2012 is over and done (seems like it was just last month, doesn’t it?), and in the Losing It household it was one for the books. The year turned out to be Our Year of Travel, with two of the girls going to China, another daughter and me going to Colorado for my mom’s 88th birthday, and the whole family spending a glorious two weeks in Hawaii at the end of the year.
I also found employment, and although it’s been sporadic it still has helped our bottom line. Although I’m not counting any more on picking up a regular part-time position, work continues to trickle in – I just was given a sub position this morning, and am keeping my fingers crossed for a few more in the coming year.
Even with the travel and the associated costs, we still managed to reduce our debt by $18, 896.05. That’s not as much as we’ve paid in previous years, but we’re still satisfied with the total and are ready and motivated to knock out the last of the remaining original debt by the end of June, when Mr. Losing It retires. It’s going to take some careful budgeting to accomplish this, but I think we can do it! After that we will just have our car payment to deal with, and my student loan, but will work toward having the car paid before we relocate to Hawaii in 2014.
Here’s how we did the last quarter of 2012:
- Debt paid: We paid off $2324.61 this past quarter, but didn’t get rid of any payments. We have just $12, 215.03 of the original $65,000+ of debt we started out with on this journey in January 2010. 2013 is the year that part of the debt disappears for good!
- Emergency Fund: We currently have $1442 in our fund. We had to spend nearly $300 in November to the vet (and are grateful it wasn’t more). We spent $569 at the end of the month getting our garage door repaired, but took it out of our regular funds versus tapping into the EF. We really hope to get this fund up to at least $2500 by the end of 2013.
- Groceries: I don’t even want to think about what we spent on food this past quarter. All I know is that it was W-A-Y over our budgeted amount of $640 per month. I went into stock-up mode sometime in October and didn’t let up. The good part is that we are well-supplied now to get us through the first half of 2013, the bad is that I could have been paying down our debt even more.
- Purchases: I bought a Zojirushi rice cooker at Costco while we were in Hawaii because it was a good price, we needed one in Hawaii, and I wanted a new one as our old one is on its last legs. We paid $89.98 for it there (plus sales tax), but that still was a good price. However, we then paid an additional $30 to ship it back via UPS making it not such a good deal . Christmas gifts for the family (including our son and his family) totaled $600, $300 of which came from the vacation fund. We purchased Mr. Losing It a new pair of running shoes in early December for $110, but otherwise did not make any purchases during this quarter (well, we did buy some souvenirs, but those came out of the vacation fund as well).
- Meals out: We ate out once at a local restaurant, Laughing Planet, in order to use up a coupon from our Chinook Book. Dinner for all five of us came to around $26. I got together with friends several times for coffee; sometimes I bought, sometimes they did so it balanced out. Otherwise we did not eat out except on our vacation.
- Swagbucks: There is currently $70.11 in my Amazon account courtesy of Swagbucks. I am saving up again to buy some more pieces of All-Clad Stainless cookware to round out what I already have. First up will be a 12″ skillet.
- 2012 Hawaii Vacation Fund: The trip is over and done with, and was a complete, total success. Every minute was wonderful (except for the flights over and back, but they weren’t awful). We were able to meet our savings goal for the vacation, and the complete trip was paid for in cash. No credit cards were used except to pay for the rental car, and that balance was paid in full upon our return. The fund’s name has been changed to “Free and Clear” and will be used to help cover living costs in July, when we will go a full month without any incoming income.