Happy new year! WOOHOO, 2015! What’s that picture? It’s a quarter on the floor. It’s ONE QUARTER DOWN! Get it? I have paid down 25.07% of my original amount of student loans since the birth of this blog. When I hit 50%, I can post up a picture of TWO QUARTERS! 😀
So I haven’t done my December 2014 review yet, but in the spirit of the new year, I was already jonesin’ to do a “year in review”. Can I combine them? Is that allowed? Basically, I kept to my modified plan of just paying the minimum on the student loans while stockpiling some extra money if the bonus didn’t come through. (Which it still didn’t. There may be hope to see it in mid-January, but I won’t hold my breath and that way I’ll be pee-in-the-pants excited IF it does actually come through.) So my debt only went down by $329.34 in December, and $227.80 went to interest.
My new grand total, however, is $71,203.19, which is $15,577.70 LESS than what it was at the beginning of 2014 ($86,780.89). YAY! $71k is so much less than almost $87k! More importantly, it’s 25.07% down from the original amount of $95,026.87. YAY! And 25% is much more than the 8.7% from a year ago. YAY!
Now, reviewing my goals from my “2013 in review”, how did I do?
- blog here 4x/month or 1x/week
- PASS! 48 total (published) entries for 2014.
- get under $60,000 in student loan debt by January 1, 2015 (pay off $27k)
- FAIL! and…ha! Really? I missed it by $11k. 😦
- set up a wedding fund together with Mr. Bacon and save $5k
- PASS-ish… Set up the account and only $1200 is in it.
- get a raise, or get the bosses to pay for some of the student loans
- PASS! 10% raise in February that was retroactive to the beginning of the year
- set up triathlon and travel budgets and stick to them!
- NOPE… It didn’t get too out of control, but I definitely did more racing than I had originally planned.
Major milestones in 2014…
- Got moved to a different office pretty early in the year, and subsequently a 10% raise. It was stressful when it first happened a year ago, and that stress hasn’t changed too much, so I’ve gotten disgruntled enough to start looking around.
- GOT ENGAGED! And have been slowly wedding planning ever since…
- We became a two-car household as Mr. Bacon bought a new car.
- We moved out of our studio apartment into a cheaper 1-bedroom split-level condo with FREE PARKING.
- Did my first half ironman triathlon in 5 years!
- We actually started house shopping–prematurely, but this has actually shifted our whole financial outlook from “pay off the debts!!!” to looking farther down the future timeline. So I would say we actually have shifted the focus from paying off the student loans, to saving up for a house. That’s a huge milestone!
Financial setbacks in 2014:
- HUGE UGLY TAXES…
- Moving expenses (security deposit, cancelling gym memberships and the Dish Network…)
- New car
Financial Amazeballs in 2014:
- Getting a raise (despite the frustrations of the new position, it’s still more money)
- Moving to a cheaper place (saving over $300/month in parking!)
- A gigantic mid-year bonus in September!
So overall, despite only making minimum student loan payments for three of the 12 months, I still managed to pay off an average of almost $1,300 per month ($1,298.14). If you take out those 3 small months, though, my average jumps all the way up to $1,656.24. HOLY CRAP!
Ok then…so now that only leaves us with 2015 FINANCIAL GOALS:
- Save up $5,000 for the wedding, have a successful wedding for not much more than that!
- Pay off the remaining $2,100 for the new bike
- Stay credit card debt-free (still accrue airline miles on the CC, but pay off the balance each month)
- Keep blogging 4x per month!
- Save up $15,000 in the house fund! ($1,500/month)
- Move towards a better work situation (whether it’s stress, finances, and/or location)
- Get the loans under $65k (still pay the minimum, and then some)
Happy new year everybody! I am enjoying reading everybody’s yearly round-ups, and wishing you all a prosperous 2015. 🙂