Monday, January 23, 2012

January Update...


January has been fun and interesting. In 2011, I got baptized for the first time and I started going to Church regularly in September.  When you go through all the things I went through in the past few years, there comes a time in your life when you realize you just can't go about it alone. So, I had to rely on faith because I swear there were times when I felt there was only something or someone Supernatural keeping me on my feet...especially when I wanted to fall to my knees and couldn't get out of bed. Today, I smile! Today, I feel joy! That my friends, is progress and love!

Despite all the trials in 2011, I scored by first ever Distinguished Rating at work. Only about 2% of of employees score this rating so you know I worked my tush off in 2011!!! I volunteered for special projects and really focused on doing an exceptional job in the office. It paid off!!! I got a 4% raise effective at the end of this month. My salary is now $82k and I got a $16k bonus that also pays out at the end of the month. I have a credit card I've been using that I need to pay off and then I will be able to breathe a little easier!!!

Budgeting for 2012 has been a challenge! It seems like all of my expenses are jumping up including my student loans going up another $250 in June and my train pass going up 30%. Budget issues are being passed along to the consumer big time but I am hanging in there. I am going to look into refinancing my home with Obama's new plan which will allow me to take advantage of a lower interest rate without having to ruin my credit or miss a payment. The closing costs are less than $2k so in one year, I will break even if I can reduce my rate from 5.8% to low 4%. 

My boss asked me on Wednesday of last week to fly out on the drop of a dime for business. I was on a flight the very same night. Fun! I couldn't get back on Friday because my flight was cancelled due to Chicago's snow storm so I made it back on Saturday. Since I let my corporate card expire, I had to use my personal credit card so I will be putting in for reimbursement this week.

That's about it my friends. How did you guys do with your finances in 2011? What are your goals for 2012?

Friday, January 06, 2012

2011 Recap and Update…

I know it’s been a while people but I am alive and well!!! 2011 was an interesting year for Chitown. I had some ups and some downs but in the end…I am still standing!!! I suffered a break up, I got serious food poisoning, my grandmother passed away, my father had emergency quintuple bypass surgery and I got the news that I will need another surgery next year. Is that some craziness or what?!?!?!

I started out the year very focused following Dave Ramsey’s program and starting my goal of running a 13.1 Mile Half Marathon. I did well financially for about 9 months and then I went on a mental lapse and put back on some credit card debt. I shouldn’t have but I did. I also put back on about 10 of the 18 pounds that I lost as well.

I ended the year with a $12k improvement in my net worth and down 8 pounds. I finished one half-marathon with a time of 2:33 but got serious food poisoning the day before the second half marathon. I landed myself in Urgent Care for 2 IV’s and a few shots the day before the race. Needless to say, that trip to Urgent Care dashed my exercise program and put me in a funk. I also incurred about $750 in medical bills. So September 11th, I cheered on my brother-in-law and he finished the race for both of us.

The following month of October on a Wednesday, my Grandmother finally succumbed to Alzheimers and within a few days, my Father landed himself in the ER with chest pains. My world and my mind were spinning!!! We spent the next two weeks in the hospital with him as he went through angioplasty and then emergency quintuple bypass. He is now home and going through cardiac rehab.

So the last four months, I didn’t have the focus for budgeting and I whipped out the credit card and just went with the flow. That’s about it folks. I updated my Networthiq profile so you can see my month-to-month progress through 2011. Just click on the blue chart and it will take you to the site. I also updated my little progress charts on the right bar.

I have to sit down and set some new goals for 2012!!! I am really excited about this year and I hope to come on here a little more often and give some updates. =)