It seems as though I completely underestimated how crazy the first week of 2016 would be!
So a bit of a belated Happy New Year to you all – I hope it’s off to a great (and less hectic) start for you!
A few exciting things are happening for me work-wise, family-wise, and growth-wise.
These are all things I’m grateful for as I start the year with a clean slate.
If you’re interested in the goals I set for 2016, you can look at my last post which details what I was grateful for in 2015, and what I hope 2016 holds.
The biggest goal is getting my student loans paid off! I can’t wait to be debt free.
A Brand-Spanking-New Podcast
As you might have noticed on my sidebar, the Financial Conversation podcast is up and running! I’m so happy to be a part of this awesome project along with Kayla, Chonce, and Kristi.
If you read my FinCon recap, you’ll recall that we hung out a bunch during the four days of the con and had a great time. We thought it made sense to continue that with a podcast!
Kayla happened to have the domain and during FinCon, she realized it would make the perfect site for a podcast. Inspired by Shannon’s Martinis and Your Money, we decided to give it a try.
It has been a huge learning curve, but we’re so happy and grateful to have it out there. Our hope is that we’ll reach a wider audience than we can with blogging.
We’ve got a lot of interesting things planned for future episodes (a new one is launching this week), so stay tuned!
If you have a free moment, please give the first episode a listen. It’s 37 minutes long and we discuss what our goals for the year are and how we plan to achieve them.
My grandma had been going back and forth the last few months on whether or not she was going to make a trip down here during the winter. She wanted to take a month (or two month) long trip, but things didn’t work out as she had hoped.
Being that my grandma is 84 and doesn’t necessarily enjoy traveling alone, I couldn’t blame her if she didn’t make it down here, but that doesn’t mean I’d be any less upset!
Thankfully, my aunt was watching for deals, and we were able to snag her tickets for a total of $100 round-trip.
Of course, that’s on Spirit *shudders* so I’m really hoping she doesn’t experience any problems. After the last time I flew with them, I swore I’d never fly with them again.
She’ll be down here later in the month and is leaving in early February, and has already promised to do some baking while she’s here.
Her cookies are pretty much what made my childhood Christmases, so I’ll be noming away when they appear as I’ve been going through withdrawals.
Winter Travel Deals
I had resolved to fly back home if my grandma wasn’t able to make it down, mostly because she’ll be celebrating her 85th birthday later in February. I would have felt guilty for missing it and not seeing her.
While we could throw her an early birthday party here, it’s not the same. And even though I saw my family and friends back in October, it already feels like it happened ages ago.
I flew back to NY in February last year because, similar to the deal my grandma got, Spirit was offering one-way flights for something like $60. It was a no-brainer (besides getting stuck at the airport every time I go to fly back!).
I’ve been monitoring deals and it seems like I could get a round-trip flight for $140 from American Airlines or JetBlue. I know that’s not very frugal of me, but my sanity is worth the extra money.
It’s either that, or I’ll likely be making my way to Austin to scout out areas for the move. If any of you know anything about the city, or know someone there, I’d appreciate any knowledge/connections you can pass along!
As always, I’m grateful that I have the flexibility to coordinate getting the cheapest flights (I saw some $300s mixed in with the $140s), and for the savings to afford these trips.Need a reminder to practice gratitude? Here's what you're looking for: Click To Tweet
Grateful for Inspiration
I have always said that one of the best parts of the personal finance community is how inspirational everyone is. From amazing stories of debt payoff, to incomes being tripled, and all the people making a living off of doing things they love, there’s no shortage of it.
That’s one of the reasons why I love FinCon so much; you can feel the energy buzzing in the air.
If it hasn’t been obvious (as I’ve stated it before), I’ve been lost at sea for the better part of a year with blogging and where I want to go. There have been ideas, but none I felt strongly about.
There has been a lot of rebranding going on with bloggers I look up to, and I’m always amazed by what is possible with “just a blog.” We all started from nothing and had to build our audience, and it’s so exciting to see where people have ended up.
That gives me the hope and inspiration I need to keep going. I love writing, and likely always will. I also love talking about money in hopes of empowering others to make good financial decisions.
But for some reason, there’s been a disconnect, hence this post being the only one I typically publish.
Being Grateful for…Brain Dumps?
I specifically selected “Journey to Saving” because it can involve anything I experience. It’s my journey that I’m sharing with everyone, and the top reason I chose to share it was to inspire others.
However, I feel like I’ve fallen short there for a number of reasons:
- My journey looks nothing like I thought it would when I started blogging (of course, that’s life, duh Erin)
- I also started blogging anonymously (anyone remember those days?) and the tone of the blog has changed as I’ve grown and found my voice.
I remember reflecting on this last year, and it led to me change the theme I use for the blog. While I like it, I’m not in love with it, and I don’t think the solution is as simple as that. It’s a bandaid for a bigger issue.
Those of you on Twitter might have noticed I changed my handle to @erinmcreates. I truly felt like @journeytosaving didn’t fit with all I wanted to share/express on there.
I know that sounds absolutely silly, being that I rarely use Twitter in the first place (I’ve been working on that!), but it felt freeing when I changed it.
I’ve been wondering if the same thing is in order for the site, but we’ll see. I just like to keep you all in the loop on my ramblings. ;)
Anyway, let me stop there for this week. Please check out the podcast if you have time (it’s perfect for a commute!), send feedback, and let me know if you have any inside knowledge of Austin. =)
What are you being grateful for this week? How has the new year treated you so far? Do you take advantage of traveling inexpensively during certain seasons?