- New carpet for all bedrooms. Instead of DIY like I did with our living room a few years back I shopped around and ended up using a 10% off coupon with one of the big box stores. What an improvement. We should have done this years ago.
- Replaced both cars with newer used cars. Replaced our beloved Civic with a Hybrid version. Already respectable fuel economy of 35 mpg has been improved to 45 mpg. Replaced bare-bones Subaru Forester with fully-loaded Outback. We found the Forester too small to fit all our gear in the back. With twin boys this will only become more of an issue as they grow. The extra 12 inches or so of room is so much better. Plus I love the heated seats.
- Got granite and butcher block counter tops for the kitchen. Wow, what a difference. We saved money buy doing all the demo work, installing all the butcher block tops, and the sink. Just paid granite guy (found via Craigslist) to install the granite slab.
- Bought new gas lawnmower. After a few years of using an electric (corded) mower I finally caved and bought a mower from Sears. I just got tired of messing with a cord and having the mower bog down with higher grass. With .25 acre lot with gobs of lawn this was a fine decision.
- Refi'd from 30 year fixed to 15 year fixed. Payment up but saving almost 3x more money each month applied to balance. Hope to pay this house off by 2020.
- Started automatic monthly transfer towards "future house down payment" fund. This'll be a few years away but we can't wait to find our dream house eventually. Hoping to keep existing house as rental.
- Enrolled kids in soccer and karate. The former a success, the latter a bust. Will try again when they are a little older and can actually stand still for more than 10 seconds.
- I am ending the year about 10 pounds lighter! I didn't plan on it but will attribute it to training for and running a marathon in the fall. And cutting way back on "sugar". I knocked the weight off with the running. And have kept it off by keeping sugar-foods at bay.
Did you have any goals for 2011? Did you meet them? Looking forward to 2012?