Obligatory 2013 Goal Post

Mr. Woodpecker and I sat down yesterday and made our goals for the 2013 year. We’re very excited about accomplishing these goals in the next 12 months (or at least making significant progress on them).

  1. Pay off credit card debt by April 30th, 2013. This is going pretty well so far, we have about $8,500 more to go. We’ll definitely be half way there by the end of this month. This goal will have to be accomplished before we can do the rest of the goals. Step in the next 48 hours: Worked at Kohls and paid almost $600 off within 2 days of making the goal.
  2. Have wedding with family present completely debt free. We want a debt free wedding. And a kick ass honeymoon (see step #5). I think we’ve finally reached a decision about our wedding: Cancun wedding at an all-inclusive. The ceremony is free, the reception is free. All we’ll have to pay for is airfare, room, and photography. It is more expensive for our guests, but it is more affordable for us. And we’re giving everyone we want an “out” with the option to celebrate with us at our pot-luck reception at our house afterwards. Step in the next 48 hours: Contact the all-inclusive to see about reserving a date.
  3. Build fence for backyard (debt free). We want to put a fence in the backyard for the dogs. This has always been the thing that we wanted to do as our first “home project”.  Step in the next 48 hours: Looking in to doggy door options online, since we already have the fence guy we want to use and an approximate cost ($1,500).
  4. Set up 10% of both our incomes going to retirement, set up wills, make sure beneficiaries on retirement and life insurance are updated, make sure amounts on life insurance are appropriate. I feel like since we’re getting married this is pretty obvious that we need to do this.  Step in the next 48 hours: Find ourselves a marital attorney for wills, discuss pre-nups, etc. Contact financial adviser to set up meeting (free service provided by my employer).  Retirement and life insurance above our work minimums will be set up after goal #1.
  5. Go on kick ass vacation (A.K.A. – a honeymoon) debt free. See comments on goal #2. We’re doing this!

Extra Money This Summer

This summer I need to earn some extra money – I’ll have lots of “free time” and why not make money to pay off debt? So far I have 3 different avenues that are in the works to get me some extra cash:

1. Summer school at MY University. From May 16th to June 10th I’ll be teaching a 4-week summer class at my University. I’ll get paid based on the number of students enrolled in the class. I’ll get paid between $2,000-$3,000 depending on the number of students. If 3 or less sign up then I can run the class directed study, but I’ll only get a few hundred dollars for it – not worth it at that point. So here’s hoping for at least 4 students!

2. Summer school at the local community college. I have an interview on Tuesday at the local community college to teach a summer class there. The class would run from June 6th to July 28th. So there would be 1 week of overlap between that class and the class I’m teaching at my school. There is also a slight time conflict, but since I’ll know about it before hand I can change the time of the summer school class at my university before students sign up so that it doesn’t conflict with the community college class time if I do get the position. This is a moderate inconvenience, but shouldn’t be a big issue. If I do get the position I’ll make between $2,500-4,000 for teaching the one class (it is more units than the class I’ll be teaching at my university, so I’ll get paid a bit more).

3. My dad will rent my sister’s room. I talked two years ago about how my dad was working at Costco to survive the recession and his unemployment. He’s since moved on and is now working as a product demonstrator at grocery stores and warehouse stores. This job is 100% travel based. He loves it because he gets to have the freedom to be anywhere in the country. Right now he’s in coastal California. For May-June he plans on being in Kansas City to spend some time with me and my sister. In July-August he plans on going to Colorado. Then coming back to Kansas City area in the fall – and then going to Florida for the summer. He loves that his job is also a vacation tour around the country. Being that he is single and all his kids are out of the nest, it is a pretty good situation for him.

The only caveat to my dad’s new position is that he has to live in extended stay hotels. He pays 1/2 of the bill and his company pays the other. Which amounts to essentially what he’d be paying in rent/mortgage if he lived somewhere. So for the time that he’s staying in Kansas City (once my sister leaves), he’ll be staying with me.

This isn’t the first time that my dad has lived with me while I’ve been an adult. He also lived with me for 6 months when I was a graduate student. It really isn’t a huge issue for me as my dad loves going out on dates and entertains himself very well. So it will be nice to have him around.  The only problem is that he’ll probably want to have more meals together, which could definitely increase my food costs since my dad likes pretty elaborate dinners. (But since he’s diabetic, they’re also really healthy dinners, too!)

