Back in December 2022, I shared two big financial goals my husband and I had for 2023. The good news is that we’ve partially achieved those goals, but as usually happens with life, not in the way we had imagined nine months ago when we set the goals.
Goal #1: Prioritize Domestic and International Travel
Our goal in December 2022 was to travel both domestically and internationally.
Domestically, I wanted to travel to Maine. Unfortunately, that did not happen. We did not travel domestically this year and likely won’t next year, either.
Internationally, we wanted to save money for a trip to Europe. (We knew we wouldn’t take that trip in 2023 but wanted to save for it.) Unfortunately, we were not able to do this, either.
However, we did take our family on an 11-day trip to Japan to visit my husband’s family for the first time since our kids were born. (They’re all teens now.) We found out in January 2023 that my father-in-law’s cancer had returned, so we set aside our other travel goals and prioritized traveling to visit my husband’s family, and we’re happy we did!
Goal #2: Buy a New Car for Mostly Cash
We saved for a new car for several years. Regrettably, the market was hot. when we needed to buy the car. If we could have waited until the market stabilized, we would have, but we couldn’t.
I would have loved to have bought another minivan, but that was outside the budget. Instead, my husband and I decided on a Toyota Corolla Cross.
We wanted to take out a car loan for $10,000 or less but had to go a bit higher. The car price fit our budget, but we neglected to consider the expenses beyond the sticker price such as tax (wow, was that a lot!), a warranty, and gap insurance. We ended up with a car loan of $16,800. We’ve had the loan for six months now, and the balance is down to $15,041, so we’re making progress on paying it off early.
While we’re disappointed that the car loan wasn’t smaller, we’re also excited that we were able to pay a significant chunk down on the vehicle. Ideally, by the time we need to buy my husband a replacement vehicle, we can put even more down on his car so that over time, the amount we need to finance gets smaller and smaller each time we buy a new vehicle. (We keep our cars until well over 200,000 miles, so we don’t buy cars frequently.)
I’m happy that we accomplished our two primary goals for 2023—traveling internationally and buying a new vehicle. Like so many things in life, our plans didn’t work out exactly as we hoped. However, travel worked out better than expected because we prioritized seeing family we hadn’t seen in over 20 years. We created memories with older family members; Europe and Maine can wait a few more years.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.