A brief year in reflection

A brief year in reflection

It’s 2019, can you believe it?  I have to say the year went by way to fast and I fell short on many of my life goals, not just the financial goals I set for myself.  I didn’t get my series finished and I’ve been beating myself up about that, but I’m working on giving myself a break.  Although the books are in various stages of completion I plan to keep at it and revisit the time line I laid out, adjusting it to more realistic levels with my hectic schedule.

Life happened, as it always does and we just weren’t prepared for the moments that seemed to bombard us one after the other.  There were times I just couldn’t seem to catch my breath, I felt as if everything happened all at once.  Although I have a strong faith, there were moments I questioned the purpose of the fire I felt surrounding me.

The unpreparedness of it all left me shaken but determined to better prepare for the inevitable that would always come.  The year of 2018 left my family of seven going from two incomes to one, car accident that left us without a car, major car repairs (not part of the accident), and the death of my dad.  It was his death that caused me the greatest setbacks as I found the desire to write hard, I put my books on hold, leaving my passion to the side as I tried to find the new norm.  I’m still trying to find the new norm.  The year also brought us joy and an unexpected promotion where I’m making more money and numerous moments I’m forever grateful for.

My setbacks weren’t complete failures, they were learning lessons for me to reexamine what I need to change in my spending and saving habits.  It reminded me I need to reexamine where I am on my goals.  I plan on doing better, much better with the New Year adjusting my goals and sticking with my plans.  I have goals I want to accomplish not just financial but milestones in my personal and career life as well.

2019 will include new challenges such as a change in the dynamics of my family, my oldest will be graduating in May and heading off to college.  Her leaving the nest means a need for an increase in my income to provide for the necessary expenses and emergencies that will come up for her.  The last thing I want is for her to worry about these will she is in school.

Some goals for the New Year:

  • Pay off my debt, I’ll have another post with my debt, the payment plan to getting it to zero, and keeping it there.
  • Buy my daughter a car with cash, deadline May 1, 2019.
  • Save an emergency fund. This is a goal that I will be working towards.  It will be difficult to accomplish this without finding ways of increasing my income, even with budgeting, but it is a goal with ways I hope to make this task accomplished.  In order to accomplish this I have to save half of my gross income.  It means drastically cutting unnecessary expenses.
  • Save towards my retirement. This is automatic for me – it comes out of my check and is matched through my company’s matching 401k program.  I will not be changing this, as I have the minimum deductions in order to get the match.
  • Save towards home down payment, this will be my biggest challenge, but I’m tired of paying someone else’s mortgage.  I have a plan set in motion to buy my own house by 2020.

Once a month I’ll revisit my goals and see if there are any new ones I want to add.  This blog is not only a journal of my goals to financial freedom, but a day to day log of my journey to having more.  By more I don’t mean just money, but more memories, time, and less worry.

 

Happy Savings!

Chrystal

 

 

Weekly Tip – Eliminate Debt

Weekly Tip – Eliminate Debt

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Consolidate your debt. Debt is a “dirty” word when it comes to your credit cards, high interest loans, pay day loans, you get the idea.  Keep your debt at zero or no more than 10% of your credit line.  Eventually get to a point where you’re paying off your credit card each month.  Your credit report will thank you, trust me.  You can regularly check your credit report at Credit Karma for free.

Weekly Tip – Create Space

Weekly Tip – Create Space

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It’s Spring, time for yard sales and Spring cleaning.  Clean out those big items you have no use for.  Use one of the many apps available to find ways to bring in a few extra dollars for your savings and clear out clutter from your home.  Not sure where to start below find a list to get you on your way to making a little extra money.

LetGo – is an online app that connects buys with sellers.  You post your items set a price, buyers contact you, accept their offer and agree to meet up.

OfferUp –  is another online app that allows you to sell items you no longer want.  A nice feature is that you can also post it on facebook.

Cplus – I had not heard about this app.  It’s a third party app for craigslist.  Who knew?

5Miles –  It also has a facebook feature which is nice.  You’re able to see who of your friends are using the app.  When it comes to receiving payment you can do it in cash or use in the app purchase.

With anything use your best judgement.  If meeting up to sell something do it in a public area, exchange cash, and be aware of your surroundings.

Weekly Tip – Clean Out Your Clutter

Weekly Tip – Clean Out Your Clutter

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Clean out your junk drawer. We all have one, that small black whole of a space where all of the misc. items end up.  Take 10 minutes to clean it all out, its the start of reducing the clutter in your life and simplifying your living.  After you clean out the junk drawer tackle the stack of unread junk mail.  Get to the habit of simply getting rid of your junk mail right after walking in the house.  I sort it in the kitchen an immediately recycle them.