New Year, Same Money Problems

The thing about financial planning is that you can plan and plan and plan and just when you think you have everything right, life lights your plans on fire and screams “FUCK YOUUUUUUU” all while dancing a merry jig while you’re left to frantically find the fire extinguisher that you know you stored somewhere…

All that is to say that 2018 was supposed to be my best financial year yet and instead I ended up just treading water.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t have a good year. Personally, I had a wonderful year. I took three whole vacations and spent quality time with my husband and friends. Professionally, I had a great year. I won an award and really stepped up my game at work.

But I also had to pay for an expensive heart surgery for my dog. He’s doing great, though!

And I also had an empty rental property that sat vacant for 8 months while we paid the mortgage on it. Luckily, we’ve since sold it.

These two things added a lot of financial stress to our lives. However, in the spirit of a more positive and optimistic 2019, I want to take a moment to list out a few of the reasons I am so very fortunate and blessed.

  • Our dog is doing really well post-surgery
  • We sold the property that was dragging us down
  • Despite a terrible 4th quarter in the stock-market, our net worth has grown this year (though it doesn’t always feel like it!)
  • I have wonderful friends and family that I get to see often
  • We live in a beautiful house that we spend time to improve year over year
  • We are both happy and healthy and feeling rejuvenated going into 2019

So yeah, you could say I have a lot of things to be happy about. Sometimes you just really need to stop and smell the roses you know? Look around and just say thank you to your spouse and your dogs and your home that keeps you sheltered and warm. Just bask in all the good.

I’m sure you have all made wonderful New Year’s Resolutions and (since this is being posted on January 7th) I’m sure some of you have already broken them. 😛 But, look around you! There is beauty in everything.

So what do I do now? Well… I plan some more.

I went through this anxious phase the past month or so when I looked around our (beautiful) house and all I saw was projects. Things I wanted to do. Not anything that needed to be done. And then I told my husband I wanted to move and he humored me and we went to look at houses and talked about how to fix our house up to sell and, and, and….

What I realized, however, is that our house is really and truly great. We’ve been there for five years and we’ve done a lot of work to do it to make it ours. It’s home. But I was somehow getting caught up the rush for bigger, and newer, and better and I stopped appreciating the home that we have.

I stopped appreciating the fact that while our house is cozy I was still able to host 15 people for our family Christmas.

I stopped appreciating the fact that we have plenty of space for the things we like to do – like host game nights.

I stopped appreciating the fact that we had a roof over our heads and that our mortgage was affordable and sensible.

So my New Year’s Resolution this year really doesn’t have anything to do with money or finances or FIRE. Instead, my New Year’s Resolution is all about appreciation.

Appreciating my spouse.

Appreciating my dogs.

Appreciating my possessions.

I want to live in the here and now. I want to be more present. I want to be more positive. And I’m starting right now!

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