2012 in Review

Monday, December 31, 2012
 I hope everyone had a great Christmas, we definitely did. We've both had a nice long vacation and were able to travel to Missouri to visit our families. I just wanted to take a minute and kind of reflect on what's happened in the past year and make mention of our goals for the upcoming year. So pretty much what everyone does on December 31st :)  

 Personally we've had a pretty eventful year. In April we got married, combined finances, and started learning how to live together. I'm not really a mushy person but I have to say I can't imagine what my life would be like without the mister. I'm so blessed to have married my absolute best friend who understands me and makes my heart turn to mush. Okay that's enough of that. Moving on!

  I started a new job in July and Phillip transferred departments last month. We both really enjoy our new positions. I don't have nearly as much stress as I did before, I mean I'm not worrying about someone dying while we're out on an outing or running away from me while we're shopping at Target. I do miss some of the people I worked with but I'm able to leave work at work and not worry about it while I'm at home. Phillip is now doing Web Development, so he's able to be a nerd for 8 hours/day and doesn't have to take phone calls from people who have let their loans go into delinquency and yell at him because they "don't have the money" even when they have an income that's higher than ours. His stress level has dropped a lot too. 

  Around July we got pretty intense on paying our student loans back and sticking with a budget. We have deviated from that a little bit in November and December with Christmas shopping and such but we paid everything in cash. This morning I got a little curious so I added up everything we've paid on our Student Loans this year.
Sallie Mae - $8,379.63
Chase - $1,709.90
Fedloan - $3,596.49
WellsFargo - $3,115.51
Total - $16,801.53!

  Considering half of that has been paid since September/October I think that's pretty darn awesome! 

  We haven't completely finished up our 2013 Resolutions but we are going to go back to a pretty tight budget and see how much we can knock off of our student loans next year. We're also going to switch back to eating a whole foods diet as much as possible, we've gotten pretty lax in this area as well. My personal goal is to try to like vegetables. Because essentially I'm this kid: 
   I did eat some celery the other day. So that's a start right? 

  That's enough rambling for today, time to start getting ready for our New Years Eve festivities. Happy New Year!!!

Weird side effect...

Sunday, December 2, 2012
    So.....we've been pretty boring recently. Sorry 'bout that.
    We have been attending a new Bible Fellowship class for young married couples, last night we went to the annual Christmas party. It was a lot of fun and we met a lot of the people in the class we hadn't talked to before. Each person was asked to bring something for the White Elephant exchange. Remember all that decluttering we did? It was hard to find things we weren't using! I did dig up a Bedazzler and wrapped a cookbook for Phillip to take.

/tangent,  back to the point. The hardest adjustment to this new job was only being paid once/month instead of biweekly. I think we've finally gotten the hang of it though. My initial fear was of using up the check too quickly and not having enough to last until the end of the month.

    The system we have started doing is pretty popular with people who use the You Need A Budget software (we don't use that, I've just seen a lot of references on the Total Money Makeover forums). You basically arrange things so that you're living on your income from the previous month. You can read about that here. It does take out a lot of the stress, knowing that you have that buffer in case something happens.

   I never thought I'd say this but...it also makes it kind of fun to pay the bills. We still have a long way to go but tonight as I went through and paid all of our student loans payments it was with more of a "we can do this!" attitude rather than a cranky "we're never going to get these paid off!" perspective. That could be my massive mug of hot chocolate talking but I don't think so. Since we've started taking control of our money and budgeting we've really felt more content with the things we have and have less of the "I wants". It's super cheesy but following FPU really does make it possible to feel peaceful about your finances, even if you have a mountain of student loans left to pay off.

   On a lighter note...I have a pretty fabulous pinstrosity to share after Christmas. It was intended to be a Christmas gift, we're going to try to salvage it. We'll see how that goes!!