If you are reading this, then you have fallen down an internet rabbit hole, and you have also made it to the 2016 Winter Solstice. If you are in the northern hemisphere it means that the sun will return. Each day, from now until the summer solstice, we will experience a few more minutes of daylight. Hurrah! It is also a time to reflect on the year behind us and the year ahead.
What kind of year was 2016?
Everything changed and yet everything stayed the same. The year began with off the charts work stress, high anxiety, a new boss and being passed over for a promotion, losing 20 pounds and more gray hair.
The year ended with a promotion, more good stress, less bad stress, weight gain, a changed husband, less general anxiety, better neighbors, a new dog, a Zazzle addiction, almost zero blogging and yet my first check from Google. Ironic.
At the end of 2016
I am convinced that aliens have abducted my husband and replaced him with a cyborg. He has taken a serious interest in our finances. He tallies up our net worth more often than I do. He’s making plans. He sees that the impossible is possible. He even sold his snowmobile! From time to time, I look at him and ask, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?”
A new dog. At the risk of looking like a Frugalwoods copycat – we adopted a retired racing greyhound. I am a regular reader of their blog and yes it is fantastic, but – I found myself over there ogling photos of frugalhound. I have spent countless hours on petfinder looking to adopt a new dog. I had no intention of adopting a greyhound but one landed in the local feed and next thing you know, our house is being inspected and we are being interviewed by a local adoption organization to see if we are suitable parents. My husband was shocked. “A greyhound? Why a greyhound?” he kept asking. Well the man has fallen deeply and completely in love and now wants to adopt 7 more. Good thing local pet bylaws prohibit it. Greyhounds are not really dogs – they are part cat, part deer, part giraffe, part fox and part pro athlete. Ours is a goofy diva. As an added bonus, that there is also a very active greyhound community in our area, so we have also made new friends.
Financially, 2016 was great. Here is our net worth snapshot as of today and vs. December 1st 2015.
*Does not include cars, pension (!), bank accounts, education savings, gift cards etc.
You can find my net worth and a gaggle of other bloggers over at the Rock Star Finance Ultimate List. See – I am not the only person crazy enough to do this.
Almost half of our net worth increase was due to restating the value of our home. One of neighbours, the Joneses, sold their home. We now have a fairly realistic market value to use. I am so happy the Joneses moved away to a new palace and took their BMW and snobby attitude with them. Our neighborhood is wonderful and there is peace in the republic once again.
What is in store for 2017?
I expect 2017 to be a spendy year. We don’t have a plan yet but we need one.
House repairs are at the top of the list and we have signed up for a new roof. Ouch. No plans on moving yet, but we continue to browse. We would like to up-size the property and downsize the house.
Our vehicles are showing their age but we are working very hard at keeping them roadworthy. I have no plans on replacing them but I understand that cost of repairs may start to outweigh the cost of a newer car.
Our oldest is about to graduate from high school. I am scared silly. We have saved some money, but not nearly enough. Not even close. Plans for college are still up in the air.
Stuff. We have too much stuff. We have even more stuff than we did at this time last year. Sigh. Where does all this stuff come from?
Work! This might be a strange thing to say but I am trying to decide if I am going to pour my heart and soul into my job this year or maintain the status quo. There is a huge opportunity right in front of me but is it worth the sacrifice? I am sure you will hear more about this in a future blog.
There is more, so much more, but I have to go finish my Christmas shopping. Have to go buy some more stuff. Wait, what?
Happy Winter Solstice everyone! Thank you for continuing to read and visit, even with my erratic (ahem practically nil) posting schedule. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and all the best for the new year.