2014: The year in review
January 1, 2015
The good: We can do a fair bit of luxury spending: travel, paying a little more for good quality things rather than settling for the cheapest (and lower quality), eating out more than usual to conserve energy.
We’ve considered a new (to us) car but we’re holding off for now. We’ll wait til the new fancy edition that PiC wants is at least a couple years old and available on the used market. That also means paying cash so I’d like to have that on hand.
The bad: I still feel we spend too much of our incomes (about 75% of it) but we live in both a relatively HCOLA and we pay at least $17,000 annually for my dad’s upkeep, more or less depending on shenanigans.
The good: We maxed out PiC’s 401(k) contributions.
I made a last minute 2013 IRA contribution and did the same for 2014. (Last minute because I plain forgot.)
We continued to save 25% the whole year, and started a new savings account for LB.
Our side money venture went really well in Q4.
The bad: 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 I don’t know yet: We expanded our portfolio into real estate this year.
Since it took me all of Q1 to properly collect our net worth data, I don’t feel like I can really extol our progress accurately on that front.
PiC got a fantastic promotion and raise.
My job pays well enough (begrudgingly “I GUESS”) with far less room for income growth but I have non-monetary benefits that are great for my health and translates into savings and improved quality of life for us: very low commute costs, no costs for professional clothing, very flexible scheduling so I can cook/rest/life a lot more.
We traveled to an international destination we’ve always wanted to explore together.
Our relationship has become stronger and more resilient throughout pregnancy. The pregnancy has been incredibly difficult, both for my health and sanity, and therefore, on PiC, but you generally wouldn’t know it – he’s been an incredible helpmeet and caregiver. It also helped punt us into getting way more organized both in the home and with our money which, of course, makes me really happy.
Hands down, losing our beloved boy.
I don’t have concrete goals other than to maintain our current heading: save and build wealth, enjoy a good bit of life and keep stress low.
We remain debt-free, except for mortgages (as I turn to PiC and ask “Wanna make a fat payment to the mortgage?”). Considering how much more work it is to dig out of debt (O the Memories!), just making decisions that keep us out of it in the first place feels like simplicity itself. It does involve saying “no” or “not now” in a lot of areas but not so many as you would think. It helps that we’re a simple pair.
1. Keep saving 25% (minimum) of both our incomes as long term savings; this leaves 75% for all expenses, ours, LB’s, dog’s, my family’s, etc.
2. Cashflow LB’s expenses via the savings we already put aside and continuing to take that out of our cash designated for regular expenses. Basically this means cutting back on our regular expenses to allow for LB’s.
3. Streamline our money management. We got on Mint this year which is starting to work ok. Though their habit of duplicating transactions is nutty-making.
I’m now testing a joint email account for our bills and household accounts so that we both have access to incoming bills and other financial information – very important.
4. Get on that estate planning.
:: What were your bests/worsts? How’d you do this year? With life/saving/spending?