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Why 2010 Was My Best Year Financially

5 December 2010 3 Comments

Despite a terrible economy and a tough business environment, 2010 was my best year financially I’ve had since entering “the real world.” several years ago.  Now in my late 20s, 2010 was very positive financially, and I’m encouraged heading into 2011.

First, every single reason why 2010 was good is due to my own doing.  Nothing happened for me, in fact, because of a weak business environment, my sales and overall performance in my career was slightly down from the previous year, so none of the positives came from my “job”.

So why was 2010 good?  Allow me to explain.

Reason #1 – Cost Control & Spending Improvements

First, I managed to cut some of my day-to-day expenses in a way that put more margin into the area between my family’s income and spending.  Margin here is a very good thing that results in peace of mind and increased savings.  This took the form of the following:

  1. Cut my cable bill from nearly $100 to $30 by dropping down to the basic service provided by my HOA
  2. We gave our dog away.  This was more a result of having another baby in the house and not being able to give the dog enough attention, but also resulted in saving anywhere from $75 to $150 per month on expenses.
  3. Stopped my lawn service.  I cut my own lawn now.  $100 a month in savings
  4. General habits – my wife and I got on the same page to a larger degree this year and improved our “budgeting skills”

The result has been several hundred dollars a month in less spending.

Reason #2 – Online Income

If you check out my online income page, you’ll see the money I’ve been bringing in from my online income streams.  Talk about changing my entire financial picture.  Bringing in anywhere from $1500 to $2000-ish on a monthly basis in extra income is an amazing thing.

After a couple years of working on my blog and playing around with various areas, it paid off in 2010, resulting in consistent monthly income that can actually make a dent in my monthly finances.

Reason #3 – DRIPs

Earlier this year, I established a few DRIP plans – Dividend ReInvestment Plans – and the result is I’m building some really nice positions in some stocks that I want to be building up.  After several months of monthly contributions, these are already turning into nice positions.  I’m looking forward to the dividend payout increasing more and more over time.  That will be some fun statements to see in the mail down the road.

For now, I only have Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) and McDonald’s Corporation (MCD).  Please note this is in addition to my Roth and other accounts so these are not the only stocks I own.

Next year, depending on my income growth, I may add another DRIP.

Reason #4 – Physical Silver

This year I actually started accumulating silver coins mostly in the form of American Eagles.  The security and peace of mind of having some physical precious metals in your possession is pretty great, plus it’s nice that I’m already up significantly on these positions, although I doubt I’ll sell any anytime soon.

Be sure you have yours carefully hidden or stored somewhere of course.  Protect against theft or loss.


  • Corina McCoy said:

    Wow. Thanks so much for the insight. I love the post and it's very inspiring to hear you cut down on money.

  • Kellen said:

    I think my neighborhood is too dangerous for me to risk buying actual metals… then again, the savings I have from rent are probably more than I would gain from investing in metals anyway 😉

    Your online income jumped from about $300/month this time last year to over $2,000/month now? That's awesome and inspiring. Great job, and thanks for sharing!

  • JohnsonSmith said:

    Your plan is really awesome and I am planning to follow it now.Thanks for such post.
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