2017 was probably one of my favorite years so far! It’s hard to believe it’s already over and done with. 2017 is one of the rare years I can remember where if someone offered to transport me back a year, I’d take it. It was that good to me. I dubbed 2017 the Year of Caring, and I think I did a pretty decent job at hitting the goals I set.
A brief overview
I started the year off right by going to Camp Mustache Southeast in January! I had a wonderful time meeting new friends, hanging out with old friends, and getting lots of good advice while I soaked up some much needed sunshine. I am incredibly stoked to go back this year!
February was a HUGE month for me as I started and ended the search for a new rental property! I think overall that one will work out even if I got off to a rather rocky start.…..
March was fun as I hit my 2 year blogiversary and closed on my rental property. I didn’t do much that month that didn’t involve one of those two things as blogging and closing/moving takes a ton of energy and effort.
April was a rough month for me as I adjusted to being a landlord/homeowner. I immediately had to buy some appliances and was overwhelmed with the realities of being responsible for my own place. You can read about it in this post. (So glad I’m not that stressed anymore!)
July was the month full of ups and downs emotions-wise. I started dating my awesome boyfriend, took a trip to Vegas, fired my terrible contractor, kicked out my tenant, and took a fun camping trip.
August was a super great month as I got to know my boyfriend better and got a post featured on Rockstar Finance!
September was a light month on the blog for me (only 3 articles posted, shame on me!) but a big one in general. I lost my cat, took my first business trip and started my amazing new podcast with my friend J!
November I celebrated 2 years with Project Fi and found a new tenant! It was a busy month with the holidays fast approaching.
December passed in the blink of an eye with the focus on spending quality time with my family, friends, and boyfriend’s family!
I set a lot of lofty goals last year. I did not accomplish all of them, but I am proud of what I did get done.
- February 2017 Whole30 month: Fail. I couldn’t devote that much time to thinking about the food I was eating with working and buying my rental. I think it would be a good idea still, but I’m not going to make it a goal for 2018.
- Run a 5k Summer 2017: Fail. I looked for 5k’s to run in my area, but none of them lined up with my schedule. Hard to run the Firecracker 5k over 4th of July if you’re in Las Vegas!
- See a chiropractor and get massages: Fail. I wrote that in a particularly stressful period in my life. I’m nowhere near that stressed anymore, so I don’t see the need to go. Especially since they cost money and I was barely breaking even most of the year.
- Take the stairs: Pass. I did fantastic at this until the summer when I hurt my knee playing softball. I still take the stairs more than I did in 2016, even if it’s not all the time, so I consider this a win.
Money, Me, and 2017
I’m sure most of you just skimmed over the links and the pretty pictures above, waiting for the real meat of the post. It’s cool, and I definitely can’t blame you because the NUMBERS ARE AWESOME. I’ll discuss income (pre-tax numbers), spending, and an all-encompassing look at net worth.
My goal at the beginning of 2017 was to make $100,000. As my income from my W2 job isn’t quite there yet, I needed to add in some extra money from somewhere. Well, after searching every couch cushion, picking up pennies at Aldi, and outright asking people for money.…… I made my goal! I came in just over my goal at $101,262. The breakdown for income can be seen below:
Unlike most Americans, I look at having mo’ money as a good thing. Mo’ money don’t cause me no problems! This was a pretty standard pattern for income. Tax returns in the spring, mostly flat income over the rest of the year until BOOM, December and my bonus hit to send my income skyrocketing. Little wonder December has become my favorite month! This graph does vary from last year slightly in that the amount of income recorded was much higher thanks to my online and real estate ventures. I’m hoping to continue that path next year!
While I’m celebrating my income going up, I’m not doing the same for my spending. I wish it had gone down, but I overspent on the rental property and that tanked any chance I had at keeping my spending down. Fortunately I have tons of room to improve! I can tease good things out of my spending though. My personal spending went from ~$40k last year to $25k! That’s a drop of almost $15k. My personal spending dropped mostly due to not spending tons of money on housing as I spent the year living in my friend’s basement and a studio apartment in my rental. I’ve broken it down below so you can see how I’ve divvied things up:
Personal spending includes things like utilities, internet, food, travel, and entertainment while the rental category covers everything I’ve put into the house such as paint, brushes, filters, new appliances, and the other million and 3 things a house requires to keep standing. I split the mortgage into two categories: Rent went into personal spending which was the money I personally spent on housing. That is the rent at the beginning of the year and any money I put towards the mortgage when my renter didn’t cover the whole thing. The other went under the rental category and was the portion of the mortgage I didn’t pay and insurance and all that jazz.
Wonder when I bought the rental? ha my spending spiked in the summer and will hopefully be more consistent at a lower amount in 2018. Below I’ve contrasted 2016 and 2017 spending levels so you can see how much more I spent overall in 2017.
If I exclude “business expenses” like the rental and online endeavors, I definitely hit my goal to spend under $30k. However, I’m not sure I get to count that because all that money did come out of my pocket. What do you think? How should I document my 2017 spending? Sound off in the comments and let me know what you do!
My favorite part of the year! Tallying up my net worth! I set a goal at the beginning of 2017 to hit $200k by the end of the year. Well.… I failed. I came in at $199,696. If I round up, which I am allowed to do by every rule in math, I hit it!
This goes to show the folly of trying to hit a net worth goal. So much of that is dependent on the market. I am not going to bother setting a goal for 2018 for precisely that reason. I refuse to be sad I missed my goal because my net worth went up 56%! If that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is. I’m giving myself 3 and a half pats on the back for a job well done. Below is (you guessed it) a chart of my net worth!
One last picture. These Sankey things seem to be all over the internet lately so I of course just had to make one like everyone else. A quick summary of my year in spending: picture form! (Side note: the numbers are slightly off because I made it before my last paycheck and am far too lazy to go make an entirely new picture. These thingies are fiddly!)
Overall, 2017 has been quite the amazing year. Thank you, dear reader, for reading my journey through the year and being here with me. It truly means a lot to me that people care about how I am doing. I love getting your emails, reading your stories, and getting to know you that little bit more.
Have a wonderful New Year!
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