After a long hiatus, I’m back on the keyboard. Didja miss me? Maybe a little bit? 😉
What has gone on in the past few months since I’ve been away? Let me see…
And Then There Were Four…
Yep. Addie is going to be a bigger sister! We have a new addition to the family due in April 2017. We couldn’t be more excited. Having a second child has been a challenging ride for me and my wife. We’ve been trying to have a child for the past year, and it hasn’t been easy, to say the least. I look forward to the day when I don’t even know what sleep feels like anymore.
I Didn’t Complete My Class
I originally went on this hiatus to take a course related to my current position. I gave it the old college try, but I eventually dropped out of the course. A lot of the work was theory and used programs that I didn’t use at my current position.
I spent a good amount of my free time studying and doing the assignments, but after awhile, I didn’t think it was adding value to my work. Taking the course around the holidays was difficult as well as I felt as though I was spreading myself too thin. I decided to cut my losses and get my time back.
Thanksgiving and Christmas Happened
When it comes to the holidays, my wife is the best. She always makes it a point to show our daughter what the meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas really is – spending time with family.Some highlights in the past few months:
- Hosting Thanksgiving at Our House
- Taking Addie to her first movie in the theater (Moana)
- Going to the San Diego Zoo
- Addie’s Christmas recital at her preschool
- Christmas at my Parent’s House in Northern California
- Noon Year’s Eve Brunch at My House.
Yes. Noon Year’s Eve. Since Addie can’t stay up til midnight just yet, we decided to have a countdown around noon on NYE so she could countdown with noisemakers. For gatherings my wife always makes it special for the kids by having them do crafts 🙂
Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself
This blog had simple beginnings. I simply wanted to share my story.
As I’ve said a kajillion times on my blog, I wasn’t always a money nerd. While my wife and I had decent incomes and lived a comfortable life, there was never much focus on the future.
YOLO Right? As long as we had enough to go out to eat, travel, and buy fancy gadgets everything was all good to me.
Kids change everything.
In the past 2 and a half years since Addie was born, I did a complete 180 when it came to finances. We finally got on a budget and started to plan for our future. I listened to podcasts and reading blogs about retirement, investing, and saving. I began to realize that personal finance isn’t necessarily about how much money you make, but what you do with the money you have.
I started this blog because I felt it was a great way to not only express myself my thoughts and goals, but to keep myself accountable. As an introvert, getting my thoughts across doesn’t always come across well. I can’t say more than 30 words in person, but I can easily spit out an 1000 word blog. Haha.
Even in 2017, money is still a taboo topic. It’s a shame that we can talk freely talk about getting the latest deal on the latest gadget, but we don’t really talk about things that can truly change people’s lives like saving for retirement or ways to help pay down debts.
Hopefully this blog can help make personal finance just a little bit less taboo. 🙂
New Year, New Goals.
Last year, I talked about what I wanted to do for 2016. While I got some of the main goals out of the way (get a job, travel more), I didn’t feel like I fully accomplished what I set out to do. For 2017, let’s try this again, shall we?
Get Out of My Comfort Zone
In February it will mark my one year anniversary of working after my brief stint in unemployment. As a data analyst, I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer creating some wicked spreadsheets. There are some days where I don’t really need to interact with anybody.
This year I’d like to get away from that routine. I want to spread my wings out and become a little more uncomfortable by putting myself out there and working on bigger projects. I look forward to continue to move up and add value to my company.
Max Out Retirement Accounts
Last year, for the first (and maybe only) time, I was able to max out my 401k. I was able to do this even though I didn’t work a full year and got this bright idea around April. After getting back in the workforce, my wife and I treated my money as extra and we were able to bank most of my income throughout the year. At the end of the year, my wife was able to contribute about 12% of her salary by the end of the year.
This year, the goal is to max out BOTH of our retirement accounts. Since we’re both paid twice a month, we would be pulling out $750 from each paycheck towards this which is pretty doable since we’re frugal. We’ll have to see how baby #2 affects this plan.
Buy Less Crap
With the incoming kid, my wife and I have put a greater focus on being a lot more minimal when it comes to our things. Anything that we haven’t used in awhile will get sold. I’m always looking around the house looking for something to sell on Craigslist or 5 Miles.
This year I want to be a lot more conscientious about not buying random crap just because we have money for it. Some of the things I kinda want this year but probably shouldn’t buy are: New phone, Apple Watch, Nintendo Switch, and a 4K TV.
I wrote last year that I wanted to find a good consistent side hustle. This year the goal is changed. Now, I just want to hustle. It’s not about doing one thing, it’s about doing as many things as I can to help my family make or save an extra buck or two. If I happen to find one that sticks and can be consistent, then so be it 😉
Write a Will
As much as I talk about the future for my family, my wife and I have yet to write a will. While it’s a scary thought to think of passing away someday, it’s not as scary as not having your kids prepared when that day comes.
Be More Productive
When my daughter and wife go to bed, some days I struggle to be productive in my free time. I know I spend WAY too much time just surfing random information on the internet. I know my free time will be extra limited with the new arrival in April, but I want to do more blogging, reading, work around the house, and working on some side hustles.
I just want to say a very special thanks to everyone that’s still here reading. I know that inconsistency is one of the cardinal sins of blogging, but to me it’s just something I can’t avoid. Life just gets in the way sometimes…
I only have one goal when it comes to the blog – just write. I don’t know if I’ll be ever be able to make my blog consistent, but what I want to make a greater effort into publishing more often. It might not be weekly or biweekly, but I’ll commit to do more writing. Who knows, maybe I’ll go to self hosting one day ;). This goal could completely change once Baby #2 is born.
Blogging has been one of the more fulfilling things in my life. It’s been awesome connecting with a lot of people about this super nerdy topic called personal finance.
I might get off the wagon from time to time, but I’ll keep coming back to it.
Until next time faithful readers…