Looking Back at Our Financial Selves in 2013, And Christmas Traditions

Mike: Logan! Can you believe that this year is nearly over and that Christmas is next week and the New Year is just around the corner? It really felt like this year flew by. So starting next week, and through the New Year, we’ll be on our holiday schedule, which means we’ll be publishing on a limited basis. But we have some great stuff lined up from some of our regular contributors, which we’re both excited about. And we’ll be resurfacing some of our most popular stories in case some readers missed them.

How do you think this year went for you money-wise? During our last monthly check-in you paid off a credit card! So, things moved in the right direction?

Logan: Yes well, I was talking to Meaghan about this yesterday — I paid off two credit cards in 2013. Very exciting. I doubt I will pay any off in 2014 as the ones I have left are the Big Ones. I’m trying to figure out how many cards I paid off. Was it really only two? God. Ugh. J.Crew card and Barclays card. That’s it. Still kicking: Bank of America, Citicard, and The Extremely Large One, my credit union credit card. Oh, and also IRS stuff LOL LLS HAHAHA ROTFL. So next year will be just tiny little incremental payments and no big payoffs, I don’t think. Unless something amazing happens, KNOCK WOOD. At one point I was positive I’d be debt-free by 30. I turn 30 in May, so, that little bit of wistful thinking was wrong as usual. Amazing how we can’t really foresee our future based entirely on desire and not action.

Mike: I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit! I mean, you had this period in your life when that debt was going up and not down, and this is a new period where it’s a reasonable slog toward becoming debt-free. I mean, so when we do our next check-in, I will have finally paid off one of my Sallie Mae student loans. And then I have two more Sallie Mae student loans (they were originally gov. loans that got transferred there), a private student loan, and an ACS student loan. The ACS student loan is also almost paid off too, and the private loan is what I’ll be focusing on next.

And like you, this is just a long, gradual pay-off that’s happening—though I have desires, like you, that this will be paid off before I am 35? Maybe 40. I’d be cool with 40. Plus it gets easier towards the end. It’ll happen! So money-wise, things went sort of how I thought they would go in 2013. I expect 2014 to be somewhat smooth.

Logan: IT WAS THREE. I forgot about an AmEx. Peace out, AmEx.

Mike: See! That’s not nothing!

Logan: Mike, do you see any vast amounts of money coming your way in 2014? I don’t have a specific vision necessarily, but I would like to imagine good things. I have a vague sense of impending cashflow. Based on nothing but desire. Deeeeeeessiiiiiiiirreeeee.

Mike: No, I don’t think that way. The only money I see is the money I earn, but I did just pick up another freelance assignment for January, so that will be extra money to go in my pocket or throw at my loans (or more likely, set aside for taxes). But we’ll see! If I get the same amount of stuff to work on next year as I did this past year, I’d feel good about that.

Logan: Yes, I guess the realistic way to will money into your life is to will work into your life. How true. Quite true. WORK. (Work.) I’m not ready to stop talking about Christmas yet, though! Can we talk about Christmas for five more seconds. Do you have any Christmas traditions you are looking forward to?

Mike: Hah. Okay so the way Christmas works for me is that my family goes to church in the morning. And then we come home and exchange gifts, which is mostly me handing over money to my parents, and then letting my siblings open whatever they asked for this year (and it’s no surprise, because the week I’m in town I say, “Okay, I’m taking you shopping, just pick something and I will buy it,” which I do, and then wrap). And then some extended family members get together and we cook a lot of food. And then after everyone is full and sleepy we go to the movies. Last year we watched Django Unchained. How about you?

Logan: Wait does anyone give you anything???????

Mike: Hah, yes. But I don’t really want anything. And really my siblings are in no financial state to be buying me gifts. My younger brother is still like a child to me even though he’s in his twenties, so it feels funny to me if he buys me something. Hmm. Last year… I’m trying to recall. Okay, last year my brothers threw in money to buy me a pair of Jacks to replace the pair that I normally wear. This year, I guess if I wanted something, I’d ask for a new set of sheets. I like practical gifts that I will use regularly.

Logan: I don’t buy my parents presents anymore because once they figured out I was buying them with fake money on credit cards they were like, stop. No seriously, stop. My brother and I are repairing each other’s iPhones for Christmas. He knows a guy who can do the glass suction replacement thing, so we’re getting that done for each other and calling it even. We are both broke. I’m mostly excited about Christmas for my nephew though. He was still kind of a baby last year, but this year he’s more like a kid and we can do stuff like decorate cookies which is my favorite tradition. And all I want to go is go shopping and buy him stuff but I’ve been slowing my roll and haven’t even been in one toy store, which is great. I’m going to go to one Saturday afternoon and go wild though. Not wild. I’m going to take only $20 in cash so that I can’t go wild.

Mike: That’s kind of the best—Christmas is fun with children around because of how excited they are. They really get you in the spirit.

So, I guess that’s it from us for now. Thanks to everyone for such a fun year!

Logan: [waves as camera pans out]




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