Merry, Happy, Everything!
I hope those who celebrate had a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and/or lovely, safe, relaxing winter weekend. And happy belated birthday to Hope (whose birthday was Christmas Day).
Christmas 2022 recap
We had a beautiful Christmas eve and Christmas morning. We did one big gift for the girls – a trip to Disney, this upcoming February. I’m tired of clutter and excess and waste and was excited to give an experience gift. That said, I didn’t want the girls to have nothing to open on Christmas morning. As a result, I opted to give the girls several gift packages containing necessities – gift boxes with new socks and undies, stockings stuffed with deodorant and razor blade refills. Lots of things I would purchase anyway as necessitates, but decided to wrap them up and put them under the tree so it still felt full. I literally wrapped up containers of shampoo and conditioner. And shower items like body wash and new loofahs.
My mom gave a couple fun things that are still practical, but feel more “fun” than the necessities I provided. Her bigger gifts included some floating shelves for one of my daughters, and a new bedroom comforter set for the other. Both things from their Amazon Wish Lists, but not things that would add clutter or junk. I was very pleased with the outcome – lots of gifts to open, but a strong emphasis on practical necessities over extras.
And, of course, the upcoming Disney trip was both girls’ favorite gift. We can’t wait!
New Year 2023
Thank you for your comments on my last post about financial planning for 2023. You have given me a lot to think about – especially the comments about whether to put extra money into our house (as principal-only overpayments on our mortgage) in an effort to pay it off early VERSUS taking that same money and investing it, given that the return on investment will be higher than our savings on our mortgage due to the super low interest (2.625% fixed).
In the end, hubs and I have decided we’re going to schedule an appointment with a financial advisor sometime in the new year. We were already hoping/planning to find a CPA to help with our taxes and it seems like it’d be a good time to throw a financial advisor into the mix. I wish there was an office with both (CPA & financial advisors) in-house so we could do a two-birds, one-stone approach. Not to mention that their advice can be overlapping and complimentary, so it would make sense for there to be an office that handles both. Regardless, I’m excited to be at a point in our lives where we can talk about future financial planning and make more strategic decisions about money. Don’t get me wrong, getting out of debt is still a major priority. But it used to be my ONLY priority to the exclusion of all else and I’m now taking a more balanced approach – still aiming to get out of debt once and for all!!! But also thinking and planning about retirement and other financial goals.
When thinking about the New Year, do you make financial goals or resolutions?
Any advice for first-time appointments with a financial advisor? Major questions to ask or things to address?
Hi, I’m Ashley! Arizonan on paper, Texan at heart. Lover of running, blogging, and all things cheeeeese. Late 30’s, married mother of two, working as a professor at a major university in the southwest. Trying to finally (finally!) pay off that ridiculous 6-digit student loan debt!