I’ve enjoyed our time together! I love you and I thank you!

Roughly six months have passed since I paid off $90k of student debt in seven months and almost 13 months have passed since I launched No More Harvard Debt. I think we can all agree that it’s been one hell of a ride! (I literally had a grin on my face as I typed that last sentence.)

I sat down at my computer on August 29th, 2011 to introduce a story to friends and family about how I was going to try to pay off my $90k of student debt in ten months with a 12-month after-tax salary of around $74k. I picked up quite a few readers along the way, and the audience became far greater than I ever anticipated it would. What started as a simple story to my friends and family turned into a personal growth-and-development adventure for myself and an inspiration for strangers. My blogroll includes a few examples of those who have been inspired, and I encourage you to check them out.

Using the written word to inspire complete strangers to take steps to improve their lives is incredibly special, and I’m so glad that this odyssey evolved into the opportunity to help others. When I take stock of my life 50+ years from now and try to measure it, this experience will definitely be a significant part of the highlight reel. I’m forever indebted to the readers and media who helped spread the word and inspiration.

This will be my last post for the foreseeable future. It’s taken me several hours to write this short article as I search for the right words because this is not a decision I make lightly. I love to write and I’m more passionate about personal finance than I ever thought I could be. Unfortunately, once I paid off my student debt, this blog lost direction. That’s tough for me to openly admit because I’ve been in denial mode for so long, but that denial has become harder and harder to sustain during the past few weeks. If I were to write about trying to pay off my mortgage in two years, selling everything and sailing around the world, or signing up for Peace Corps and trading in my corporate badge ID for a shovel, then I think that this blog would deserve a new lease on life. However, the truth is that my current financial rule is to to save 50% of my income as I continue to develop my career. While this 50% rule isn’t widely followed by most, it’s not especially inspirational, either, and it certainly isn’t blog-worthy.

I’ll continue to carefully monitor my spending, live below my means, and build up my savings because it feels good. I’m going to take the next year to focus on my career and live my life. After that, all bets are off, and we might even meet again.

If you’re new to this blog and want to be inspired, don’t despair! The silver lining in all of this is that I’ll keep the blog online to serve as a beacon of hope for those who are buried in student debt or are considering taking on loans to fund their education. The About page is a good place for new readers to start.

I’ll close by saying thank you. Thank you for following my story and thank you for adding your positive commentary and encouragement along the way.  I want to give a special thanks to Sweta, iowenomore, ryanfield1, rosiedancer, MJ, and JaneMD for their meaningful contributions.

I truly value what we’ve built here together. I’ll miss you all.

To freedom!

Joe Mihalic

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110 Comments

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110 responses to “I’ve enjoyed our time together! I love you and I thank you!

  1. Amanda Spargo

    Thank you Joe for all you have shared and taught me! Your postings and e-book have enlightened and inspired me to pull myself out of debt and pay off my student loans ASAP.
    Best wishes to you in your future!
    Amanda Spargo

  2. It’s your blog, your life, your call.
    See you around one day.

  3. Dee

    Your story was inspiring and I enjoyed reading it, Joe. Thanks.

  4. Louise

    Joe, I think you are totally honest with yourself
    and I know you have been with your blog readers. You are such an inspiration to me, a very positive person to behin with. I reference
    your blog all the time, I am glad that you are keeping it available. I am truly a better person
    for having read about your endeavor’s. I wish
    you the best always . I will say that as I go through ridding myself of unsecured debt at lightning speed, living below my means and know where EVERY cent goes, I set up the ground rules, I won’t give up my gym, good fresh local food and most importantly my safety ( safe car, adequate sleep etc). I have become even cooler! Best Always Louise

  5. BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES! GO YOU!

  6. We’ll miss you too Joe. :) I was hoping you would take us on another journey soon while you paid your house off. I just paid mine off and it is up for sale! I’m confident it will sell as it’s very beautiful in one of the very few states where this bad economy hasn’t been seen. Reading your blog in the beginning was exactly what I had needed to read. It made me realize that I really wanted no payments once I retired and that day is only 3 years away. You have given me the kick in the pants I needed to get to that point…debt free! Thank you very much! I’m sooo close to be there now! Good luck in whatever you do. Please stay away from the self centered materialistic girls and as soon as you do, I’m sure you’ll find a beautiful woman inside and out. :) It’s also sad that we won’t know who you met and your journey with that. Maybe I’m just nosey. :)
    I’m sad to see you end this. Your blog is the first thing I’d read every day to check out any new posts. It really has been a hell of a ride….even for us readers. You’re a good writer, and legacy is not the way to go! They’re failing big time, imo, thanks to ebooks. One of the secrets to writing ebooks is to write more. Ryanfield1 knows. :) Pick his brain about it.
    Goodbye Joe.
    You’ll be missed.