He said that he would pay me rent money for the time he’s with me. From our conversation it seemed like ~$75 per week will probably be what he pays me. Since he’s planning on hanging around for around 4 weeks in May/June and then another 2 weeks in August. That is a cool $450 I’ll make tax free. Also, I’ll save money by not having to redo my sister’s room in to my craft room too soon. Also, he’ll save money since he won’t be staying at the hotels during that time and getting to spend time with his beautiful daughter. It really is a win-win situation. 😉

All in all, for these three summer activities (if I get the position at the local community college), I’ll be able to make between $4,950-7,450 (before taxes). This will be ON TOP OF the regular paychecks that I’ll get from my faculty position now (I’m on a 10-month contract, but that amount is paid to me over 12 months). So all of this money I’ll be earning in the summer will be able to go STRAIGHT to debt. That means that I could easily reach my goal of reducing my debt by $5,000 this year by the end of the summer. How freakin’ sweet would that be?

Paying for Financial Peace

I have mentioned plenty of times now that I’m currently attending Financial Peace University.  While I wasn’t sure I needed it, BF and I definitely DO need it. The preview night and the (free) first night definitely taught me that.

The next question though is: HOW DO I PAY FOR THIS?!

To order the FPU kit through the church we’re taking the class with it costs $99.

This is really a poorly thought out plan. What person who NEEDS FPU has $99?

In addition, Dave doesn’t let you go in to debt to attend his class. So they only accept check or cash!!

Okay… as we all know… I don’t have $99 just siting around. I felt strapped when I had to increase my savings contribution by $30! How in the world will I find THREE TIMES that amount by week 2?

Wanna know how I did it? This is how: I made it a “yearly expense“. Okay, this is kinda cheating the system, but I essentially gave myself a 0% interest loan for the money.

See, every paycheck I put aside money in to a savings account that pays for yearly expenses. Things like Christmas, car insurance, car registration, vacations, car maintenance. I estimate how much those things cost each year, divide it by 12, and save that much each month. Then I keep a spreedsheet document in Google Docs (so you fine people can see it) that I update with how much I’ve spent and how much I have remaining towards that purchase. It works really well for me in not going nuts with once a year expenses.

So, I added FPU to that list, and starting in March I’ll be putting away $10/month towards FPU (the equivalent of $5 per paycheck).  Okay, technically FPU isn’t a once yearly expense, it is a lifetime membership. But I couldn’t find any other way to pay for it that didn’t involve debt or not going.

I’m not sure if Dave would approve of how I payed for it – but this is how I did it. Like it or not! 😉

Imagine 2011

While I have a lot of things I want to accomplish in the next year,  I’m not really going to set them up as “goals” or “resolutions” for the next year. I’ve decided instead to focus on general themes for my life – or what I will call “imaginings“.

These are the things I’m going to strive for – am striving for – will strive for.

The goals for 2011 aren’t specific like “lose 10 pounds” or “save $5,000”. They’re bigger than that. This year I’m looking at improvements to my life and who I am as a person. Creating positive growth in areas of my life by whatever means possible. That is where the IMAGINING comes in.

What life do I want? How will I get there?

Personal Growth: I want to find out who I am.

I have realized in the past two weeks that absent from work I’m clueless as to who I am as a person. I have decided that for now I need to explore the part of me that wants to give to others. I also need to work on developing new friendships. While I have a great relationship with BF and a good set of people I can hang out with through him – I have very little friends of my own apart from him. A few things I have already put in to place to help develop and foster these relationships and this personal growth:

  • Attend church and Sunday school weekly to meet new people
  • Volunteer monthly at the local homeless shelter preparing and serving meals
  • Attend the monthly game night held by my local church
  • Attend Financial Peace University – to get financially more on track and connect with others in the class
  • Find a mentoring/tutoring/long term weekly tutoring commitment with adult learners/battered women/homeless shelter – I’m going to an informal training session for one held by the local community college on January 23rd

Relationship Growth: Continue to build a strong relationship with BF

The relationship that BF and I are fostering is already very strong. We make each other laugh, we are caring to each other, open with each other and we genuinely make each other very happy. One reason why is that we both put the time and effort in to treating the other person with respect and love. We both want this relationship to go somewhere stronger and are both dedicated towards nurturing each other and the relationship. It is a refreshing feeling knowing that I’m not “in it” alone and that I have someone by my side who will be there for me. He is easy to be with and I appreciate that. I want in the next year to continue to grow this relationship with trust, love and honesty. There are no set ways to do this but a conscious desire on both our parts to be the best partners to each other that we can be.

