January 2011 started off with a bang. We had just paid off our credit cards, I had started my new job and it seemed we were finally getting control of our budget. Then we decided to do a fun money account for Eric. We put separate money into his own account that he could spend on whatever he wanted. We had finally figured out how handle bills and fun within our budget!
February rolled around and I continued trying to lose the 18 pounds I gained during the first eight months of our marriage. I also had trouble adjusting to our living situation and finally admitted that I was actually embarrassed of where we lived. But we realized that in order to be able to own our own home one day, we were going to have to make some sacrifices.
We went on a short vacation to Seattle in March when Eric had a test for the Seattle Fire Department. We had a great time, but were way over budget. I started couponing to save more money on our toiletries and groceries. And when I realized how much it was going to cost us to send Eric on future fire tests and interviews, I pretty much said adios to our hope of finally taking a real honeymoon.
We had some real growing pains in April when I realized Eric had completely mismanaged his fun money account, and was using a personal credit card without my knowledge. While we celebrated our one-year anniversary, we were also working on communicating more about finances. We also worked on being more spontaneous and Eric even took his first try at a blogging video.
May was a quiet month for us. I lamented about the pitfalls of being an EMT’s wife (sucky hours and crappy pay) and I was still trying to teach Eric about how to save money first, and purchase stuff after.
In July, I came up with a list of all the things I want to do before I have a baby. And while our relationship had improved since April, I was still debating those moments where I choose to be a good wife or a bad wife. I also learned some things from marriage, like the need to label your half of the food so your husband doesn’t eat it all.
We were able to cross off something on my baby bucket list in August: we went on a hot air balloon ride! Two weeks later, my husband quit his job. And even though we were now a one-income family, we still managed to squeeze in a trip to Palm Springs with my parents before Eric’s fire academy started.
In September, I celebrated my one-year blog birthday with a giveaway! I also realized my weight loss wasn’t going so great. I also revealed that Eric didn’t get the firefighter job he had applied for. I was heartbroken. Then I had to deal with spending so much money on Eric and his school, while I was the only one working. It was not fun. I also wrote about how we prepared to be a one-income family. At the end of September, I scored super cheap tickets to Costa Rica and I knew we were finally going to get to go on that honeymoon!
We were still surviving on one income in October. I began mystery shopping to make some extra money. At the worst possible time, my company changed up my paycheck cycle. We held our second annual garage sale and I realized I am the world’s worst mother. We also found out Eric landed an ambulance job that would start during our trip to Costa Rica–so we cancelled the flights.
In November, I decided to create a five-year plan for buying a home and I highlighted all the extra income I was making. It was the first month I started monetizing my blog and I was happy with the outcome. I also joined the Yakezie Challenge. I finally paid off my car and lowered our total debt!
December came and I explained the three myths about marriage. I also outlined our goals for the upcoming year and figured out where all our money went. Eric graduated from the fire academy and started his new job.
Overall, it was a year of ups and downs, but we had a lot of fun along the way. I am looking forward to a calmer and much more prosperous 2012!