November 2012 Monthly Review

This has been a crazy month here, and my posts pretty much tapered off at the end of the month because there’s so much going on.  H and I have made lots of progress on the bathroom (she is grouting as I write this), so hopefully it will be done soon.  Im still working on getting some pictures of the mostly finished product for the house, but when we clean I forget, then it gets messy again and I dont want to take them.  No one likes a dirty house.


This is the status of all my debts.  I was hoping to have my truck paid off by the end of the year, and it looks like I’m going to have to raise the white flag on that one.  I’ve been spending too much on house stuff (and other things) and that just keeps taking a backseat.  It’s no wonder people say to focus totally on your debt until it’s gone.  If you take a bit of time off, it really starts to pay its toll and you dont want to start paying it off again.  In my situation, I havent really paid much off since March 2011 when I started my current job.  I’d like to blame it on a whole slew of things, but I think the main point is that I didnt feel like I was hanging over a cliff tied to a thread anymore.


Mortgage $ 119,607 ($533) –  This is going down super slowly which makes sad, it looks like about 50% of our payment goes towards interest every month.  H and I are still in the working stages of clearing out our other debts and/or making house upgrades right now, but are working out a plan to start making 2 payments per month starting in January 2012.  We’ve developed a payoff plan, if you’re curious, you can read about it here.  It basically amounts to making 2 mortgage payments every month for the foreseeable future.

Student Loans

Great Lakes Loan $ 10,090 ($110)  This is the last student loan I’ve got.  I started out with 1 from undergrad and two from grad school, and this was the highest amount that I borrowed of the three.  It’s gone down terribly slowly, so a while back I increased the amount I paid by $25.  It wasnt much, but it’s starting to show some downward movement, which I like.

Truck Loan

Ford Credit: $4,687 ($306): A while ago, I made a deal with myself on this note to decide when I’d just pay it off.  I’ll detail in a full post in a few days, but I have a feeling I’m really close and now I’m having second thoughts.

Total Debt: 134, 384 5,333 (949)  This has to be the lowest downward movement in the history of my tracking my debt (and if it’s not, it’s got to be close)

Health Goals

This seems to have gone in the other direction from last month.  I was doing well, then I wasnt, and now I’m back on track.  I ran a 5k on thanksgiving day and had fun, but I didnt do much in terms of actually working out this month.  I think when I register for my next race (which i’m planning on doing in a week or so) I should have sufficient motivation to get off my hind end.

Goal Workouts: 20

Total Workouts: 12

Food Challenges:

A while ago, in an effort to save some money and start eating what food H and I have, I started a Meat Challenge.  The meat challenge continued on for another successful month, and I can hardly remember the last time that we bought meat at the store.  It seems like the grocery bill is starting to inch up, but lots of that has been because we have been running out of staples that we typically buy in bulk, such as olive oil, rice, flour and things like that.  I went  hunting once this month, and got nothing.  I was able to get 2 deer in november (I gave one to a friend), and will start elk hunting soon.  This new supply, plus what I already have should last me through the winter and until the hunting season next fall.

The Grocery Store Challenge has been harder to track than the meat challenge.  I just went to the store a few days ago, and didnt really do that well for this particular trip.  Most of what I had was dairy, but there were lots of veggies that we have not been getting from the farm share.

Fall is coming, and we are starting to get some stuff ready for winter.  I finally got my beer kit, and we made our first (and probably only) batch of homemade hard cider for the winter.  The cider is almost ready, and I’ll be putting it in bottles within a few days of this writing.

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13 thoughts on “November 2012 Monthly Review”

  1. Check at your bank to see if I am right about this. It use to be that if you paid extra on your mortgage it would go to the principle. I tried this and could not see that it was happening this way. So instead I saved for CD’s and when I had enough I paid my house off. It was a life lifter! No more wondering if the money would come in, if jobs would be available. Definately worth all the cut backs in order to feel free of the banks power over me. We actually had one good meal a day, cereal and a boiled egg for breakfast and sliced apples, peanut butter, carrots, cheese or cheese ball with crackers for the other meal. Any healthy snack type foods worked for that meal. We saved tons. Yesterday I was driving and wanted to take my daughter a peppermint coffee at her job. Was not nearly as good as Starbucks or the equivalent. If you get a venti at Starbucks and share it you are only paying about 50 cents more than if you buy at McDonalds. And the flavor is so much better at least for those who cannot have caffine it is. I could ramble on for hours about how we figure what is a sale and what is not. Thank you for sharing your blog with us.

  2. Keep working on the debt. It’s slow, but you’ll get there.
    We had a pretty busy November as well and I’m actually pretty glad it’s December now. My health goals are not going well at all. I think I’ll just put it off until Spring. The weather is too crappy and I’m too busy right now. Take care.

  3. Great goals! I find with running I can much more easily do my workouts if I have a race coming up too. Renos are expensive, so I am sure once they are done the debts will start coming down too! Quinn

  4. Did you have a tough time getting your college loan holder to put that extra $25 on the backend of your loan? When I tried to do that years ago, they kept acting like I was paying ahead for the next month, or they’d recalculate my monthly payments, which I found very frustrating!

    • Actually I didnt, they just put it with my current payment. In fact it was so hassle free that I dont even remember specifying that.

  5. I’d pay off the rest of your debt before accelerating payments on the house. You certainly kill off both your student debt and truck loan in less than a year and then concentrate on your mortgage. It’ll free up your cash flow in case something else comes along (e.g., job loss, major repair, etc.) It’ll take much longer to pay off the mortgage.

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