Holy moly, it’s HERE! My final post! The end of December summary AND final savings tally!
Let’s start with my December summary.
It’s not pretty. This is partly because I missed a few of my after-school teaching engagements in November (due to our family trip to
), plus I did spend money on Christmas gifts. After paying all my usual bills, I was left over with a wimpy $198.97. Hawaii
I would do the usual breakdown, but to be honest, I’m overly anxious to reveal my year-long savings… and I’m guessing you’re curious about that, as well.
After 366 days (darn you, leap year!) of abstaining from all unnecessary purchases, I managed to save an impressive amount of money. Note that the word “saved” may be misleading. I didn’t technically put the money into savings, but rather applied it directly toward debt.
Perhaps you already cheated and added up all my month-end summaries, but if you didn’t, rest assured that I’ve done the math for you.
Are you ready?
I mean, are you really ready?
Really, really, REALLY ready?
My grand total of money saved this year is………
A little insane, right?! I know that number looks huge, but keep in mind that I did have minimum payments due on credit cards, so it wasn’t like that entire chunk was devoted to paying off core debt. However, I would estimate, aside from minimum payments, I probably paid off about $7000 of core debt.
Friends, this is the part where you cheer, whoop, and holler for me! $7000 is kind of awesome!
The other day, I was talking to my mom and she said that she was proud of me. We’re a pretty tight-lipped family when it comes to superfluous praise, and although I’m sure my mom has been proud of me on many occasions, it never occurred to me that she would be proud of me for this.
Maybe it’s my “pleaser” tendencies, but I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than making my parents proud. I’ve lived most of my adult life feeling like I’ve disappointed them (in a variety of ways). And although these feelings are rooted in my own insecurity, it still brought tears to my eyes to hear my mother say she was proud…mostly because I don’t feel that I deserve it.
Yes, I’ve gone a full year without any unnecessary purchases. Yes, I’ve paid off a substantial chunk of debt. Yes, I’ve posted a whopping 301 blog entries. But the fact remains, I’m still deeply in debt.
You see, the closure of 2012 was bittersweet. Sweet because I made progress, but bitter because I didn’t make enough progress. I know that some of you are looking at my savings total and thinking, “Exactly how much did this girl owe?!”
In short, I owed a lot.
And I still do owe a lot.
I wanted so badly to share with everyone that I had paid off all my debt; that my sacrifices this year were worth it. But it just didn’t happen. I still owe money. In fact, I owe so much money that I am pursuing yet another supplemental job in 2013, most likely as a server. This is part of the reason that I just cannot continue blogging next year. Teaching during the day and serving tables at night isn’t going to leave much time for leisurely pursuits (…if one can call blogging “leisurely”).
I confess I’ve been indulging in a bit of a pity-party lately. It seems like no matter what I do, it’s never enough and I’m always behind. I watch each year pass and realize that the opportunity to achieve some of my life-long goals are passing me by. We will probably never move. We will probably never have children. We will probably never travel the world. And all of this is painfully difficult to accept. Although my bleak future is a direct result of my own irresponsible spending, it still frustrates me that I can’t seem to reverse the damage I’ve done, no matter how hard I try.
Buuuuut, I’ve always been someone who dares to dream of a better future...and I'm not about to give up now! I make wishes on shooting stars and toss pennies into wishing wells. I pride myself on trying to make the best of every situation because there really is more to the world than myself. But most importantly, I have a strong work ethic which I know will help me to eventually achieve my financial goals. Truly, in the grand scheme of things, I have SO much to be thankful for.
It is my intention to be debt-free by 40 years old. 40 used to feel like a lifetime away, but in reality, I’ve got five years to go. That means I only have five more years of working multiple jobs and trying to live reasonably within my means…all while continuing to pay down debt. I can do this.
Readers, it has been a pleasure to share my life with you this past year. Each positive comment and email encouraged me and motivated me to stay committed to my challenge. Thank you.
A part of me is disappointed that this project is coming to a close, as I feel like I’ve built up a supportive blog community and I know I’m certain to miss it. However, I need to invest my energy in other things this upcoming year, and I need to be realistic about how much I put on my metaphorical plate.
It feels impossible to say good-bye, so instead I’ll just reiterate my genuine gratitude and say, thank you. I wish you all the best.