Real Money, Women + Finances

2017: Year of Focus

Happy 2017, friends! Before launching straight into the new year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the one that has passed.

I’m not super great at sharing my ~inner goals/thoughts ~ with the world but I wanted to give it a try this year.

Last year, my financial goals were simple: finish paying off my debt and figure out what the heck I want to do with my life.

Both were harder than expected and resulted in a lot of confusing and often painful twists. BUT I’m happy to report that I accomplished both. My debt is gone and I have a clear vision for what I want to do in my career. Woohoo!

Even though 2016 had some very low lows (ahem, POLITICS) I feel lucky to be able to say that it had some personal highs as well:

  1. I proposed to my partner of 4 years at Disneyland and as a result, became engaged to the love of my life.
  2. We adopted our sweet cat
  3. I became debt-free (!!)
  4. Alex and I spent a glorious summer week in South Carolina on the lake with my parents and I took two more trips to the south to visit my beautiful mom.
  5. We also spent a wonderful week in San Miguel, Mexico with Alex’s parents.
  6. I saw my little sister almost every single day and my older sister 10+ times <3
  7. I had countless adventures with my best friends, including camping in the desert, visiting wineries, hiking, river rafting, going to the mountains and hours of happily chatting with one another.
  8. I went on an epic weekend road trip with Alex and explored Joshua Tree, Salvation Mountain and the Salton Sea (if you want to have your mind blown, watch this documentary)
  9. THE. BEST. CHRISTMAS. EVER. Alex and I hosted Christmas this year and having my entire family in our apartment was truly a dream come true.
  10. Not one, but TWO amazing engagement parties with our favorite people.
  11. Alex and I finally moved in together and created a home we love.

And because this is a money blog, I figured I should share some money highs as well:

  1. Paid off $14,000 of student loans (!!)
  2. Hit $11,000 in my retirement account
  3. Saved an average of 40-50% of my salary each and every month
  4. Used credit cards to get two free flights to Colorado, two free flights to San Francisco and a free hotel stay in Joshua Tree.
  5. After a lot of advocating on my own behalf and refusing to believe every colleague that told me it was impossible, I got a 10% raise at my full-time job (which is a minor miracle if you work for a non-profit like I do)

As I move into 2017, I’ve realized that I have A LOT of things that I want to accomplish.

Normally, I’m too embarrassed to list my goals anywhere outside of the pages of my journal, but here we go:


  1. Get accepted into my dream graduate program and finish the first term
  2. Get a literary agent (ekkkkkk!)


  1. Save $20,000 for graduate school
  2. Become more mindful with my spending AND the things I buy—more on this coming soon (!)


  1. Run a marathon
  2. Finish 36 weeks of BBG (here’s the link if you’re interested)


  1. Continue to love, cherish and spend quality time with my family, fiancee (!) and best friends while putting energy into new friendships as well.
  2. Marry Alex (!!!!) Not really a goal, but you know I had to add it, hah.


  1. FINALLY FINISH THE ARTIST’S WAY. I’m obsessed with this program but have never done it all the way through. Ready to finally bust it out.


That pretty much sums my hopes and plans for 2017. Because there is so much that I’m hoping to accomplish, I decided that my word this is year is “Focus.”  I feel ready in a way I’ve never felt before.

Do you have a word or goal? Or do you plan to opt out of the ~New Year Mania~  and simply live? Let me know!

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  • Reply Kita January 4, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    This sounds awesome! Congratulations on such a good year. My issue is that I tend to not cook, which causes my finances to go haywire. Here’s hoping that I can at getting a better understanding of that habit.

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor January 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Kita, Happy new year! I hope it’s off to a great start 🙂 And omg, YES. I honestly used to be the same with cooking. Have you ever tried cooking with a Crock Pot or slow cooker? It’s changed everything for me. Throwing in the ingredients and not having to worry about it again until I’m hungry + leftovers have made eating at home SO MUCH easier.

      • Reply Kita January 10, 2017 at 3:48 pm

        That was recommended by my co-worker. I am gonna try that in the coming weeks to see if I can do that with my current schedule.

  • Reply Leigh January 5, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Sounds like 2017 is going to be another great year for you! Married life really is wonderful (says the person who never wanted to be married lol) and I’m so excited for you and Alex to get married this year!!!

  • Reply The Finance Spa January 6, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Wow what a lovely year! Congrats on making those achievements in 2016. I’m looking forward to your new style in 2017!

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor January 7, 2017 at 9:03 am

      Happy New Year, Jess! Thank you <3 Cant wait to follow along on your journey this year.

  • Reply TJ January 6, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    You will do awesome in ’17, Taylor!

    I’ve been lacking focus for a while. I mean, my blog is pretty much all over the place.

    I have full confidence that you will do amazing things in ’17. 🙂

    What type of grad school are you pursuing?
    TJ recently posted…2016 Blog Traffic Round Up!My Profile

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor January 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Aw, thanks TJ! What’s the countdown to the road trip?!

      I’m going to school to become a high school teacher 🙂

      • Reply TJ January 7, 2017 at 11:02 am

        It’s so so close! My lease is up February 21, but my sister is actually showing someone my room tomorrow, so if this girl likes the room but needs to move in sooner, that means I might have to move out sooner! That will move up the timeline of selling / storing all my bedroom contents, but I’ll probably crash at my parents for a few weeks in that scenario. I’ve listed both of my TV’s with no luck yet.

        I actually had no idea that one needed a graduate degree to teach high school. I know that my cousin’s husband is student teaching right now in preparation to transition from a lawyer to a teacher. I know he took some online classes. (He wants to teach US History and Government…I don’t know if it’s high school or middle school though). He already had a graduate degree in law though, so maybe that fulfilled some requirements.
        TJ recently posted…2016 Blog Traffic Round Up!My Profile

        • Taylor
          Reply Taylor January 9, 2017 at 10:39 am

          Good luck with all the moving parts! I’m sure it will all come together 🙂

          You need a teaching credential to teach, not a Master’s degree. Some programs offer teaching credentials and Master’s degrees combined, but some just offer teaching credentials. It just depends on how you want to do it.

  • Reply Kris January 10, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Taylor, good stuff! My goal is to regain some momentum from our days with Sarah, just haven’t found (made) time to do it just yet. And love your goal to run a marathon – injuries got the best of me before I could run one, but cheered my brother-in-law at the NYC marathon this fall, a life changing experience to see & cheer, and share with my former running buddy. Good luck!

  • Reply ZJ Thorne January 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    I love these goals! You’ve had such a great year of working towards what you want. I think 2017 will be magical for you.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…Net Worth Week 40 – Birthday EditionMy Profile

  • Reply Nate February 16, 2017 at 4:10 am

    Congrats to your achievements Taylor! Wish you luck to your 2017 goals. 🙂

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