2017: A New Hope…more updates, and a no-shopping challenge.

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SO! 2016 blogging was kind of a bust. I mean UGH, I blogged twice! February and May. That’s it! PATHETIC!
What is also embarrassingly pathetic is that credit card debt got a bit out of control with some unexpected summer expenses, and then I just had the mentality of “f**k it, whatever!” as far as budgeting goes. I guess after finally getting the house and paying for the wedding, and even getting the student loan situation manageable, I fell in the trap of “it’s okay, you deserve it!” Life has been very stressful. Retail therapy!
As of today, my CC debt is up to $3,879.76. (Where’s the throw-up emoji?) It pains me to write that in a blog post (which is probably why I have not blogged, which is probably MORE REASON to blog).
Less pathetic:
My student loan balance as of January 1, 2017 is $52,736.20. WOW! That’s 44.5% paid off since the birth of this blog!
This is especially exciting because I visited my parents over Christmas vacation and when I helped clean out my old childhood bedroom, I found old student loan statements back when I consolidated all of them (back in late 2006 and early 2007–a decade ago). My totals back then were about $97,000-ish. When I started this blog in September 2013, they were only down to $95,000-ish–a measley $2k paid off in 7 years. In early 2015, when I was looking at starting this current job, I wanted student loan debt payoff to be part of my salary package, and it was down to $71,000-ish (almost $24k paid off in the 2+ years since the blog of the birth). I had been aggressively throwing all my extra income at the mountain of debt, we’re talking about an extra $1,500 per month, and one time even threw in over $5,000 of my Christmas bonus (which is a ridiculously large Christmas bonus).
Now another 2 years later, and it’s another $18.5k down with just paying the minimum payment each month. I’m not having to throw in big extra payments like I used to, and I’m still on track to pay everything off by February or March of 2020.
Good job and pat on the back for the student loans part!
Horrible job on the credit card debt!
The two things I will focus on in 2017 for this finance blog will be:
1. Go back to blogging a monthly update on the state of affairs (student loans and credit card debt). ACCOUNTABILITY!
2. Implement a NO SHOPPING CHALLENGE for all non-essential items. I have a small stack of gift cards, so if I get the urge to buy something, I will consult the gift card stash.
Maybe in the next post I’ll go on a little soapbox about how budgeting is like being on a diet, and my twisted and sordid relationship with budgeting calories, in the meantime, happy new year to my faithful readers! (If anyone is still out there…say hi.)
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