2020 was a rough and weird year for many, many people. However, I’ve got to say this was my best year yet.
The worst year I ever had was 2017, and ever since then I’m grateful to say that each year has gotten better.
Obviously, 2020 WAS weird because of how much life changed, but everything seemed to work in my favor.
In 2019 I wrote up a review of my year and I wanted to do that again because I loved looking back on it.
Below, I have organized my accomplishments and setbacks by areas of life:
- I paid off over $17,000 of debt
PLUS I paid off the car I was co-signed on so I really paid off over $20,000 of debt! I started the year with $57,356.90 of debt (excluding co-signed car) and ended with $40,623.13. I love to see that progress!
- I became credit card debt free again
In 2019 I did a balance transfer of about $6,000 of my student loans. It actually stressed me out and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pay it off before interest started accruing. However, everything worked out and I was able to pay it all off in March! I’ve been CC debt free since.
- I completed a No Spend/Low Spend Year
I successfully completed a no spend/low spend year in 2020!! I spent <$200 on “unnecessary” items. I’m SO glad I did it. This allowed me to pay off more debt and save more!
- I transferred my Roth IRA to Vanguard
My Roth IRA used to be with Statefarm/RBC Wealth Management. I was advised poorly to go into that and unfortunately probably lost quite a bit of money with them. I switched to Vanguard in March and I’m SO glad I did. I have more control, I can see what I’m invested in, and I’ve seen my money grow more.
- I invested $1,400 into my Roth IRA
Going along with that. I invested at least $100 every month into my Roth and a total of $1,400 for the year.
- I continued my sinking funds
At the start of 2020 I was saving $300 to various funds. By the end of the year I increased my monthly SF savings to $500 per month. Sinking funds are so amazing and I’ll never stop!
- I got a raise at my job
I get a raise every year and I’m so grateful for that! It was about a 3% raise and every little bit helps. Also, considering many people lost their jobs, I’m so glad to still have mine.
- I made about $4,800 in side hustle income
I made less than 2019, but that’s OK! I love that I even have an opportunity to make money online and I’ve truly been enjoying the process. This money comes from ads, affiliate sales, my course sales, and Etsy.
- I paid off a car that wasn’t mine
Getting the co-signed car out of my life was honestly more of an accomplishment than a negative, but it still sucks to have paid over $3K for a car that I never drove. I’m so grateful it’s all over with though. NEVER co-sign on a loan people!!
- I didn’t get under $40K in debt
I really wanted to get my total debt under $40,000, but I came up about $600 short. I don’t really mind though, I still am so proud of what I have accomplished.
- I made almost $5,000
As I said above, this is less than last year but earning extra income is amazing. It helps a lot with saving, investing, and paying off more debt!
- I wrote over 60 blog posts
I’m very proud of my consistency these last couple of years AND my grit to never give up on these passion projects of mine.
- I reached over 14,500 subscribers on my LLL YouTube channel
Subscriber count doesn’t really matter, but I love my regular/consistent viewers!
- I got my finance YouTube channel monetized
My finance YouTube channel got monetized mid-October and it’s doing SO much better than I expected. I’m so glad I started that channel and I’m grateful for the community.
- I launched a Goal course in July
I worked SO hard on this course for 3 months and launched it in July. I absolutely love it and am happy with how it came out. It just feels good to create something you envisioned.
- I started financial coaching
I started coaching 4 clients (for free) in finances and I love it. It’s been so fun for me and I hope to continue to grow that business.
- I started a second blog (finance)
I launched DebtOverIt.com in November and a Twitter to go along with it. I wanted to separate finance from LLL since it’s become such a huge area of my life.
- My business didn’t grow/earn as expected
I’ve been working on my business for years and I honestly don’t make that much money. It can get very upsetting, but honestly my mindset has improved so much around this. I wanted to make over $24,000 online, but I didn’t even get close to that.
I know one of my main problems is that I’m too “all over the place,” but I like what I’m doing.
- I got to travel for work for the first time
In February I got to go to Washington DC for a conference relative to the work I do. It was definitely out of my comfort zone but I enjoyed it and learned a lot!
- I got a raise
As I mentioned above, I got a raise!
- I got to keep my job/pay and work from home
If you don’t know, I’m a microbiologist. There’s not much you can do from home as a bench scientist, but thankfully I was able to keep my job and salary. Since April, I’ve been WFH and I’m so grateful for this time.
