I think that it is a worthwhile thing to take the time and look back over the year. Time flies at such an impossible rate, sometimes it is best to take a deep breath and think about the year that has been.
For us, the year began sadly, with the passing away of Jane, Kevin's mum. Luckily Kevin flew out just in time. But it was a sad time, for him, for his dad and sisters. I wish that I could have known my mum in law better. She was such a wonderful lady, and she was always very kind to me.
We attended her memorial service in August of 2013.
It is tempting, I think, when reviewing to try and catalog, or count the things we have done. But I think for 2013 the defining moment was a discovery that changed my assumptions, and philosophy.
The most radical change for us, was the discovery of a financial independence blogging group, that made us question our assumptions about retirement (only when you are old), financial independence (that's impossible), and spending (need more stuff!) It all began with reading this blog post. It made Kevin and I really talk to each other about our financial goals and philosophies. It also meant that we made some changes. For example, I gave up cable tv (I have Netflix, and free local stations), instead of buying lunches and Starbucks, I bring lunch and soda to work, and drink the work coffee. Instead of buying a car new from a dealership, we picked up an old beater Toyota on Craigslist. And we took a long hard look at our employer IRA's, and voluntarily tax deferred instruments. We delved into expense ratios, and the actual cost of doing business with our employer vendors. Yikes, what we found out really shocked us - and so we made changes. We found through reading this article that there is a whole movement of people out there, from all demographics that have embraced the spend less, and save more philosophy. Stuff doesn't define us. What a liberating concept!!
If I have to look back over 2013, instead of counting the trips, the events, the visits, the goals not accomplished, I think I can say without any hesitation that the defining moment for me in 2013 was discovering the Mustachian philosophy.
If you are interested in learning more here are a number of blogs that I enjoy reading...
Mr Money Mustache
Collins- Money, life, Business
There are many more blogs and forums of people that want the same - financial independence (FI). FI doesn't mean having the largest house, or the flashiest car. It is not about having stuff. It's about have enough of a stash that you only work because you enjoy it, and you only buy or spend because it is something you really really want. It is truly a liberating philosophy (especially because it is so far from the norm.)
So goodbye 2013 and thanks!