Hello, January! (Again.) I was so proud of myself for all the blogging I did last month–a whopping 6 posts. Then again, there was the Christmas holiday and the snow day. I know there are awesome bloggers out there who do at least 3 posts per week (and I once had a triathlon blog I posted to every single day) but for as busy as my work schedule’s been, averaging one post per week would be a pretty darn good goal.
Well, before January is completely over (is it already half over?!) I better do my 2013 in review and put my 2014 finance goals out there!
So on New Year’s day of 2013, I moved to DC and lived in a hotel (paid by work) for a few days before my new apartment was available. I started my new job on the 2nd, which was about a $12k raise from my previous job (although it’s kind of the same after you take into consideration the much higher cost of living and taxes here, grrrrg). My previous savings account was depleted from buying new furniture as I didn’t have any of my own.
In May, Mr. Bacon and I went from having a long-distance relationship (about 100 miles) with the associated expenses (road trips and travel on the weekends) to moving in together (he came to me! aww!) and learning to live together, budget together and split up expenses and share a small space (600 square feet!). We quickly learned to cut down on happy hours and dinners out (in our expensive frou-frou neighborhood where there are 5 bars and restaurants on every corner).
January through September, I really worked on paying off my credit card debt. I reached my goal before Labor Day in September! That journey was chronicled in an old blog hosted on a different website. In September, this blog was born when it was time to focus all my financial energy on the battle against Sallie Mae.
In bullet-point summary, huge things that happened:
- Moved to DC and started a new job
- mid-year Mr. Bacon moved to DC with me (LDR to living together)
- paid off my credit card debt: $10,777 to zero by September!
- started hacking at the student loans and paid off $8,247 (Sept-Dec)
What helped with paying off debts:
- BLOGGING. Even once a month gave me a huge sense of accountability
- Telling friends and family members…even if they felt uncomfortable talking about it, I didn’t.
- Saying no to movies, trips, eating out, racing, and even haircuts.
- blog here 4x/month or 1x/week
- get under $60,000 in student loan debt by January 1, 2015 (pay off $27k)
- set up a wedding fund together with Mr. Bacon and save $5k
- get a raise, or get the bosses to pay for some of the student loans
- set up triathlon and travel budgets and stick to them!
That’s all! How are your 2014 goals coming along just two weeks in?