Financial Growth: Get a positive net worth.

My big financial aspiration is to have a positive net worth. I’m tired of being worth less than I owe. It is time to get in the black! There are a few ways that I plan on obtaining a positive net worth. These are my current goals, and they could change. Just so long as in the end my net worth gets to >$0.

  • Getting my Emergency Fund up to $1,200 by the end of the year
  • Reducing my credit card debt another $5,000
  • Continually investing 6% of my income (my full match) in to retirement

The reason I call this “Imagine 2011” instead of “2011 Goals” is because I want my focus not to be on set or specific WAYS to go about achieving these big themes (Personal Growth, Relationship Growth and Financial Growth) but instead on imaging what my life will be when I obtain these goals and discovering new ways to obtain them as the year continues.

Thus, I’m not setting myself concrete goals like “volunteer at 2 places” – but instead over-arching theme goals of “find out more who I am”. For now I believe that this means volunteering and getting involved in my church. But in three months this may mean exploring crafts and hobbies like hiking or mountain biking or sky diving. I’m a living, breathing, changing being – and so should my goals!

Thus in 2011 I’m going to imagine the possibilities of a better life and imagine various ways to obtain that life.

Just imagine – what will YOU do in 2011? Who do you want to be when this year is over?

2010 Goals – Failure?

I had 4 goals for 2010. I accomplished none of the financial ones. The main reason is that I underwent a HUGE life change in August by switching states and jobs. This changed my yearly goals. I was upset about not accomplishing any of them, but to be honest, I think that being flexible with your goals is the hallmark of financial freedom. Had I not  started on this financial quest then I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the move or the job change.

The first goal was to eliminate my credit card debt.

This didn’t happen. Or come even close to happening. I managed to get my debt down another $3,000. Which is significant, but not as substantial as I had hoped for. The main reason for this is that very soon in to the year I decided to switch my goals away from paying debt and towards saving for the pending move. I saved $5,000 that would have gone to debt. Add this to the amount in my stocks and mutual funds that I have earmarked for debt and I definitely would have been really close to paying off the debt.

The second goal was to maintain a $1,200 emergency fund.

Like I mentioned, I saved $5,000 for moving expenses in my emergency fund. I used every last dime of this to pay for some aspect of moving – whether it be deposit on my apartment, lease break fees at my old place, moving expenses, ect. I did get reimbursed $1,400 for moving expenses but I put that on to my debt rather than back in to my emergency fund.

The third goal was to not eat out for 345 days in 2010.

I made it through 8 months of not eating out before finally throwing the towel in. I stopped because the month I moved was too difficult to not eat out. It is very difficult to cook when your things are in boxes!  This was a pretty good success for me, I lost 25 pounds by not eating out. I saved quite a bit of money. I learned how to cook. And I don’t eat out as much now, even though I can. I made it a habit to eat in rather than eat out, and that is truly what I was trying to accomplish.

The final goal I had for 2010 was to do something every day that made me happy.

I’d say this goal was my greatest success. Yah, I stopped keeping track of what made me happy. But I did something that improved my overall life happiness: I changed jobs. I was miserable at my old job. Absolutely miserable. I didn’t like the town, my co-workers, and the dating life in a small, college town is a miserable if you’re not 24 years old (anymore).

Now I’m in a great city. I have a better job than I could have ever hoped for. I have an excellent group of people that I enjoy hanging out with. I have  a boyfriend who treats me better than any boyfriend I have ever had. I made a change in my life that has made me happy every day. This was my major success of 2010.

Yearly Savings Plan Changes

You would think that maybe yearly savings goals don’t change. But it turns out they do!

I decided to reassess my yearly savings goals for a few reasons:

1. I undersaved for auto expenses both this year and last year. While I thought one year might have been a fluke, two years in a row definitely is not. I need to be saving quite a bit more to keep my car running.

2. I have an employer contributed Health Savings Account now. My employer is contributing $118.56 per month towards an interest bearing HSA account for me. The plan is pretty sweet as the money doesn’t expire each year so as long as I’m healthy the account just keeps growing. Also, I can use the money in it to pay for eye exams and contacts, which my new insurance doesn’t cover. Because of this new account I don’t need to continue to contribute $20/month towards my health like I was. Now my employer contributes even MORE for me!

