Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 financial successes/new year's resolutions

being financially fit is a goal that we have for our family. In the past we haven't made the best decisions with saving and spending, but we strive now more than ever since we are bringing a little one into the world. I hope we can teach him or her to spend and save wisely. However, if this baby is a girl, I can't promise that he or she won't have a shopping addiction like her mother....
we did have some success in 2010
-we stopped using credit cards and what we did use, we paid off immediately as to not incur interest
-we paid off one credit card
-we bought a house
-we put more in savings
-we now have a monthly emergency fund
-saved $70 a month by not relaxing (perming) my hair
-switched energy providers and saved $100+ per month (we pay less than we did when we lived in our apartment)
-paid off my car

-if we want to buy a new car, we need to pay down the rest of our debt...Although, we stopped incurring debt, we didn't really pay down much. it looks like we may not buy a new car until 2012 or 2013...and it's looking like it may be a mini-van (sigh....another post on that)
-we didn't tithe regularly or I should I say I didn't since I go to church. I will say this has more to do with my sporadic attendance at church....something I need to work on in the new year.
- we now have a balance on our GAP's $100, but still a balance.
New Year's Resolutions (financial and not)
-pay down debt
-continue to put more in savings
-share more of the household duties...while Mr. Soup was in grad school, the majority of our duties fell on me. We need to get our balance back before the baby arrives.
-paint the kitchen, living room and nursery. I foresee the nursery being painted first and the other two in late 2011.
-keep our travel fund full. with Baby Soup arriving, it will be hard to travel regularly. However, my goal is for us to take some family trips, Mr. Soup and me trips, and maybe a girls' trip. Traveling is something that is important to Mr. Soup and me. We are definitely not going to stop traveling in 2011. In fact, we will take our annual trip to NJ and I'm hoping we'll have enough for another cruise (once I get my body back...don't laugh!)
-accept that I cannot control how things turn out with my stepdaughter. This is hard, but I know I have to do it for my sanity. I never truly understood what my husband went through with his daughter until this summer. He has had his daughter ripped from him over and over by her mentally ill mother and passive, enabling grandparents. I felt that pain this summer. My heart was broken over and over. I'm not sure if I ever got over it fully. This will be the first Christmas that we haven't had my stepdaughter. I shudder to think of what kind of Christmas she will have (her mother doesn't even wrap their presents). I have to get over the pain I felt when my she left for a life of poverty, instability and neglect from a home where she was loved, clean and attended to each day. For now, I have to be content with the sporadic phone calls and visits we have. I have to be content with being the weekend dad and step-mom.
While Baby Soup will never take the place of Abby, he or she will have everything that Abby didn't. This baby will always know what an amazing big sister he or she has (SN: Abby is totally excited about Baby Soup. She asked if I could have a boy, so she could have a brother) Most importantly, I will have a baby that no one can take away from Mr. Soup and me. If I could hold this baby close to me everyday and never let him or her go, I would. However, I know I cannot transfer my feelings of loss and heartbreak onto this innocent life. While I want to suffocate this baby with love and attention all the time, I know my duty as a mom is to provide opportunity for growth. So, I guess in my long-winded way of saying it, my goal is two-fold: Accept my limited role as stepmother and embrace balance as I strive to be the best mother to Baby Soup.
-my next goal is to achieve balance as a wife, mother, teacher, friend, sister, daughter, etc. I realize my marriage is my #1 priority. If I don't put my marriage first, I won't be a good mother. Fortunately, we have been blessed with friends who have offered to babysit. However, I also want to make time to be a good teacher, and spend time with friends and family regularly.
-last goal is to be an awesome mama! I know I will lose major coolness once Baby C hits puberty, but for now I can't wait to raise the most awesome kid ever! This baby oozes coolness and here's morning sickness, very little weight gain, cute ass sonogram pic, awesome summer-time timing, etc. This baby has made pregnancy enjoyable so far and although I know it will get worse, I am thankful that my 1st trimester was a breeze compared to most. Although, I do hate the acne!
That's it! Hopefully writing down my new year's goals on the internet for the world to see will keep me accountable!

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