Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« The Gap Between New Car and Used Car Costs Shrinks | Main | Star Money Articles and Carnivals for the Week of Jan 9 »

January 12, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I downsized to a house where I no longer have a mortgage so my monthly living expenses are much less. I doubled my pension contributions last year and did so again at the end of 2011. I'm anxiously waiting to see the longer-term results of these actions I took last year.

In 2011 we:
- increased discretionary spending modestly
- increased giving to church and charity
- increased monthly savings

Investing strategy remained unchanged. It was our best year yet (though at our age, each year will likely be our best year yet for a while).

As with FMF, in 2011 I stayed on the same course that I have been on since the end of 2007, which was to invest 100% in CDs, Corporate and Muni Bonds. 2011 was another prosperous year and no changes of any kind are planned for the twentieth year of our retirement. We're on cruise control!

I mostly stayed on course, but I did do a few in 2011:

- Refinanced the mortgage
- Increased the nonretirement savings (by amount saved in refi)
- Updated Will

It is a good checklist for ideas.

-Rick Francis

I stayed the course on just about everything except paying down the mortgage.

I was VERY aggressive in paying down the mortgage and will have it paid off this year.

2011 was a big year for us with the purchase of our first house.

- Increased retirement savings
- Increased taxable investment savings
- Tithed for a full year for the first time ever.

It's unfortunate to see giving less to charity on the above list.

I am also doing the same that I have done for the last several years. My 401K is maxed out every year and I have these funds invested all in index funds. I save another 25% of my income and invest 80% of those funds in Growth/Dividend funds, which performed very nicely. The other 20% goes into various bonds (I buy individual bonds and hold them versus going with bond funds). I hold one year's worth of expenses in money market/short term bonds for a potential emergency as well as to keep a bit liquid in case I can take advantage of any market drops. Separate from all this, I have three years of laddered CD's that were originally put in place as I moved out of certain funds and set them up for college expenses for my children. As we have been able to cash flow college expenses up to this point, I have not needed the funds. I have kept the ladder going and will probably move more into dividend funds, but will also take advantage of market opportunities. As I also have a good pension program, I have not felt the need to invest any heavier in bonds at this point.

I cut spending (downsized to a smaller place).
Increased retirement savings (hadn't been contributing before).
Paid down student loan debt.

I hope to pay off my student loans entirely this year!

Mostly stayed course.
- Paid off mortgage.
- Invested big chunk in 529s.
- Increased charitable giving.

FMF - it does feel great with no mortgage. I am still amazed at your spending/savings %s.

In 2011, we paid off the car, and both of our student loans. We've only got the credit card and the mortgage - the credit card will be paid off this year. Overall, increased our net worth by 25% - going to stay that course. :)

Just did more of the same except I turned 50 so I increased my 401K contribution to the max allowable.

I found a steady job which helped me to tithe, save and give more consistently. Thank you Lord!

This is a great checklist. We managed to cut back on spending - used a lot more coupons, discussed with the kids the virtues of a debt-free lifestyle as well as a simple lifestyle. We also paid down credit card debt, refinanced our mortgage, and switched to a more cost-effective health insurance plan. Wish we could have done more, but in this economy, we are counting every single blessing.

I increased my income by 10.5% by finding a new job. With my first paycheck, I paid off 2 credit cards and increased my E- savings to 12% (I plan to bump it to 1/4 of take-home pay) once the rest of the credit card debt is paid. Other than that, I'm still doing all of the same things.

Why isn't "earned more" on this list? I increased multiple streams of income, both passive and active. Also improved skills, which allowed higher billings.

I think the hardest part for most people will be cutting down on dinner and lunch outs – I know it has been, and still sometimes is, for me. This usually is a big chunk of money, that can easily be saved. I generally take advantage of those credit card reward points though, those are too good to pass up.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.