Happy New Year!! A little late, I know, but it's still January so I don't feel so bad. I do feel bad for being MIA for over a month on Mommy Confessions though. You should know my recent absence online has not been the result of me giving up or losing interest in writing. That's far from the truth. The truth is I just needed some time off to focus on figuring out the next step in my life right now, and to start setting the stage to setting new family goals for us this year. Last year my resolution was to lose weight and eat better. The bad news to that resolution is that I gave up. The good news is that I did lose a little! 8 pounds to be exact. It isn't much but at least I lost something right? This year my resolution is to try to start living a healthier lifestyle in more ways than just eating right because to tell you the truth, there's something else that is bothering me. Something that needs my immediate attention.
More importantly this year, is for us to set some financial goals. We REALLY need to get our family into a bigger home and the only way that's going to happen is if we get the ball rolling a little faster on paying off our debt. Not only that, but we need to get smarter about how we spend and save our money. We are the average family, living paycheck-to-paycheck with a few credit cards, a mortgage and kids. It's been a wonderful life so far and I am greatful for every bit of it (minus the credit cards), but now that we are parents, our priorities have dramatically changed as you can imagine.
"My kids deserve more than I had growing up" has a different meaning to me now. There are now requisites to fullfilling that dream. I don't want to hand them a reward without some effort. What I mean is, I want them to have the finer things in life if that's what they choose, but it's my job to teach them that it takes hard work, dedication, ambition, and an education to get those finer things and truely appreciate them. In the long run I think that's what keeps people grounded and more willing to budget their earnings - by having to work for the things they want and possessing the knowledge to make good decisions with that money once they earn it.
In order for us to teach those attributes to our children though, we (my husband and I) need to get smarter about how to handle our own money first. We need to change our mindset and remember the following quote by Suze Orman that I like if we want to change our spending habits.
“Live below your means but within your needs.” -Suze Orman
In other words, buy what you need not what you want. Here's a good example. I've been itching to buy a new car because the car that I own is 16 years old and is too small for our family of four. Now, just because I need a new car, there is no reason why I should go out and buy a brand new fully-loaded one with someting like 3 miles on it. A better idea in my situation would be to buy a used vehicle that is cheaper on gas than a V8 SUV, and slightly more roomier than the one we have now. No need for flashy buttons and modern techie features like I want. Just a reliable, gently used, price reduced vehicle that is going to last us another 16 years. Know what I mean? You get the drift.
It will take some adjusting, but I know we can do this. And to start off my new resolution for 2013, I am super happy to report that I started the year working part-time. That was a great feeling!
Until my next update friends,