Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone.
I decided to take a look back to see what all we have been up to here on the homestead.

At the end of 2012, Todd and I decided to attempt to pay off half of our mortgage balance in 2013.  As of October, we succeeded!  After reading through this post of what our game plan was for the year, I am happy to report that we were able to live on half of our income without really cutting back our lifestyle.  We still completed a home-improvement project (updating the kitchen counters for $125) and we have another one in process as I type (new floor in the living room).

In February, I made my own laundry detergent and to this day, we are still using the product!  We have another 2 1/2 gallons to go until it will be time to make another 5 gallon batch of concentrated detergent.  This recipe is a keeper, and we have all of the supplies needed to whip up another batch in the next few months.

In March, I started to feel like we have way too much "stuff" and that our house is much more than what we need/want.  

The first week of April, we had a family trip to Aruba with my mom and her husband to celebrate their 10 year wedding anniversary.  I could use a trip like this every year.

May is always a special month for us because it is the month we married.  This year, for our 6th year of marriage, we took a short 3-day trip to Columbus, OH and had a blast.

Every year around June, I wonder if I want to keep the blog going or to just let it sit.  This month, there was only one post about my internal battle to decide whether we should hire a housekeeper or if I should just do the housekeeping myself!

July of this year was a busy one!  A yellow lab adopted us, my car turned 7 years old, and we started talking about downsizing our home.

I gave up on gardening in August.  I realized that as much as I love to plan the garden every year and plant the seeds, my priority is not to see the garden through and make it all it could be.

I documented some of the fun things Todd and I did over the summer for very little (or no) money at all.

A new member of the family came to join us in October and I started a new cleaning routine that has been easy for me to keep up with!

The only post in November included pictures of a covered bridge tour we did throughout October.

In December, I now notice that we have come full circle realizing that we are not happy with the big house, all the possessions and all of the consumerism that takes place around us.  In December, we let out a big secret that Todd and I want to purchase an RV and travel the US.  Since deciding to do this back in early October, our plans have been evolving.  It went from selling it all and living on the road full-time to downsizing our home and possibly making it a duplex so that we can be with our families and have a home-base for a few months a year.  I am sure there will be a few posts on this in 2014.

So, there you have the entire year on Sparing-Change.  It has been a fun yet challenging year this year, as every year seems to be.  This year, we are learning that it doesn't take a lot of money (or any at all!) to have fun.  We have enjoyed going on many hikes with the puppies, and we really enjoy being out in nature.

We look forward to taking on whatever 2014 has to offer.

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