  7. Pingback: Credit Card Paid Off & iPhone 5 Preordered « One Man's Mission to Get Rid of 45159.35 of Debt

  8. rosiedancer

    Good luck dude. You know where I’m at, drop a line sometime.

  9. Sweta

    For once in my life I’m actually speechless. I understand your decision though, I think it would be hard to enter that next stage of your life (especially the dating part) if you kept blogging since you shared so much of your life with us already. Thanks for an amazing blog. So glad I joined the ride on day 1. Your values when it comes to money and your goals for the future are amazing. The future Mrs. Mihalic and Joe jrs are very lucky.

    All the best, neighbor :)

    P.S. I didn’t notice the subpar material post-payoff.

    • Joe…Sweta…you 2 need to do a lunch sometime in Austin. I think it would be very cool for you 2 to meet and you’d have to jump on here with a picture! Sweta can keep your head on straight about women. :)
      I can see it now…you’re both sitting in a restaurant having lunch and Sweta is slyly pointing to the different women in there telling you…No..no..no..oh wait, look at her, she’s a maybe…:)
      And bring your flask!

    • Thanks for following along, Sweta, and for all the helpful comments.

  10. I’ve been following along for 8 or 9 months and have never commented, but I want to say thank you! I’m only 5,000 in debt with school loans right now but I am pre-med, so I will have a lot more when i’m finished with school. Your writing has inspired me to stay within my means as much as possible now so that in the future I won’t have as much to pay down, which I plan on paying off quickly. Thank you so much!

  11. Thanks for sharing so many personal aspects of your life so others could learn from your experiences. I actually find myself saying this when I’m thinking of buying something I don’t really need, “Okay, would Joe do this? Is this going to help you get that mortgage paid? Seriously.” LOL.

    I hope you keep writing. You’re good at it :)

  12. Bree

    I’ve never commented before, but I’ve been reading along since close to the beginning. Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey! While I’m sad to see you go, I respect your decision. Best of luck to you in all that you do.

  13. Mike

    Book? I’ve been a fairly loyal reader from early on, and somehow I never knew of this book. Weird!

    Well, good luck to you! Thanks for keeping the blog alive. It provides hope for many people.

  14. Enrique

    Thank You for sharing your personal growth,techniques and examples on how to pay your student debt. If you find a way to buy a home and pay it in 10 years or how to pick stocks before a company goes into momentum–Apple $10.00 ten years ago,Let’s us know.

  15. Mike..look up on this page in the right hand corner, you’ll see his book. There’s a picture of him with his fist facing you. It’s on amazon. :)

  16. Christeen

    Hi Joe. Sorry to read that you have decided to stop blogging. I understand though. I’m sure you are aware that you have reached more than just American college students as my hubby and I are so far from that demographic as can be. I’m and Aussie, he’s Dutch and we live a quiet suburban life in Brisbane Australia! Even though we only have a under control mortgage and no other debt we are taking steps to be mortgage free before our 10yo daughter hits University so we can help her with any HECS debt she might have. The inspiration has come from your blog. Our hope is that she will start her career in whatever(it changes a lot at the moment) without worry. My feeling is that Australia is probably heading the same way as the US with increasing tertiary education fees. So thanks for inspiration. Good luck for the future and take care. Christeen

  17. Dana

    Joe, This is SO SO sad! But….. I understand….. My husband turned me onto you after seeing you interviewed. He has been preaching your philosophy for years, but it just didn’t register until I read your blog. I could identify with so many things you wrote about. And I was able to see how I compensated for my insecurities, many of which were from my childhood, by spending money. I just finished your second book and you completely changed the way I view my money and my student loans. Like you, I finished grad school two and half years ago, landed a job with a great salary, and was complacent slowly paying down my loans. Since I read your blog I have cancelled my home phone, HBO, my second gym membership, stopped highlighting my hair, and have been selling off all my retired baby stuff on ebay and craigslist. I put in 40 hours of overtime at work, which wouldn’t be a big deal if I was single, but I have small children. I also have put myself on a strict budget. Even a grocery budget…..I wish you the best. I know you will do great things. Really….you already have. You have opened people’s eyes and inspired them. Hugs:)

