As the year 2018 approaches, it’s time to recap what kind of financial progress I made in 2017.
Spoiler: It was a good year to be my financial plan. #SorryNotSorry
For those of you who joined my journey this year, I started working to get out of debt in October of 2016 after realizing that we were barely making ends meet.
Sure, on the outside my husband and I had two nice cars, a great suburban home, and we had just got back from a New England and Canadian vacation prior to this blog. However, we were making only the minimum payments on our credit card and hadn’t been able to pay anything extra in months. The two of us didn’t have a savings account with any true balance (if memory serves me, I think we had about $300 saved), and I realized that I had no earthly clue how long the two of us could survive this way.
As long as the bills got paid… we were fine, yes? But, what was our plan if one of us lost our job, got sick, or had an unexpected expense? If any of those things happened, we would have ended up deeper in debt with a brand new loan payment to juggle on top of our already stressed situation.
Something had to change…and that something that needed to change was the two of us and how we viewed our money.
I am a little co-dependent at times, and my husband isn’t the money nerd that I am, so I knew that the only way I was going to be successful was if somebody held me accountable.
Since I couldn’t find any single person ready to make this financial journey with me, I decided to do the millennial thing and drag everyone around me along by posting extensively about my progress via a blog and social media. Thus, Man Vs Cash was born (and later the Cash Talk Podcast, hosted by yours truly).
My journey began in 2016, but the race truly got intense for 2017.
It’s time to recap.
New Year, New Me.
In the year 2017, my husband accepted a tech support position within the finance industry, I buckled down with my blog and Podcast, and we skipped taking any major vacations this year (a first for our relationship) so we could focus solely on financial progress.
Here’s what we accomplished.
Balances as of January 1, 2017
|Honda Loan (My car)||$17,000|
|Acura Loan (Husband’s car)||$7,000|
|Furniture Installment Loan||$500|
|Cell Phone Payment Plan||$600|
Balances as of December 10, 2017
|Honda Loan (My car)||$12,900|
|Acura Loan (Husband’s car)||$0|
|Furniture Installment Loan||$0|
|Cell Phone Payment Plan||$0|
Total Debt Paid Off in 2017:
Sit down. Be Humble.
This year wasn’t without some setbacks, however.
-MAY: we refinanced our home. Although we backtracked out debt payoff by $1,100 due to mortgage closing costs and the home appraisal… we reduced our interest rate, fees, PMI, and cut our loan length by 11 full years. In interest alone, we will be saving $60,000+!
-AUGUST: We sold my husband’s Acura, paid off the loan, and bought a paid off car. However, the new car needed a little work to get it back in great shape. We decided to charge on a credit card. Thankfully, we’ll have this paid off by the end of January. Small investment to enjoy the paid-off car life!
-OCTOBER: Okay, yes. We messed up. We charged about $300 to our credit card to redesign our bedroom. Dang IKEA and their trendy, yet affordable furniture. This $300 was only a quarter of our actual cost (we paid cash for the rest), but it’s a setback nonetheless. I admitted it. You read it. Alright. We’re done.
I got money on my mind, I can never get enough.
Thankfully, we get to celebrate some huge victories.
-Cash Back: The year 2017 marks the first full calendar year that we exclusively made all of our purchases (groceries, gasoline, shopping) on a credit card that offers cash back rewards. Each month, we swiped for any purchase we made, and at the end of the month the credit card was paid off in full. We are going to receive over $450 in cash back rewards in January!
-High Yield Savings: In my financial journey, I stumbled across a savings account that offered 5.12% on your first $1,000 deposited…no fees! I’ve had one thousand dollars sitting in this account for 60 days and I have earned over $7.50 in dividends! Sure, seven dollars isn’t much…but if it was still sitting in my old savings account, I would have earned $.02 for the same time period on the same amount of money. This is a 37,500% increase over what I could have been earning. Yassssss.
-Car Payment Free Life: Since we sold my husband’s financed car, we eliminated a $260 car payment! I haven’t owned a completely paid off car since I was 18 (I’m almost 27), so the title to our car is even more gorgeous since I know we have no intentions to sell it anytime soon.
-F&%$ Sallie Mae: I paid off my student loans in 2017. It took 6 years to say this. Prior to getting serious about my financial goals, I had no clue when I would actually have my student loans paid off. That’s scary to admit, but it’s true. Thankfully, it’s behind me now.
Goals for 2018.
-I will be paying off our credit card debt, in full, by February.
-I will be earning approximately $52 in dividends (compared to $.08) on my $1,000 deposited in the high yield savings account over 12 months.
-I will save enough money to go on my “friends cruise” to the Caribbean and pay cold, hard cash to go. The cruise, hotels, beaches, drinks…everything. Cash.
-I will ambitiously set out to pay off my Honda before the end of 2018.
I Came To Slay.
As I charge into 2018, I hope that nothing slows my debt free momentum.
For the first time in my life, I have set the stage to be totally debt free and build wealth that neither me, nor my husband, have ever experienced. We can be 30 years old with a paid off home and very few worries about money.
I proved to myself over the last year that I can accomplish the financial goals I set for myself, and now it’s time to slay.
The only thing stopping me from succeeding… is me.
The only thing that will allow me to succeed… is me.
So, the question is
“What do you want, Adrian?”