The Start of a New Year!

Western Cider Co., a welcome new addition to Missoula that we checked out last night!

2019! Here we are! We are blessed to be able to make a new start in a new year with new beginnings. I’m glad we get this chance to wipe the slate clean every 12 months. Much like the turning of the calendar to the next month, I really do enjoy the feelings that a new year brings: optimism, new energy for creating and accomplishing wonderful things, a real chance to start over, whether last year was good or bad.

I would like to take a minute to thank those of you who have been reading this blog so far. I’ve had probably a dozen people reach out to me or comment when we meet up that they are glad this blog is here and that they have enjoyed the content thus far. Thank you for the encouragement!

Looking ahead at this new year, there is a lot to be excited about. This year, Josilyn will graduate in May with a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. I could not be more proud of her! She will be applying for jobs this spring, so we are excited to see what openings arise. We are hoping to move back to Montana in that process, likely in May or June. At that point, we will have the opportunity to continue living on just my salary and socking away money to pay off student loans. This year should be an excellent chance for us to chip away at a significant portion of that debt.

Goals are best pursued when others are aware of them. One of the reasons I don’t consistently find myself in the gym at this point is that I do not have an accountability or lifting partner. Definitely my own problem, but because I do not have that person it is much less likely that I can accomplish goals for physical activity. I’ve gotta work on that! This blog allows me to make our journey somewhat public, keeping me motivated to keep moving ahead. This is a financial blog so we are focusing on that for now.

Right now I’ve got a wager with my father in law that we will be 100% debt free by the time Josilyn completes her first full year of work as an SLP. This puts our timeline at about May or June of 2020, or about 18 months. It’s a lofty goal, but I believe we can do it! I am going to create a new page here on the site to track that payoff goal on a monthly basis. Feel free to check in with our progress here!

Today’s post is a bit less technical in nature due to my feeling a bit under the weather. But I will share one piece of financial advice for you that I’ve been considering myself. As this year begins, take a look at your social calendar and write out dates that you know you will have non-standard budget items. For us, this will be a couple of plane tickets for two different trips to North Dakota, wedding gifts for a couple of weddings we will be attending, and potentially saving some money for a moving truck. Giving attention to these things will save you from having to dip into your emergency fund and will lower any stress associated with spending that money since you will know it is coming.

Also, as a side note, please feel free to reach out to me via email, text, or Facebook message. I love hearing from people and giving advice where I am able. I’ve already learned a lot from others who are on a similar path of pursuing financial freedom!

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