What has changed in the past year? First off, I decided to learn all I could about DRIPs and eventually enrolled in three DRIPs during the subsequent months. A good step, but a little too hasty. I still had $3,000 in credit card debt, and I racked up more once I began buying books for class. If I had used the money I invested to pay off my credit card debt first, I'd be pretty close to having them all paid off. Alas, I wasn't a Fool yet.
I finally figured out that I had to pay off my credit cards, but first I needed to see where all of my money was really going. I went out and bought Microsoft Money 2000. Now I can track not only my DRIPs, but also my regular expenses, which helped me develop a budget. I've managed to stick to that budget, mostly (turns out my fianc�e really DID want a diamond ring who knew?!?). Luckily I got a great deal on the ring and an even better deal on the financing, so I paid it off without paying one cent in interest. Three months from now I'll be out of credit card debt, hopefully forever!
One year after joining the Fool, I'm one class away from graduating with a history degree, three months away from being free of credit card debt, and two weeks away from a full-time paycheck. I'm invested in DRIPs, signed up for a very generous 403(b) (I took the S&P 500 index fund option, of course!), and actually have a real chance of saving up for a house for me and my soon-to-be wife. I can't say The Motley Fool was the only factor in these changes, but it certainly played a large roll. I've lived through one of the best years of my life these past 12 months, and I thank all of the Fools out there for making it all possible.
This IS the best site on the web! But The Onion is a close second.