The last year was a great year for our family. We worked hard and finished paying off our debt, Jill had a killer season with her cake business, we completed the final projects on our house (that has taken us 7 years), and are now seeing our heartfelt dreams of long term travel in Italy come into fruition.
Throughout the past year, with seasons of hard work and balance, we have learned some incredible lessons to live by.
There is no “good” debt. Paying it off and living with cash is the best decision we have ever made. This has been a process for us that started the end of 2009. It was an amazing feeling to send off a final payment for a school loan in 2012.
A huge resource for us was Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. We learned how to stay on a budget and live within our means. It’s amazing how many things that you don’t really “need”.
Be realistic with your time. You can’t create more time in a day, you can only prioritize the things that matter most to you, and you have to be at peace when things take longer than expected. Kids don’t always go to sleep on time, a home remodel job takes seven years instead of one year, and a school loan seems like you are trying to chip away a mountain with a hammer. Our household joke is, “I didn’t think it would take that long!”
Just because it is a good opportunity doesn’t make it good for you! Learn to edit yourself.
Stay positive. Be informed but don’t let the news and media rule you! There is way too much doom and gloom out there. Life is good. It’s not always great, but it’s not always terrible. It’s good. Be thankful.
Keep everything simple.
We feel very blessed for the lessons that 2012 have brought us. Let’s head into 2013 with great expectation and see what we can learn together.