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2013 – My Year In Review

Hey guys! How was your Christmas? Did you get/eat anything good? Tell me a hilarious anecdote about what one of your inappropriate relatives said at dinner!

I was thinking the other day how 2013 could have been better. We could have paid off more debt, we could have saved more, we could have done more. And then my boy J Money posted THIS and I followed directions and realized how truly great my 2013 actually was. How I could have thought otherwise is ludicrous and I mentally punched myself in the face for being such a Negative Nelly. My “FML” days are over, I am way too fortunate to be a negative brat.

A lot went down this year, most of it awesome and most of it since starting this blog.

Here’s a super short-ish recap:

January — We bought our Ford Focus, Lucy, (huge mistake!) and I road-tripped to D.C. with a friend to visit another friend (who was transferred to NC recently for a promotion!). This was my first full month freelancing on the side.

February – mid-April — This was tax season, so it’s basically a total blur. Except for a nice tax refund that enabled us to pay off our Citibank credit card!

April — I started this blog on April 16th, right after finishing up my last tax season! I also became a real grown up and started paying my car insurance every six months instead of monthly. #ballerstatus

May — We went to Cedar Point for the last time before leaving Ohio and I won a duck haiku contest.

June — I celebrated my 24th birthday and created a 25 before 25 list. Then, I quit my job three weeks earlier than expected to spend a week in NC with Mom where I ate a biscuit that almost killed me.

July — We packed all our crap into Lucy and moved out of our apartment. Then, we unpacked all the stuff (and by we, I mean Steve) at a friend’s place and headed to Canada! One night in Niagara falls and five nights in Toronto were all covered by credit card points. While there, we experienced the most awkward situation in the history of forever and spent a bunch of money because Canada is expensive as hell.

After coming back from Toronto, we went to the cabins for a long weekend with my extended family. Then, we began our move across the country. Notable places we hit in July included — Chicago, Mount Rushmore, Denver & Colorado Springs, the Grand Canyon, Vegas, and Los Angeles. We learned that couchsurfing isn’t scary at all, it’s actually pretty awesome!

August — Still on our road trip, we watched the Real Madrid game in L.A. and then headed up to San Francisco and then Portland! Within a week, we found an apartment, Steve found a job, and I started freelancing full time. I ended up buying a ticket to FinCon at the end of August for a reduced price on Twitter and I’m so glad I did!

September — Steve turned 27 and I wrote a post about it all in GIFs! I developed a penchant for red wine and likely spent most of the month drinking it.

October — October started off rough when my grandpa died and I flew back home for the funeral. I felt very fortunate to have such an incredible family to go home to and I’m happy I went back to spend that time with them.

About a week later, I flew to St. Louis for FinCon and had an incredible time. I met a million and one amazing bloggers and learned so much great stuff. I seriously cannot wait for FinCon14 in New Orleans!

November — I celebrated four years of marriage to Steve and had my first solo Thanksgiving with awesome eats from Whole Foods. And wine. Lots of wine.

I also bought my plane ticket home for the “holidays”. I’m actually going home at the beginning of January because it is way cheaper. Like, less than half the price.

December — I came out of the debt closet and spent a chill Christmas in Portland complete with movies, wine, and cookies. We also paid off Chase!

Basically, in 2013, I spent about a month and a half of it traveling, started this blog, changed careers (from a job I hated to a job I love), paid off over $15,000 in debt, became real life friends with the most awesome bloggers in the universe, moved to a city that I am absolutely in love with, paid off two credit cards, and celebrated four years married to the best life partner ever. I’m calling it a win. Maybe even an epic win.

I’m optimistic that 2014 will be a fabulous year as well! I’ve got some awesome (and frugal!) travel plans, we’re steadily increasing our income, and we plan on wiping out a larger chunk of debt than we did in 2013. Here’s to an awesome new year for us all!

How was your 2013? Any big plans for 2014?

P.S. I’ll get my 2014 goals up on Monday!

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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