2019 was…bumpy. I am genuinely hoping to make significantly more progress on my debt in 2020 but before I can get to my goals, I need to do a bit of reflection.
2019 Goals Financial Review
So…it’s difficult to review your goals when you didn’t set any. Seriously, I started this blog on July 4, 2019 and the closest I came for setting a goal for the year was a goal I set to have paid off the Citibank portion of my balance transfer and if you looked at my January debt update, you realized that didn’t happen. *puts head down* So…instead of reviewing concrete goals (something I will set for myself in 2020), I am going to look at the wins and losses for the year.
Reduced my debt by $16,413.25. – On January 1, 2019 my debt balance total was $144, 101.39 (this was prior to the start of this blog) and on January 1, 2020 my debt balance is $127,688.14. That means in 2019 I reduced my debt by $16,413.25. It could have been a lot more. It should have been a lot more. But it was something. Considering I make just a bit under $50,000.00 and this is just the amount my debt was reduced and not all of the payments made (that number is over $20K but it would depress me to calculate it so I’m not going to do it), I’m going to say not terrible. I’m grateful it is something.
Declining Costs of Living – I have made my very cheap apartment very habitable on very little money and believe I will be able to stay here for the foreseeable future. The cost of living working at University A was significantly cheaper than it is at University B because my former position included housing. However, despite being a much bigger city (you know, a proper city) the cost of living in University B city is cheaper and my quality of life is much better.
Improved Health – I know I said I was going to look at my financial wins and losses, but I think there is a cost associated with having poor health. My physical and mental health have improved significantly since I have moved from University A to University B and for that I am incredibly grateful.
Private Student Loan 1 – This loan is still festering and the balance sits at $8,600.00 as of January 1st. If you read my balance transfer post then you know my original goal was to have a portion of this paid off by December 2019. That didn’t happen for reasons I will discuss in a moment, but I still plan to have it paid off before the end of the balance transfer.
Bumps – My student loan payoff in 2019 wasn’t quite as aggressive as I would have liked for a number of reasons including a change in jobs and a cross country move. Additionally, in the months of November and December I was in two separate auto accidents. One was my fault and I had to pay a ticket (following too closely), my insurance deductible, the taxes on a rental car while mine was in the shop, etc. The second one was not my fault and was a hit-and-run WHILE I was in the rental car. Unfortunately, I had declined the rental car insurance at the rental counter like and idiot. Ugh, it could have turned out a lot worse than it did.
Unplanned Spending – A friend came to visit me for ten (10) days and we road tripped quite a bit. While I was happy to see her and had a wonderful time, the trip was very last minute (she needed to not be where she was) and not something for which I had planned and set aside money.
While my December/Christmas spending was a bit higher than I would have liked (the unexpected visitor came in December), due to a bit of frugality prior to her arrival and a transportation reimbursement from University B for mileage I have put on my car during the semester, I was able to cash flow almost everything and as of today, January 1st, all of my December/Christmas spending has been paid off. The only sign of my rough end of the year was that my Emergency Fund is still missing my auto insurance deductible, which I hope to replace out of my tax refund or bonus in early February.