On Nov 21, 2012 I made my first post. The picture on that post really reflected where I was with regard to my finances. I was beaten down, overwhelmed, and lost. I guess I started this blog as a way to vent my frustrations with money. (It has certainly served that purpose over the years!)
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for this long. Happy Blogiversary, DDSW!
A number of things have changed for me and for my money in the past 5 years.
5 Things That Have Gone Well
ONE. Since beginning this blog, I’ve paid off nearly $80,000 of debt. My total debt has dropped from ~$142k down to ~$63k.
TWO. I now have $10k in savings (a safety net).
THREE. I became ‘worthless’ (hit $0 net worth) and then crossed over into positive territory for the first time in my adult life.
FOUR. I was quoted in a few articles relating to carrying large amounts of debt: MarketWatch | New York Post | Student Loan Hero. I was profiled in Less Debt More Wine’s Student Loan Conqueror Profile Series. Plus, my post about reaching Net Worth $0 was featured on Rockstar Finance. Pretty cool stuff!
FIVE. Financial fallout aside, I was FINALLY able to take an international trip, my first in over 10 years. Woot! It was amazing! And now that I’m getting some traction on my debt and finances, I plan to travel much more often in the future. In fact, I’m already planning my next trip.
5 Things That Have Not Gone Well
ONE. A few months after starting this blog, I lost my job. I was on unemployment for 4 months before I found another job. Moving to a high cost of living area for said job also added expenses. It had the effect of delaying any debt repayment by almost a year. It wasn’t until November of 2013 that I was able to really start making progress on my debt.
THREE. I fell ill and had to have major surgery a couple of years ago, which set me back financially. I believe the trigger/accelerant for this illness was the extreme stress and poor diet I had after losing my job with so much debt around my neck and the subsequent downgrade in my standard of living. I’m still monitoring my health because all of those factors are still present (albeit to a somewhat lesser extent as I get used to this way of life.)
FOUR. Within the past few months, I’ve slammed into a wall of ‘Debt Fatigue’. I’ve gone back into (temporary) credit card debt while booking travel related purchases for my upcoming trip. In order to pay the credit I’m halting my extra monthly payments and only paying the $1720 minimum due every month.
FIVE. I’m still single AF. The title of this blog will never let you down on that front, it seems.
5 Things I’d Like To Do/Have Within The Next 5 Years
ONE. Be completely debt free!
TWO. Have $30k cash in an Emergency Fund. (My hammock)
THREE. Have at least $300k in retirement savings and investments
FOUR. Have my own place to live! Preferably near a good gym and grocery store. No roommates! My OWN kitchen. Ahh, to dream…
FIVE. Have a couple of solid, researched, and viable business/second income ideas that I can fund/get funding to launch.
I thought about putting ‘Be in a committed relationship’, but I decided to only list things that are entirely within my control. The hope is still there of course.
Thanks for hanging out and celebrating my blogiversary with me! I’ve so appreciated your comments and words of advice and encouragement over these past five years. Thanks for sharing your own experiences. It helps me to know that I’m not the only one in the battle.