It's been brought to my attention that I have been woefully ignoring this blog. And it's true... it's been months, and it's embarrassing. But take heart, faithful readers (all three of you): I have not forgotten about this blog, and I have definitely not forgotten about its mission. Paying off our debt is still a hugely important part of our life, and will continue to be for a long time to come.
So, for that update...
2011 was a good year. I am thankful and humbled that even when the country as a whole was still having a terrible time financially, we were personally finally starting to feel an upswing (the depressingly sinking value of our house notwithstanding). All told, our total debt went down $12,565.83 in 2011, and we hit a very cool milestone when we dropped below 300K - including house, cars, and other debt. And that was with taking a 3-week, cross-country road trip. Now, one could argue that it wasn't very smart or responsible to spend so much money on a vacation when we still owe 5 figures to credit cards alone. And hey, that may very well be the case. But having done it, having taken a family adventure like that, a trip that was literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience, would we do it again?
Yes, yes, a million times yes.
Did it slow down our debt repayment for the year? Of course. Was it worth it? Yes!
We're cautiously optimistic about an even better 2012. There won't be any three week vacations this year, but there will be a week to ten day trip to San Diego this fall, and starting in April I will be doing something I've wanted to do for years now, and start the process to get certified to teach yoga. Those two big expenses aside, our "extra" money will again be earmarked for debt.
A couple of tangible goals for the year:
1) Pay off another credit card, leaving us with just ONE remaining card with a balance.
2) Pay off my car, leaving us with ZERO car payments, and two outright-owned vehicles! We'll keep putting money aside, so that when the time comes, we can pay cash for our next used car.
2) Refinance our house. Like lots of people, we are ridiculously ridiculously upside down on our mortgage, and there is finally a refinance option that may show some benefits for us.
4) Bring in some additional income. This one is all on me. And I don't really want to bring in an income for the sake of bringing in an income.... but as a side effect of finally allowing myself to pursue some of my own passions: writing, blogging, and teaching yoga. And I am SO EXCITED about all of the above.
As for this blog, I want to commit to updating it at least a few times a month again, both for those of you reading, and for myself.
Happy, healthy, and abundant New Year, just a couple of weeks late.