2019 Budget Wins and Fails

Today we are reviewing our finances from 2019 and sharing out budget wins and fails. It’s not always easy to look back at our finances, but I think it’s a really good exercise to help you stay on track and see where your strengths and weaknesses are. 


I challenge YOU to look back at 2019 and make a list of your Wins and Fails before you set out your goals for 2020! 

Today we are sharing our top 3 budget wins and fails for 2019! We hope this post inspires you to look back at your finances and make a plan for 2020 to overcome any challenges you’ve had.

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Have You Set Up Your Budget Yet?

If your answer to this question is no, don’t panic! I actually teach that you need your goals figured out BEFORE your budget.

In my online course 30 Day Family Finance Rescue I teach what I call Goal Based Budgeting. The idea that every line in your budget should in some way be getting you closer to achieving your goals. 

I know, it’s a total flip from how we have all been taught traditionally about finances. But what I have seen work so successfully for our family and hundreds of other Pearls, is that when you set your budget based off your goals you have a clear direction on what you want your money to do. Other than just paying the bills.

Doing it this way also helps you and your family stay extremely motivated to stick with the budget because you know what your working towards.

If you want some extra help getting the numbers set in place for your budget, you can sign up for my free email newsletter below and you’ll get my Budgeting for Beginners Starter Kit. 



2019 Budget Wins and Fails


Fail #1: No Significant Progress on Savings

We didn’t grow our savings much at all in 2019. The good news is that we didn’t spend our savings, but we are a little disappointed that we were not able to grow our savings account during this year. I think we are off to an okay start on our budget wins and fails. 

Having more savings would have been nice so that we wouldn’t need to pull cash from other areas in order to cover big expenses that have come up. In 2020, we need a better savings plan to cover unplanned expenses. 


Win #1: We ROCKED Our Cash Budget

We’ve really been able to dial in the numbers we need for each of our cash envelopes. It’s not necessarily stagnant, but we’ve been able to anticipate how much we are going to need each month and allocate that amount to our cash budgets. 

One area we would LOVE to improve is increasing our fun budget and separating our date night budget from the fun budget. Currently it’s all one envelope and it’s not a very big budget. In 2020 we want to prioritize a little more fun and definitely more date nights for Tommy and I. 


Fail #2: Didn’t Invest in Retirement

We’ve become a little bit lazy with our spending, but we definitely need to make room to contribute to retirement. We do get a pension, however we want to protect ourselves in case the pension isn’t there, or the money isn’t invested properly. 

You can’t always count on someone else to be responsible for our retirement, we want to have control of that. 


Win #2: We Survived a Paycut

At Pennies into Pearls, we have decided to invest a lot more money into systems to grow this business, and make it so much more valuable to you. In doing that, I have taken a significant pay cut in how much I pay myself personally so that I can put money back into the business. 

That being said, we feel like we’ve really been able to keep our budget going without missing a beat and definitely without accruing more debt. We operate Pennies into Pearls debt free as well, so business loans and credit cards are out of the question! We truly live the values that we teach here to you! 🙂 


Fail #3: Unplanned Tax Bill

As new homeowners, we had NO IDEA that there was this tax bill that was thrown at us. I’m sure someone had mentioned it to us at some point, but we didn’t plan it. It was $500, which isn’t really that much, but it was unexpected. 

It came at the end of the year with extra expenses and our cars breaking down. But, with unplanned expenses, you need to learn from it and plan for it in the future. 


Win #3: Less Overtime for Tommy!

This was a HUGE win for us. Family time and couple time has been something that has been a huge priority for us this year. We needed more time together as a a family.

Even with my pay cut at Pennies into Pearls,  it was awesome for Tommy to be able to cut back on his overtime at work because we were still able to financially balance everything without any more debt. 

I hope you’re able to take something from this post today. We are always an open book and I feel like it’s nice to hear other peoples wins and struggles because it lets us know we aren’t alone as well as what might be possible for us in the future. 


Talk to you soon! Xoxo



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