Well hello! I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my last post. I actually struggled to remember my password to log in and write this article…. So yes, it’s been awhile! Allow me to catch you up on why I’ve been gone (the easy to blame answer, then the truth) and why I’ve returned. Let’s begin! Again…
I think we can all agree 2020 was an abnormal year. Global pandemics aren’t a common occurrence, and working in healthcare during one isn’t that amazing (tiny bit of sarcasm). I was also distracted and saddened by world events such as the Australia fire, the events igniting the BLM movement, and who USA had as their leader.
It would be easy (and somewhat true) to say that 2020 was so overwhelming that I did not have the mental capacity to write.
Honestly though? That’s not my main reason.
The truth: I would have felt like a hypocrite if I wrote about money last year.
Many great things also happened in my life in 2020, but the highlight was moving in with my boyfriend (now fiance!). I’d lived alone for a few years prior and wasn’t certain I’d enjoy being around anyone full time. I’m happy to report I was wrong.
We have numerous things in common, but self-identifying as being good with money would be top 5. We’d both had financial goals prior to meeting (I wanted to pay off debt; he had recently bought a house) and we were making good independent progress. We assumed when we moved in together that finances would work like magic. Two good incomes, no kids, and combined household expenses? Oh the possibilities!
Things didn’t quite go that way however…..
Two incomes= less savings?
We don’t quite know why (Perhaps the world crashing around us? Perhaps that’s just another excuse?) but when combined we got quite lax with our money. All of a sudden we had “spare” money we weren’t use to having. Did we make great choices?
No…. no we did not.
I’m likely being too hard on us. It’s not like we totally went off the deep end. We did still continue to invest and pay down some debt, but our progress feels shameful to us compared to our income last year. An income we also know we were lucky to achieve, especially in a year so many people lost their jobs.
We began ordering food regularly (something neither of us did independently), we went to the mountains every weekend (but we camped!), we bought items we “needed” *ahem, wanted*, and we even bought a teardrop trailer!
Did we have fun? Yes. Lots!
Honestly the highs of 2020 are some of the best moments of my life. We spent countless days hiking, we got engaged, and I climbed a mountain with incredibly significant emotional attachment. I don’t regret the year.
How did it feel when we realized how much we’d earned in 2020 compared to how much our financial position had improved?
It felt a lot like stepping out onto the edge in my climbing video above: horrifying.
We didn’t want to regret the year we’d had, because we both loved it. However, we knew we’d be upset with ourselves if we repeated it.
That lead to HUGE money discussions about what we really value and want out of life.
The highlight of the year was our adventures… how could we guarantee we could have more?
It’s hard getting approval for the vacation time we want, and neither of us like having to ask…. how could we make those decisions for ourselves?
Ultimately the conversation circled back to what we’d discussed prior to moving in together: We wanted financial independence.
We want to work only if/when/where we want. We want to be able to take our future kids on multi-month adventures and see the world.
The hard truth: we are not there yet. Not by a long shot.
Welcome to what I’m calling Money Gremlin 2.0.
The beginning. Again.
This will no longer be MY financial story; it will be ours. In upcoming posts I’ll share in detail what our plans are, and how we hope to get there.
If you look around you’ll notice I’ve removed anything identifying myself. I plan on continuing this blog anonymously so that I can share specific $ values and details about our lives that we wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with you any other way.
For the long-time readers that already know who I am: Shhhh. You’re grandfathered in about my identity, but I would appreciate you keeping my secrets.
I’m excited for our plan, and I’m excited to share it with you.
Happy 2021! Welcome back.
Oh the year I had!
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