  18. andrea

    Say it ain’t so, Joe!
    :(

  19. Mission accomplished Joe. Thanks for the inspiration. You and MMM got me into ass-kicking mode, and my wife and I are… kicking ass. Picked up a 1k a month side job, just sold the car, we both commute via bicycle, stopped eating out, and I don’t buy anything in a store that I can buy used off of craigslist.
    I didn’t even know that you had put my blog on your sidebar. Traffic’s started to pick up, so I’d better start posting more to help fill the void that you’re going to be leaving in this sector of the internet.

    Stick to your guns and continue to change the lives of the people you meet down in Austin.

  20. Linda

    Joe,
    Thank you for your story and your inspiration. I’ve been a reader for months and have wanted to comment but always wanted to take the time to phrase it right and meaningfully. But now it looks like you’re leaving so I’ll forget trying to craft the perfect comment… I wish you well and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you’ve shared and taught me. I have such admiration for you and I think your friends and family are very lucky to have you in their lives. And I’m lucky to have read your blog.

    Best wishes,
    Linda

  21. Marge

    Joe, it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. Lots of good luck to you, good health, good career, and good everything. You are really a terrific guy.
    Marge

  22. Heidi

    Joe, every time i received an e-mail saying you wrote a new blog i had to smile. Because those mails prevented me from spending too much money. It was like they were saying, ‘stop shopping online!’. I didn’t save those mails but i’ll save the last one to keep it as a reminder and i’m sure i’ll read it all back every now and then. Good luck to you for the future! Regards, Heidi (the Netherlands)

  23. Jay

    It’s been a real pleasure reading your blog, Joe, thanks so much for writing. You’re an outstanding and honest person and I wish you all the best for the future.

    P.S: I paid off a 10K debt in the last 4 months. Would have never done that, but your blog changed my mindset

  24. Nilda Price

    Hi Joe,
    I have never commented before but have been following your blog since I discovered it this summer. Your story has been very inspirational and an eye opener. I am a married mother of three daughters and we just dropped off our oldest at college 3 weeks ago. Now that I have college tuition to pay for the next four years, I am sad you will not be writing any longer. It was a nice companion to my new stage in life! Before you go, is there any advise you would give me? I am overwhelmed thinking I have two other children to put thru college and it is already so expensive for my first. We are your average lower middle class family – annual income of about 100,000yr.
    Take care of yourself, you will be very successful in life! Remember to give back and bless others along the way.
    Mom of Three

    • rosiedancer

      At 100K, you are in the top 20% of income distribution, that puts you into the upper middle class. I make 30k a year and that puts me in the lower middle class. Did you ever create a 529 plan account for your kids? If you didn’t, you should consider doing it now for the other two.

    • Jennie

      Rosie, the median income for a family of four in the US is about $70,000. Depending where you live, $100,000 feels like lower middle class. For example, the median home in my county is $600,000. If you want to live in a good school district, it’s $1,000,000. I believe one of Joe’s earlier posts addresses why $100,000 is not as much as it sounds, especially for a family of 5 with 3 college degrees that need funding.

      Nilda, your best resource for financial aid is finaid.org. It will even tell you how to get the most assistance by rearranging your finances. Make sure there are no large assets in the girls’ names. Rosie is correct–529 is the best way to save for college. Get your girls to work hard for scholarships. I and my two siblings were all offered partial to full tuition scholarships so it can be done. There’s nothing extraordinary about us. I assume you make too much for federal aid so special grants and scholarships are probably your best bet unless the girls are willing to attend community college and then transfer. (That doesn’t mean they have to live at home–they can go move somewhere and have the college experience just like at a 4-year university.)

      Lastly, remember that college is not a right. It is a privilege. The girls don’t have to go to college and you don’t have to pay for their college. If your retirement account is not fully funded, think of yourselves before you enslave yourself to putting three kids through college. They have their whole lives to work off their student loans. There is no loan fairy for retirement.

      • The torch has been passed!!!

      • Nilda Price

        Jennie,
        Thanks for the great advice!! I appreciate your candid feedback and reminder to put our retirement first!
        God Bless!

