Despite recent events, I am in a much better place mentally, emotionally, and financially, if not physically (working on that), than I was last year. For that reason, pardon me as I fully turn up the Tony! Toni! Toné! and host a somewhat more jubilant celebration of my 2nd Blogiversary. (WARNING: Lengthy post ahead…)
Whoot, what a year. I struggled to figure out what this post should be. Should it just be a reflection on the modest goals I set last year, with new goals for this year? Because July is halfway through the year, should it be a mid-point check-in on how I am doing with respect to my calendar year goals? Also, does it make sense to have blogiversary goals that are different from my calendar goals? What is the real distinction between the two? As I am often wont to do in these situations, I decided to permute and do both…
But first, let’s get to the numbers!
Student Loan Debt Journey
Blog Start – July 4, 2019: -$133,259.74
1st Blogiversary – July 4, 2020: -$119,119.98
2nd Blogiversary – July 4, 2021: -$101,626.31
That is…that is progress. It should also be noted during this time that I saved $5,000.00 in an emergency fund. Given my income during this time period has been just under $50,000.00, this really isn’t bad at all.
Review of Second Year Goals
1) Move my blog from Blogger to another platform and improve the overall appearance and readability. – PASS! Like most moves for better digs, the “Ms. Afro Penny” WordPress site is pricier than my “Debt End Date” site at Blogger but the site looks a lot better and posting is a bit more enjoyable. And when I post more, I feel more accountable for my financial choices and every bit of accountability is helpful when your journey will be as long as mine.
2) Post at least twice per month including a student loan balance update post on or about the first of the month. – FAIL! I think I am always worried about posting irrelevant content and never want to post unless I really have something to say. This goal will likely return…
3) Establish an alternative income stream bringing in at least $500.00 more each month. – FAIL! I achieved this early in the year but decided to switch from steady part-time work to more lucrative contract work, which meant the ups and downs of contract work.
4) Reduce student loan debt below $100,000.00. – FAIL! This was a recent fail that should have been a fail much earlier in the year but temporarily moving back home with my parents, due to my apartment flooding, put me back on track….only for this goal to be derailed by May galivanting with my bestie.
5) Refinance student loans at more favorable interest rates. – N/A? The pandemic has meant that there was an interest rate abatement on federal student loans which meant a refinance would not have been a good choice. I could have refinanced my remaining loans but given the lower interest rates due to the pandemic, and the fact that all of them are targeted for payoff within the next year, it didn’t seem like the right move for now. For now.
Ultimately, it doesn’t make sense to me to have blogiversary goals and calendar year goals that overlap. Thus, moving forward, blogiversary goals will be strictly related to blogging/vlogging and calendar year goals will be finance related.
Midpoint Check-In on 2021 Financial Goals
1) Reduce my overall student loan balances below $100,000.00 – On track. This should have been accomplished this month but will definitely be accomplished next month.
2) Reduce my overall student loan balances below $90,000.00 – Unlikely. While I will easily make it into the mid-$90Ks, it is unlikely I will make it below $90,000.00 without a significant, and unexpected, change in income over the next six months. While I have been flirting with getting a part-time job again, I still don’t know that this would be enough to get me below the $90K mark.
3) Payoff Private Student Loan 3 (PSL3) (-$10,666.59 as of 1/1/2021) – On track. Assuming no unexpected costs, this should happen next month. My balance is currently under –$1500.00 and I’m itching to pay it off.
4) Payoff Private Student Loan 4 (PSL4) (-$9,997.13 as of 1/1/2021) – Unlikely. Paying of this loan would get me below the $90,000.00 threshold but see explanation above as to why getting it done this year is unlikely.
5) Weekly blog post
6) Biweekly vlog (YouTube) AND Instagram* post
These will no longer be 2021 Financial Goals as they are really blog related.
7) Increase part-time/side monthly income to $1000.00 – Not on track. However, I am still willing to give myself a pass on this if I can make this happen before the end of the year.
8) Establish sinking funds – Not on track. I had started this in March to pay for my May gallivanting but it got wiped out by deposits for my new houseshare. I still have time to turn this around.
9) Cashflow final coursework and application process for medical school – I have been on track. More on this is another post.
Ugh. So many words. Overall, it’s looking dicey…but I can still turn it around.
Finally, my Third Year Blog Goals:
1) Blog at least twice a month.
2) Vlog at least once a month.
And finally, finally, a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who take time to read my blog, and especially those of you who take time to comment. I’d like to think I’d keep writing even if no one were reading but I don’t really believe that to be true. Having to post my debt updates each month helps immensely with accountability and that would be impossible without you. So…THANK YOU!