I love December – and it’s not just because it’s my birthday month. December is the end of a chapter. The result of intertwined storylines set to continue through the book of life, this month grants a period of reflection and decisive action towards your next adventure. It’s a genuine privilege to “start” again. Everyone could use a do-over once in a while, right? December leads into a new year with opportunities to stay the course or choose a new direction. I, for one, am excited to take a step back and think about the possibilities.
November was an intense month of never-before-done DIY stress and triumph. While we SUCCESSFULLY completed our laminate floor installation, it was not without a slew of continued late night efforts, a ton of help from Dad, and a few bumps and bruises. Combined with what felt like endless work hours, we exhausted ourselves right up to Thanksgiving! Sad news marked the end of our month, which reminded us that life is fleeting.
Heading into December, we carry that reminder as a reinforcement to truly live this life we have. We look forward to spending our time with each other, our family, and our friends. Here’s to a new month!
Revisiting November 2018 Goals
Install laminate flooring on our first floor
Brian and I are so happy this is done with. Thanks to a lot of help from Dad, we were able to finish up our floor the day before Thanksgiving. We definitely learned some new things and will eventually use our skills for more DIY projects.
Make a decision about health care
Well, I did it…I decided to join Brian’s plan. I tried to find a reasonable plan on my own, but they were nowhere near the quality nor cost of the plans available to Brian. We entertained the HSA option, but in the end, it was much more beneficial to stick with Brian’s current plan. Though the monthly premium is higher, the overall coverage and convenience is far better than the HSA.
Complete our Christmas shopping
We are about 85% finished with our Christmas shopping! We utilized these awesome tips to help save money on our purchases. Brian and I even hit the outlets and strategically combined coupons that resulted in over $300 worth of savings. We only have a few more gifts to go.
Get back on the reading train
Fail. Big time fail. I’m embarrassed to admit that I had to renew my books 3 times…which used up all of my renewals. Sadly, I had to return my books without finishing any of them. Time got away from us.
Review house and car insurance
Brian and I bundled our house and car insurance and reviewed our policies for adjustments. In negotiating with our insurance provider, we were able to save nearly 20% on our policies!
December 2018 Goals
Have a relaxing Christmas holiday:
Brian and I mainly do our Christmas shopping online. We prefer to avoid the craziness and crankiness of crowds. Over the years, I have witnessed people become way less patient and much more aggressive. We will grocery shop during off-peak hours and stick to shopping online for the rest of our gifts. To have a relaxing holiday, we will put up a pre-lit Christmas tree, indulge in naps, and move slowly and deliberately (without the rush of ‘Christmas’ pressure) while enjoying our time with family.
Brainstorm and solidify our 2019 Financial Goals:
To be perfectly honest, I have already started saving for one of my goals…I even created a new high yield savings account JUST to store my extra funds in for my 2019 IRA savings. In any case, we will take this month to think about what other financial goals we want to set for 2019.
Finish at least 1 book:
Maybe, just maybe, if I quantify my reading goal, then I might really be able to push myself to reach it! Our weeknights are more open now that the flooring is done. All I have to do is get back to the library to check out my books again.
Plan our big Italy getaway:
We are planning to visit Italy next year to celebrate 10 years together! Unfortunately, we haven’t had too much time to research and set things in motion. Brian and I will make it a point to get a real picture of the “when and wheres” of our trip.
Try some new recipes:
We tried a couple of new dishes for Thanksgiving and really enjoyed them. This December, not only will we try out a new recipe for Christmas, but we will also make some new dishes for regular weeknight dinners. Time to crack open some of our cookbooks. Hello, Anthony Bourdain!
I’m looking forward to a month of personal reflection and future planning. December can be a hectic month if you let it be. With these goals in mind, we hope to remain committed to enjoying the holidays without the stress.
What do you have going on this month?