2011 In Review

Inspired by Tynan’s excellent 2011 post, I decided to follow suit with my own year-end progress report.

Quick Stats:

Stat Start/first half of 2011 End/last half of 2011
Debt $34,000 (24k college, 10k car) $2,300 (car paid off, 1 college loan remains)
Car 2008 Mazda3 1999 Mazda Miata
Apartment 2br/2ba (expensive!) 1br/1ba (much less expensive!)
Tumbling Roundoff back handspring, back tuck, front tuck, back layout. Same as before, plus: layout stepout, gainer flash, aerial front walkover, aerial cartwheel, side flip.
Miles Driven in Car 7,000 (estimate) 4,000 (estimate)
Body weight 135 pounds 135 pounds (now with more muscle!)
Annual cost of living $33k (estimate) $20k (estimate)

2011 was a year of big changes and forward progress on my goals. All year I focused on determining the most important use of my time and energy and then spending them both accordingly. Two major themes this year were paying down my debt (almost debt-free!) and getting healthier/more skilled physically. These two goals will continue in 2012.

Important discoveries this year were:

  • Continual improvement of myself is a big unifying theme in my life. Self improvement is my largest desire, and being surrounded by those who are not afraid to progress all the time is highly important to me. (Realized via Tynan’s excellent post on the subject.)
  • Personal finance is a solved problem (philisophically.) Once you know what you wish to achieve with your money the focus is clear: get out of debt, spend less, earn more, and use the difference to better yourself and the world!
  • I don’t need a late model car.
  • While I don’t need many material possessions, some are essential to my creative pursuits. I will probably always own enough things to fill a 1 bedroom apartment. (Living in an RV would seriously hamper my creative process.)
  • I don’t like to travel. Travel is necessary sometimes, but (for me) it is not an end unto itself. I rarely grow or progress when I’m on the road, and I’m not interested in merely collecting singular experiences. My attitude towards travel may change once I’ve achieved certain key goals or when I ever get an opportunity to travel with good friends (shared experiences are more valuable than solo experiences.)
  • I want to find important friends and spend as much time as possible with them. (Post to follow on this one.)
  • It is almost more important to me to have a dream than it is to have it fulfilled. In this way, I always strive to better myself. The trick is learning to enjoy today while still working to achieve my bigger dreams. This balance is one of the hardest to attain, and I still struggle with it.
  • It is important to know your most important problem.
  • It is important to know your ideal situation. (Post to follow on this.)
  • My ideal situation includes bacon, which is delicious.





3 responses to “2011 In Review”

  1. Austin Avatar

    Awesome post. The RV might not hamper your processes as much as you think, but that’s beside the point. Nice work on the tumbling and I agree that bacon is delicious :)

    1. nathanbw Avatar

      Thanks Austin. I checked out your blog and your TEDx talk. Good stuff!

  2. MIrrorIMage Avatar

    Awesome job Nate!
    It looks like you exceeded your goal: Keep up the good work!

    I ran into this stack about “Minimalist Living” today and thought that you might find it interesting:

    Here are the other resources I mentioned a while back:
    “Frugal Living For Dummies”

    “Kiplinger” personal finance magazine (business, investment, retirement, etc.):