Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. To learn more, read our full disclosure policy.
Before we dig into the financial failure that was 2017, let me be honest with you. The last half of this year was difficult for me. I fell into a pattern of buying things I had gone without for a long time.
All those times of telling myself no to save money had its long-term effects on my personal belongings and emotions. When I finally felt in control of my money (after separating my finances from my ex-husband), the desire to buy nice things for myself rekindled. My divorce made me feel free and alive again, and I wanted to capitalize on that desire.
It started with new clothes. I didn’t go crazy, but it would be an understatement to say that my wardrobe was depressing. I hadn’t bought jeans in 5 to 10 years. New tops were few and far between, and thanks to all my purging, I had rid myself of a lot of cheap, ugly garments. Every piece I have purchased over the last six months has been intentional and high-quality. The long wool coat I always wanted? Purchased. New sweaters and wraps? Done. Fresh underwear and pjs? Yep.
But I didn’t stop there. I bought new bedding to transform my once “married” space. My laptop of three years was beginning to fail, so I splurged on a Samsung Chromebook (I can’t sing its praises enough and it was still cheaper than the laptop).
I have stayed on top of my spending, sitting at a plateau of paying off everything I purchased, but never decreasing the overall amount. For the past two years, I have eliminated my debt, slowly but surely. At the end of 2017, I can say that my debt is finally under the $60,000 mark.
Even though I have spent a lot of money this year, I am forgiving myself. I understand what this year has done to me and meant for my life. All I can do is move forward.
I am tired of spending money. I am done with school, and I have everything I could need or want now, so there should be no more big expenditures for a while. I feel no more desire to spend impulsively or selfishly. I have big plans for 2018. Failure is not an option.
A Look at the Numbers
In my 2017 third quarter debt report, I owed $61,636. As mentioned above, I spent a lot of money on myself and family (Christmas gifts), making it nearly impossible to decrease my debt. As of today, I owe $59,787.
- My credit card usage went up. I take responsibility for this. It won’t happen again.
- I paid my car loan down nearly $2,000.
- Student loans are officially under $30,000.
100 Day Spending Fast
Progress will be made. Beginning on January 1st, I am starting a 100 day spending fast. It won’t be perfect because there are a lot of things happening in the first three-four months of the new year. By April 10th, I plan on paying off $5000 in debt. That’s an aggressive goal considering the reduction in my income (from losing a dependent). However, my tax return combined with the spending fast should allow me to reach that goal.
Because a lot of things are happening in the first part of the year, it won’t be a super-strict spending fast like the one I completed in September. I will stop eating out and buying clothes. There will be no splurges. However, there will be some gifts I need to buy and some vet expenses for Motley. I will be budgeting for these things, but they will have an impact on my fast.
Overall, I feel good about 2017, but I’m even more excited for 2018. There is a lot of potential for the new year and I can’t wait to see how much debt I can pay off. How were your finances in 2017? Did you reach your financial goals?