Are you a “2019 was the best year ever!” person or more of a “don’t let the door hit you on your way out, 2019!” kind of person? One of my favorite things to do at the end of a year is reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly and decide what I want to take with me into the next year and what I want to leave behind.
This year I compiled a list of our 3 biggest money wins and fails and wanted to share with you what we learned. It was a great year, no complaints here! There certainly is a lot of room for growth, though so let’s start with the money fails and then we’ll end with the good stuff!
Fail #1: Backyard Savings Account isn’t where we’d like
If you’ve been following us for a while you know that getting our backyard done is our biggest priority right now. We moved into a brand new home over 5 years ago and we planned to get our backyard done right away but we kept having setbacks and it never got done. Here we are 5 years later and it’s still a dirt lot that’s unusable.
Even though we have debt that needs to be tackled, we paused paying that down to fund a backyard savings account this year so that we can get that done while our kids are still young enough to even enjoy it. We started the fund this year, but the second half of the year brought on more unexpected expenses and less income from side jobs so we weren’t able to add very much to it. 2020 will be the year where we check this off our list!
Fail #2: I didn’t max out incentives from my company
Working to earn something extra your company is offering may seem like an added bonus, but when you’re working on big financial goals it’s almost a non-negotiable to earn anything they will give you. I barely missed a few things this year which feels like a missed opportunity to get closer to our goals.
It serves as a learning lesson that the finish line comes around faster than we think and to not procrastinate thinking we have all the time in the world to achieve our goals.
Fail #3: Not paying off as much debt as we would have liked
I’m so glad we were able to make progress this year, and we didn’t take any steps backward by adding to the debt. I had just hoped we would have paid off more than we did. We really did great work this year though, and I’m proud of the progress. The needle is moving in the right direction. We have really mastered cutting expenses, frugal meals, and a very trim budget. This coming year will be about carrying that over and increasing our income significantly so that we can make a bigger dent in our debt.
Win #1: We were still able to take care of our bills and pay down debt despite a decrease in pay from a major source of our income
This year my husband had some pretty substantial injuries which prevented him from doing very many gigs for the last 6 months. I was relieved to have him home more and not be worried about him putting his health at risk for extra income on the weekends. It’s not worth having to go on permanent disability to make some extra bucks on the weekends. I was also nervous of what that would mean for our budget. It definitely meant we needed to be extra tight, and I had to do all I could to pick up the slack, but we were still able to cover all our bills and have a little left over to pay down debt.
Win #2: I had several big wins in my business
While I may not have hit certain goals I wanted to, I certainly didn’t have a bad year. My sales profit increased by 49% and we were able to use some of the extra to pay down debt. Plus my company offered a free cruise for 2 to the Bahamas that we could earn and I completed that and was able to take a much needed all expenses paid vacation for my husband and I.
We don’t have plans in our budget for trips like that anytime soon so it was nice to have the opportunity to earn it.
Win #3: We paid off one of our credit cards
Hitting the button to make the final payment and say goodbye forever to one of our cards felt so good and definitely gets you excited to pay off the next one.
So that was our year summed up in a few wins and losses. I hope it’s helpful to hear the harder parts of our journey and not just the things we celebrate.
Cheers to making progress towards our goals in 2020!