Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 - A Year in Review

Let's take a moment and review a snippet from a post from about a year ago:

I'm not going to call these my resolutions. Why? I'm notoriously horrible at keeping New Year's resolutions. And I want these to stick. So I'm psyching myself out by not calling them what they essentially are.

And then I gave you a list of non-resolutions.  So let's review how these turned out:

Pay down an additional $25,000 in debt.

Oooh...this was the big one.  And how did we do?

Paid off a whopping $5721.18.

Yep...that's it.

I obviously have failed at being a debt-paying-offer.

The non-resolution of paying off that chunk of change depended on a huge item that didn't happen.  In June, Chip left for OCS (Officer Candidate School) for the Army. It would be a full time pay (at a higher rank) for 2 months along with a housing allowance and travel pay. In other was going to be a pretty sweet couple of months to pay regardless of him being away for 2 solid months with little to no contact with us.

After that, he had hoped to go for at least a few months of this year to his next stage of training, which would have been full time pay again. 

These things? Did not go as planned.  Chip was not ready for OCS.  And once he came home before graduation, he decided that he had gone for the wrong reason. He had gone for the paycheck. He really doesn't fee like he wants to be an officer or command other soldiers. He wanted a nice paycheck to round out his last eight year of military service that he needs before qualifying for retirement.

So that estimate of $25K was based on paycheck that never came. And now? He is at home taking care of our lovely daughter, which saves us a bundle in childcare, but does not add income to our household income. I'm totally okay with both parts of that, but it doesn't factor in well with paying off a huge amount of debt.

Maintain our $1500 starter emergency fund.
We actually have more in it right now because Chip was paid upfront when he went to OCS.  I put the excess money in our savings account so I wouldn't lose track of it and spend it or send it to debt repayment so that when the Army wanted it back, they could have it in one lump payment.

However, the Army has started taking it out of his monthly drill paycheck. I need to get him to find out if this is their plan going forward, because if so, we'll just go that route and I'll send the extra money off to debt repayment and up that balance down some more.

Continue tithing 10% each paycheck.
This is something I did really well for the first few months of the year. Then things got hard and faith obviously wavered.  That's hard to admit, but it is the only explanation I have for stopping our tithe. I was scared when the money wasn't there for a few weeks, which is silly because God has always been faithful to make what we have work for us when I do tithe. But this controlling part of me panicked and this was the result. I will say that the last couple of months this year, we resumed tithing, so we are back on track.

Gift an additional $200/month toward our Relentless campaign.
This is an ongoing capital campaign at our church for various projects going on.  We made a faith promise of $200/month for two years. When my faith wavered (see tithing above), this suffered as well. So we have to get back on the wagon with this as well.

Side hustle $3000 this year.
This actually turned out okay.  We pocketed $4947.00 this year by selling stuff and in debit card rewards.  Some of that was due to my etsy shop, which ran really well the first half of the year (but I decided to close until further notice when Chip left for OCS so I could spend more time with the kids).

So 2/5. 

That's depressing. A 40% success rate.  There are not many people who would bet with odds like that.

But this year we're going to see what we can do.

Although we didn't eliminate $25K in debt, we did get rid of $5K. Which is better than nothing. And we've got a plan going forward. Tomorrow we'll talk about some successes that we not planned - mainly just to make me feel better about what I had to report to you today. Then on Friday, we look into the upcoming plan for 2012.  Maybe the goals will not be as naive this go around.

Photo credit: ilco


  1. Sorry to hear about your debt woes and not meeting your goals. Goals are hard to meet when we sit down and put them together in one moment before a whole year has even played out.

    At least your debt went down from 25 Grand to just under 20 grand. This in itself to me is still a win no matter what. Your debt is down not up.

    Hopefully your goals are not too lofty and you can reach reachable targets.

    I know myself I don't really set goals too big as I fail to meet them and feel like I failed. I always set small goals and goals I can reach within a few months rather than a whole year after I meet 1 goal I set another and so on. A calendar year to set goals is just that A Calendar year. why set targets for 365 days when you can wittle it down to an easier time frame of say 30 days.

    My apologies these are only my opinions I'm only trying to put a positive spin on it.

    And forget not that 40% success rate is still a + not a - going forward. Even your post in itself to me is still a positive as you are working to make things better. Give yourself a pat on the back. Never bee too hard on you when your trying.

    Good luck in 2012.
    Sincerely Kevin from Linkies Contest Linkies

  2. Thanks, Kevin for your motivation and opinions! Always open for suggestions! =)

    And I know that something is always better than nothing (with the debt reduction and whatnot) but I just hate that somewhere along the way the lofty dreams became unattainable. No one likes that, right?

    So yes, this year's plan is hopefully much more do-able. =)

    Thanks for stopping by!



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