Friday, December 30, 2011

Year In Review

As 2011 comes to a close, I'm reflecting on all I've accomplished this year. I started this year out with a lot of goals. My primary focus was to change our lives financially.

At this time last year my family of 7 was living in a single wide, 3 bedroom trailer with absolutely no elbow room. Our bank account was overdrawn as usual. Our bills were all past due, as usual. We didn't have a dime to our names. I was uneducated and unemployed.

At the start of 2011 I set out to change most of that. I did not expect to change our living situation within the year, I figured that would take some time. I also wasn't really planning on enrolling in school. I just wanted a job. Any job. Just a job to help make ends meet and start changing things for the better. I just wanted our financial life to be easier.

January was a big month. I did get a job, working part-time at Subway. I also enrolled in college so that I could eventually have a good job.. possibly even a career.

Since January of 2011 we did not overdraw our bank account even once. I also managed to open up 2 savings account which for most of the year held a balance of a couple hundred dollars each, though of course both of those savings accounts were drained recently to supplement our holiday shopping.. but I have a full year ahead to rebuild those accounts and hopefully not need to dip into them as much next Christmas season.

Also, since January 2011 none of our bills were paid past due (except rent once, but it was done on purpose.. and I'll explain that in a second here).

In October of 2011 I got a new job, at a bank, where I am still employed. (I know it's been awhile since I've posted so I will say that I am loving my new job, and I did quit Subway early in November).

This last month of the year hasn't been such a great one. Our holiday was good, much better than previous years due to having some extra cash to spend on gifts for the kids. They all made out very well and were all very happy with their gifts. (I also got a Coach purse that I am very happy with).

However, my husband's father, who was diagnosed with Leukemia, started getting worse during the month of December, and finally died on December 27th. He'd been sick for 2 years, but there was nothing that could be done due to his age and other illnesses.

Three weeks ago my family moved into my father in law's 4 bedroom home. Our intent was to be there to care for him during his final weeks because we were told on Thanksgiving that his time was limited. However, the same weekend we moved in, my father in law was told that his illness was too severe to allow him to return home again. He remained in the hospital until space opened up in a hospice facility a few days before Christmas, and he was there when he passed.

We moved into the house anyways, as it was left to us in his will, and there's really no reason the home should be taken away for any reason. FIL did not have any major medical bills since he went to the Veteran's Hospital free of charge.

So as I prepare to start 2012 life is completely different than it was a year ago. I have thus far completed 3 semesters of college and should obtain my degree by this time next year. I am employed part-time at a bank, making a decent wage. My hope is that I get more hours at the bank by this time next year. And my family no longer lives in a cramped trailer. Instead we have a nice sized 4 bedroom home with a large yard in a nice neighborhood.

Considering these facts I have not really set any New Year's Resolutions. I just hope to continue on the path I'm currently on, finish school, remain in this house and fix it up a bit more, and hopefully have more hours at the bank in the coming year.