With the end of the year just a few short weeks away I feel like everything has moved into hyper drive! If you blink you’ll miss the end of this year. And it’s simply been too great a year to let that happen.
2015 was a year of total transformation. I’ve had a hell of a year: one I’m proud of, exhausted by and both happy and sad to see end.
The thing about kicking your own ass for 12 months straight is that amazing things happen. You make amazing things happen. Determination, hard work and a refusal to quit will get you what you want. As this year comes to a close and I look back on what I’ve accomplished, I feel powerful. I feel excited. I feel lucky to be me. And in the words of my boy Drake “I’m only 27 and I’m only getting better.”
In 2014 I was lost and scared and having a really hard time with my life. Every decision I made came from a place of fear. I was acutely aware that I was directionless and drifting through my days. That knowledge scared the shit out of me. I felt paralyzed. I was trapped in two dead end jobs that barely covered my monthly expenses. I filled out job application after job application and got no response. I din’t even know what I wanted to do- I just knew that spending my days eating Twix and re-reading Harry Potter was not cutting it.
This year was the complete opposite. I stopped being scared. I started this year with one goal in mind: pay off my debt. It seemed crazy and next to impossible, given that I made so little money. I set that goal for myself anyway. I wanted to be debt free- I would figure out the details of how to get there as I went along.
And that’s what I did. I paid off all my debt by June 4th, 2015. As of today, I have maxed out my IRA contributions for 2015. I have doubled my emergency fund and I have saved enough money to cover my 2015 tax burden. In addition to all my savings, I’ve gone on two vacations, bought all my Christmas presents and covered all my day to day expenses throughout the year.
I am excited for next year. No, I’m not rich and no, my life isn’t perfect. But I’m ready to get better. I’m ready to shape 2016 the way I shaped 2015.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.