Reflection on 2009

As 2009 closes in just a few days, I sit and reflect how the year went for our family and the goals I shared at the beginning of the year.

Financial Freedom

On the financial front, we paid off a lot of our debt. I hoped to have it gone completely, but it’s not. And, honestly it’s partly because of my impatience on doing our hardwood floors. We did pay cash for that, but that cash could have gone to the debt. I guess we didn’t “live like no one else” in complete Dave fashion, but we did make some smart financial decisions throughout the year to ensure our debt will be paid off in early 2010. I will share more details in a 2010 goals post.

I use my Savings Tracking Spreadsheet so I have accurate totals of my savings for the year (unless my husband failed to give me a receipt that I am not aware of). In 2009, we saved a whopping $4,200 on our groceries and spent $4,800 in total. That is exactly $400 a month (which is our current budget – we still have diapers and formula in that). I made 147 transactions (each transaction is entered as a separate line item) which is around 12 transactions a month. I also averaged a total savings percentage of 46% for the entire year.

My 2009 Saving/Spending totals are aren’t as great as last year. My overall savings percentage in 2008 was around 61% with savings of roughly $6,500. Last year I also had 277 transactions entered.

The difference is interesting.

In 2009, I shopped a lot less, yet I spent more than the previous year when I did more transactions! I know a huge reason was not taking advantage of all the sales. Sure, we didn’t need a lot but I could have purchased many non-sale items like snacks, soda, and even diapers (on sale with a reward) by Drugstore Shopping. Those are higher priced purchases that I didn’t stockpile this year.

I also took a look at my highest savings percentage from a single transaction. Ironically, it was from Walgreens (back in August). I had a 95% savings and spent only $1.78 out of pocket after all coupons. Since I saved my receipts (yes, I do), I see that I used many coupons including the Rice Krispies coupons I received from Vocalpoint to get the cereal FREE, a Walgreens IVC to make money on toothbrushes and a Register Reward to help pay for my purchase.

Seeing this just confirms that Drugstore Shopping can have a huge impact on your budget! I can see now that the several months I went in between shopping CVS and Walgreens was a big part of why our savings wasn’t as great.

Weight Loss

The Fat Burnin’….ahhh….yes. Well, I haven’t posted as much lately just because I have really been busy with sharing more deals. I’m still going at it. I am hoping 2010 is the year I can finally just get to my goal! This year, I came within 5 pounds of my goal weight. Then some training I was doing caused me to gain. Then the summer hit and I gained some more. Now, I’m glad to say I’m just 10 pounds from goal again. I will be going hard at some training in 2010 (another one of those goals I’ll share)!

Organization and Domestic Stuff

I had so many good intentions, and I did follow through with many of them. Maybe you saw the Household Cleaning Task List. I did print out each page and place them in a binder as I mentioned. I also organized quite a bit of stuff throughout the year. It’s so funny how it can get undone with three children in the house..can ya relate??!!

I think I have cleaning ADD. I pull out the binder when I really want to stay on task and get stuff done. I can be so efficient when it comes to some things. When it comes to cleaning, I see so many *opportunities* to take advantage of.

I guess this area will always be a challenge for me. For this specific goal, my measure of success really is about my effort to be better. I made many concerted efforts. At least I’m still trying, right? Maybe I should ask my husband for a rating :)

Blogging

This wasn’t on the goals for last year, but I did make a few blogging goals. One very simple goal was to increase subscribers by 1,000 and I accomplished that within the first month of trying. I also said all along once I hit that 1-year mark (which was February, 2009), I would make a decision to change my design, get a button, and switch my domain. All of that happened in March. I’m still cleaning up old posts – so much to do!

The wool has been removed from my eyes as I looked at the community and business of blogging. I think I was truly naive to nasty behaviors. I was SO fortunate (sarcasm) to receive attacks from other bloggers and the media. Geesh, no one mentions a lot of the good that is a result of blogging, do they?

On a positive note, I have been able to do many cool things that I NEVER ever dreamed would be possible. When I started this back in February, 2008, I truthfully only thought my mom and friends would read. The fact that there are a few more reading now is a blessing, and an encouragement. I continue to do this for you, my readers!

The bottom line in all of this is that I have made some AMAZING friendships! I am lucky to have a circle that understands what true friendship and support means.

If I could sit with each of you in a room, I would tell you this…

I have so much work to do on myself. The mission I have for this site is to help you save on the things you need so you can spend your money on what you want. It’s what I do for our family and it’s just what I know. I am always open to feedback in any area that I share with you here. I love reading your email and comments (by the way, commenting is soooo easy to do). I can’t always respond back to every single one, but I do read them all! I appreciate you being a part of my story for 2009!

I will come back and share my 2010 goals with you, as a way to be more accountable. I have some exciting things happening in the new year that are completely God ordained. When I tell you, you will only agree with it. The truth is that regardless of personal challenges we have been faced with, I (our family) feel blessed beyond measure. We lived, we learned, and we are standing firm thanks to our Solid Rock!

I shared more of the personal goals I mentioned over here. The entire post includes more personal *life* 2009 stuff. I didn’t want to bore you here :)

Did you share a recap or reflection of 2009? Link up below or share in the comments. I really think sitting down to evaluate life can help you prepare to have a good plan for the future. It certainly showed me that I have many blessings to be thankful for despite the rain.

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on December 30, 2009

4 Comments

  • A Cowboy's Wife - December 30, 2009 @ 9:26 am
    1

    Lookin’ forward to 2010!!! :)

  • Lavonne - December 30, 2009 @ 3:37 pm
    2

    Keep pluggin’ away. Life is all trial and error. I like to call it “being human”. We learn as we go (isn’t there a song similar to that??). We didn’t exactly live “Dave” fashion either, but, we didn’t take on any NEW debt and in 2 more months our 2nd mortgage will be paid in full ( in 4 yrs rather than in 10 yrs).
    I have my work cut out for me in 2010 :-) I will think of 2009 as my “learning” year.
    May God continue to bless and guide you and your family in 2010!

  • Stacey Carter - December 30, 2009 @ 6:17 pm
    3

    I would just like to say thank you for your blog, I am sorry that you have been attacked by the media and other bloggers but I appreciate your work. You have helped me to save money and I enjoy hearing about your debt relief. (My husband and I made that trek many years ago.) With 2 children in college all of the money I save has been a blessing. Thank you for all of your hard work!!

  • Tanya - December 30, 2009 @ 8:53 pm
    4

    Love your blog! I look forward to the cool stuff you come up with. :) My pantry is a little more organized after I stole “borrowed” your over the door shoe organizer. Thanks for the time and your A+ effort you put in for us! Looking forward to 2010!!! Wow, 2010!!! Can you make time slow down a bit?!
    Thanks again!

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