This year was the first time we spent Christmas away from home. We vacationed with an Australian family who is attending the same military course as my husband here in England. We’ve become quite good friends with them since moving here this summer and they were in search of their first white Christmas as they are used to hot summer weather over the holidays. We did a lot of research and decided that the Highlands of Scotland would be our best bet in the UK.
We rented a house with mountain views in a village called Dalwhinnie. The weather was not looking good as the vacation approached-the forecast was mostly for rain but we were still hopeful. It was grey and misty when we arrived but on day 2….
It was beautiful! Seeing the children have such joy over the beautiful blanket of snow was amazing-it was probably my favorite part of our trip.
Because we were driving to Scotland we had limited space for presents. I was a little worried that my boys weren’t going to be happy come Christmas morning-I’m guilty of overspending on them pretty much every year. Luckily the space constraints helped me to stay on track with my budget this year.
When the big day came I realized I had nothing to worry about-no one asked why there weren’t more presents, no one seemed anything less than joyful. It made me realize that all that spending in previous years was really unnecessary and wasteful.
I’ve written quite a bit on the blog about our long journey to become debt free and now that we have met that goal we have set new financial goals. This year we are saving up to buy new cars with cash when we return to the US and then we’ll be saving for a down payment on a house. Military life is not terribly conducive to owning a home-we normally move every 1-3 years, but my husband is getting close to retirement and we’re very excited about buying a “forever home” to settle down in!
I find that when you have a goal in mind financially-whether it’s getting out of debt, saving for a house, or building up your child’s college fund-it’s a lot easier to accomplish if you make it specific. Rather than saying that we wanted to save to buy two cars in cash, we actually looked up the approximate costs of the vehicles we want and set a dollar amount we wanted. We also opened a separate savings account just for that purpose and named it “Car Fund” so we can watch those savings grow. We did the same for our home savings-it’s a huge motivator!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.