Now that the new year is upon us, and life has settled down a bit, I hope to have more time to share my life and my thoughts here on the glowing screen. (It helps that I have been off the past week, allowing me to relax, rest, and recharge my batteries).
Looking forward, I see interesting times, in the Chinese curse sort of way. On a personal front, this will be the year in which I start truly decimating our personal debt. The new job meant a 66% raise over what was comfortable to our needs. And although I just succumbed to the lure of getting a new truck, (no really, there is a 2011 Ford Ranger Extended Cab sitting in my driveway right now) it was bought yesterday, in the old year. The new year will be one of paying off debt like a madman.
( Why I bought new, plus pics! )
For those that are not aware, I keep close tabs on our finances. I have a custom spreadsheet that I use on an almost daily basis, in which I keep track of income, daily expenses and timing the paying of bills. I can use this spreadsheet to project "what-if" scenarios out into the future, and can look back at the last three years of our finances to see where the money has gone. Thanks to this spreadsheet, I can optimize and forecast the paying down of debt and know that baring some major unforeseen event, we will be debt free in three years. (It would have been two, but the truck isn't free).
The reason I am such a stickler about debt is that in the minds of both my wife and I, debt = slavery. Debt free = freedom. Neither of us like debt, and after the uncertainty of the past year or so, we are bound and determined to get our debt paid down. If I hadn't found a better job, I don't know how we would have met our bills up in Knoxville. :-/ Yes, I added to our debt by buying the truck, but the usefulness and dependability, not to mention lack of repair bills for the next several years, in my opinion trump the additional burden.
So, beginning this month, we are buckling down and focusing on reducing debt. Mind you, we are not going to be denying ourselves everything, but we will be weighing each purchase against the chance to pay down the debt a bit more.