A big hurrah for 2013!

I’m prepping for my December debt update and a bigger 2013 recap, but had a lot of excitement happen in the last 36 hours…and just needed to blurt it out for one last post of the year!

I snuck in a short solo trip home to California for Christmas…it was kind of an “impulse trip” I didn’t really plan for, but so well worth it. I had been sticking to my budgets pretty well the last couple months and had enough to cover the flights, which weren’t actually any more expensive than a cross-country flight usually is ($515). I’d been so good about not travelling much all year and still had vacation days left to burn so off I went. Stayed with the parents and didn’t do much other than visit loved ones and go running nearly every day, so my only cost for 5 days out there was probably the flight!

After taking a red-eye flight back to DC yesterday morning, I picked up the car from the Honda dealership and the valve adjustment only ended up being $326! Much less than the $511 I was originally quoted. I’m glad I waited to go back, because in the meantime I had found a random coupon from one of those neighborhood coupon packets for 25% off any service or repair at this particular Honda dealership. (Aha! I knew there was another reason we took it to the one right in our neighborhood…) Now you math nerds will know that $326 is cheaper than 25% off $511 ($383), so I’m also confused why the price before the coupon was less than the original quote. But I didn’t bring it up, of course! This doesn’t help my confidence that these quotes aren’t just random numbers pulled out of their butts. Anyway, knock on wood, the car is running very smoothly now, and no more “check engine” light coming on.

This morning was my first day back at work since Christmas Eve’s eve, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn we only had to work until noon (woohoo!), tomorrow we’ve got off for New Year’s (which I already knew), and one of my coworkers alerted me to check my bank account. Because our Christmas bonuses were direct-deposited this morning! WOOHOO!!!

It’s amazing how much less stressed I feel when a big chunk of money lands in my lap. Even if most of it is earmarked for student loan debt and doesn’t go in my pocket. I promptly ran some numbers and made a huge payment to Sallie Mae once I got home. 75% of the Christmas bonus. Then I signed up for one of the triathlons I wanted to do (the price goes up tomorrow). The rest will get put into the savings/emergency/triathlon/travel fund. I’m not going to go crazy like I did the last time I got a bonus and am pretty excited to announce my new numbers in the December report. Stay tuned!

Anyone else get their Christmas bonus? Happy new year!!!

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