A Year Ago Today, My Life Changed

son having a good time in the kitchenI don’t know where the last year has gone.  I feel I might have fallen asleep for most of the year, but from the amount of work I have done, I am sure that is not the case.  This year has been a year of new experiences and growing as a person.  I would have never guessed on how much my life would have changed since last year.  Though it changed, I can’t imagine how it would have been without the experience.  Alright, enough of beating around the bush, I am just going to tell you what happened.

One year ago today, my son was born!

That’s right, today is my son’s birthday.  He is our first and only child at this point and it was been a wild ride.  There are not enough words that I can write down that will express how much joy I have because of him.  He has changed my world for the better.  Having a child really puts your priorities into check.  Before he was born, I was worried about the money and the commitment, but now that we have a year under our belt, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The money doesn’t matter, nothing else really matters.  My son and my wife matter.

As my wife and I were thinking about having a child, I was trying to see if we were “ready” financially.  I wanted to make sure that I was out of credit card debt and making enough money.  After he was born, I realized that there never is a time that you are “ready”.  No one can be ready for their first child.  You have no basis to compare it to.  I am happy that we decided  to have our son when we did.  He made me work harder to achieve my goals and I will continue that until he reaches his goals.

My wife and I constantly wonder where the time has gone.  Everyone continues to tell us that enjoy these moments because they go so fast.  Now I am starting to understand what they are talking about.  Sometimes I wonder if I am missing things, but then I realize that I am doing the best I can with what I have.  I want to make sure that I step back, especially at times like this, and reflect on all of the joy that my family has brought.  I feel like a very lucky man.

I realize that this has nothing to do with personal finances, at least not directly, but this is an important day for me and my family.  I am excited to see where the next year takes us and to watch my son grow up.  So, I will be spending the day with my son and having a great time.  I hope you all have a wonderful day and weekend.  I will see you next week!

Do you have children?  How did you feel when your child turned one?

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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.


  1. December 27, 2013 at 9:01 am — Reply

    Happy, happy birthday to your little guy, Grayson!! You’re so right, parenting is the best, and it certainly encourages you to be the best you can be. The time goes even faster the older they get, but every age and stage is awesome. Have a great day!

    • December 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm — Reply

      Thank you Laurie. I appreciate the kind words.

  2. December 27, 2013 at 9:21 am — Reply

    Happy birthday to your son Grayson. I read recently the number of MONTHS of sleep parents lose over their kids the first few years, I can imagine how it has been a whirlwind for the past 12 months.

    • December 27, 2013 at 11:09 pm — Reply

      It was definitely harder in the beginning when you are up every 2 hours. It gets easier or it has at least for us.

  3. December 27, 2013 at 10:42 am — Reply

    Happy Birthday to your son! I do not have kids and I am not planning on having one anytime soon. I hear you about not ever being 100% financially “ready” for a child, but I definitely feel like I’m not right now!

    • December 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm — Reply

      Thanks DC. I had some goals that I wanted to achieve before we had our son. My main one was about the credit card debt. My wife was on board, so it worked out.

  4. December 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm — Reply

    Happy birthday to the little one! 🙂 I bet the last year has flown by!

    • December 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm — Reply

      Thank you. Yes, it truly has flown right by.

  5. December 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm — Reply

    Happy birthday, little guy! My husband and I just celebrated our first Christmas with our baby girl (3 months old). My how times, life, finances, and holidays have changed. We certainly got cold feet when things began “getting real” prior to her birth. But, once something so important enters your life, like you said, nothing else matters. You figure it out. Thankfully, we have a wonderful support system of family and friends who have helped our mental state during the sleepless nights and tougher days so far. But, I’m back to work and we seem to be catching our stride! What a blessing our daughter is, as is your son. Congrats dad, you’re doing it right.

    • December 27, 2013 at 11:11 pm — Reply

      Well, congratulations on your baby girl and your first Christmas. technically this is our first Christmas as well, even though he was almost one. It took some time to get it all figured out when we returned to work, but we have a method now.

  6. December 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm — Reply

    Happy birthday to your son!

  7. December 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm — Reply

    Great post, Grayson. I have no children yet but we plan on having our first in the next 3 years or so. It’s really encouraging to hear that the worries of having enough money to raise a child subside, as that is the main thing I worry about now: the medical costs, bigger houses, maybe more years working to pay for college.

    It’s very reassuring to hear that priorities shift when the kid comes, and for the better.

    • December 27, 2013 at 11:12 pm — Reply

      Thank you. You can worry about money all you want, but when your child comes, it is time to get down to business. If everyone waited until they were financially ready, then most people wouldn’t have kids.

  8. December 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm — Reply

    Congratulations. I can’t imagine ever being “ready” to have children. But I do hope it’s not too far in the distant future.

    • December 27, 2013 at 11:13 pm — Reply

      Thank you Stefanie. No one can really be ready, but just feel comfortable.

  9. December 27, 2013 at 11:19 pm — Reply

    Happy Birthday to your son!

  10. December 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    Happy birthday to your son! We just got married this year, so we would like some time to spend as just the two of us (and to also address our credit card debt). But kids are certainly on our horizon!

    • December 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm — Reply

      Thank you Michelle. Congrats on the marriage and I addressed my credit card debt for we had our son. It worked out well.

  11. December 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm — Reply

    Congrats Grayson and happy birthday to the little guy!

    I think it’s a good thing that you posted about something other than personal finances. It serves as a reminder to your readers that life is not all about money!

    • December 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm — Reply

      Thank you David. There are some better things than just money and my son is one of them.

  12. December 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm — Reply

    Happy birthday to your little man! Kids change everything – my nieces sure turned my world around, and they’re not even mine 🙂

    • December 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm — Reply

      Thank you Debby. Kids can change your world, even if you are not directly involved.

  13. December 29, 2013 at 2:29 am — Reply

    Congratulations on completing one year of adventure with your son. Make sure you max out that kid’s college savings plan contributions every year.

    • December 29, 2013 at 10:29 am — Reply

      Thank you Anthony. I am doing my best to maximize the college plan contributions. Right now, I am looking for a new plan.

  14. December 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm — Reply

    Happy birthday to your little one, Grayson.
    It is amazing how fast they grow up.

    I am on my third go around, and no doubt my kiddies have changed me forever.

    Take your time with the little ones.. don’t be afraid to just stop and play and giggle. Productivity can wait. The time spent with them when they are little is time that you will never regret..

    • December 30, 2013 at 12:03 am — Reply

      Thank you Jefferson. One thing that I have tried to do is not turn on my computer when my son is up. I think it has really helped me disconnect and just be a dad. I plan on doing this for as long as he will hang out with me.

  15. December 31, 2013 at 1:57 am — Reply

    Happy birthday to your son, Grayson! I remember having a conversation with my wife about being financially ready before we had kids…we would have been waiting a LONG time. Looking back it was just me being scared of being a parent….creating our two beautiful children was the best decision we’ve ever made. Being a dad ROCKS!

    • January 2, 2014 at 9:48 pm — Reply

      Thank you Travis. I am sure there was some hesitation on my part and being scared of being a parent. I am happy with our decision as well.

  16. December 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm — Reply

    Happy Birthday to the little one. I don’t think anyone is ever “ready” to have kids, but I think most of the time (with good parents) everything works out OK. Enjoy all these moments, they’re only little once and you can’t get the time back.

    • January 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm — Reply

      Thanks KK. You are correct. We can’t take the time back, so I am working hard.

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