Friday, December 9, 2011

Elevate Your Finances in 2011 - December update

Welcome to Elevate Your Finances in 2011!

It's time to update our financial goals, which I posted at the beginning of the year.

Our main financial goal is to pay off 50% of the balance (as of 12/31/10) of our home equity line this year.

We are anticipating some large bills coming up - insurance bills, as well as paying for some car repairs.  So we are holding back money that could be going toward the debt until we see how we are doing.

So in December, we were able to pay another very tiny chunk of the debt, plus the interest of course. For the year, we've paid off 13% of the amount, whereas I had wanted to pay off 50%.

Why did this happen?  We did had a lot of unexpected expenses this year - house and car repairs. And a lot of expenses went up, such as our homeowners insurance and utility bills, which were out of our control.  (Here in South Florida, we're lucky just to have private homeowners insurance, never mind the cost.)

 But, a lot of what we spent was under our control.  We went out of state to visit family three times this year - generally we only go once, maybe two times tops - which sapped a lot of money.  Our children's activities are taking up more and more money each year.  And we continue to enjoy restaurants and takeout food.

So I think we will have to seriously look at these optional expenses next year.  It's time to stop treating this debt like a pet - we need to get rid of it!

How are you doing on your financial goals this year? Leave a comment below!

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Anonymous,  December 10, 2011 at 5:05 PM  

In the end of 2010 I decided to start a zero line type budget where I wrote down every dime everyone in our household spent in cash and I also put into the spread sheet every bill that came into the home and every check I wrote. In 2009 we had managed to become debt free so our new goal was to start saving for a house. I was shocked at how much we spend and even though it is nothing compared with what we use to spend and compared with what others we are friends with spend I was still shocked with all the what I call all the "Oh By The Ways" in life. We all know this "Oh By The Way Mom my class is taking a field trip and I need x amount to cover cost"
"Oh By The Way so and so at the office is having a baby and this is your portion of the pot"
"Oh By The Way the church pot luck dinner is on such and such date and you agreed to bring blank item" This and the other "Oh By The Ways" The hot water heater went, the car needs breaks, hubby needs a root canal and darned if my dress shoes didn't just fall apart last week and I need a new set for the upcoming holiday parties.
These amounted to over $18K this year in our family , if you were to keep track how many
"Oh By The Ways" would you have for your famiy?

Unknown December 10, 2011 at 7:35 PM  

I love your phrase, "Oh By The Ways." It's perfect! I hear that phrase all the time. I don't know how much I spent on "Oh By The Ways" but I'm sure it is a lot!

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