Ask the Readers: What Was Your Best Money Moment of 2012?

By Ashley Jacobs on 25 December 2012 51 comments
Photo: 401(k) 2012

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Rebecca, Thomas, and Karen for winning this week's contest!

The new year is almost here! As we reflect back on 2012, we all have moments that we will always remember. Some of us took dream vacations, others got married, and quite a few had kids! Chances are everyone had a money moment of 2012 that will stand out to them, be it paying off debt or saving up enough to make a big purchase.

What was your best money moment of 2012? Did you buy a house? Pay off your debt? Save enough to take your dream vacation? Purchase a new car? Create an emergency fund? Pay for your child to go to college?

Tell us about your best money moment of 2012 and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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    Giveaway Rules:

    • Contest ends Monday, December 31st at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after December 31st on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
    • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
    • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
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Good Luck!

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51 discussions

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

After 8 years of driving a minivan that had long been paid off, I bought a new Toyota RAV 4. It's much sportier, more fun to drive, and I'm saving a lot on gas compared to what I used to pay with the minivan.

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Decided NOT to buy the Canon S100 (Amazon deal) even though I love geo-tagging my photos. It was all-day decision, emotion (want) vs logic (need).

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Catherine Robinson

Our best money moment of 2012 was paying cash for a car. No car payments! The runner-up was re-financing our home loan, and rolling a higher interest loan we had for rehabbing the house into that loan.

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Scraping together a $1,000 emergency fund that was used for new tires!! Then rebuilding it back up!!

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Our best money moment came when we had our financial review and we found out we had extra money left over from our budget to invest!

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I created an emergency fund and paid off my debt

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I got a great deal on a laptop.

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Linda A. Stortz

In 2012, I accomplished a personal 10-year goal of mine -- I earned my Masters Degree in Accounting in an online degree program. Ten years ago I planned to enroll in a local university, but with my workload and limited time schedule this didn't work out. In the subsequent years, I started saving because I knew that I would like to get this Masters degree someday. Last December, 2011, I went online and started checking out online Masters programs. I discovered such a program which required 10 courses, or 30 credit hours, and I could finish it in a year. My last course was finished on December 14, 2012. I finished with no debt because of my planning and saving for this goal. My advice -- set your goals and immediately start saving for them. You'll have the money in hand and won't need to go into debt.

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My best money moment was the deal I scored on my new car!

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Molly Boyter

In the same 2 weeks, I bought a house AND took my mom on vacation to Alaska using frequent flyer miles for the tickets!

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I was financially able to be with my sister fighting cancer.

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Shari Czerwinski

We had gotten out of debt last year, and saved a little money when we faced a 6 month lay-off. We were so used to surviving on a minimal budget, we weathered the storm without touching our savings. Great year!

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I got a small inheritance from my grandmother and with that and some savings, I paid off the mortgage on our house. It was great to write that last mortgage check!

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Susan D

My best money moment is easy--I paid off my grad school loan and am now completely out of debt! It feels wonderful.

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I was able to pay off one of my credit cards!

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Mark Johnson

Toally debt free!

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Well, that's pretty easy, finding a new job with a 40% raise.

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I loved giving my family a 32" HDTV for $8 because I earned gift cards online. Not as good as saving $21,000 on our mortgage by refinancing in 2011, but not too shabby!

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Abby B.

My best money moment was finishing off the year with a zero balance on our credit card :)

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Our best money moment was when my siblings & I sold our Mom's house, and no longer had to maintain it. Sad, but it was time to let go...

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Happy Love

Instead of going right to a fertility doctor like me sister was pushing me to do, I followed a fertility program in a book that I found highly rated on Amazon (by a fertility MD and a Chinese medicine specialist), and I got pregnant without a lot of expensive tests and treatments.

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We saved our money and bought a camper to travel

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This year I paid down $3300 worth of debt since May on a relatively small salary after graduating from college.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

We sold our 13 year old car, that had stopped working, to a neighbor's brother, instead of it going to a junk yard. We didn't make any more money, but I felt better about it being put to a more immediate use, instead of sitting in a junk yard for who know how long until someone needed its parts.

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I bought a house and a new car.

