2014 In Review & What To Do In 2015…

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It is 7am and I have finished my breakfast and am sitting here with a full cup of hot and delicious tea. My husband’s work schedule has changed recently and he leaves our house at 6:30am. I cannot sleep with all the noise he makes so have been waking up early as well. In the morning, since I cannot leave for work until much later, I have found myself writing this blog very early-and often-which has actually been quite nice.

Today is New Year’s Eve (already next year in Australia and a few other places!) so I want to reflect on 2014-which went by very fast before we welcome the new year! We did a lot in the year but I want to be more focused for 2015. Here are a few 2014 things I felt were notable or accomplishments that can be learned from for 2015.

  • Made good use of our rainy day fund electronic coin jar. It sure made us make good use of our coins and small bills that we would not have noticed as well as added some excitement when we tallied up our totals. For 2015-I want to save for a longer time before cashing in and then use the funds for something that will make a difference. Perhaps a car payment since my husband has a new vehicle? The second time, we can save for something fun. I also want to maintain an emergency fund on the side.
  • Mexican vacation in January, Las Vegas in June, and the winter cabin vacation in December were all great. For 2015 I am sure we will have some more fun…but not until at least after May. Until then, we will be very responsible or only take weekend trips.
  • Husband’s parents received their new car and gifts. This is an amazing thing we managed to do for them. I do not expect such a large undertaking again for 2015 but for special events and birthdays, we will be sure to send them some funds to help out. Just this week my husband sent five hundred dollars so they can celebrate the New Year (which in Georgia lasts over a week until Orthodox Christmas in January and is the highlight of the year with neighbours coming and going all day and night!).
  • Our marriage getting better and better as my husband gets more and more settled in this country. We have now made it three years! For 2015, I expect we will work on some big picture goals together (ie saving for a home) and continue to have a great time together. My husband will also be ready for citizenship this year or early next. That will be a special moment.
  • Both of us getting raises and stability at work. In 2015, I know my husband is up for a significant raise within a month or two and I hope I will get one too-though it probably will not be until at least November. After October, however, I will definitely be given even more vacation time per year!
  • Paying off all personal debts in 2014 (but institutions still remain). In 2015, I am excited to pay off my car at last (of course now my husband bought a vehicle so now we got rid of one debt but gained another!). I also hope to make a significant dent in any remaining other debts so by 2016, I will have no worries other than house shopping, hopefully.
  • Husband’s head-shave last spring… not a good idea for 2015. 🙂
  • New tires on my car in 2014. Hopefully, I will be good for another few years and nothing else is needed for the car in 2015. I am hoping to drive this car for at least another 5-8 years in order to get my money’s worth out of it.
  • Being “cheap” in July was interesting and taught me how to stretch my dollar far. I plan to implement this a few times in 2015.
  • Connecting with my family by inviting them over for a special meal, arranging a raksha bandhan luncheon, and taking over Christmas. I realize no one else will do these things to keep us connected but I did enjoy it. In 2015, I will do this a few more times.
  • Growing a herb garden was a heap of fun. I learned I must start earlier next year and will do so.
  • Trying new things was also a lot of fun. From segwaying to live action games to winter cabin vacations, keeping an open mind and making time for such things is important.
  • My September health and well being challenge taught me I can do many things to take care of myself and achieve my goals. I will build on this in 2015 and achieve my weight loss goal, do my 5km run, and take better care of myself.
  • Learning about what I enjoy. I realized over this year which small things make me happy. Will make more time for them in 2015.
  • Upgrading to smartphone….life is so much easier now! No going back in 2015.
  • Christmas celebrations and cards/gifts at work to appreciate my staff. I liked doing this and will do it again next year without hesitation.
  • Christmas-and other holidays-are what you make them. In 2015, I plan to mark the special occasions.

That is all I can come up with at this time but I think it is a decent start. Tonight, we still do not have any plans but, if nothing else, will go out for a nice dinner-and I still have a bottle of champagne left over from Christmas that we can enjoy at midnight. We both have Thursday-Sunday off to enjoy the last bit of winter holidays before the pace of life picks up again on Monday. But, we will worry about that later!

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