I got a lot of shit done in this past year of my life. Tomorrow I add on one more year to my age and I’m actually (now) looking forward to it. I feel like I have paved the way for what probably could be the best year of my life… physically, emotionally, mentally, and yes, even financially. For once I feel like I have an actual handle on this whole weight/health issue and for the first time in my adult life, I am acting responsibly with my finances and am actually not only sticking to a budget, but also lowering my debt.
Holy crap I think I might finally be a grownup! Eeks!
They say your 30’s can be the best years of your life and up until these past few days, I didn’t believe them.
But this week has brought change and with that control and progress in my life, I am on a high and have never felt so satisfied and complete and happy with my place in life… at least for the moment while all is well. (Trust me, if my tenants in my old house up and leave us and we’re stuck finding new tenants, my financial happiness would take a nose dive… but for now, things are really good.)
For the first time ever I have a glimpse of what it must feel like to live within your means and actually have “extra” money (I put that in quotes because right now it’s not extra, it’s paying our debt, but maybe someday it will be… if there is still overtime or my hubby gets a good raise). I am sending off extra payments to credit cards, catching up on monthly bills we were behind on and today for the first time since I can remember, I paid off a credit card!!! By this time next month I should have paid off another as well. One more payment to the mortgage company and we won’t be behind there anymore either (student loans are all caught up!). God it feels good to be able to do that. I’ve never gotten any sort of rush or high or even good feelings from paying bills before, but I sure am now. Dare I say it compares to the high I used to get from food?
We went from an average of ordering in food at least 8-12 times per month to only 4 times this past month. And I have to say that at first it was like I was a druggie and wanted a fix when I quit ordering in for the first full week. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to just go to my laptop and submit an order and I had to stop myself over and over. It got much easier in the second week and now I could care less! In fact, Fridays were supposed to be the approved night to order in (I am allowing and budgeting 4 times per month and Fridays made the most sense) and I skipped it last night. The pleasure in paying down my debt is more satiating than some crap takeout food would be. Holy crap… is this *ME* writing this???
Why else am I in such a good mood today? Well, because I finally broke through my weight plateau this week! My weight had been stuck for the last 3 weeks. Thanks to my most current Biggest Loser Challenge via my team on Sparkpeople, I was forced to re-evaluate my calories – figure out my BMR, etc. Turns out what I thought my “losing” calorie range was actually not and anymore and when I looked at my past weeks’ calories it was pretty damn obvious why I was maintaining. Even though I had lower calorie days, my higher ones had me averaging exactly what it takes to maintain my weight. Doh. So with fresh eyes on my new calorie range and a more than willingness to hit a calorie deficit each day, I’ve actually already gone down 4 lbs this week and for the first time, I surpassed my former lowest weight and final weigh-in for my 365/100 Project! Woot woot!
It sure took me long enough (and having to re-lose those holiday pounds sure didn’t help!)
Since we’re making so much progress financially, I feel that it would be completely reasonable (and still financially responsible) to treat my family to a vacation. My son will have school vacation and my hubby already arranged to take off that same time, so we already have the perfect time figured out.
Sure, it’s a little like treating yourself to ice cream for losing weight to spend money on a vacation for paying debts, but my hubby has been seriously kicking butt working so much overtime (and a month of on call is coming up too) that I feel like as long as we’ve paid all that month’s bills and can pay for the trip without using a credit card (and pay off another specific debt I have in mind before then), it is much needed and deserved.
It would be just a small trip… a 3 hour drive and a couple nights’ stay at a cheap hotel. Honestly, it would be the first official family vacation we’ve ever gone on that a) we pay for ourselves and b) did not involve meeting up with or hanging out with other family members or a combo of a & b as all of our limited past “vacation” experiences encompassed. To put it briefly, it would be special… just ours.
I’m still not booking any hotels yet as I want to see how the beginning of March pans out (when I’ll receive most all of our statements and see the bottom-line), but I’m pretty certain there’s a trip in our future and a happy family memory to be made.
Things are looking up and I welcome my fresh new year of life. Happy Birthday to me tomorrow.