The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on how your activities of the previous year. By now you must be tired of seeing every kind of 2012 retrospective imaginable, but don’t shut your computer off until you’ve read mine!
As you know, I owe the entire existence of this blog to my journey out of debt. As with any journey, there are ups and downs, but by putting one foot in front of the other you will eventually get to where you are going. So it has been with my debt.
I began the year 2012 owing my creditors $101,056.63 and ended 2012 owing my creditors $144,224.79, an increase of almost 43%. If you were to take a look at just those numbers I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that I’ve been an abysmal failure at my journey out of debt. Hidden between those numbers are a host of things that happened within the year including the fact that I paid nearly $25,000 towards debt servicing. The great thing about this blog is that I can look back at every single month and see what major events occurred that might have added to my debt.
I can think of two right off the top of my head:
- I bought a house, then two months later;
- I bought a car
The house thing was planned. The car thing was not. Those medical bills are still coming in and I’ll only have to pay a $200 deductible for an event that will cost the other driver well over $20,000 in medical bills alone.
What you also don’t see reflected in the numbers is the evolution of my thought process in terms of my debt. We established that your debt is just a number and not a reflection of who you are as an individual. I am thankful for my new mantra; “I am not my debt and my debt is just a number.”
Last year, I decided to be more transparent, and so I shared how I was making money online, and even shared the actual numbers with you every single month. I wanted to prove that it is entirely possible to make money online, and reiterate that you should never depend on your employer for the entirety of your income. I hope that this blog has inspired a few of you to begin developing a side hustle of your own. It will take time to develop an independent income stream, hell, I’m still working on it, but every extra dollar that you make on your own is one less that you’ve depended upon your employer for.
Last year we learned different strategies for reducing what is collectively our largest debt, our mortgages, faster than ever. We learned about teaching our children to be better financial stewards though a series of posts aimed at educating you about talking to your kids. We’ve even chatted a bit about how government policies can affect our finances.
We even added Nelson, our writer who likes showing you some tough love, to the family. Many of you didn’t like him too much at first, but he’s here to challenge you to think differently. There is value in hearing and seeing a new or opposing viewpoint on a subject. Unlike the way that our government has been run lately, I’m always welcoming of at least fostering a debate. Plus, Nelson doesn’t bite…too hard.
This blog is celebrating its fourth anniversary this month. Yes, there’s a giveaway as usual. But, before we get to that, I’d like to tell you what to expect in the new year.
- You will see additional viewpoints from a host of guest writers. I’ve opened my blog to new financial bloggers so that they too can share their stories. I believe in storytelling as a way of learning, and 2013 will be filled with an Aesop’s Fable of stories. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going away. I’ll still be here with the occasional rant.
- You will see more financial news. By helping to educate you about real time financial issues, you can make better, more informed choices as to what the financial decisions that will work best for you and your family.
- You will see more interactive features (hopefully) including infographics, videos, a special offers sections, tweet chats and app or two. Who knows what else will end up here.
- You’ll still get my monthly debt and income status reports. Many debt bloggers are shying away from this, but I don’t have a problem with it. I’m not ashamed.
- Whatever you suggest! I’m open to suggestions, so let me know what you want me to cover. You can always email me at cheapskate@yesiamcheap.
So, it’s time for the next frontier with this blog. I don’t know what that means, but we’ll find out together, I guess. Last year I chose I Got A Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas as my theme song for the year. This year I’m a little less hyper but I’m still happy to have an entirely new year to look forward to. This year, my these song is the iconic Three Little Bird by the legendary Bob Marley.
Happy New Year.
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.