2012 – Personal Reflections

Yesterday, I posted a list of the top referrers for 2012.  On Monday, I’ll post a list of the top posts (by traffic) for 2012.  Today, I’d like to reflect on the year from a more personal perspective.

The beginning of the year saw me working a part time job, and working my websites after I quit my job.  From a totally personal finance perspective, I messed quite a bit of that whole adventure up.  But, from a whole personal perspective, it was something that I needed to do, and I don’t regret it for a minute.  I left a job that I was unhappy with, and learned quite a bit about myself in the time after that.  In May, I started a new job, and really enjoy it.  While it’s still not what I had pictured when I quit my job, it’s something that I needed.

The seven months I spent between full-time jobs really drained our finances, however, and we’ve spent several months picking up the pieces.  There were several months where our incomes did not meet our expenses, and combined with the drained savings, we came really close to going delinquent on a few things.  Partially through luck, and partially through the things I’ve learned about personal finance over the years (It’ll be five in June!), we managed to keep current on everything and have now pulled back ahead.

That didn’t happen without some sacrifices.  We’ve cut expenses down to bare bones, passed up some fun opportunities, and learned new ways to have some fun.  I haven’t written a full post on it yet, but I also had to take a distribution of about half of the 401(k) that I had from my previous job.  When I do write that post, I’ll talk more about that decision and the ramifications.  But, it was something that I had to do to cover the gap I had created.

As the year closes, I feel confident that we’ve turned our finances back towards the direction they’re meant to go, and created some space to begin that uphill climb again.

In September, I took a trip to Denver for FINCON12.  Not only is it a great learning opportunity for me as a blogger, but also is a great chance to meet a few (400 or so) of my fellow financial bloggers in person.  Being able to put faces to websites and logos is a great help, as we all go forward in learning more about personal finance. Some of the connections made at FINCON11 were reunited at FINCON12, and the mastermind group (secret lair not included) that I joined after FINCON11 even got to have an in-person meeting!

All in all, 2012 was a bit of a bumpy year.  Both personally and professionally.  But, with the right amount of care, and a good bit of recovery maneuvering, we’ve managed to keep it on the road.  2013 already looks pretty bright from this side of the fence.

See you in 2013!

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