Friday, January 3, 2014

Saving the Moola: December in review

It is difficult to really believe 2013 has come and gone. Our lives changed in so many ways throughout this year that I just can't help but reflect on it all.

Jason and I became first-time parents to a little baby girl. Jason started working at a local security alarm company, and shortly after I returned to work, the company I worked for and I parted ways and I began staying home with our Bug full time.

And just as I was settling into a routine with that, I found a new calling! In December, I started a nanny position for a little boy. It is so, so good to be able to work from home and have my daughter on the job with me. It allows for a lot of freedom. This little boy is quickly adapting to our ways - helping with dinner, picking up his toys after he's done with them, listening to stories as we read them aloud. We're grateful for the extra income this job is providing and are hoping it will help us meet some needs we have right now.

Jason also started tutoring this year and recently gained a second student! His goal is four students per week. He meets with his first student every now and then, but not on a set schedule so he's looking to add three more students. The income from tutoring has helped meet a lot of wants. Jason purchased all of his Christmas gifts for us from his tutoring money and has treated us to dinner a couple of times. He loves tutoring and helping students learn. It has been such a blessing.

Usually, we sell jam throughout the year, but 2013 was an odd year. I don't think we had sold a single jar of jam until December. This isn't really an issue, but we can extra in the summer to sell, so we have a lot of jam in our pantry! I finally started to advertise a bit more (and plan to increase this exponentially in 2014), and we sold some jam in December! Thank you to my wonderful customers. I put the money in our jam envelope, so when summertime rolls back around, we can invest that money back into making more jam. 

Financially speaking, I feel like we're on our way for 2014. I feel like we have a lot of good things set up, and even though I don't know what God's plan is, I feel sure that He's there with me every step of the way, through the good, the bad and the ugly.

I plan to continue my nanny position for at least the full first half of 2014, so long as we all agree we're all having fun and this is a good thing (including the little boy and his family). Jason is actively working on growing his student base for tutoring and is praying for guidance and direction regarding his job and what the future holds for him there. I plan to advertise our side businesses a bit more in 2014 - jam, earrings, other crafting goodies we make. My mom and I have also been talking about another side business idea for me that may come to fruition to some degree in 2014. We'll also continue to blog here, although growing the blog isn't a focus for me in 2014. Over the summer of 2013, I actually had made the decision to take a long hiatus from the blog (a long indefinite hiatus). But at the end of September, when I found myself without a job and thus with more time on my hands, I knew God had paved the way for me to continue to share our lives here, on our little space on the web. I'm thankful to Him for that and I have a lot of new things planned for the blog in 2014.

In short, we have a lot of balls in the air, as we always do! There's never a dull moment around here. 2013 was a year of change for us, and I'm looking forward to what unfolds in 2014.

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