3. My employer pays my professor affiliation dues now. I used to save $5/month to pay my registration dues to the American Chemical Society. Now my employer pays it for me so I don’t have to worry about saving for it any more.

4. Car and apartment insurance. I used to pay my car insurance monthly, but since I had the money to pay it in full last time I payed it (and save a good $20 or so) I did that. Now I’m saving up monthly into my yearly savings account so that I can pay it every 6 months rather than monthly. As well, I previously did not have renters insurance. My new apartment requires it, and it is a good idea, so I am saving monthly for that yearly expense as well.

5. Increased contribution to pet vaccinations. My previous location I had access to a really great low cost vaccination clinic. I’m not sure when vaccinations come around again that I’ll be so lucky to find as good of a deal here in Kansas City. The previous place did everything at cost, so even low cost vaccinations clinics here might be a little more expensive. Just to be sure I’ve upped my contributions to my pet vaccination fund. I’ll reassess this after I’ve gone through a round of vaccinations here to see how much it will REALLY cost me. Unfortunately none of the lost cost clinics in the area post their prices on their websites. Bummer.

6. Decreased contribution to haircut savings. Why? I’ve been saving $15/month to this for two years and have never used up all the money in this account. So I’m decreasing my contribution by $5. I only cut my hair 3 times per year (at most), and generally I go to places that are $35 for a cut plus tip. So not terribly expensive. I also toyed with just cutting this out of my yearly savings all together and just paying for my haircuts out of my normal every day expenses. However I’m leaving it in for now and I’ll just pay for any overages with my normal spending accounts.

Here’s how the numbers look for each category, previous and current:

I theoretically will be saving more per month. But since I’m not contributing to monthly payments to my car insurance it actually ends up being the same amount of money. (Also, spoiler alert, I switched to paying $235/month when I moved because I payed the insurance fees in August). So while it appears as if I’m saving more, I’m actually just reallocating where the money is going each month.

My Yearly Savings

I’ve talked about this before on my blog, probably ad nauseum for some of my more faithful readers, but I am a strong believer in what I call my “yearly savings”.

The idea struck me when I was in graduate school trying to live on a VERY tight budget. I realized the times when I was really in trouble financially were months when I had a large expense on top of paycheck to paycheck living. Things like buying contacts. Christmas presents. Vacations. Car maintenance. Car registration. Professional affiliation dues.

All of them were things I knew I would have to pay every year. But having a $100 car registration due on top of a tight salary left me resorting to the credit card towards the end of the month just to pay for everything.

My solution was pretty simple: Add up the amount I want to spend on these things a year. Divide by 12. Put this amount in to a savings account each month. Pull from this account to pay for the expenses. If the amount goes over the amount that I’ve allocated pay for the remainder from my regular checking account – which is much easier to manage!

(In reality, I just pay for the expense with my checking account and then transfer funds after the fact or before, depending on the scenario.)

My categories are as follow:

Car Maintenance Fund – $480/year – $40/month – I currently have $0 remaining to spend

Christmas – $480/year – $40/month – I currently have $417 remaining to spend

Car registration – $120/year – $10/month – I currently have $17 remaining to spend

Pet vaccinations – $240/year – $20/month – I currently have $0 remaining to spend

Haircut/beautification – $180/year – $15/month – I currently have  $30 remaining to spend

Health fund – $240/year – $20/month – I currently have $165 remaining to spend

Vacation fund – $480/year – $40/month – I currently have $230 remaining to spend

Professional affiliation dues – $60/year – $5/month – I currently have $0 remaining to spend

For the next year I’ll also need to save up monthly for car insurance payments and renters insurance as well (I’m switching to paying annually/bi-annually rather than monthly to save a few extra bucks). I’ve already started saving this amount so it shouldn’t be an issue to pay when the time comes ($50/month for both).

Now here is the delimna. I plan this on a yearly basis. So I can start at $0 on January 1st and still be solvent for the entire year (assuming the car doesn’t need all its repairs at once or more than one or two things don’t hit at the same time). I know Christmas won’t happen till the end of the year. I know that my professional dues aren’t due until June. My car registration the same month. The pet vaccinations will be in February. It is a little bit of a gamble the first few months, but I do have an E-fund to pull from as back up if I don’t have enough in my yearly account to pay the difference and then I just credit the E-fund with the amount borrowed over the next few pay checks.

