Yep, I said it. I’m still Happy New Year-ing y’all. It’s been busy!
This is how I know recovery is nearly complete from the Devil Flu + infectious friends: my brain starts insisting on money talk. This is the first chance I’ve had to really look over last year’s money and do a quick review. We combined our finances last year and started to work from a combined budget spending plan. That was rocky, we have totally different perspectives and styles when it comes to money. Still, we had to start somewhere! So we did.
We went over (between 2-100%) the budgeted amounts in half our specified categories, and under (between 2-50%) in the other half. This was, of course, a disappointment. Overall, we overspent 20% over and above the budget. Most of that, as it shakes out, was the wedding but that was paid for in cash so that’s some solace. I’m NOT thinking about the travel we could have paid for instead.
I do have to keep reminding myself that we pay about $17,000 annually for my dad’s upkeep and that makes a big dent in the disposable income.
We maxed out PiC’s 401(k) contributions which has never been done before. WOOT! We also saved 25% off the top of our paychecks through the whole year. Two thumbs up!
Disappointments: I don’t have a retirement plan through the new company so I intended to set up my own. Researched, yes. Decisioned, no. So that’s a fail.
The renewed relationships that came out of planning the wedding. I mended fences with a few relatives that I haven’t spoken to in years. And even more surprisingly, for whatever reason, MIL suddenly thawed towards me a month before and spoke to me like she hasn’t since before PiC and I started dating. Whatever the reason, however long it lasts, I’m grateful that even if I’m not “part of the family,” we can actually behave like non-antagonistic humans. That’s all I ever wanted.
Also: savings. We actually did a good job of saving cash despite all the spending
Also: Year of the least number of bad surprises (like the car was towed because they didn’t tell me that they were behind on payments! or like, Mom fell and hurt herself! or, Mom was in the hospital with pneumonia for a few days!)
The pained and strained relationships. It’s like I’m just now living the teenage angst years that I never had with my parents, with my dad. Nothing he said when it came to the wedding planning was ok, it was always inflammatory to my overly-sensitive, culture-betraying mind and we argued A LOT. Unnecessarily, I think but it was hard to rein in those feelings. 2 days before the wedding that I had a long painful talk with him over how his reactions made me acutely aware of how I’d failed the family: how I’d failed to straighten out my brother, how I’d failed to provide for my mother, and how I was now failing to properly represent the family as a “dutiful bride”. In turn, he reminded me that I’d done the best I could and more than was expected, and a big portion of these ‘failures’ were his; that the fact that he couldn’t “give” me a wedding was a huge failure as a parent. That he was making his peace with my decisions and in the end, he only truly cares about whether PiC and I are happy. I really needed to hear that. I just wish it hadn’t taken several months of fighting to get there.
Also: no retirement plan for me. This is the first time since age 21 that I haven’t been investing in retirement. No bueno!
:: What were your bests/worsts? How’d you do with saving/spending?