The difference a year makes

I didn’t realize the importance of today until mid-morning. I thought it was just a regular Tuesday. A normal December 23. It’s actually my brother’s birthday, but I forgot that too until just now.

This Tuesday isn’t just any old Tuesday.

One year ago today, I started my journey to pay off my student loans.  What a year it has been.

On December 23, 2013:

  • I was unemployed, though I did have a job interview after the Holidays.
  • I had $45,330 in student loan debt.
  • My minimum payment was $525.25 (which is a pretty fun number… 5252525252525)
  • I was really struggling to manage my mental health and got into fights regularly with family and friends who said that the right opportunity would come.
  • My savings account was dwindling fast.
  • I wasn’t looking forward to Christmas, because really, who wants to tell another loved one that you are still unemployed.

Now to December 23, 2014!

  • I am happily and gainfully employed.
    • That interview after the Holidays turned into a great job, with great people, doing something I didn’t know I could love as much as I do. #nerdsunite
  •  I have $16,983 in student loan debt.
  • My minimum payment is $154.63. (Not such a fun number, but look at how little it is!)
  • My mental health is good and my marriage seems to get better and better every day.
  • My savings accounts are still sad, but only because I’ve put everything into my student loans or Roth IRA.
  • I’m really excited for Christmas because I love my family and I can’t wait to hang out with my cousins.

It’s been an amazing year.

Thank you to everyone that’s come along for the ride with me. I didn’t expect to find such a great group of people. To everyone who is open enough to share their own story, everyone who reads this or is bold enough to comment and everyone that keeps it real (or real silly) on Twitter.  Thank you.

It wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable to get where I am today without you.

Merry Christmas.

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24 comments

  1. Yay! I am so happy it’s been such a great year for you. I know that “oh god if I have to tell another person I’m still unemployed” depression/rage all too well, so I hear you on that, and it’s awesome that you’re in such a better place now. Let’s hear it for 2015.

  2. That is a huge difference. It think that’s a great example of how time and putting forth your best effort does make change happen, even if it takes a while to get the ball rolling. I hope 2015 is even better.

  3. What a difference a year can make indeed! I’m so glad your journey has been moving along so well and you’re in a better place with debt, mental health, and your relationships. I love looking back because a year is a good chunk of time, but it doesn’t feel like it. There’s loads of progress to make 🙂

    Have a great holiday Kate!

  4. Merry Christmas!

    You should definitely be proud of yourself and celebrate all your accomplishments this past year! Keep up the progress!

  5. Kate,

    Glad to hear your 2014 was fantastic! Turns out we were in quite the same position last year minus the student loans for me (and the marriage!). Just like you I’m really happy to have found a job and this nice community.

    I hope 2015 will be as good to you as 2014 was.

    Keep it up,
    NMW

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