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December 2017 Debt Repayment

December 29, 2017
AUTHOR: Emilie
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Welcome to December’s debt repayment update where I show you the progress I made on paying off my debt over the last month. If you’re new to Burke Does, you may be wondering why I would want to share these very real and personal numbers on the blog. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here.

This all started soon after college when I tried to build my first budget and had no idea how to do that. While it took me a while, I did successfully start budgeting and get a grasp on my debt. In January 2016, I shared my financial status. At the end of the year, I shared my Financial Year In Review. I try to be as transparent as possible in my successes and my failures. Just real, no fluff or BS here.

December 2017
November December Change Percent Change
Car Loan (USAA) 13281.09 13036.89 244.20 1.84%
ECSI 4989.71 4408.00 581.71 11.66%
Combined Debt 18270.80 17444.89 825.91 4.52%
Traditional IRA 1674.30 1722.23 +47.70 2.85%
Roth IRA 8789.97 9079.01 +289.04 3.29%
Combined Retirement 10464.27  10801.24 +336.74 3.22%
Not-an-accurate-net-worth   -7806.53 -6643.65 +1162.88 14.90%
Car Value 13807 13324 -483 3.50%
Still-not-an-accurate-net-worth 6000.47 6680.35 679.88 11.33%
Visiting the Arc de Triomf in Barcelon in October 2017


December is always a precarious month and for two years of trying to pay off debt I’ve ruined it in December. Glad that wasn’t the case this month! I did not go into more debt than I started the month with 😄

This month, we celebrated our 4th dating anniversary by going to The Melting Pot in Durham and watching the new Star Wars movie! We also traveled to celebrate our friends wedding in Greenville, SC and then to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey to spend Christmas with our families. To do all that and still stay within budget is just mind-boggling to me.

This month I made a slightly larger payment on my student loan, but otherwise it was business as usual here. I wanted to somehow find the money to pay off that balance, but I just wasn’t realistic here. I am confident that I will pay this off early in 2018, though, which is exciting!

For reasons I can’t really delve into on this very public space on the internet, the car is little bit more of a mumble-jumble, so the $288 payment is what it is.


After a dud of a month last month, this was a much better month. Also, how cool is it that my money made $300 for me this month?! This is why investing early and often is so important!

Earlier this year I set up my mom, who was never learned with money, with a Betterment account. For the first time in her over 30 years of living in the US, she has her first investments going. Now, she gets it. We were talking over the holidays how investing is the difference between the rich and the poor. The rich put their money to work for them.

On a non-retirement investing note, this year, I gave my family all gifts of Stockpile! For my cousin obsessed with Disney, she got Disney, as well as a couple of younger cousins. I gave my sister Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon. The kids do not need another toy, friends. Give them the gift of money that will grow.

One of the goals in my 101 in 1001 is to see my retirement investments hit 20K. The deadline is April 5, 2020 and while that sounds really far away, we both know it isn’t! Half way there, but only 2 years, three months, five days to go.


In case you’re new to these parts, this value is my the amount I owe plus the amount in my retirement accounts plus the KBB value of my 2015 Honda Civic LX. This is not an accurate net worth because it doesn’t account for things like the ca$h I have sitting in my bank account, but it’s close enough that you (and I) can get an idea.

I love seeing this metric 1. be positive and 2. grow every month! As my debt amount goes down AND my investments grow, it’s making this number grow on both sides of the equation! This month was another huge swing with 10% growth because I paid off $825 of debt and my investments grew $336. Of course, my car value also dropped $483- a HUGE amount- but all the more reason to stay focused on growing here.

Looking Forward

December was not a bad month. I can feel that student loan balance being so within reach. I want that gone so bad. In due time.

January is shaping up to be a busier month than I would like it to be. (Do they ever not?) I’ll be driving up to Philly for a thing related to my Venture for America fellowship and then staying in New Jersey to go wedding dress shopping for the first time. Eeek!

Casey will be TDY for a lot of the month, so that should also help keep expenses down. I’m hoping to take advantage of that time to really push forward on a project that I’m working on for a client that could be a real money maker, as well as finish some big projects I’ve set out as goals for January.

Let’s get ‘er done!

How did your money do this month?

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