Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Month in Review- December

December was filled with family and fun. It also brings us into month 10 of the Frugal Optimist. 

December also proved to bring some financial planning satisfaction. We had saved up every month for Thanksgiving and Christmas and went into the holiday season with a little nest egg to cover gifts and travel. This was actually an idea I got from  my mom's financial planning. She puts aside money each month into her "Christmas Fund." Great idea Mom, and I hope to keep it up for next year.  

Unexpected Costs: 
Our short term savings was diminished with Thanksgiving and Christmas, and somewhere in the last two months we stopped saving for the "unexpected" costs. 

I got the flu the week before Christmas and I've never paid attention to how much getting sick can cost! Holy crap, I am glad that it was just the flu and thankful that Nick and I are both healthy! 

Our AAA and Sirius Radio membership  are both due at the end of December, and I forgot to save up for these two items. We are looking at January's budget to get these covered, but it is not looking good for January's saving goal....

Additional Income: 
AirBnB income over Christmas, as well as a referral bonus by a Watertown friend in our apartment building! Both, helped us get through the holiday's without any debt :) 

December Splurges:
The holidays are a splurge by themselves! We had a great time with family and even made it into the Watertown Daily Times for our Christmas morning run with my sister and brother. 

Fun Memory:   
For my nephews Christmas presents, we gifted an experience. We went to a place called Wonder Works in Syracuse, NY. This place was amazing. Nick and I had just as much fun as the boys- if not more! 

Wonder Works is an interactive museum that is filled with scientific experiments, a ropes course, laser tag, an life size games! I have had dreams of this place  :) 

Thanks for an awesome day Richie and Camden! 

Lessons Learned: 
Our short-term savings each month have been a financial life saver! It has covered oil changes, hair cuts, gifts and life's little needs that come up in a given month. 

For December and November, we've used this line item to cover our trips home and we are now feeling the pinch of not having that little nest egg. I've learned that savings really needs to be considered a bill, and I hope to try harder to not compromise on our short-term saving goals. 

This is really difficult to do, and forces me to say no to things I want to do in the moment. A consistent battle of living now versus saving! 

Total Payment to Debt: $302.00 
I really didn't like the idea of giving up payment to our loans for our travel plans in May. So, I decided to take on a few cocktail shifts to help pay down my loans.  

Current Debt: $163,963.25

 We are on to our 33rd of 35 Student Loans.

#33 is currently at $1,395.64 with an interest rate of 11.5% . 

Current Savings for Trip: $210.44