The FAF Family’s 2020 New Year Resolutions & 2019 Review

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As 2019 is coming to an end, I’m taking this time to reflect on what Mr. FAF and I did or did not accomplish this year. I will first review our 2019 new year resolutions and dive right into our 2020 resolutions.

Review of 2019 resolutions

1. Pay off all the debts: Done

We paid off all of our debts, including the mortgage. We own our home and are debt free!

2. Home improvement

Flooring: Done

Mr. FAF and his dad lifted up the carpets in every room on the 2nd floor and fixed the subfloor. It took then 2 days and saved us at least $2,000 in labor costs.

Lighting: Done

Mr. FAF bought some wall lamps to put in every room and a huge fancy-looking floor lamp to put in the living room. Prior to that, we had gone to a neighbor’s house, and Mr. FAF said our house looked too dark and shabby compared to theirs.

Blinds: Partial 

Mr. FAF bought three sets of blinds to test in the living room and his study room. One set broke, and we are too lazy to pull the blinds up and down every day, so some of the rooms still have curtains instead of binds.

Basement remodeling: Failed

We got a quote to remodel our basement. It was $25,000. After considering the return to investment, we decided not to remodel our basement anymore.

RelatedHow We Are Keeping Up With The Joneses

4. A family trip: Failed

We went to Atlanta, GA to attend Mr. FAF’s friend’s wedding. Our baby ran a fever throughout the trip. Mr. FAF drove more than 25 hours over one weekend to save costs. I got so frustrated with the exhausting road trip that I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to travel hack.

5. Mr. FAF’s promotion: Failed

Mr. FAF came close to a promotion when his boss got promoted and left his team. The new boss said he needs more time to assess his performance, so the promotion hasn’t happened yet.

6. Me to prepare for a new position: Partial

I have been preparing to transition into tech. Yet, the preparation process is still ongoing since it’s a difficult transition for someone with no tech degree and no developer work experience like me.

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7. Help our son learn new things: Partial

I enrolled our son at a taekwondo academy, and he has been loving it so far. We haven’t taken him to a lot of museums or parks yet. It’s work in progress.

In total, we got 3 Done’s, 3 Partial’s, and 3 Fail’s.

Our 2020 New Year Resolutions

1. Monetize my blog 

I started my blog on Bluehost on the cheap on March 21, 2017 and then switched to SiteGround. Although my blog was growing, I couldn’t monetize it due to my work visa restrictions.

After getting the green card, I started monetized my blog and looked at other successful bloggers’ blog income reports to see what has worked well for them.

I have partnered with Ezoic to place ads on my site and work with some affiliate programs that I believe in. You can see the list of affiliate programs I recommend here.

In 2020, I want to grow my traffic and produce more helpful content. I believe that having different streams of passive income is important for a financially secure future, and blogging just happens to be what really motivates me.

If you are interested in earning an income from blogging, you can see my step-to-step tutorial on how to start a blog on Bluehost here and Siteground here.

2. Change my career

Given that I lack a degree in Computer Science and relevant work experience, I will try to get some certifications in 2020, take more coding courses on Udemy (a quality and affordable platform) and build a better project portfolio to improve my coding skills and get through the HR review.

I just got a word from my boss that I will be able to keep my position in 2020, so I will try to do my job well and spend the rest of my free time coding.

3. Save money to buy a second house

Mr. FAF and I do have plans to move out of DC if not next year then in a couple of years. We want to keep our house in DC since it’s in a good location, and we believe it will appreciate nicely once Amazon HQ2 starts operating in the area.

We are trying to save up for a down payment for a second house. When we move, we will potentially rent for a year in the new city to test out the new environment and build up more cash for our new home.

RelatedAmazon Is Coming To Crystal City, VA. How Does That Affect Our Financial Plans?

4. Mr. FAF to get promoted or change companies

Mr. FAF is itching to get promoted at his job. I think for him, promotion is not just about a raise but also a validation of his performance. He’s also thinking about changing companies to seek new adventures.

It would be nice for him to stay at the current company since his stocks are getting vested more, but I will support whatever career plan he has as long as it makes him happy and can help support our family financially.

RelatedUpdate On Hubby’s Job Situation: Depression, Guilt, Self-doubt & Hope

5. Help our son improve his speech

Our son has been experiencing a speech delay, which we attribute to his 1-year stay in China and having grandparents speaking a Chinese dialect to him in DC for 1.5 years afterwards.

He can’t speak Mandarin Chinese or the dialect, and his progress in English is slow. The teacher said that our son can write letters and count very well, but his communication skills are lagging.

We have bought math sets and letter books for him to practice. His teacher suggested we buy education board games and play those games with him more, so we plan to do more of that in 2020.

Related: Our 7 Expectations for Our Son


I am excited for 2020 and what the future holds for us. I’m sure we will face challenges in our work, families, and parenting. But I am grateful for having my husband and kids by my side to face and overcome such challenges?

What are your 2020 new year resolutions? What’s your biggest goal for the new year?


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2 thoughts on “The FAF Family’s 2020 New Year Resolutions & 2019 Review”

  • It’s always interesting to read what you have to say.
    Since you were raised in another country, and are into frugality, there is so much unique thinking you have to share. Happy new year.

  • I love these. Congrats on paying off your mortgage. We’re still several ways from that, but it’s not a core goal for us now. I like the idea of keeping the old house to rent. That’s what we’ve done on every move and now have 3 rental properties. When those mortgages get paid off, we’ll have another strong stream of diversified income.

    Good luck on the tech career. I’m sure you’ll figure it out even if you have to start off taking jobs that don’t pay as much as first.

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