Friday, January 4, 2013

Saving the Moola: December in review

It is strange to think another year has come and gone! Time sure does fly by quickly, and it makes Jason and I all the more appreciative to set goals, financially and in every other aspect of our lives, because time goes by whether or not we're doing something productive.

Jason and I look back on 2012 with happiness, and we're looking to 2013 with joy and wonder in our eyes! We're happy to share we made our savings goal for little Monster who is due in March. It is truly unbelievable and we're so grateful to our families for their generous gifts this past season. We're gearing up to buy a Vitamix blender, cloth diapers and a few odds and ends to finish Monster's room. We're so thankful to God for allowing all of this to happen.

December was a pretty easy month in terms of finances. We know December is easily a time when we spend a bit more money, and we did. But we planned for it, we knew it would happen, and we had such a great time relaxing with our families. We were pretty stoked every time we looked under our Christmas tree at the stack of presents there, knowing that 90% of them contained items that were homemade and thus, cost next to nothing. That, all on its own, was such a joy. But the greater joy came when we gave those presents, particularly when we gave monster stuffed animals to the little ones. I'll never forget the sight of my two nieces (one from Jason's brother, one from mine) hugging their pink monsters. It brought us such happiness!

In December, we shared our best tips for saving at the grocery store, and not a single trip included using a coupon! We do use coupons, but truthfully, this is not our main form of savings. You can read all about our best tips right here. You will never know how many times I was sure we were going to blow our grocery budget {particularly in December} and somehow, the amount at the register was exactly the amount we had in our grocery budget. The week before Christmas, we actually walked out of Meijer, shaking our heads and feeling like criminals because we had no clue how the exact amount our groceries were was the exact amount we had in our grocery budget and we got everything on our list and then some! Only by the grace of God.

More than anything, though, we just want to encourage you to reflect on 2012 - the best moments, the not-so-great moments, and the moments that if you knew then what you know now you would have made different choices. These moments, if you let them, will define and shape your 2013 into your best year ever. We're anxious to see what the new year brings - we literally have no clue. We have goals: the major goal to be debt free by the end of 2013. I have no clue if we can make it. At this point, we could not. But I know that I'm not the Master. I'm not the One with a plan. I mean, I have plans. But let's face it: I plan, God laughs. So I can have all the plans I want, but in the end, it's all on Him. Jason and I have adopted this motto for 2013:
Pray like it all depends on Him. Live like it all depends on you.
We're going to give everything up to God daily, but we're going to bust our butts and make smart choices like it's all up to us. It's not, thank GOD, but we know we can help God or hinder Him. And we're determined to do everything we can to carry out His best plan for us, even if it's not the plan we had for ourselves.

We wish you a very happy new year and pray the new year brings insight, smart choices and grace!

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