Today marks the one year anniversary of my decision to finally tackle my finances and mountain of debt. Many of the changes I’ve made over the past year seemed pretty insignificant against the mountain… how much does remembering to use a coupon really save, is a couple degrees on the thermostat actually worth freezing/ heatstroke? Some of the changes I needed to make seemed impossible… could I really give up my junk food addiction, could I learn to want less stuff in a commercial world?
I stuck with it for a whole year and now I get to look back and see how far I’ve actually come! I haven’t perfected my lifestyle by any means; I still struggle with eating out, I still give in to “wants” more than I should, I still forget to bring my coupons and I still debate the thermostat setting. But now for all the times I fall back to bad habits there are at least ten times as many occasions that I do the right thing without pause. I’ve also learned how to keep and stick to a budget, started saving for emergencies, and increased how much cash I bring in by focusing on side jobs.
In the past year, I’ve paid off $12,435 of my debt which is 19% of the total debt and roughly on track to the 5 year debt pay-off goal I originally set. I’ve also already met my goal to set aside $1000 in an emergency fund by the end of the year.
The next year of debt pay-off will be pretty interesting since I’ll also be saving towards the wedding with S. I’m still determined to have all of my “bad” debt (car and credit cards) paid off by the end of 2013 so that’s going to mean a small wedding budget coupled with hard work and diligence on keeping spending in check. I’m thrilled with what I’ve accomplished in the past year and motivated to keep the momentum going in the next year!