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Wednesday, September 22

My Frugal Miser Looks Back: Have I Made Progress?

One of the primary reasons I started this blog was to hold myself accountable. It's easy to create goals and resolutions. The hard part is achieving them. I suspected that if I set goals, published them, and then, hopefully, people read those goals and tuned in to see my progress, I would have a greater obligation to take my goals seriously.

The question is, "Has it worked?" Yes and no.
  • In 2008 I spent on average $7.48 per day on food, even though I traveled extensively for my job and my meals were reimbursed while I was on the road. So far this year, I am averaging $4.89 per day. I have reduced my food budget by 35%.
  • In 2008 I spent $2,529 on alcohol. Okay, okay... I used to drink way too much. So far this year I have spent $302.
  • At the end of 2009 I owed $63,415 in credit card debt and car loans. Today I owe $41,152. Since the start of the year I have paid off $22,263 in credit card and auto debt.
  • In December I decided to eliminate 100 items of "clutter" in 31 days. While I failed to finish my goal of 100 things, I did eliminate 41 items or clusters of items (for example, "books" were classified as 1 item even though I got rid of several books.
  • I have yet to lose any weight. This is my greatest personal struggle.
All in all I know I have accomplished more because I am publishing my goals for the world to see. Thanks for helping to keep me on task!


  1. You have done pretty well at meeting your goals. Losing weight is a tough one. It has been a goal of mine for a while but I'm not making any progress on it.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Andy. I've struggled with my weight since I was a teenager. About ten years ago I managed to get down to 168 pounds (losing about 30 total) but back then I didn't work as much and I exercised like crazy. Now that I'm older and stay so busy it's a lot harder to do.

  3. how do you manage to pay off 22k in cc bills in one year, what kind of salary are you getting?

  4. Yossi,

    I keep my recurring COSTS low while working to increase my recurring INCOME. Today I am a full time mystery shopper, but I earn recurring income from 7 rental properties I have purchased over the last 7 years. I didn't buy these houses with an inheritance or an extraordinary income (although the corporate job I left last year paid me well). I bought them one at a time, putting 20% down and then paying them off as fast as possible. These are mostly foreclosures so not too much out of pocket. Alas, credit markets are tighter now so it isn't quite as easy to finance new purchases.