The Start of 2009

Goodness what a hectic end of 2008 it was! Our Christmas break back in Maine was enjoyable, but heavily laden with drama. Family members spilled the beans on pieces of recent history that really shouldn’t have been said, screaming children, foolish blow-outs, a totalled rental car, a dead deer, a broken car with a $525 bill, and a full time mother-in-law house guest. The whole thing lasted a week and a day. But everything was behind us and dealt with by New Years Eve day. My husband and I had the day off together yesterday, spending our time getting things cleaned up and put away, while being able to reconnect and relax for the first time since December 23rd.

As crazy as it was, I have been able to find the good in a lot of the issues.

  1. The beans have been spilled, and as much as we didn’t want to hear it, it’s off someone elses’ shoulders, and we are now a little wiser.
  2. Screaming children in a restaurant (making us be “that” table that drives everyone nuts) was embarrassing, but an effective birth control.
  3. The blow-outs were not at all our problem to deal with.
  4. My sister totalling her rental car by hitting a 275 lb. deer (kid you not) left one family with a year worth of meat, another with more than enough to finish out the winter, and us with a few pounds to enjoy. There’s nothing better than a free meal!
  5. The broken car and massive bill was hard to deal with, but we were barely out of town when the breaks went, keeping us safe from what could have been a deadly ride. The car is now safe, ready to pass inspection, and possibly a little more fuel efficient. The loss of $525 hurt, but we were really lucky to have it available. I had received a $300 Christmas bonus from work, $100 from my mother from Christmas (to cover any expenses the winter was to throw at us- surprise!) and I had $80 set aside in my “extra” box. After I grabbed an extra $20 out of our gas fund, we had $500 even. That left us with only $25 that we had to eat. So really, it didn’t affect us. Sure it would have been great to put some of that on the credit cards or in the savings, but we luckily had it available for such emergency. This experience has left me with a new realization of how important it is to have a hefty savings cushion available. I’ve heard that you should have a month’s worth of expenses in a savings account, but who really can put that much aside? $500 is a pretty big cushion, and that shall be my new goal of keeping that amount in our savings account for such emergencies.

So now all that is behind us. Everywhere you turn, you hear how hard 2009 is going to be for this country and the rest of the world. It’s time to start tightening the belt, paying off debt, reducing costs, increasing savings, learning to do more for ourselves, and starting to stock up. I’m excited to say that we received a bread machine for Christmas and can’t wait to start playing with that. This weekend I am also going to start a small overhaul and project in the kitchen in order to increase our storage space, get rid of some of the things we don’t use, and hopefully, make room for a small stockpile area. And although it’s work, my husband will be excited to have an excuse to use his tools. 😉

Wishing all a happy, healthy, and all around great 2009.

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