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2019 - The Year End Recap



Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. 

Initially I was going to call this post my 13th monthly progress report but then I got thinking and I decided calling it my 13th monthly progress report was both misleading and just not special enough.

Why is it misleading? Well because we're here because last December (a WHOLE YEAR ago!) I decided it was a good idea to start a blog to track my financial progress.

And a year is twelve months! But since my first monthly progress report was written as of 12/31/2018, I screwed up my numbering system and I can't deal with the fact that we're always going to be slightly askew so we needed to differentiate this post from my other monthly progress reports.

And hey, I made it a whole year! This post deserves a little special recognition. We've certainly discovered I'm not the best blogger in the world but I'm proud of myself for continuing to write my monthly updates. It really is nice to see my progress in black and white.

So we're celebrating this little occasion and we're calling this post..

Wait for it..

"2019 - the Year End Recap"

Oh! Now that's fancy!

I'm actually going to reference back to that first monthly progress report during this post, so maybe you'd like to take a trip down memory lane with me. If so, here's that first month's progress report.

Maybe you don't want to go that far back and you'd just like a quick refresher? Here's November's progress report.

All caught up? Cool, cool.

Now let's take a look at how 2019 is ending and 2020 is beginning.

Here's a breakdown of my debt:

Mortgage: $147,400
Car Loan: $6,700
Student Loans: $6,350
Credit Cards: $2,800
Grand Total of Debt: $163,250


My student loan balances

That’s $900 less than November and $4,450 less than last December.

I've mostly focused on my progress month to month and haven't focused much on the overall numbers. It's nice to see that I really did make some progress here.

But... There's always a but isn't there? Well, we started off with the good news.

Here's the bad - I don't expect that to carry over once we add in my renovation fund.

And that's because my renovation fund requirements have actually grown this year.

Renovation fund requirement: $12,050
New Grand Total of Debt: $175,300

Overall, I've paid off $1,250 of debt since November but I've added $4,400 to my grand total since last December due to poor planning on my renovations.

That's definitely a bummer. But I knew it was going to happen. I can only hope I make better decisions and pay down more debt in 2020.

Now let’s take a look at my savings:

Savings account: $2,150
P2P Lending account: $200
Investment account: $200
Grand Total of Savings: $2,550

So a couple of things happened this month.

1) I finally put some money into my savings account. It was long overdue and I’m ashamed at how little I’ve saved this year. I hope next year will be better.

2) I shifted money from my P2P lending account to my investment account because my P2P lending account has banned me from investing in new loans.

I know what you’re thinking but it wasn’t anything I did. I swear! It was some sort of state regulation that prohibits me from investing in new notes. Not thrilled about it but I’m hoping they clear things up so I can go on about my business as usual as soon as possible.

I added $150 to savings in November and $300 since last December. I’ll say it again, I should have done so much better with my savings this year and I’m going to try to focus more on my savings in 2020.

If I keep saying it, it’s sure to stick, right? I sure hope so. $300 is just so abysmal.

Unfortunately, 2019 saw me go further into debt.

Sometimes I guess year end recaps aren’t all good. Sometimes you just have to admit your failings and move on.

2019 may not have worked out how I had wanted but I’m optimistic about the future. I’m hoping that 2020 allows me to pay down debt and become a more disciplined saver.

Have you paid off any big debts in 2019 or have you reached any big savings goals? I’d love to hear about it if you have. Success stories keep me motivated to not give up even if I have an off month (or year, in this case).
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Earn 500 Shopkick Kicks for Shopping at Walmart





Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. 

As I'm headed out the door to attend the (hopefully) last ugly sweater party of this holiday season, I just wanted to share with everyone a nice little offer I got in my email from Shopkick today.

I know I've said it a hundred times if I've said it once, but I L O V E Shopkick. The app rewards you for walking into stores, making online purchases, using a linked card and watching videos.

But best of all, it's super easy.

If you're curious to find out more about how to earn a little extra money with Shopkick, check out my Shopkick tutorial.

Now, on to the good news if you're new to Shopkick (or if you haven't used Shopkick to place an order through Walmart yet):


Use the Shopkick app to place a $10 Walmart order today (December 28. 2019) and receive a 500 kick bonus! In addition to the 500 extra kicks you'll earn 3 kicks for every $1 spent.

So, what are you waiting for? I've already scheduled my grocery pickup for after the party!

I hope you've all had a great holiday and are ready for the new year! Now you'll have to excuse me, I need to figure out how to make myself look like a human Christmas tree.
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Monthly Progress Report #12



Disclosure: This post may contain third party affiliate links. When you click on an affiliate link within a post Broke Dolly may earn a small commission which helps support the blog and content (at no cost to you). Please check the disclosure and privacy policy pages for more details. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. 

Hey guys! I should have posted this yesterday but I was busy celebrating my bestie’s 36th birthday! Happy Birthday Becca!! And honestly by the time I got home I was stuffed with too much food to do much more than watch some TV and get some sleep.

But today is a big day - this is the twelfth monthly progress report! Also, we’re right in the middle of our first Nor’Easter of the year. So far it’s been all ice but it should be turning into snow tonight and sticking around for a while. Total accumulation is expected to be about 12 inches... so maybe 12 is a theme for me today?

I’ll admit, over the last twelve months, things haven’t gone exactly as I expected, not that I thought I would be debt free by now or anything, but there have been hiccups and unnecessary purchases that have kept me from doing as well as maybe I could have.

But hey, life happens. This was never about not being able to spend any money or splurge on anything; it was about making myself more aware and smarter about how I spend money and actively trying to get myself to pay down debt. I may not be where I thought I would be but I’m definitely on my way.

In case you missed it, here’s last month’s progress report.

Now without further adieu (I’ve always wanted to say that but there never seemed to be a good time, until now!) here’s November’s stats.

As always, let’s start off with my debt:

Mortgage: $147,600
Car Loan: $6,900
Student Loans: $6,550
Credit Cards: $3,100 (ok, a little high but it’s due to the holidays and totally expected for me this time of year)
Grand Total of Debt: $164,150

My student loan balances

That’s only $250 lower than last month but, again, totally expected with my credit cards. But I’m doing much better than I was last year at this point. I had a wild Black Friday last year but this year I limited my spending to under $200, finished up my last bit of Christmas shopping and came away with a few new pairs of work pants.

Does anyone else use Black Friday as an opportunity to shop for themselves? No, just me?

On to my renovation fund (I still haven’t nailed down the exact number but I’m pretty sure my initial estimate was a little high).

Renovation fund requirement: $12,400
New Grand Total of Debt: $176,550

Now we’re talkin’! That’s $800 saved this month and an overall improvement of $1,050. November turned out to be a good month! The real catalyst there was I finally sold a tub my ex-husband had bought years ago and was just sitting in my basement on Let Go for $350.

Moving on to savings. Here’s how my savings accounts are looking:

Savings account: $2,000
P2P Lending account: $250
Investment account: $150
Grand Total of Savings: $2,400

I know, I know, still no change. I’m hoping that December is the month I can plump up those balances a little.

I’m $1,050 closer to the black this month and very happy about that but hesitant to celebrate too much before the end of the holiday season. I’m mostly done with shopping but you know how it goes, something will come up.

I hope you’re enjoying the ice, snow or whatever it is you may be getting and staying warm! If you’re like me the snow is all well and good until the shoveling starts.. ugh. Maybe they’re wrong about that foot of snow thing after all.

How are you guys making out on your Christmas shopping? Are you just getting started or are you all done? Did you get any great deals on Black Friday or are you waiting for Cyber Monday?
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