        • Jennie

          You’re welcome! I don’t have kids, but I am taxed at 35-40% so I know what it’s like to get a decent income and wonder why it doesn’t seem to go as far as it should. Here are a couple more things I thought of later:
          1.) Make sure the girls apply early in the cycle when the most financial aid funds are available. A lot of schools admit on a rolling basis so the sooner they receive the application, the quicker you’ll get a decision. File your taxes as close to Jan 1 as possible so you can complete the FAFSA and get the federal aid package. If they’re eligible for scholarships, you may get a scholarship offer at the same time as the admit decision.
          2.) The first financial aid package you receive from a school is not necessarily the best financial aid package available. Call them and see if they can offer you anything more.
          3.) Play the in-state/out of state game and compare overall cost. At the graduate level, you can usually gain residency and pay in-state after 12 months. This may not be true at the undergrad level if you are still claiming the girls as dependents on your taxes. I think they have to reach a certain age to be independent or get married. However, my sister went out of state and the school granted her in-state tuition as part of her aid deal. She ended up only being on the hook for like $3,000/year in tuition.
          4.) Many private schools receive huge endowments and therefore are better equipped to hand out scholarships than state schools. Don’t count them out even though the sticker price is much higher.

    • At $100,000 you are without a doubt, upper middle class. Here’s a tip: live on 50% of that income (at least) and save the other 50%. Suddenly, having money for your kid’s college tuition is a byproduct of your lifestyle. Most of the country is living on half of your income or less, you can too.

  25. kim

    Thank you for having started your blog to begin with. I have certainly gained from it, and have shared it with many. Best to you!

  26. LL

    Thank You Joe! We will miss you :) You will continue to inspire many. Please do not ‘give up’ on writing or love :) May your wallet, bank accounts, heart and flask always be full :) I shall always picture you walking around freely sharing your financial wisdom, the freedom and peace that comes with that and love of life.

    • Haha, what an awesome comment – literally grinning right now! :)

      • LL

        I for one am going through NMHD withdrawal symptoms. We became hooked and addicted to your blog n posts! You may have to give us a little Sum thing Sum thing. Tease us with a come back post if you must ;) We know you miss us too! I bet you are writing to us right now! ;)

  27. I’ve never posted before, but now feel I must as I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog and your experience of paying off your loans. Good luck to you in the future!

  28. Joe…it looks like you are still needed. Maybe think about taking this blog into the direction of helping people like Mom of 3? There are thousands you can help. Show them ways to put their kids through college. :)

  29. ashley price

    Good luck to you, Joe! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog immensely and wish you nothing but luck in the future. The material you have already graced us with will continually serve as an inspiration to many, including myself.

  30. Sylly

    I found your blog earlier this year, and have enjoyed every single one of your posts. I’ve never commented before, but felt I should at least thank you for putting yourself out there. Thank you! NMHD started my exploration into the personal finance blogosphere, and your voice is still my favorite. You’re a terrific writer. You know that right? I wish you the best!

  31. Hey Joe! As a long-time lurker, I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. Having blogged about my own finances in the past, I can sympathize with how you feel. (My now-defunct blog was called ’100kby25′ and described my (successful!) journey to a $100k net worth by the age of 25). Coming out of debt or saving that first big slug of money is simply a more appealing story than maintaining good saving/investing habits throughout a lifetime. The process of becoming wealthy isn’t sexy, unless you join Google or start a company.

    There are other ways you can help people, though, besides blogging. Last year, I got a thank-you note from an ex-boyfriend saying that he had finally paid off all of his credit card debt and established an emergency fund. I’ve helped my friends (in a very casual way) understand the need for emergency funds, plus investment vehicles like 401ks and index funds. Meanwhile, I’m almost at 200kby30 and studying to be a CFP so I can help even more people get out of financial messes. : )

    Thanks for the inspiration/entertainment. I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

  32. Mariska

    Dear Joe,
    Thank you for your story! I’m sure your blog will continue to be of help for anyone who is trying to pay of their debts.

    I hope you will continue writing, even though it won’t be on internet!

    M

  33. Alan

    Nice work, Joe. Great blog. Enjoyed your candid responses and insight. I will still refer friends and clients to your blog when they consider taking on major debt to pay for a child’s undergrad degree.

  34. Bethany

    Joe,

    Well, you did inspire me. I had read your blog since last August, but I couldn’t convince myself that the risk of being illiquid was worth paying off the debt. So I was going to play the Dept. of Education’s game and pay them every month for the next 7.5 years.

