The FAF Family’s 2019 New Year Resolution

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As 2018 is quickly coming to an end, is time for a list of the FAF family’s 2019 New Year resolutions.

You can read my review of our 2018 New Year resolutions here.

I wasn’t going to publish this post at all.

Up until last year (2017), I had never had any new year resolutions.

It was somewhat a foreign concept to me.

Also, I usually just plan out my goals in my head instead of writing them down somewhere.

Part of me was afraid that if I made my goals public, I wouldn’t be able to achieve them.

For 2019, I originally had no specific goals except for changing jobs and taking good care of my family.

However, when I published the review of my 2018 new year resolutions, a reader mentioned that she looked forward to reading about my 2019 plans.

I of course didn’t want to disappoint her and embarked on writing this post.

In the process, I asked Mr. FAF what our goals for 2019 are.

And this is the list he gave me.

1. Pay off all the debts

Mr. FAF and I finally paid off the mortgage to the bank at the end of November this year (woohoo!). However, we still owe Mr. FAF’s family $36,000.

They told us to keep the dollars since the Chinese currency is depreciating due to the US-China trade war. We will keep saving and set this money aside to pay them back in the future.

Other than that, we have no consumer debt or any kind of debt.

RelatedWe Just Put $15,000 Towards Our Mortgage Principal. And This Is What Happened.

2. Home improvement

This is a big item on the list. Our house was built in the 1970s. Although the previous owner(s) renovated the house, there are a couple of things here and there that need to be upgraded.


We have hardwood flooring on the first floor and carpeting on the second floor. And both floors squeak like crazy when we walk on them.

I can hear people walking on the second floor when I’m downstairs.  It’s pretty annoying when someone (i.e. our baby) tries to sleep, and the squeaky floor just keeps waking them.

Mr. FAF has tried to DYI-fix the problem without any success. He plans to redo the whole flooring in our house with hardwood. I highly doubt if he’ll be able to do it, but I’ll let him try.

After all, it took me years to finally convince him to try DYI projects around our house instead of calling up a technician every time something is not working.

RelatedAre House Repairs Bad For Marriage?


We currently use floor lamps and desk lamps in each room, but it’s not very bright. We would love to have overhead lighting at our house. But it’s a big project since it involves electric work.

I’m honestly fine with the way things are, but we’ll see if hiring an electrician might be a possibility that won’t cost an arm and a leg.


Mr. FAF wants to replace all the curtains in our house with blinds. I think it’s totally unnecessary and will cost us a lot. I got our window curtains on sale for $10 each at JC Penny’s (the original price was $100). But I will let it slide since it’s not worth arguing with him about it.

Basement remodeling

We have a finished basement, but the previous owner didn’t do a good job with it. We want to upgrade our basement. My neighbor said that she got a quote for $30,000 for her basement.

Hubby and I will need to save up quite a bit for this project since we want to pay cash for it.

RelatedHow We Are Keeping Up With The Joneses

4. A family trip

Mr. FAF wanted to go on a road trip to Miami during Christmas this year. At first, I was thrilled about the idea. But after thinking about all the logistics with a four-month-old, I suggested Mr. FAF go with his dad while I stay at home to take care of two kids.

He’s hesitant to do so since we want all of us to go together and have fun. Maybe we will wait until next summer when Baby F2 is almost one year old.

Mr. FAF also wants to take our family to Hawaii next year if at all possible. I know it sounds like Mr. FAF wants to do and plan all the traveling. I like traveling too, but with a newborn, I just want the routine and structure at home over a crying baby in the middle of the night in a hotel.

RelatedHow To Travel Frugally – Our $387 Three-day Road Trip To Raleigh, NC

5. Mr. FAF’s promotion

After a team transfer and Amazon’s announcement of opening their HQ2 in Crystal City, VA, Mr. FAF is changing his mind about leaving Amazon. He likes his new team and his work much better than before.

He also sees the great career opportunity he might have once Amazon opens their HQ2 near our house. Software engineers get promoted at Amazon on average every two years. Mr. FAF’s 2nd work anniversary is in September 2019, so he hopes to get promoted around that time if not in early 2020.

6. Me to prepare for a new position

I like my job. But after staying with the same employer for three years, I want to explore new opportunity. I wasn’t able to do that in 2018, but I’m hopeful for 2019, especially with Amazon coming to DC next year.

7. Help our son learn new things

I want our 3.5 year-old son to start learning martial arts in the summer of 2019 after he turns 4 (the minimum age required for learners). It will cost us almost $1,800 a year, but that’s a price I’m happy to pay.

