For many, 2009 was a terrible year. Budgets tightened, raises disappeared, companies dropped like flies and others laid off masses of workers in a bid to stay alive. For us, however, it was quite a good year. It helps that we’re living in a graduate student mode (small apt, hand-me-down furniture, no eating out, etc.) and don’t yet have children. It also helps that we both had regular employment. Even if neither of us has a high-paying job, neither of us was at risk of being let go. And it helps that I earned money on the side through blogging and freelancing.
The contrast makes me feel even more grateful for our good year and I appreciate it more than I might have had we been earning a lot of money in a non-recession.
I’ve come up with some successes, financial and personal, that are easy to list off as well as a few that are harder to quanitfy.
2009 Financial successes:
- Paid off the car loan.
- Saved a little over $1k/month to pay off Micah’s student loans.
- Saved a few thousand toward my own grad school education.
2009 Personal successes:
- Started my first full-time library paraprofessional job (technically it started in Dec ’08).
- Decided that I do want to go to library school and narrowed my specialization paths.
- Wrote 50,000+ words of a novel in one month.
- Donated bone marrow stem cells successfully.
- I took the GREs and scored a combined 1570, which should not only help me get into most graduate programs, but meant a lot to me as I’d been questioning my academic abilities in the 2 years since I graduated. Apparently I need periodic grading to be sure I still have them.
There were more successes that it’s hard to quantify in a list. During 2009, I discovered a good deal about myself, about learning to live with greater peace and happiness, about what I want to do and be in the future. Some of it I wish I’d learned before, but I think a lot of it had to be learned by experience.
I anticipate that 2010 is going to have some big changes, some of which I don’t feel ready to share with you yet (no, relatives, none of the plans include a baby in 2010 or 2011). But I hope this is going to be an exciting year.
My biggest goal for 2010 is: To start graduate school in library and information science and to pay my own way or receive financial aid. If I pay my own way, then I’ll be going part-time. There’s at least one school which has a partnership with my employer to give me 50% off my tuition, so we’re off to a good start.
A few things to watch out for on the blog in the next couple weeks:
- Domain name change. Don’t worry, it’s still me and it’s still Finance for a Freelance Life. Your feed should still work normally and everything should redirect. I’ll write a short post when it takes effect.
- I’ll be writing a few things in the next few weeks which may be controversial, but which have been on my mind lately. They regard both financial and small businesses issues. Little bit Devil’s Advocate, part outright disagreement. I decided they would be good New Year’s posts and better broken down into several posts each than in a couple long posts.
- Theme change—but not a particularly dramatic one.