Happy 2010!

01 January 2010

Times Square BallImage by berk2804 via Flickr

Wow! I cannot believe it's the start of a new decade! I so enjoy the first day of the new year, to me it is so fresh and clean, ready to make of it what we will. I want to say a huge Thank You to all my wonderful readers and sponsors. Thanks so much for being a part of my ramblings! The past year has been full of many ups and downs for us. In 2010, we are hoping for more ups than downs. Things are changing for us this year and I pray these will be positive changes.

My goals for 2009 didn't exactly get met. I've struggled with family life, finances, motherhood, you name it. There have been highs and lows, unexpected events, and lots of surprises. This year, we are trying to be better about making plans and sticking to them.

First of all, my children are growing up so fast. My number one priority this year is to spend more quality time together. I hope this will be a whole family event, but I can't control others. All I know is that I am vowing to spend quality, one on one time with my kids each and everyday. I feel like they are growing up so quickly that my time with them is flying by. I want to cease the moment while I can. This may seem like a crazy goal for some, I think being a great mom comes easier to some than it does me. But, I didn't exactly learn parenting from my parents. So, my kids and the whole family will be my first priority. I hope we will all grow closer this year.

Dan and I've made some big decisions about finances this year. The biggest choice we've made is to give up the van. The van payment is the difference between us being able to make it financially and not. This is big for us, as the van was our first real "new" car. We were so excited about being able to pay off a car and have something nice for a change. Two years later, we've sunk thousands of dollars into repairs, plus been struggling to make a car payment we truly cannot afford. Lesson learned, putting yourself in an impossible debt situation is not exciting. So, who cares if everyone else has a nicer car than us? We plan to pay cash for the best late model used car we can find. It makes a lot more sense to us than continuing to make large payments we cannot afford. As a friend of mine said about it, Dave Ramsey would be proud!

On a financial note, we are not frivolous people. We have no credit cards, do not go on vacations, and rarely spend money on anything other than paying bills, buying gas, and groceries. Even so, on one income in a small Texas town, financial survival can be tough. So, we are recommitting ourselves to tracking every penny we spend. We want to know where our money is going, so we can easier track what is necessary and what is not. We are not going to try to set ourselves to a strict fixed amount like we attempted last year, but we are going to be more careful.

As for food, it has become very clear that most of our grocery shopping needs to be done out of town. I have local friends who argue that you spend more money driving out of town, but I've done the math and, for us anyway, completely disagree. The gas we spend driving 70 miles round trip to the neighboring town still doesn't add up to what we spend on groceries here. We have one grocery store here, so they are naturally very high. Driving out of town adds about $10 to the cost of a grocery store trip. What it comes down to is that I can buy a months worth of groceries in the neighboring town for what I'd spend on two weeks worth here. Even when you throw in that ten bucks in gas money, making that drive is definitely worth it!

We are also learing to make do with what we have and make things ourselves. I call it creative frugality, even though it isn't all that creative. No more buying laundry soap, all purpose cleaners, etc. If I can find a way to make my own, I will.

So, these are just a few of the things I hope to work on this year. Writing them down and sharing them with you tends to make me more accountable.

What are some of your goals for the new year? Please share them with us. I look forward to supporting you in your goals and wish you a fabulous New Year!



Blia said...

It seems like you've got some great goals planned for this year. Good luck & happy New Year! Visiting from SITS.

Priscilla said...

Youve got a lot more done than others have, trust me. Happy new year!

Vivianne's Vista said...

I wish you the best in the New Year. Your goals are clearly defined and it sounds like you are on the way to making them come true. Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

I hear you on the one income, small town thing. Good luck with your goals!

Unknown said...

Hi Nessa! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!! I love meeting new friends!! A very happy 2010 to you!!

Crazee Juls said...

Happy New Year, Nessa! Here's hoping that you see all of your goals fulfilled in the new year! And girl, keep your chin up-I think you're doing a great job with your kids!!

PJ said...

Hey Nessa! Happy and A Blessed New Year to you and Yours! I 'm with you on the grocery shopping. Don and I go out of town every month for groceries. Sometimes we go to Stephenville, and other times we go to Abilene to Dyess AFB snce we have military privileges. It definitely makes a difference. The mark up much higher here than it is in many places I've seen. So Here's to ya Girl!

Love ya bunches!


~dawn said...

Hey there Nessa- just returning the favor and visiting your site... Nicely done.

As for saving money on cleaning supplies... get yourself a quality microfiber cloth-- or 4- and use it with water. Add a little white vinegar for windows, and bathroom tiles and other shiny things. You can use it on the floors with one of those swiffer mops- just tuck the microfiber into the little holes instead of the expensive throw away pads and use a squirt bottle of water to clean the floors... again a little vinegar in the water will disinfect as you go.
To clean stainless steel... use OLIVE Oil and a paper towel. Just wipe it on and buff off the finger prints and smudges... works on any stainless surface or appliance like a charm. And your hands feel really soft afterward!
Anytime you need some help with a creative way to make ends meet just ask me, I have probably already been there and done that!

mean mom productions said...

We're doing the same here. Stricter budget etc.

Jayde said...

Sounds like very good goals/resolutions however you want to say it. I wish you luck with the new year!

Dawn said...

You have made wonderful goals to follow this year.

I didn't make any per say, but I do have a few things tucked away in my mind that I would like to see accomplished this year.
The big one being better with the finances.
We kind of let ourselves go in 2009with money (no, we didn't spend, spend, spend, we just judt didn't save, save, save like we should have) so we'll be working on that.

Spiritually I am always setting goals for myself, and this year I hope to grow and blossom in GOD like I did when I first got saved 8 years ago. :)

2010 blessings from another TX housewife,


TexasBobbi said...

We also gave up one of cars this year. So we are a one car family yes we have one Car payment but it is better then 2.