reviewing our progress for 2011

It may be nearly June, but I have been intending to jot down our start-of-year paying-off-debt progress ever since the beginning of January. So here goes.

We didn’t make any specific financial goals for 2011. I had a feeling that we weren’t going to make much or any progress during the year. As it turns out, I was right.

Here is how 2011 looked for us. Keith was unemployed for the first five months, during which time we incurred more debt. He then worked long hours at an arduous job for most of the rest of the year, during which time we paid off some debt, including one of our three student loans (hurray!). We then had enough money saved up to pay the full birth costs of our third child by the end of December.

So. After being unemployed for nearly half the year and paying for the birth costs of another baby out-of-pocket, as well as having me be able to be home full-time with our little ones all year, we ended up starting 2012 with a grand total of $94.87 more debt to our name than when we began 2011.

Disappointing? Well… yes and no. Sometimes making less progress helps us recognize the times when we make more. It was not a banner year financially, and yet the difficulties that we ran into could have set us back much further than they did. We didn’t pinch pennies as carefully as we have during some years, yet we also didn’t make any memorably foolish financial decisions that cost us from going forward, and all in all I think we were fairly fiscally responsible.

The only area in which I wish we’d been able to do just a bit more was in contributing to Keith’s Roth IRA. Our yearly “bare minimum” goal is $1000… which I know is paltry compared to how much you really should put toward those things, but it’s significantly better than nothing… and we contributed $900. So it would have been nice to contribute just a bit more there, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. Maybe this year we will be able to achieve a bit more in that category.

Published in: on May 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment