December Update | Financially Fit 2016

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Wow – December 2016. I can’t believe it is here (and practically over!). I have been consistent all year long in updating my financial progress. Reporting every month not just on my debt and savings totals, but on my wins, losses, successes and failures. I hope you enjoy this final installment in my Financially Fit 2016 journey.

I started 2016 on a quest to become Financially Fit – out of debt and with an emergency fund. While my journey to get out of debt is not perfect, I hope by being open about it I will inspire others to improve their finances.

If you’re visiting my blog for the first time you might want to start by reading this post: How I’m Getting Financially Fit in 2016! Or catch up on my November progress here.

financially fit 2016 December update

Goals Update

I had three financial goals when I started this journey at the beginning of 2016. Save up a $1,000 baby emergency fund, save $100 to attend Financial Peace University, and get completely out of debt! Half of 2016  passed and I didn’t reach any of these goals. But my mindset remained positive!

I am ending 2016 without completing any of these financial goals.

Action Steps Update

Make more money:  My earnings for December were $1,045.27. That is my highest earning month of the year! 🙂 If you’re curious about the various ways I make money from home please read this: 16+ Ways I Made Money Without a Job in 2016! 

Stick to a tight budget & use a price book: “Tight budget” proved to be a challenge in December, especially due to the holidays.

Have regular family budget meetings: Didn’t happen. Need to take more of my own advice here! 

Continue my financial education: I was very busy in December with Christmas and other things in my personal life so I didn’t find much time to read.  I did however stay consistent with using positive affirmations daily – to improve my finances and other areas of my life. I am loving them and really see a difference! Interested in trying some out? Try these money related positive affirmations.

The Numbers Update*

*as of 12/29/2016

I know what you are really here for – the numbers! 😉 Here we go …

Consumer Debt (4 credit cards) $11,960.23 

Medical Debt  $0! yay!

Car Loan/Lease (one of each) $42,504.49

Total Debt $54,464.72

Savings $217.66

Progress?  I did reduce our debt in 2016, there is no denying that (see specifics below). I also started 2016 with $0 in savings, and ended with a little over $200 in savings. Small progress is better than no progress at all. If I hadn’t set my goals and committed to these updates, my financial situation might be much worse.

We have $63.56 MORE DEBT than we did one month ago in November 2016, and $18,550.29 LESS DEBT than when this journey began in December 2015!

I did not reach my goal of becoming debt free in 2016. Am I financially fitter? A little bit! Time to start nailing down plans and next steps for 2017.

Where Did the Extra Money Come From?

Mostly my blogging efforts and virtual assistant work! I cashed out $25 from Swagbucks via PayPal and was able to send that money to debt payoff.

I cashed out $49 from Ibotta in December. That’s FREE money, from a FREE app. If you haven’t signed up yet, this is my referral link, click it now! When you verify your first rebate (within 2 weeks of signing up) you will get $10 and I will get $5! That’s a win win and just part of why I think you are CRAZY if you’re not using this app! My 2016 year to date earnings from Ibotta are $427.50! Don’t you want your part of that?

Budget Notes

The biggest “unexpected” expense in December that I can recall was a new faucet in our kitchen and some plumbing costs. My dream budget would include a sinking fund for these expenses that are guaranteed to come up when you are a homeowner.

I decided to make a double payment in December so we could end 2016 with no medical debt. A “gift” to myself.

Christmas was a struggle. We did not save up the cash throughout the year that I would have liked to have for Christmas spending. Purchases went on credit cards, a strict budget was not stuck to and consumer debt remains high. I’m not proud of these choices, but I’m also not alone in making them, and I’m always going to be honest and transparent with my readers. The holidays are a tough time for me!

Looking Ahead

Financially Fit 2016 has officially come to a close. 2017 is only a few days away and I have not finalized my goals or plans for the year. I need to do more reflecting on the goals I set in 2016 and why some of them were not reached. (If you still need to set goals for 2017 check out this inspiring post).

What do I want to accomplish in my financial life and how will I get there? I’d love to hear from my readers on this subject. Do you want the monthly financial updates to continue? Maybe in a different format? I’m open to any and all ideas! 🙂

If you read this far – thank you! Your time and your interest in my story mean the world to me! <3

Want to help?

If you’d like to help my debt payoff  journey in a small way, consider signing up for Ibotta through my referral link! Or use my Amazon link the next time you need to shop there, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!

I also recommend you sign up for Swagbucks and Ebates while you’re at it! Swagbucks is a great way to earn giftcards, and Ebates let’s you earn money back shopping online.  You can also check out my Hire Me page if you could benefit from my virtual assistant services – especially if you’re a fellow blogger!

If you found this post helpful or encouraging in any way – please share! Pin! Tweet! Stumble! Like! 🙂 I’d love to have it posted on your social media of choice or sent directly to a loved one who is struggling to get out of debt!

