What Is, Was, & Will Be With My Mixed Up Money

purposeful means acknowledging that every single dollar I spend is worth spending

Last week I was brave enough to ask you guys what you wanted to read about for my first blog post back in 2019. I say brave because one of the options was to have me go through and dissect my 2018 spending and the other option was to divulge my personal money goals for 2019. To be completely honest, both of these tasks are daunting to me. I'm sure you haven't noticed at all (lol minus the complete lack of posting and newsletter sending), but I've gone through a ton of changes personally and business-wise in the past 12 months. I fully expect a few more dramatic changes to come in the forthcoming months as well. However, what is a blog if not to remind you of your successes, failures and most importantly — your laundry list of tiny mistakes that you thought you'd never have to face again? *awkward laughter ensues*

For example, last year I had a baby, began my maternity leave, was afforded some great side jobs, moved, and became a completely new person. Parts of that new person are extremely motivated and creative — and parts of that new person are neurotic and anxiety-ridden. But that's just charming, right?!?!?! I totally think so, too.

Last year was a money adventure that I wasn't sure I was prepared for. According to the internet, becoming a parent sounded like a literal financial nightmare.

With that mindset resting in my back pocket, I went into the journey overly prepared and with a dramatic amount of savings — to which I still have not touched. So, that was pretty cool. However, I did spend a lot of money on things I hadn't even heard of until my baby arrived. So, that was also pretty overwhelming.

My 2018 spending was... new

What does new even mean, though? Well, for starters, I purchased a lot of new things. Way more new things than I could have imagined. Parenting be like that sometimes. But in all honesty, I've finally come to terms with a new way of thinking after stifling myself from spending any of the money I have saved. I've learned a little thing I like to call balance (I know the best words, no one knows words better than me). It's liberating to know that you can afford to enjoy your life and also to transform your financial identity once you reach that level of understanding with your money.

As far as expenses go, I tried to get as much of my total spend as possible. However, given that my husband and I share one of our credit cards — I only had access to a portion of groceries/etc. So, I'll be making some assumptions in a few categories (labelled with a *).

Rent/Utilities $25,850.00
Travel* $4,007.81
Phone Service $2,953.08
Groceries* $2,785.92
Child Expenses* $2,171.54
Restaurant/Dining* $2,106.21
Entertainment $1,747.12
Clothing $1,107.06
Business Expenses $980.40
Healthcare/Medical $697.80
Gifts $584.65
Etc. $360.59
Service Charges $305.40
Hobbies $250.00
Total $45,907.58

I'm not very surprised by this number. We definitely needed to spend more this year given the new family member, and the complete lack of energy at times. Convenience fees are essential to the first year with a baby. However, service fees are not. I am legitimately razzed that I was charged over $300 by my bank. *shakes fist in air* 

Otherwise, this is the reality of someone who works long hours at multiple jobs, saves as much as they can for their goals, but also allows themselves to enjoy life without pushing the limit. That's how I justify my lifestyle anyways. You probably have your own opinions on that.

My 2019 spending will be... purposeful

What does purposeful mean? To me, purposeful means acknowledging the fact that every single dollar I spend is worth spending. I want to ensure that none of my purchases cause me to feel regretful or guilty. I also don't want to overbuy. I want to only buy what I need. My financial goals for 2019 are too important to be pushed aside by products that will only suffice for a short amount of time.

Speaking of financial goals — here they are:

  1. Finalize our down payment fund by July (we are more than on track for this bad boy). We currently throw all of our leftover money after paying bills and such at this account and that will continue until we hit summer!

  2. Replenish our travel fund for our larger trips planned for 2020 and beyond. Once we have finalized our down payment fund it'll be time to plan for more exciting things!

  3. Become a parent with my money (finalize a will, look at better life insurance options, etc.)

  4. Eliminate the old items in my life and replace them with quality items that "spark joy" as Marie Kondo would say

My 2019 personal goals will be... learned skills

My personal goals may not be important to everyone — but in reality, personal goals affect your financial goals. How you feel, your mood, and your lifestyle will all impact your saving and spending habits. So, when you wonder how we will achieve the above goals, it's partially through these:

  1. Jump back head first into my career come May

  2. Learn to balance family and work

  3. Lead a more organized life

  4. Rebrand Mixed Up Money to reflect who I have become in the past two years (I'm excited and I think you should be, too)

I have had the same mantra in life for a few years now — "nothing less" — but maybe it's time to change this outlook. I've learned that if there is one thing I'm not, it's detail oriented. I love to look at the big picture and this includes living my life one day at a time. However, now that I'm a mom, I find it more and more impossible to go through my days not knowing what to expect. Routine is a very large part of our lifestyle, and the future is more present than the actual present. Rather than "nothing less" I think the better mantra for 2019 and beyond is "look ahead".

Do you know what you spent last year? Do you know what you want to save for this year? Please let me know in the comments! I'll actually reply to those in 2019, hehe.