February 2012 Debt Update and Blog Update
Smallest Debt (January 2012): $5,586
Smallest Debt (February 2012): $4,169
That’s a little thing I like to call progress.
Total Debt Update:
February 2012: $32,481
% Change from January: 5.0% Decrease
I’m really glad I made a dent in my debt this month, and I also had a goal to hit $300 in savings, which I finally met! But I need to make these updates more accurate, so they are going to be in the middle of the month from now on, with the next update coming in mid-April. My goal for the next update? Well, considering my expenses this month (bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding, car registration) I just want to be under $32,000 in debt and with $500 in savings. Once this month is over, I don’t have any other trips planned and will be getting extra focused on creating more income and increasing my automatic savings and retirement contributions so that my debt can drop by $1,500-$2,000 every month. So I just need to get past this trip without going crazy spend-y on updo’s, manicures and wedding gifts and I will be OK. To any of my other friends reading this, I need you to not get married for at least another year! Preferably 2 or 3. You really want to get to know your partner before jumping into such a big commitment, right? I’m thinking of you, not my wallet, I swear.
I started American Debt Project because I was tired of never following through with anything and never valuing consistency in my life. It’s rewarding to see progress on this blog, engaged readers and all that good stuff. I don’t think I would have kept writing (besides the debt updates) if you guys hadn’t started commenting! And it’s only been 9.5 months of blogging so I know I’m just getting started. I got my first setback this week, though. On the one hand, there was a certain web statistic that got hit. It wasn’t a big deal since my blog is so new and I should really be focused on what content I provide anyways. On the other hand, I’ve also found myself getting less interested in personal finance blogging. That’s not to say it’s not a worthy topic. Personal financial education is critical if you want to create the financial freedom in your life that most people only vaguely dream of. Defined goals, a budget you actually use, all that stuff matters. But I’m just a regular person and I find myself getting bored. If I have to see ONE more RRSP vs. TFSA post (and I’m not even Canadian!), I think to myself and then wonder, shouldn’t I be working on something that’s really interesting and awesome? Because I have this secret vision of myself as a super-artistic and creative soul trapped in an underpaid, somewhat boring young professional lifestyle. I want to create beautiful things and develop worthwhile ideas. I want to understand our society without being an automatic naysayer or a blind supporter. I want to move to South America! And then I think, what is keeping this blog doing to get me to those fun goals?
But the thing is, this blog could help me on all of those goals and this topic is really interesting and awesome. Yeah, the technical stuff is dry (I know my friends cringe when I talk about savings with the same excitement people usually reserve for meeting Robert Pattinson) but there are also themes of building wealth, investing in your community, growing a small business and self-development that finance touches on. It’s like how the best traders on Wall Street are the ones who can understand all the different aspects that make up a company and affect its future; they read all kinds of news and are well-versed in philosophy, history and literature. They understand products, markets, societies, cultures and so much more about how it all comes together in the real world. The Renaissance man/woman still matters. Technical analysis is dead. Whole-picture analysis is thriving. So I’m going to keep writing at American Debt Project and each post will be another little piece of the puzzle. Each month I’ll get closer to financial control of my life. It’s still going to bore me sometimes, but I want to be consistent. I am going to stick with it even when it would be easier to quit and buy a new pair of shoes instead. And somehow I’ll figure out my business in South America, it’s still calling my name.
With that ramble aside, there have been some awesome mentions of this blog out there lately and much thanks go out to:
Aloysa for kindly featuring me on the Saturday Afternoon Reading Salon
Millionaire Nurse for including me in the latest Financial Follies
Sense to Save with the Carnival of Personal Finance
20 and Engaged and the Yakezie Carnival
Financial God has some Weekend Reading for you.
Thank goodness Money Counselor thinks my idea was a diamond and not a dog!
Tackling Our Debt for including me in Friday’s Circle of Friends
DQYDJ’s latest Weekender (you need to be reading these guys)
Tight-Fisted Miser’s Personal Finance Links
Free Financial Advisor’s Blog Post of the Week was Daily Money Shot, but I got honorable mention!
Digging Out and Up (Cassie’s blog is about the same age as mine and you need to read her!)
Not one but TWO Wisebread mentions:
Did I miss you? I’m sorry I’m so popular! Just kidding, shoot me an email and I’ll get this updated ASAP. You guys are the best. Keep writing fascinating stuff.