- I was part of the Covid response
For 2 months I was part of the Covid response. I was handling public inquiries so I still got to work remote. My team is also starting a huge Covid project. Both of these are great additions to my resume.
- I had to pause my research
I was making SUCH good progress on my project and due to Covid I had to pause it. This was frustrating for me because my project was troublesome before and once I finally started making good project I was forced to stop. I’m hopefully that I’ll get to finish it soon and write my manuscript.
- I maintained a lot of positive habits
These habits include my morning routine, meditation, gratitude journaling, yoga, reading, walking outside, etc. I meditated over 48 hours in 2020!!
- I read 10+ self-improvement books
These include The Mind-Gut Connection, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Girl Code, 10% Happier, Grit, Hustle, Total Money Makeover, Hustle Harder Hustle Smarter, and Man’s Search for Meaning. I’m missing a few others and I also read quite a few fiction books in 2020.
- I gave up Instagram for 3 months
Last year I was off of social media for over 6 months. Social media is a tough area for me because I want to promote my business and share things in my life, but I hate how addictive and shallow it can be. I am currently back on Instagram at the moment but plan on taking breaks regularly.
- I experienced some low points
I can specifically remember a couple of times throughout the year when I was really struggling mentally. I think a lot of it had to do with loneliness and feeling the pressure to do more since I was home more. I also had a month long stretch where I really fell off my routine. I was sleeping in, skipping my habits, and just ‘blah.’ But I’m happy to report I’m feeling much better!
- My boyfriend and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary
I love our relationship and I am so grateful to have him in my life! He makes me laugh so much, he supports me, and I know he loves me.
- A few problems here and there
I said the same thing last year, but every relationship deals with highs and lows. I like to keep my relationship private, but we do experience some hard times. However, we communicate well and always work through things.
- I maintained my shape
Despite losing my strength and even working out less this year, my body still looks about the same. This is because I’ve lifted for years.
- I walked SO much
According to my FitBit I walked over 1,200 miles in 2020, and this doesn’t include the times I wasn’t wearing my watch. Once quarantine started, I began walking over an hour each day and haven’t stopped. It’s very therapeutic for me now. I feel good, I get outside, and I listen to podcasts!
- I stayed healthy
I’m so grateful I didn’t get sick at all (obviously including Covid). I ate pretty healthy for the most part, stayed active, and maybe wearing my mask helped too!
- I completed a virtual run/race
In December I participated in the 12Ks of Christmas. I ran over 13 days in a row for a total of over 15 miles! I’ve never done that before!
- I REALLY lost my strength
For some reason, I’ve fallen out of love with weigh lifting. I started doing more home/YouTube workouts and haven’t really wanted to go down to the gym. And when I was lifting I couldn’t go as heavy. It’s OK though I’m hoping to increase my strength again in 2021.
- Poor sleep (still)
I’ve struggled with sleep for quite some time now. Recently, it seems to have been better. But there were many nights in the year where I slept horribly. I think too much.
- I still didn’t drink enough water
I really want to get better with drinking enough water.
- I went to Colorado
My boyfriend and I visited Colorado for the first time in October! It was honestly quite a stressful trip, but I’m glad we got to go!
- I went white water rafting
I went rafting for the first time and it was SO much fun. I was scared at first but 100% would do it again.
- I relaxed much more
Because of Covid and working from home, I didn’t really need to stick to an exact schedule. This meant I had way more time to relax and just take things easy.
- I donated over $650
I want to increase this significantly one day, but for now I donate at least $50 a month. Always to animal rescues.
- I volunteered a few times
I volunteered at the animal shelter 3 times and volunteered twice with an outreach program in GA. The outreach involved going to Rome, GA to provide food, hay, shelter, and meds to the poor animals there. The owners keep their dogs tethered outside without adequate shelter/water/food so we go and help them. It’s very sad.
- I didn’t volunteer as much as I wanted to
In 2020 I wanted to volunteer at the shelter at least once a month. Due to Covid we weren’t allowed to volunteer for some time and then when I did go things were just very different (in a good way).
Overall, 2020 was pretty good to me and I’m excited for 2021.
I hope that 2021 is also better for other people. Sometimes I feel guilty that this year was so good for me, but I can’t really help that.