As The Year Comes To An End

Paying Off Debt

Looking Back:

2016 was the year where I started to really understand my values and actually started living them.

  • Downsized to a smaller house
  • Downsized to a more affordable car
  • Switched to non-toxic products
  • Quit Facebook
  • Started walking to and from work
  • Discovered my love for yoga
  • Fell in love with reading again
  • Eliminated some toxic friendships
  • Got back into my environmentally friendly habits
  • Eliminated crap I never thought I’d get rid of, yet don’t miss one bit (such as: Kcups, nail polish, q-tips, perfume, etc)

I really fine-tuned minimalism and my possessions and am surrounded by the things I treasure most, with very little excess.

I made things simpler and stopped caring about what people think. I let go of so much worry and anxiety and the opinions of others. Simplifying has given me more time to do what I truly love. A smaller house and more affordable car have given me more resources to put towards my financial goals (paying off that mortgage).

Things just feel right.

I learned a lot about myself in 2016 and am excited to see what 2017 brings! There is still much to learn.

Looking Forward:

My personal finance goals for 2017 are simple. Keep going with my retirement contributions (max out Roth IRA and save at least 15% for retirement) keep my savings at $15k, and throw all extra money at my mortgage.

I want to keep exploring minimalism, environmentalism, nontoxic living, sustainably and ethically made clothing and other products, reading, yoga, and whatever else I discover!

The Present:

I got a car and am eagerly waiting for my appointment to sell back my VW in less than 2 weeks! More money for the mortgage!

It was a good month for my mortgage, as I put over $5,000 extra towards the principal. All in one day I got an “extra” paycheck (3rd one of the month), my VA disability payment, and tuition reimbursement. That was a good day! Starting 2017 with a 2.5% raise isn’t so bad either!

Paying Off Mortgage

I had a very minimal Christmas. Not in a Scrooge kind of way. I didn’t decorate at home and didn’t really do cards or gifts. I happily only received a few small, useful, minimalist things, which is perfect since I don’t want or need anything. My friends and I are more into enjoying a meal together instead of exchanging gifts. We had a potluck at work and I did hand out small gifts, so I experienced plenty of holiday spirit! I enjoyed the snow and Christmas lights in my neighborhood and had a low-key wonderful holiday weekend. Honestly, there was no stress and I did not feel like I was missing out at all. It’s different when I go visit family for the holidays, but when I’m here in Minnesota, I’m totally ok with skipping it.

SHRM-SCP

If you follow on social media, you already know this but…I passed my big HR test! Longest 4 hours of my life as I could not get any sense of whether I was doing well or poorly! Halfway through I was thinking, “Why did you do this to yourself? This test isn’t required. No one is making you do it.” But I passed and I’m so glad I finally went for this goal that has been on my mind for 4 years.

I hope you all have a fantastic start to 2017!

In case you missed it, recent posts:

Design A Life You Don’t Need A Vacation From

Update: I Got A Car

Walking To Work: Little Change, Big Impact

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13 Comments

  1. You certainly had an awesome year! I’ve been inspired by the minimalist changes you’ve made, and it’s made me more interested in minimalism, too. I plan to explore this more myself, though it would look totally different for a family of 7. 🙂

  2. That’s so upbeat and inspiring, well done and I hope you have a brilliant 21017 that will further your goals. It’s good to see someone else who is embracing ethical living, although I’ve had to pare down my expenses as much as possible I just can’t overlook ethical choices. However I guess that for some, it’s a luxury that they can’t afford unfortunately.

    • Thanks Jen! As I’ve gotten more into ethical living, I’ve realized it really isn’t something everyone can afford and it has made me appreciate my situation even more.

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