    But two weeks ago, I read your e-book, and the next day, I pulled all but $1000 out of my savings. I’m on target to pay the darn thing off in December. 7 years ahead of schedule! Savings should be rebuilt in less than a year, and after that, well, I’ll worry about that in a year!

    Thanks for being a good sport about your adventures! Best of luck!

  35. I had a feeling this was coming, but I’m still sad to see it happen. I found your blog back when I followed ‘The Simple Dollar’ pre-commercialization and was happy to see you grow into a debt-free lifestyle. You helped get me involved in the frugality circles and start up my blog about where we were with debt. (Now 67K paid off in 12 months!)
    Through your blog, I feel like I have seen alot of positive characteristics about you – attention to detail, passion, humility, hope. You were always great about responding to peoples comments and, despite huge publicity, you recognized your own limitations – You were open about being uncomfortable doling out financial advice and knew that wasn’t a direction you wanted to take.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. Now go out, be free, and find that good non-consumer driven girl.
    (Just don’t be surprised if a year from now you get a FB request from my RL counterpart when I check in to see how you’re doing.)

  36. Brian

    You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and sacrificed so much in a small time to receive an even greater reward of freedom. I’ll miss reading your blog, it’s been inspirational and a great story. Best of Luck and I wish you all the happiness you’re searching for in life.

  37. Nicole

    Wow! I found your blog a few days ago (the day before your last post) and was really glad to stumble across it. We have about 60K left in loans after my husband’s JD/MBA. We were considering buying a house which would mean stopping the extra payments on our loans. In the end, we decided to keep moving forward with our goal of being debt free. While we can’t do it as quickly (we have a similar salary…but we also have four kids) I still think if we stay focused and bring in extra money wherever possible, we can finish this in a year and a half. Reading segments of your blog was inspirational in making our decision to avoid taking on more debt (hello, peace of mind!)

    And BTW, I thought a couple times while reading “he’d make a great Mormon” ha ha! Then saw on one of your posts that you have a Mormon friend.

    Good luck in your ventures and thank you for not only doing what you did, but for taking the time to document it in such detail for the rest of us to learn from.

    Nicole

  38. Joe, your blog on how you used tactics of frugal living and slow building of wealth (I bet you’re doing this) inspired me to write this blog called “Gradually Getting Wealthy.” I hope you’ll enjoy life full of financial freedom ahead!

  39. Autumn

    What an inspiring challenge!

  40. Joe,
    I’ve been following your blog for some time but have never commented, and I always looked forward to your next post. I just want to say thanks; you have given me hope when it seemed like there was none to be had. I have about $200k in student loans due to the uninformed decision to go to a private undergrad followed by grad school, borrowing and borrowing without thought of tomorrow. I wish I had your advice 10 years ago! Anyway, I make a decent living but with that kind of loan burden, 2 kids and a mortgage I was starting to get very depressed about it. After I started reading your blog I started thinking differently. I reassessed my whole budget and am on my way to actually paying some of this stuff off. Not quickly of course, but still. Now every time I am tempted to buy something not in the budget, I think, “what would Joe do?” And “I don’t need this STUFF.” Thanks for everything, you’re a game changer!

  41. :) You can do it!! Thank you for your note–it made me smile.

  42. Reasha

    I love this blog! I’m so inspired by your efforts. I have an MBA and a heavy student loan debt (especially since I was an out of state student). My business is since in start-up phase, but it’s growing. Yay for success! Thanks for sharing your gift with us all. Now, be sure to take some time and find a lady to be frugal with you! :) Best wishes for the future.

  43. I only found your blog about a week ago. I may not be in such a large amount of debt, but I am quite deep in there. It’s really great that you have shared your experience and journey with your followers. I have stressed myself out so much wondering just how bad my debt will be in a few years once I’m done with both my BA and my Masters…. I feel a little more hopeful now. I’ve started my own side business about 6 years ago, I can only hope that my FT job and my side business will allow me to get a bit ahead on paying off my debt. As of now I haven’t paid anything and I’m about $8000 in debt. I am sad to see you go, but I hope you will find inspiration again in something else and will share it with us!

