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Saturday, December 31

My Frugal Miser - Looking Back at my 2011 Goals

It's hard to believe 2011 came and went so fast. For me it was quite a year. I opened and subsequently closed a restaurant.  I sold many of my material things and seriously considered moving to Tampa, Florida.  Most of my income came from rental properties but after closing the restaurant I managed to recover some of my mystery shopping work.  On the fun side (I spend money on experiences, not things), I took a 9 day vacation to Las Vegas and Phoenix, another 6 day trip to Las Vegas, and a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas.  Even though I was my own boss the entire year, I still managed to make significant progress.

I had 6 big goals for 2011:
  1. Lose 12-24 pounds. This one I failed miserably. In fact, I've gained more weight this year.
  2. Increase my net worth by $50,000. I blew this right out of the water.  In fact, my net worth increased nearly $70,000 in 2011.  Once again my retirement accounts significantly outperformed the markets.  However, the biggest contributor to the increase was in reducing debt.  Even though I bought a foreclosure this year with credit card checks, my overall debt fell by $25,000.  Let me repeat:  I took on new debt to invest in a rental property (about $25,000), but my total debt still fell. 
  3. Reduce utilities expense by 10%. In 2010 I spent $2,703 on electricity, natural gas, water/sewer, Internet and phone. My goal was to reduce this to $2,433 in 2011, or spend on average $200 per month.  In 2011, I spent $2,702 on utilities, basically the same as last year.  
  4. Cut credit card/car loan debt to $8,000. It was $44,979.53 at the end of 2010.  I did not anticipate buying a house with credit card checks, so I did not meet this goal.
  5. Pay off car loan. Not only did I pay it off, but I sold it.  We became a one car family earlier this year.
I had a sixth goal related to the restaurant.  Obviously I didn't meet that goal since we closed the place down.


  1. At least you made some of your goals. Are you going to be making any of these goals for 2012?

  2. Andy - I have to lose some weight, and it can't just be something I tell myself I will do. I saw your post about your weight loss goal, and I felt like I was looking at myself in the mirror. What particularly hit home was what you said about waking up...tired and with no energy. I used to spring out of bed. Now sometimes I feel like I've been hit over the head by a concrete block when I wake up.

    I've managed to lose weight twice in my life. Between 1999-2000 I lost about 50 pounds. I didn't have many financial obligations at the time and my body was still young. I got into a habit of walking 2-3 hours every single day. I also ate better but it was mostly the exercise that helped. Then in 2005 I joined Weight Watchers with a couple friends. I lost 30 pounds in just a few months.

    Of course, both times I have lost weight I've always managed to gain it all back and then some. This time I have to change old habits and find a lifestyle I can stick with.

    I don't have any firm plan yet for achieving this goal...something I need to work on. You have any ideas?