Our son will learn self-defense, team work, discipline, and confidence through martial arts. I hope he will be able to stick with it since I’m willing to pay for his martial arts classes until he’s 18.

Mr. FAF has been taking about taking our son to the zoo and free museums in DC. Our son is a bit too young to understand everything now, especially due to his speech delay. But we will try to do more fun and educational activities with him when it’s warmer outside next year.

Related: Our 7 Expectations For Our Son


That wraps up our 2019 New Year resolutions.

At this point in my life, I am quite content with that we have. It doesn’t mean we’re complacent. We just want to enjoy the simplicity of our family life and work towards our goals steadily but surely.

We have no plan to become millionaires overnight. We just want to work hard, make good money, save lots of money, make good investments, and take good care of ourselves and our kids.

Let’s wait until December 2020 to see if I can check off most of the items on the list above. 😉


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13 thoughts on “The FAF Family’s 2019 New Year Resolution”

  • Y’all have some good goals for 2019. Is Mr. FAF planning to do the hardwoods completely by himself? We replaced our carpet with hardwood with the help of my husband’s parents. It definitely was a process to say the least.

  • I don’t think the goal should be to become a millionaire either. If one works hard, and is conservative with time and money, wealth usually follows, but it should not be the main goal in my opinion. As you realize, a happy family life is important. Poorly raised children are a drain on parents’ finances forever.

  • I was excited to see this post today! Thanks for sharing your goals. I’m working on mine and will do a vision board next week. I love setting intentions and seeing them to fruition. Congrats on paying off the house and I’m sure your son will thrive in martial arts. I’m looking forward to seeing how the remodel projects play out in 2019.

  • Best of luck with all your goals, but is it wise to be so public with a desire to leave your current job? I have worked for some bosses who, when faced with making cuts, chose those who seemed the least interested in his/her current position. There are some things where circumspection is necessary, and this is one of them. When it is widely known that someone wants to leave, it is not unheard of for management to send him/her on the way far earlier than anticipated. No matter how encouraging a boss might seem, your career advancement does not keep your boss up at night. Be careful what you say publicly, please.

  • Love the new year’s goals! Regarding the travel – maybe it would be easier to head to a closer ocean-side destination? Miami is a looong drive and you’re passing the Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, Charleston on the way! Those destinations are a little more family friendly too. Miami is so much better for a couples getaway sans kids 🙂

  • Hi Mrs. FAF! These are some ambitious New Year’s Resolutions–I love it! As a mom of Asian children just a bit older than yours (my husband is Korean, our kids are 7 and 3) who has her own black belt, we found martial arts to be a worthwhile investment in child development after age 6 (when they can be classified as full students and not “Tiny” versions) because the belt progression for taekwondo didn’t “count” until they were school age students. Instead, we found soccer was a great frugal alternative for little ones that gets outrageously expensive right when martial arts is a more reasonable investment (with travel teams and the like). In the end, it’s a personal decision, but just thought I’d share my experience. I’m enjoying your blog for many reasons, and we live near DC (Frederick, MD). Thanks for writing!

  • Looks like a really great list of goals! A few thoughts: traveling with older kids is so much easier. I’d personally save & wait until it’s a bit more enjoyable. Martial arts are great, and I think a worthy starting point for an activity for your son. But, as he gets older, he may have his own preferences for activities & may prefer soccer or swimming, or some other sport.

  • Good idea about martial arts!

    I made a mistake and got a zoo family pass, but he doesn’t understand much and it’s hard to see the animals. Ooops.

    What are some elements of a speech delay? My boy is 21 months old soon, so I’m hypercognizant of things to look for.



    • Hi Sam,

      My son is almost 4 now, but he can’t really form complete sentences. He will just say words or phrases when he’s forced to. He’s made a lot of progress. But it’s still slow compared to other boys his age. I think it’s partly because he stayed in China when he was 2. He was starting to pick up Chinese and lost most of it when he came back to the US and has to start learning English. Now we’re just focusing on improving his English and not so concerned about him being multilingual anymore (at least for now).

      I hope you and your wife had a great time at the zoo instead 😀

  • Wonderful post Ms FAF! Wish you a very happy new year, even though am a bit late 🙂 Hope you have all success for the rest of the year. I have a 5 year old too; hes onto Piano and Arts classes now 🙂 Lots of love and I am a huge fan of your writing style – Try to visit my blog sometimes – Thanks so much, love from Canada.

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