts or debt.  The best idea was for Mr. Money to take over my phone number and use his iPhone.

We ended up going with a prepaid option that costs about $45 a month and has unlimited talk, text, and web.  He was able to keep his iPhone so there was no cost for the phone.  The service works great and the only thing we have to do is remember to refill the phone each month.  He receives a text when it’s seven days from coming due, so that is very helpful.

I have no had a cell phone for about nine months now.  I won’t lie, there are some days that I would love to have a smart phone so I could look up something (remember when I was considering getting an iPhone?) or be able to text a friend.  Overall though, it doesn’t bother me and the savings are definitely worth it.

We have a home phone, internet access, and I have an old iPhone I use as an iPod sometimes so it’s not like I need a cell phone.  It is kind of weird to meet new friends and they’ll ask for my number to text and I have to explain that I don’t have a cell phone.  Sometimes I do worry about not having one for emergencies, like when I’m out shopping with Penny, but a lot of the time my sister or Mr. Money are with me so no big deal.  I’ve considered going with a prepaid phone but right now I don’t want to have the added expense so I just do without.

I’m sure I’m in the minority of thirty year olds that don’t have a cell phone.  I figure that people lived without them for so many years that I am able to as well.  I’m not against cell phones, but right now I feel like it’s something that I can do without to save my family money.

Could you live without a cell phone?

 

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