As I begin this, it’s ten minutes till midnight, when 2016 ends… finally. It’s become almost repetitive, stating how 2016 has been a tumultuous, anxious year for what seems to be everyone on planet Earth (Trump, Brexit, ISIS, Syria, everybody dying dying DYING).
For me, the end of 2016 is both an end and a beginning, for — since my official divorce was finalized in September 2011 — the last bit of post-divorce process is done. In a fit of “Get it OVER WITH,” I wrote a huge check paying the remaining balance of my Ex’s share of the house’s equity back in October (the check amount largely pulled from a cash advance from my credit card). My Ex gave me the signed and notarized deed to the house (giving me full ownership of the house) just a few days before Christmas. I filed the deed in my local county records clerk office a day before they closed for Christmas. Finally, I paid off the last of the cash advance balance, having a free and clear credit card, before the end of this year.
In other words, I am now officially free from the last vestiges of my prior “I-am-still-legally-tied-to-my-Ex” life. The house is mine, and since it has no mortgage (since I worked my ass off paying back the $40,000 personal loan that paid off the remaining mortgage since the mortgage was both in my Ex’s and my names), I have no outstanding debt except for one thing: my graduate school loan.
It’s sitting at $47,700. By the end of 2017, I plan to get that down to $19,800, by living on only half of my salary. This gets me closer and closer to true financial independence and, therefore, more freedom to do what’s best for me, my kid, my family, and even my students. (More on that later.)
OH YES. IT’S HAPPENING.
Happy New Year, everybody.