Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015 Goals: Part One


So, having had a baby three days before New Year’s Eve, if I had made any goals for January 1st it would have been something like: survive. Or just sleep.  Now we are 6 weeks in to life as a family of three people and two doggies and I think I am finally ready for 2015 and have a better idea of what life is going to look like for the next year. 

Let’s start by looking at our 2014 goals… 

Pay off $20k in student loan debt.
Due to our baby surprise this did not happen, which was super hard for me. Heading into 2014 I was so motivated, working 3 jobs (one face to face and 2 online) to maximize income to throw at debt. I had channeled the gazelle intensity and I was sacrificing, ready to make some big headway. I will probably post about this later, but after going to Peru I had this overwhelming contentment and peace about my life and choosing to sacrifice and pay off debt now, so later we could do more with our money. A few weeks after I got back we found out I was pregnant (read about that here) which totally turned our finances (also, life) upside down. We stopped our debt snowball and threw everything into savings for medical bills, necessary house projects, and to cover my income on maternity leave. Once we were throwing all our extra money in savings it was so disheartening to know we could have totally paid off $20k and more, but we had to save instead. This obviously was the best choice, and made it possible for us to pay bills while I am not working, buy furniture for Lincoln's room and write a check to cover all the hospital expenses at once. We were also able to buy last minute things that we needed in a pinch (hello breastpump) and pay for  things that we wanted, like newborn pictures.  So, the grand total for that we paid off in 2014 was $9968.65 in student loan debt, which included the total payoff of a federal TEACH grant (turned loan when I switched jobs) and the smallest of my Sallie Mae loans. We also cashflowed about $4k in house projects and cashflowed mine and Lincoln's prenatal and delivery expenses which ended up being around $2k total (yay for having met my deductible for 2014 and a 2014 baby!) and 4 weeks of non paid maternity leave and 8 weeks of half a pay check. All this being said: God is good! I don't know that if we had planned to have a baby now it would have worked out so well financially, so I am so grateful God had me finally buckle down and put on my big girl pants about money... just in time. :) 

We are going to finish house projects we started in 2013 (and 2012).
Because the end of April we found out a baby was on the way we kicked this into high gear. Marshall finished the downstairs bathroom and installed wood floors upstairs in the hallway, Lincoln's room, the stairs, my office and the guest bathroom. We still have tons of flooring left to finish the man cave and our bedroom and bathroom. Pictures forthcoming! 

We are going to have a lot of fun! 
This year was great. It was mostly dominated by pregnancy things, but we loved it. We welcomed a second nephew in February and have had a blast watching he and Oliver grow a ton this year. I went to Peru and Marshall got to travel to Florida and Georgia for work conferences. We traveled to Pennsylvania and Greenville so I could shoot two weddings for old friends. We attended two weddings as guests, one of which I was a very pregnant bridesmaid. We saw lots of IMAX movies together and walked the dogs together some. We both presented at an iPad conference in Raleigh (new and exciting for me, same old stuff for Marshall). Overall we really enjoyed and savored our last year "just the two of us". 

Stay tuned for part 2 which includes actual goals for 2015. The best is yet to come! 




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