Looking at 2011, I can say that I’ve accomplished a few things (I am not going to talk about any salary increase because there was none) and failed at some.
What I did right in 2011
In 2011 I finally got to see my grandmother. She is 86 years old. I did not see her for about six years! I had to admit to myself that it might be my last time seeing her. So, instead of choosing a trip to some warm and exotic place , Beaker and I travelled to cold and rainy Lithuania to spend time with my grandmother. It was the best desicion I made in 2011.
Paying Off Debt
We paid off about $18,000 plus in debt. It was not easy, especially taking into account my spending habits. We probably could have paid off even more if not for my shopping enthusiasm. However, in spite of my flaws, in spite of my spending, we were able to pay off a good chunk of debt. If we stay on this road, if I slow down with my spending, if everything goes according to plan, it is possible that by next June we will pay off all of our consumer debt. We will finally be free.
On a side note: On a side note: we did save up cash for our trip to Europe. I can be quite a good saver if I have a short-term goal.”
I published my first short story in one of the small press literary magazines. Unexpectedly for me, my short story was nominated for The Pushcart Prize (in literature) Best of The Small Press. No results have been announced yet. I believe the winners will be announced sometime in the begining of next year. Even if I don’t get this award (after all my short story is a weird tale that is not understood by everyone), just being nominated is a huge inspiration and motivation to write more.
In 2011 I also published two short stories on Kindle. I would mention them on this blog but since I published them under my real name, I don’t want to provide any additional information about those stories. If you are interested in reading them, email me.
What I did wrong in 2011
I shopped till I dropped quite a few times. I acquired things that I didn’t need and sometimes didn’t even want. I spent money when I could have saved it. We could have been debt free by now. Oh well… we still have June ahead of us.
Not Saving Enough
We don’t have an emergency fund. Our focus in 2011 was to pay off as much debt as possible and be able to go to Europe. Not having any savings (I am not even talking about all those IRA accounts or ROTH IRA rules but simple savings in a bank) scares me because if something goes really wrong we will have to use our credit card.
My embarrassing debacle of the year was with blogging. I blogged, I joined the Yakezie Challenge, and I left. I came back, I blogged some more. Then I left again. This time for about 7 months. In October of 2011 I came back to blogging again. It sounds somewhat unstable and ambivalent. Believe me it was!