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?


DreamChaser57 said...

Great to have you back, WCB! Spirituality can ground you in the most challenging of storms, including your grandmother’s passing. I hope your Dad has a swift and lasting recovery. You have been duly rewarded for your focus and drive at work, a thousand congrats!

Financial windfalls are so rare, we must be intentional not to let these awesome opportunities slip through our fingers. Interest capitalization notwithstanding, it looks like you can pay off one group (D, C, U, M, P, Q) of loans in one fell swoop and still have a few thousand to give yourself a moderately priced treat and make a big lump sum payment on a credit card.

Best Wishes for a great 2012……….

S.H said...

Good to see you back!!! I missed reading your updates. My condolences on the loss of your grandmother and your dad is in my prayers. So are you. I hope everything goes well with your fitness and financial goals. Congrats on teh baptism and the renewed spirit and attitude. And on the great rewards at work.

I have many goals this year myself. The one getting most of my attention right now is to pay 20,012 toward my student in 2012.

Good luck and I'll be reading.

Financial Independence said...

My goals on the way to financial independence for 2012 are:

- Accumulate at least $40,000 for investments during 2012, beginning 2013.
- Create feasible plan 10 year and review the priorities.
- Diversify the nest egg.
- Think about additional source of income.

- Regular monthly updates
- To cover 6 themes
I have no intentions to move towards an entertaining blog with 2-3 weekly posts. I will endeavor my best efforts to stay on personal subject of financial independence.

- Create list of books to read & read them- 12 books in minimum.
- Publish reviews.
- Have solid understanding of mutual funds and energy sector stocks.

Family Budget:
- Stay under $75,000 with the family expenses
- Accumulate $7,000 towards durable goods replacement over 10 years.

Be happy.
What are yours?