Why Yes, This is a Personal Finance Blog

I know it doesn't seem like it lately.

I have been playing a lot of show and tell with our crafts and food but not when it comes to our finances. And that is not a necessarily a bad sign. I'm not hiding anything. Our finances have just been moving along rather smoothly but we do have a few updates...
  • We started three 529 Plans a couple months ago. Each plan gets $50 a month. It's not as much as I would like but we will be increasing this further down the line. The payments are set up automatically. It's fantastic.
  • Last month, I started two Roth IRAs through USAA. Again, these payments are set up automatically. Right now it's set at $125 each, a month but these will get a slight increase at the beginning of the year. I won't be maxing out any Roths this year (or next) but I am sure as heck not going to wait to contribute until we can get to that point. I am doing it now.
  • The Sailor and I have moved into the 21st century and got ourselves some smart phones. Wait, wait! This was always a planned expense. I fretted many a day on whether or not to do this, but in the end the smart phone and the unlimited package won. The Sailor had to turn in his work phone so he needed a new one anyway and my phone was four years old. We were actually eligible for upgrades in June of 2010 and we tried to be as frugal as possible. We only got "free" phones and found out we were eligible for a 15% military discount. This "upgrade" does increase our monthly bill by almost $100 but now that we are debt free we can afford it.
  • Side income is boomin' this month. Through Etsy sales and blog income I have made over $1200 just in December. Almost every penny has gone to our emergency fund, the rest went to charitable donations. I am excited to share that our efund is a little over $6200 at this point. 
  • Christmas is done! Buying, shipping, wrapping all done. I almost can't believe it myself. It is a wonderful feeling. This has been the least stressful Christmas ever and I am really enjoying the holiday season for all the right reasons. 
December has been a good month for us so far. The Sailor and I had a nice getaway at the beginning of the month. I can't explain how happy I am that we saved up for that trip and we were able to let our hair down a bit. I say a bit, because we still have some moolah left over in our vacation fund. So we are being completely spontaneous and going on a family ski trip the week before Christmas!

This is very unlike us as far as spontaneity but the Sailor will be leaving at the beginning of January for five to six months. This will be a last hurrah before he has to ship out.

I feel like I have to say that we are reaping the rewards of our hard work. This, these things, are the reasons why I wanted to be out of debt in the first place. Here we are saving and planning for the future and living in the now, without having to pay for it later.
(insert sappy portion of post here)
Everyday I am thankful for this blog. I started it on a whim and it brought me to a wonderful place. I know that I would not be at this point in my life without it and all the perks that come with having a blog. Like the encouragement and advice from fellow bloggers and readers. Thank you! I am just happy to share our journey and hope others feel like they can do it too.