I will have money left over come December as I won’t have used all of the car registration, vacation fund, or health fund. This will be around $400. I have three options for this money:

1. Keep it in the yearly savings account as a “buffer” if multiple expenses happen at once at the beginning of the year.

2. Put this money in to the E-fund at the beginning of the year and start from $0 for 2011 in the yearly savings.

3. Put this money on the credit card and start from $0 for 2011 in the yearly savings.

I’m not quite sure which option I want to pick. I like #1 and #2 the best because it keeps the money geared towards its original intention: savings. Part of me wants to just keep the money where it is at just because it is easier that way. But from a straight budgeting/math point of view it is easier to “wipe the slate clean” in January and start from $0. It makes reconciling my account balance with my Excel file so much easier.

What to do… what to do?

December Summary

Since I’ve reset my sidebars, I wanted to have a post to archive how close I got to achieving my 2009 goals.

Here is how my side bars ended up as of December 31st, 2009:

My 2009 Goals:

1) Reduce debt from $16,000 to $12,000.

2) Grow emergency fund to $1,200.

3) Eliminate all other personal debt.


Credit Card Debt

Initial Debt: $16,000

Current Debt: $12,631

Goal for 2009: $12,000



Emergency Fund

Goal: $1,200

Starting Amount: $13

Current Amount: $998

Met as of 11/30/2009

Unmet 12/15/2009



Student Loan

Initial Debt: $17,000

Current Debt: $15,157

Goal for 2009: $15,000



Other Debt

Initial Debt: $2,285

Current Debt: $0

Paid off as of 08/01/2009



Extra December Income

Initial Amount: $0

Goal: $1,000

Current Amount: $1,316



I ended up the year completing only 1 of my 3 goals. I eliminated all of my miscellaneous consumer debt (my balance on my Sony credit card, my Express card and my Limited card). I did get my E-fund up to $1,200 – but had to use it for my car repairs in December. I got very close to my credit card debt goal. I missed it only because I kinda just made up a number when I made the goal. I didn’t do any planning and just picked a number that seemed good. This year I’ve given it much more thought and really believe that I’ll get down to $0 debt by December 31st, 2010.

I did make $1,316 in extra income in December – which is INCREDIBLE – and $300 over my $1,000 extra income goal for the month.

Today is Day 1 of my 2010 Challenge of not eating out for a year. Thinking about getting a Starbucks this morning made me realize how long this year may really be. I am excited and scared for this challenge. I’m excited about the change that it might make, but scared that I might not be able to make it.

Thing that made me happy today: a fixed vacuum. Grossed out, but exceptionally happy.

2010 Goals

Four little goals, right? But they won’t be easy.

Eliminate all credit card debt

To eliminate all of my credit card debt I’ll need to pay$1,200/month on my credit card. No short order when my take-home pay is $2,500/month.

So how do I make this happen?

Extra money, that’s how.

Currently I make extra money on top of my 9-5 job in the following ways:

  • Teaching at the local community college (~$904/month Jan-May, unknown pay after that)
  • Tutoring in real life (~$200/month)
  • Tutoring online (~$30-50/month currently, have made up to $500/month in the past)
  • Filling out surveys (~$3-10/month)

Because of these extra jobs I was able to pay $1,370 towards my credit card debt in October, $1,227 in November, and $1,357 in December.

Even though I have around $13,000 worth of debt right now, I hope to be debt free by the end of 2010! With a lot of diligence and quite a bit of hard work I think I can achieve it!

Maintain a $1,200 Emergency Fund

I had to spend some of my E-fund on my car is December, which made me pretty sad since I had JUST reached my $1,200 goal two weeks prior. However, I was SO happy to be able to pay for my car repair out of pocket with with E-fund. I’ll get it back up to around $1,050 today with my extra paycheck from the community college for some of the substitute teaching I did in December. While the goal is to maintain the E-fund at $1,200 – I’m not going to stress over anything less than $1,000. I’ll be contributing $33/month into the E-fund every month as long as it doesn’t go below $1,000. If it does go below $1,000 then I’ll lower my debt contribution until it has been restored to $1,000 (or above). My goal is simply to MAINTAIN what I have in this fund, no more and no less, over the course of the next year.

