Success and Failure from 2009

By Stew

What went well:

0% APR Balance Transfers: Believe it or not, I did several 0% APR balance transfers throughout the year to help us over the rough patches. So far, with no problems. This is really a risky strategy, I do not recommend it, but it has worked for us in a pinch. Unfortunately, these credit card balance transfers do not come free anymore. I had to pay a 3% balance transfer fee for all three that I took out.

Blogging: I have been a blogger in one sense or another since 2006 and 2009 was the first year that I earned regular income from this “hobby”. I hope to continue this trend.

Health: Poor health may have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for the Stew household in 2009, but fortunately, we had very few expenses in this area.

Child care: This was a lot of work for Mrs. Stew, but we would not have made it through the year without her hard work taking in children during the week.

Selling our house: The house was on the market for 16 months and the realtor only showed it three times in that time and it sold on the third showing. I am glad that we continued to stay current with our payments even though it was extremely difficult.

What didn’t go so well:

Budgeting: Spending did not go out of control for us in 2009, but we fell out of the habit of keeping track of our financial picture through the use of a written budget. To a certain extent, this was because just before we sold our house, the picture had become so bleak that I avoided looking at it.

Cashing out my SIMPLE IRA: I wish I had not done it, but faced with the same scenario, I probably would have been forced to make the same choice. Tough call, but we needed the money . . . still waiting to find out the exact tax ramifications of this decision. Of course, the market rebounded significantly since I shut down the account. Figures.

Ya’ win some and ya’ lose some.

Article by Stew

Photo by gluemoon

One Response (including trackbacks) to “Success and Failure from 2009”

  1. prasti Says:

    the picture had become so bleak that I avoided looking at it.

    we were totally the same way. it’s hard to feel encouraged that you’re making some sort of headway when all you see is red.

    enjoy reading your blog. happy new year.