Stay tuned dear readers – I’m going to try to be back tomorrow with a post sharing the lessons I learned from Financially Fit 2016!

How was your December? Your 2016?

financially fit 2016 December update

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28 Comments

  1. I know you aren’t where you wanted to be, but it has to feel awesome to be rid of that medical debt!

    And I hear you on the Christmas spending. Our oldest is about to turn 13, and this is the first Christmas that I didn’t put anything on credit cards. That feels like my biggest accomplishment of the year. It’s so darned hard to avoid it in December.

    • Yes! I’m so glad to be done with medical debt, and hope that it doesn’t tempt “murphy” to send me any new medical debt! 😉 Christmas is so so hard. It’s a fight every year. I’m so impressed that you accomplished that this year and I hope to get there someday! <3

  2. Wow. I’m impressed that you are sharing all of this here. I’m going to look up Ibotta through your link. I need to make a plan to get out of debt, too.

    • Ibotta is awesome Melanie, I hope you enjoy it! Getting/staying out of debt definitely takes a plan! I find that posting about it on my blog really keeps me focused.

  3. Congrats on moving forward on your goals. I am a huge ibotta fan myself I just cashed out 100 for some new clothes for DisnetSMMC it was so cool being able to do that. I wish my phone had better storage I would so download more apps.

  4. I need to get better with my budget. It’s something I always have trouble with. But I still think you did great since you’re ending with less than you started with!

    • The budget takes time to master Dawn. It really helps me to track all of our spending each month and to look at the budget weekly to see how well we are sticking to it. Always room for improvement! 🙂

  5. Although you didn’t achieve all of your goals for 2016, they were pretty big goals. Paying off $18,000 in a year is really quite impressive. Nice work!!
    Amy recently posted…What’s Your Reading Style?My Profile

  6. Paying off 18k in debt is amazing! You may not want to be where you want to be. But dang it girl! You are rocking it!
    Keikilani recently posted…5 Ways Moms Can Make the Most Out of Their CommuteMy Profile

  7. It’s great that you’ve manage to take a chunk out of your debt! It must be encouraging to see that you can make such a big difference in a year.

  8. Staying positive and keeping the right mindset despite not meeting your goals is the biggest battle! Great job, 2017 will be the year!

  9. I love iBotta and EBates! The husband and I need to sit down and rework/ create our budget for the New Year for sure! Great job!
    Milena recently posted…Chocolate Delivery from Shari’s Berries #ProductReviewMy Profile

  10. This was such a good post, I feel even though you didn’t achieve a part of your goals but you did stay positive – which I feel is better than feeling bad. You’re starting a New Year and I hope things would get much much much better 🙂
    Molly Kumar recently posted…Pomegranate New Year’s Punch (with Rum and Vodka)My Profile

  11. 2016 was a rough year for me financially. I started great with a new job, but soon after found i was pregnant and not long after telling my new job, i was let go within my probationary period with no real reason given. We racked up some medical bills from my son’s birth and i finished my master’s, so those student loans will come knocking soon. My goal for 2017 is to get back ti work and get the debt paid off. We plan to have my husband pay all of the normal bills as he has been and i will focus on credit cards and paying off our vehicles. It would be so nice to have no car payments! Good luck to you in 2017!

    • I really feel for you Jessi! I have been there with the job loss, the medical bills, the student loans and all! I hope 2017 is a much better year for you and I’m sure it will be if you get a good plan in place. No car payments would be amazing!

  12. Congratulations on improving your situation! If you haven’t saved the money for financial peace University get one of Dave Ramsey’s books, you could probably get it free at your library. There are a lot of good tools in the book and you will know what to expect when you do get there. I love the transparency even though you didn’t reach your goals you made progress and that’s good! And very brave! I’ve found most goals that are worthwhile are a marathon and not a sprint. Keep working at it. Wishing you and your family a very blessed and successful 2017!

    • I have Dave’s Total Money Makeover book! 🙂 You are so right Julie about goals that are more of a marathon than a sprint. Something I really need to keep in mind! Thanks! 🙂

  13. CONGRATULATIONS on paying off the medical debt and earning such a high sum this month!! That’s awesome. 🙂 The holidays are hard for everybody… yay for a thoughtful, fresh start in 2017! I look forward to seeing how you decide to go forward. 😀
    Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom recently posted…#FridayFrivolity New Year’s Resolutions 2017My Profile

    • I still need to figure it out myself Sarah! 😉 Thanks for reading and for your lovely and positive support as always! Happy new year! 🙂

  14. Bite size goals next time. 0 in medical debt acheived is amazing! I would like to see more posts or a section on what is working for you earning money with blogging.
    Julie recently posted…Gratitude and Goals January 2017 #GratitudeGoalsMy Profile

    • Thanks for your thoughts Julie! I am resistant to the bite size goals only because I like big goals! 😉 Since exploring options on how best to post money updates in 2017. Happy new year!

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