Today is officially the last day of 2014. And honestly, I’m more than ready to wave goodbye to this year, and welcome the new year with open arms. I really do think 2015 is going to be a great year for us. While 2014 turned out okay for me financially, it wasn’t such a great year otherwise for Bryan and I. But I expect things to completely turn around during 2015.
So, how did I do this month?
My net worth increased by $729 in December. Not one of my most stellar months, but still pretty good. Especially when you consider all of the Holiday spending I did this month! I budgeted $800 for all of my Holiday related expenses, including food for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. I actually managed to come in a couple hundred dollars under budget this year, which gave me some extra cash to toss into my emergency fund. Awesome!
So, did I make my goals for 2014?
Growing my net worth by $10,000. Nailed it! I ended up with $10,480 in growth for 2014. Not too shabby! I was a little worried about making it, but December didn’t end up being as rough of a month as I expected. And, as an added bonus, I sold something on Craigslist for $300! Of course, that’s a story unto itself…
Grow my 401(k) by $5,000. Soooo close! As you can see, I only ended up with $4,759 of growth in my 401(k) this year. Of course, there’s a $260+ employer contribution that has already been made, but isn’t showing in my account yet. That would have put me just over my goal. But, even though technically the company that handles our plan is supposed to post contributions to our account within 2 days, I know I won’t likely see that money until sometime after the 5th. It seems a little like cheating to count something that isn’t really there yet.
Pay off $5,000 in debt. This goal ended up being much easier than I expected. In the end, I paid off $6,411 in debt. And I’m really glad I set that goal; Tracking those numbers so closely ended up being really eye-opening as far as paying off debt. I was kinda surprised to see that I paid the most off on my Ford Loan this year. I do pay slightly more each month, but not a lot. In contrast, I was absolutely appalled to see how little I paid off on my mortgage. Because of the way mortgages work, you end up paying mostly interest for the first half(ish) of the loan. Which means of the $4,800 I paid on my mortgage this year, only $916 went to principal. Ouch! Granted, that amount includes taxes and insurance. But still! That’s a ton of money I’m flushing down the drain each month, especially on a house that no one lives in! That definitely reinforces my goal of doing something about the house in 2015!
I also just managed to complete a goal I set after Bryan lost his job: My Emergency Fund (EF) officially has $3,000* in it! Because things are a little unstable right now, I wanted to have a larger cushion to fall back on if something happened. So I temporarily set debt repayment aside, and made the EF my top priority. It isn’t much, but it’s enough to cover most emergencies. I hadn’t set a timeline on when I wanted to reach that goal. But, reaching it right at the end of 2014 works out perfectly: Now I can switch my focus to slaying my student loan at the start of 2015!
Financially 2014 wasn’t too bad of a year. I mostly made all of my goals. And, while $10,480 in one year may not seem like much, it is way beyond anything I’ve ever accomplished before. If you look at the charts above, you’ll notice I started 2013 in the negative ( -$1,754 in February, when I started tracking), and started off 2014 with only $1,216 in net worth. Going into 2015 with $11,696 is such a huge change for me. And, you know what they say about the first $10,000 being the hardest, right? Okay, maybe it’s the first million. Let’s be realistic here!
I’m looking forward to surpassing $20,000** in 2015!
How did your December/Year turn out?
– Cindy W.
* I already had $1,000 in an Emergency Fund, but that amount didn’t seem like nearly enough given our current situation. Once I get my debt situation under control, I plan on refocusing on the Emergency Fund, and beefing it up!
** My goal is to grow my net worth by $10,000 again in 2015, which means my goal is to have a net worth of at least $21,696 by the end of 2015.