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I began putting a big chunk of every paycheck in a savings account this summer, and now I've finally got a decent emergency fund for the first time since being laid off from my last job in 2009. It's not a lot of money, but it's a start, and it makes such a difference knowing it's there.

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I left a high stress job and became an independent consultant doing my favorite part of the original job (for my former employer) for 2 1/2 times my hourly wage. Woo hoo!

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Taking a new job that paid less money so I could have less stress and more free time with my family.

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My wife and I are ending the year with over $12,000 in savings and just a small balance on our line of credit. Our retirement savings rate is finally decent too. The most satisfying thing is how we're constantly re-evaluating how we value money. It seems like every year we spend a greater percentage of discretionary money on vacations and experiences rather than accumulating things. Less stuff, more fun has been our motto and we're much happier that way.

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Raina D.

Getting an "early partial bonus" from work a couple weeks ago was pretty awesome. I didn't have any money milestones or anything like that.

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Took a less stressful job. Makes a huge difference in my quality of life.

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I got laid off, but still had enough money in my emergency fund to cover a $1,500 emergency.

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moving to save on rent.

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Mary W

I saved enough to take my dream vacation with my sister. We planned and saved for a whole year and had the very best vacation together. It really was a dream vacation!

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Susan P.

My sister and I took a 2 week vacation by saving up our gift cards and sweeps wins.

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My best money moment this year was having my wife sign up for Social Security. These earned benefits will be very helpful to us in trying to keep our heads above water.

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Paying next to nothing for a variety of personal hygiene products at the drugstore and then boxing those items up and shipping them off to soldiers and children in need of them. Searching for deals and clipping coupons paid off in a way I never expected!

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When I unexpectedly had to buy snow tires for my car, and I didn't stress about spending the money.

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I've had a few great 'money moments' this year, but my best one was buying my new hybrid car - I put 50% down, got a crazy good interest rate due to my credit score (over 800, WOW was I excited to learn that), got a discount using the auto buying program, and was able to negotiate away some unfavorable loan terms. I felt very proud of myself and now I'm saving tons on gas as well!

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I started entering sweepstakes to help us save $ for our wedding. In 6 months I saved nearly $5000!

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cathy henatyszen

Best money moment was doing my best to save my money towards a bigger goal, which is still happening

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My best money moment of 2012 was finally realizing how much we could save if we simply shopped wisely and cooked at home rather than eating out so often. Not only did we have money left over at the end of the month after paying bills, but we even inadvertantly lost weight by enjoying home-cooked meals every night!

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My best money moment is one that is still evolving. I started to explore the idea of freelance writing during the spring of 2012. I took an online class, explored many online resources regarding this new endeavor and learned that there are many options. There is also the need for a true commitment on my part. Yes, I am earning money, but know I could earn so much more with a deeper commitment. It is out there waiting for me. What happens next will be determined by the amount of self discipline I apply to make this money moment grow.

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Debra K

Consolidating my student loans, being able to pay more than the minimum balance due each month while still saving $ each month compared to what I was paying on them before!

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My best money moment was paying off one of my credit cards.

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I think my biggest money moment in 2012 was making my final tuition payment for my daughter's undergrad. I'm done! I wrote the last check in July, so I haven't saved a huge sum yet, but I'm on my way!

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Luckily, I can't limit this to just one moment. My wife and I (in our mid-sixties) decided 2012 was our year to buy and remodel a ranch house and move from our older, 3-story home . We found one needing extensive remodeling, then discovered that it had been pulled from the market - and reentered for sale at $40K less a few hours later. Sold! Then we found a huge, used kitchen cabinet set at the Habitat ReStore, thick marble tops and all, that would fit our newly-added 20' by 20' kitchen. Our framer estimated that this custom-built set cost $100K when new. Our cost? Only $2K! So 2012 was indeed a good year for us to make some major life changes.

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We've finally got a tiny bit of savings, and I convinced the hubby to cut up one of the credit cards. It feels nice to be making some headway, even if it's small. :)

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I ignored everyone else's negative thoughts and stayed in stocks with all my accounts and made a lot of money

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Getting a bit ahead on our savings and debt. Plus, winning $2500

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We paid off two credit cards and my car loan! :)