In Naked With Cash, seven anonymous Consumerism Commentary readers publicly track and analyze their finances on a monthly basis. For almost a decade, I tracked my own finances on Consumerism Commentary; now I’m sharing the benefits of public accountability with the participants. I’ve partnered with financial planners who will offer some guidance along the way. Read this introduction to learn more about the series.
Kathleen is thirty-one years old, single, and living in Portland, Oregon. She loves her job, even if it isn’t very lucrative. Since her income was $33,000 last year, she’s looking to make more money from “side hustles” (like her blog, Frugal Portland) this year. To learn more about Kathleen, read her bio. Kathleen is on Team Sara, with Certified Financial Planner Sara Stanich.
Kathleen’s final report, below, includes Kathleen’s progress during December 2013. You can read her November report here. Following Kathleen’s own self-analysis, Sara Stanich will offer thoughts from her perspective.
Comments and analysis from Kathleen
2013 was a big year for me, both personal and money-wise. I bought a condo, I got out of debt, and I lost my mom. All big things.
At the end of the year (really, right before Christmas) my boyfriend moved in. He’s on board with my financial goals, and now they’re our financial goals. 2014 is going to be amazing, and yet, less eventful than 2013 (at least if I have anything to say about it!).
I have a laundry list of goals for 2014 if you’d like to have a look. I feel honored to have been a part of Naked With Cash, and I know my financial situation is way better because of the feedback I’ve received. I started blogging with the intent to keep publishing my income/earning/debt pay off charts because I was so motivated by them. Now they’re boring, which is a little sad, actually.
But not really. Having no debt other than a mortgage is one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I’m continuing to find that there is a lot to be said for having money. Peace of mind is hard to come by without a financial buffer.
So, friends, save money, get out of debt, and take charge of your finances! I look forward to seeing where everyone is taking their nekkid finances next year. Keep in touch with me on my blog, my newsletter, or on Facebook or Twitter!
Feedback from Sara Stanich, CFP
You’ve had a great year financially. I’m sorry it’s been a tough one personally.
I want to put this delicately as I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but one of the things that surprised me about you from the beginning of this series was your income.
I thought to myself, “Here is this obviously smart and super-motivated person. She’s been in the workforce a bit and she’s not right out of school. Why isn’t she making more money?”
Money isn’t everything, and we all do things in our own time, but I think that getting your financial house in order this year may have cleared a lot of mental “space” for you to focus on your business in 2014. I read your goals for 2014 and you have so much opportunity. You are a true entrepreneur, and I suspect your income will really grow in 2014. I’m excited for you!
It was so nice to meet you in the “real” world this year, Kathleen. I’ll be following your blog in 2014 and I expect to see great things!
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Feedback from Luke Landes
You’ve experienced a lot of personal growth this year, not just in the numbers. Those numbers, though, are certainly looking good. You’ve had two years in a row of tripling your net worth. I’m sure it would be difficult to continue doing that year after year, but it’s fun to see the kind of oversize growth that’s possible once you start putting a concentrated effort into that particular aspect of your life.
Outside of the financial aspect, I know it’s been a year of ups and downs for you. You’re moving forward in a family of your own, and that’s certainly exciting.
I like your goals for 2014, and I have no doubt you will find the success you’re seeking. It’s been great having you participate in Naked With Cash this past year.
Updated June 22, 2016 and originally published January 23, 2014.