Hi friends! Today I’m excited to share with you our 2017 financial review: all that we accomplished with our finances and life in this last year. I made a post like this last year called A 2016 Look Back | The Budgeting Wife where I shared with you about the debt that we were able to pay off in 2016. Now in 2017, we are debt-free!! 2017 has been the best year thus far for us and I’m excited for what 2018 has in store!
I’ll just jump into the most exciting part about our 2017 financial review. We’re debt-free! In October, we finished paying off our $87,000 of student loan debt. In 2017, we paid off a total of $26,658.78 to finish all our debt payments.
Last December, I thought we might be able to squeeze in being debt-free by the end of the year, but we were able to do so in October of 2017, which was awesome. Living life without debt payments now is amazing. We are able to do more things that we want, and put money in our own bank account rather than our lenders.
Being debt-free has definitely been the highlight of our year. Anyone else become debt-free this year? Let me know! It’s the best club I’ve joined.
This year we also moved! While we were finishing paying off debt, we moved in with my parents to pay cheaper rent. But when we paid off our debt in October, we began to look for a place of our own. Seeing how high the housing market is right now, we knew that we couldn’t afford to buy.
But we did find a super cute apartment that is 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms for an amazing price! We moved in November and love our new home.
After we finished paying off our debts and settled into our new apartment, we’ve started beefing up our savings account. We are looking to save for a few things: a 6 month emergency fund, a new-to-me car, and a down payment on a house. All that to say… we’re needing to save A LOT of money!
We are taking the same amount that we were putting to debt and instead adding it to our savings account! It’s so much more rewarding to add money to our savings rather than pay off our debt. Our goal is to have our emergency fund fully funded (around $12,000) by May 2018. From there we will save for the car and house. Yes, I realize that’s a lot!
Before we were officially debt-free, we were still contributing to our retirement. Both of our employers offer a match, and being in our 20s, this is the absolute best time to save for retirement. We contributed up to our employer match even when we weren’t debt-free because we didn’t want to miss out on free money!
Now that we are debt-free, we increased our retirement contribution. Each of us is contributing 8% before our employer’s match. I’m thankful that we get to save more now so that we can watch it grow for the next 50 years.
Another aspect of our 2017 financial review comes in our careers. Jacob and I both had career changes this year! In January, I started working for a non-profit as an admin. I really liked the role and the people who I worked with. But in September, I got promoted to be an accounting specialist for the organization. With my degree being in accounting, it’s been fun to get back into my field. I can say that I’m doing what I enjoy in an amazing work environment that serves a greater purpose. It’s always nice when work doesn’t always feel like work.
Jacob also had a job change this year! After almost 3 years of working in credit for a local shoe company, Jacob now works as a Marketing Specialist for a software company. His degree is in marketing, and it’s been fun to watch him be so passionate about the work he’s doing.
With new jobs and promotions this year, we have also had an increase in income, which has been nice! This is what really allowed us to pay off our debt 2 months earlier than expected.
This year has been HUGE for my blog. Since October, I’ve finally started to put more time and energy into my blog. I have been scheduling content, growing my audience, and have even started making money!
You can check out my income reports here to find out how much I’ve made so far with my blog.
I’m thankful to finally be making money doing what I love, and I hope this continues to grow in 2018. I have my goals set for the new year and hope to continue to gain traction and grow my site. My end goal is that I could eventually run this site full-time (dreaming big over here) so I definitely need to keep making money on my blog.
This year, I have also had the honor to connect with more personal finance bloggers! In November, I was featured in a local paper where we shared our debt-free story. And as it turns out, J.D. from getrichslowly.org lives in my same town! He read the paper and reached out to me.
Very generously, he offered to meet with me to discuss blogging. We got to meet over coffee last week and he gave me some amazing pointers! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to meet more bloggers in my field and take advice from someone who is where I want to be.
Ready for 2018
2017 has been an amazing year. The best year yet for us. We paid off the remainder of our debt, have been gaining traction in our careers, and my blog has officially been growing! I’m so excited to see what’s next in 2018. Soon, I’ll be sharing with you our personal and blogging goals for the new year. So here’s to 2018! Here’s to growth, change, dreams, and an entrepreneurial spirit. See you in 2018!