13 Things I Learned About Finance in 2013

By on December 31, 2013

2013 Money LessonsIt’s hard to believe that it’s now 2014. I keep saying it but 2013 went by lighting fast.

All in all, I think it was a great year, and I learned so many financial lessons along the way.

1. Expect the unexpected. No amount of time could have prepared me for finding out that I was pregnant with twins this year. Never in my life did I imagine myself as a twin mom. We’re so excited, but this news led us to ramp up our savings at the end of the year big time.

2. It’s easy to save. Saving money really isn’t that hard when you pay yourself first! I was able to save a few hundred dollars every month this year, even when things were tight. This is the first year in my life I’ve been able to do that.

3. Emergency funds are necessary. I went through the entire year without having an emergency. Then, in November, I had to put four new tires on my car. I wasn’t expecting the expense, but I was glad to have the savings in place to pay for it.

4. High yield savings accounts are the best. I’ve used mine all year long to separate my financial goals into categories, and it really has helped me reach them!

5. It’s okay to accept help. Right now, we’re living next door to our in laws rent free for the next few months. It’s hard to accept help, but for right now, it’s really awesome.

6. Splurging within reason is also fine. I enjoyed flying first class on my way home from Grenada. It was actually cheaper than flying coach due to the amount of bags we were bringing home!

7. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Investing in yourself and your business is really important. It’s hard to know what’s necessary and what’s just extra, but finding a balance and improving yourself are great ways to spend your money.

8. Hard work yields good financial results. I even surprised myself with my income this year. It really helps to hustle and work hard. Nothing worthwhile comes easy, but the results are so worth it.

9. Shopping really isn’t necessary. After several years of living in the Caribbean without any fancy malls, I learned that what we all have is more than enough.

10. It feels really good to have money in the bank. This is the first year where I feel like I always had at least $1,000 – $2,000 in my checking account just as a safety net. It was so nice to not worry about writing a check or swiping a card. It was the best gift I could have given myself.

11. Offshore accounts aren’t really that cool. After dealing with Caribbean bank accounts for the last three years and all of their fees and wacky schedules, I’m glad to be banking back in the U.S. of A.

12. Dogs really shouldn’t eat dark chocolate. It just leads to insane vet bills and a lot of stress. I’ll be packing it away a little better in 2014!

13. Celebrate the highs and lows. There are things I wish I would have done better financially in 2013 and there are other things I’m proud of. I think it’s wise to realize that no one’s perfect and to use all 2013 lessons to make 2014 the best year yet.

What financial goals did you reach in 2013?

Photo Credit: Tax Credits

About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a personal finance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for other websites on all topics frugal and fabulous, she enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, www.BudgetBlonde.com. Follow her on Twitter @BudgetBlonde or like Budget Blonde on Facebook.

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