No eating out for 345 days in 2010

Test tube spice rack! (picture is linked to Amazon where you can get your own!)

I’ve been getting in all of my “last meals” the past week. And last night I had a very nice dinner at a restaurant in town. I have bought about $100 worth of groceries. A lot of stuff for indian and thai food, because those are two of my favorites. I’ve thought about doing some sort of recipe type feature on the blog, but I just don’t have the energy for that. While I won’t be eating out, I doubt I’ll become a Martha Stewart overnight.

I did get myself an AWESOME spice rack for Christmas on the 26th that has all the spices in test tubes. Perfect for a chemist in the kitchen, huh?

For some reason in my head, I keep thinking that this Challenge will be REALLY easy. Maybe I’m underestimating how much I actually eat out? Or perhaps I’m underestimating how truly lazy I am. =)

I plan on keeping some basic stuff in the house for when I’m feeling really lazy: some peanut butter and jelly, bread, chips and salsa. I’ll make up some pre-made foods for my freezer. I don’t have a microwave, so convenience foods of that nature won’t be a temptation for me. I’m really excited about this journey. I know the first few months will be the worst as I grapple with my desire to want to go get some breadsticks from my favorite pizza place or go eat some Qdoba.  I just have to keep the big picture in mind.

Do something every day that makes me happy

I saw these words on a sign at Target (I may actually use a $20 Giftcard I got for Christmas and go buy it to remind myself). It isn’t easy to take time for yourself each day and do something you love. I want to make sure that every day I do a small thing that makes me happy. Like snuggling with my dog. Taking a bath. Putting away my laundry (it makes me happy when my clothes are all put away!) Taking a walk with the dog. Going to bed early. Giving a good lecture. I want each day to do at least one thing that puts a smile on my face. I’ll probably do something Me In Millions style at the end of my posts saying what I did that day that made me happy.

2009: A Review and Thanks!

Things I’ve Learned in 2009

1. Dogs truly are man’s best friend

2. Relationships are only as good as the honesty that you bring to them

3. When faced with a challenge, I tend to swim – not sink

4. Spin your wheels in mud long enough and eventually you’ll break free and go faster than you ever thought possible

5. Somehow, beyond all belief and reason, things always seem to work out

6. Swagbucks is quite possibly the best invention ever as far as I’m concerned

7. How you spend your money says more about you than the things that you say

8. Roth IRAs are awesome – and so are index funds

9. Just because I CAN do something doesn’t mean I HAVE to do something

10. My career, my life, my future isn’t set – it is up to me and I can choose to do whatever I want – and change my mind at any time

11. Sometimes you have to spend money to save money – your car, your sanity, and your health are includedd in this list

12. Once you find your motivation, you can do anything. The hardest part is finding the thing that drives you every day.

13. Sometimes, the things that make the greatest difference, take little to no effort at all

14. I don’t want to be defined by money, I just want to be confident about my financial situation

15. I love photography – a lot

16. I cried at every engagement story that I read about in 2009 – with no exceptions

17. Family should always come before money. No one ever regrets the time they spent with family, only the time they didn’t.

18. Sometimes, the things that seem so horrible in the moment, will lead to the greatest blessings of your life

19. I have a “monetary clock” that is set to go off the 20th every month.

20. I want more from one lifetime than I could possible accomplish, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try!

My best friend: Jack!

Also, just as a recap, these are the Top 10 most read articles on my blog in 2010:

10. How My Dad Has Survived

9. Debt Free in 2010?

8. “You fall in love with those you spend time with”

7. Apartment Therapy Week 3

6. Eureka! My 2010 Challenge!

5. Swagbucks – And why I LOVE it

4. Something I’m Not Proud Of

3. Gazelle Like Intensity

2. 100% Down For A House

1. You Shouldn’t Buy A House If…

Jack is comfortable in any situation - I could learn a thing or two from him!

My Top Referrers in 2009:

1. Saving for Later

2. Jessie’s Money

3. TeacHer Finance

4. Chronicles of Debt

5. Give Me Back My Five Bucks

6. The Lost Goat

7. Carrie On The Cheap

8. Punch Debt in the Face

9. Frugal Dreamer

10. Northern Living Allowance

I want to thank all my readers, both the loyal and the casual, for helping me along in 2009. You’ve given me inspiration, food for thought, and a desire to keep pushing myself. I wish you all the best in 2010 and hope that you continue with me in the journey of the New Year!