  44. I like your approach on saving 50% every paycheck. Ever since I was young, I’ve heard “save 10%” or “save 15%” so that you can retire comfortably at 65 years of age. It can be uncomfortable to do at first, but saving 50% definitely makes the road to retirement much quicker. Or if you dont want to retire young, you could theoretically alternate between working two years and taking a year off, and still be in a better position than if you had only saved 10 or 15%.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  45. Hey Joe…sure miss ya. I saw this article on yahoo just now about a girl that paid off her 4 year college loans 2 weeks BEFORE graduation! Thought you might like to check it out. I hope you see this. *lol*
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/first-person-debt-free-college-degree-182800696–finance.html

  46. Nahhh! A rager would have cost too much. There’s the cost of the alcohol, the cost of the food/snacks, strangers parking on your new yard, at least 1 person puking most likely on something you treasure in your house, water marks left on your furniture that you have to either hide or replace, cleaning up oil spills outside where cars have parked, and even worse, cleaning up more puke off of all those rocks. You probably would have passed ~ out people sleeping all over your house, in your bed, the spare bedrooms, the bathtub, the garage. You would have had a hangover the next day, missed your workout, and asked yourself at least 1000 times “why” did you think a rager was a good idea. Then, feeling like crap, you would have been left alone to deal with all the mess and clean up of everything.

    What I’m hoping for, and I’m sure I’m not alone, is a post from you where you are paying off your mortgage! You have seriously changed lives with what you did with your school loans. All of these articles I see online about people paying off their school loans makes me smile because I think of you as the leader in all of this. I’m still working on paying off 3 school loans and my land payment but because of you, my mortgage is paid off! I took a picture of the deed to my house and I’ve been told that I walked around for a month with a silly grin on my face. That has been by far the highlight of 2012 for me. There is no way I would have accomplished that without me having had stumbled upon this blog. And remember that “free” cruise I was suppose to leave for to Puerto Rico yesterday? Well the cruise suite was going to be free but the flight to get there would have cost 2 grand. Instead of taking that cruise, I took the 2 grand and sent it in towards my school loans.

    All I’m saying is this…before reading your blog, I would have gone on that cruise. In fact, even after reading your blog I had still planned on going on that cruise. But I kept reading your blog and seeing your accomplishments and once I received that deed in the mail, I changed my mind. If it weren’t for your blog I wouldn’t have known the feeling of such freedom when I received that deed. That house by the way has been remodeled by a loved one, absolutely beautiful now, and that loved one is living in it. It makes me very happy.
    You were the best thing that happened to me in 2012 and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Take care Joe. I hope to see you posting soon, we all miss you.
    PS
    I have that brand new shiny flask waiting for you when you’re ready to tackle your mortgage. :)

  47. Case

    Joe, please find a new debt challenge, pay it off, and let us ride the ride with you. Go for the mortgage. GO FOR IT. I’ve been inspired by this blog, and I appreciate your honesty.

  48. Brian G

    Joe: nice blog. I just came across a reference to it today in my readings. My wife and I utilized a similar spreadsheet planning activity in 2003 when we finished our undergraduate degrees with a combined $64K of student loan debt. We both lived a prudent life in college, but our debts were higher because: tuition costs, and we both had zero assets and no family support throughout college. Our ROI from college was not immediately as high as yours, but we still paid off our student loan debt in its entirety after 19 months. Since then, I still use my same methods, albeit with databases and Business Intelligence software; however, a simple spreadsheet will suffice for most people.
    Based on the methodology I have read in your blog, here are some additional simple tips regarding tracking and forecasting as taken from my experience: partition revenue/income streams into 2 categories (continuous, and infrequent); partition expenses into 3 categories (fixed costs, semi-variable costs, variable costs). Next, create additional summary level (or levels) that are less granular, but still contain meaningful groupings for similar activities. There is more powerful information in ratios when categorizing and grouping this way, and your prediction models will be much more accurate.
    Keeping track of my revenue and expenses streams for the past 10 years has been liberating, and has allowed me to rapidly make smart decisions regarding employment, housing, car purchases, education, and future estate planning for my children. Being penny-wise won’t necessarily pay the bills or put food on the table, but living fiscally smart will.

  49. Joe, You’ve got an awesome story here. I’m not stalking you :), but just trying to make sure I get in touch to schedule an interview with the Debt Free Divas. I also sent an email or you can reach back out on Facebook or Twitter. Which ever is easier: facebook.com/debtfree4life or @debtfreedivas. Thanks!!!

  50. I came across your blog after you put this final post. Thanks so much for leaving it up for us late-comers to read your journey. There’s a lot here I want to get caught up with!

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