2013 Year in Review

My office

My office

Well 2013 is about to come to a close, and I have to say overall it’s been a great year! Financially it’s definitely been my best year thanks to some bigger projects, and making an extra 10k in side income. I didn’t make the huge number that I’d hoped, but I did make almost 25k more this year than last year! Not too shabby.

This is a summary of how my year went:

When January started my goal was to take on bigger projects with better pay, instead of taking any old project for table scraps. Whether by fate or by hard work, or a little bit of both, Q1 saw some big numbers. And as far as blogging income, that all changed for the positive when I got my PR ranking from Google back in February. I’ve since gone from a 4 to a 3, but hopefully that will change back whenever they do their next ranking. I hope anyway.

Shoulder problems. :(

Shoulder problems. :(

I was still struggling with my shoulder issues, which had started in just the right shoulder in October 2012, then moved to both by spring. I couldn’t play any beach volleyball, so that was pretty depressing. I spent a lot of money trying to figure out what was wrong with it (there was no actual diagnosis other than frozen shoulder), and a lot of money on PT and ART (active release therapy).

In the meantime, I decided I would try to run long distances on the sand, and actually made it to 10 miles before I thought, “F this!” It was then that I started playing again and noticed the right shoulder got miraculously better. And now it doesn’t hurt at all. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about my left shoulder right now, which will need some attention in the new year.

I had major car problems in the spring, starting with  my car breaking down in the middle of the 405 freeway at rush hour. All in all I spent over 5k in getting my car fixed this year, which still hurts to write. Needless to say, I have a car fund started so I can buy a new (used) car within a year or two (hopefully two).

Work continued to be steady but not overwhelming during the summer months, which was welcomed after last year’s summer work drought.

Me & my college roomies at my friend's wedding.

Me & my college roomies at my friend’s wedding.

I started my traveling in 2013 in June when I went home to Detroit to visit my family and friends for a couple weeks. I also attended the wedding of a really close college friend. That was the first visit in a long time where it was pretty stress free, and hanging out in the “D” for two weeks was actually pretty fun and relaxing. It gave me time to catch up with everyone without feeling rushed. It also gave me a chance to work remotely to see how easy it would be to move to a different state if I wanted to someday.

Me & my nephew at my step brother's wedding in Seattle.

Me & my nephew at my step brother’s wedding in Seattle.

At the end of summer I went to Portland and Seattle. In Portland I visited Kathleen from Frugal Portland, and also got a chance to meet Erin from Red Debted Stepchild and Melanie from Dear Debt, along with some other people. I took the train from Portland to Seattle where I visited some friends, and went to my step brother Jason’s wedding.

In October I turned cough forty cough three, and celebrated by having some friends over and playing charades. A couple days later I headed to St. Louis to attend Fincon13, which was amazing, and can’t wait for Fincon14 in New Orleans! I’ve never been there!

I also started a new blog in September called It Started With Lip Gloss with Michelle from The Shop My Closet Project. Although my vision was strong at first, I sort of faded away after a couple months and right now it’s on the back burner. But low and behold I started a third website called Healthy, Fit, and Frugal, which is going strong and I think that one is going to make it!

Work slowed way down in fall and had me pretty concerned. I didn’t know if the slow down would continue through the holidays like in years past…

…boy was I wrong! Worked picked up in November and got insane in December, which was one of my highest grossing months! Woot!

At the end of October I also decided I wanted to run my first half marathon. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but could not find the right months to commit to training. So far all is going well, with the exception of a chest cold I got a couple weeks ago which set me back about a week. No big deal. I’m determined!

Financially speaking, here is where my numbers are:

  • Emergency Fund: $6955
  • Vacation Fund: $954 (going to Iceland in March, which is already paid for except spending money)
  • Health Care: $554 (most going towards rehabbing my left shoulder)
  • Car Fund: $2925
  • Contribution to Roth IRA: $3986 (but I plan to max it out in Jan)
  • No debt

The numbers are part of, but do not reflect my entire net worth which I always feel a bit uncomfortable sharing. 

The good news is January should be another good month income wise, which will increase my savings accounts significantly, and hopefully give me some breathing room in 2014.

Wednesday I will have my 2014 goals and financial plans.

How did 2013 turn out for you? 

Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Tonya is a video editor/producer and writer living in Los Angeles who enjoys beach volleyball, playing ukulele, and running. To get the latest updates, be sure to subscribe. To support her fundraising efforts to produce more video for this site, please visit her crowdfunding page!

Latest posts by Tonya (see all)

  • Mackenzie

    Wow, 2013 was definitely an interesting year for you! Even though it was busy, I am glad that your year ended financially strong :) Keep up the good work!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Thanks Mackenzie! Glad it improved from the year before!

  • Done by Forty

    Thanks for this run down, Tonya. I’d say that’s a pretty good year. (In a way, aren’t they all?) Congrats on the new blog, too!

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your Iceland trip. Let us know how it goes!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Yes, good point in saying they are all good years. It’s up to the individual to find positive perspectives, even when facing tough times.

  • http://deardebt.com/ Dear Debt

    You have done a great job with side income this year! And 25k more this year?! That’s awesome! It was a highlight for me to meet you this year. This year has been pretty good. Paid off a lot of debt, got a job, and blog has improved. I’m excited for 2014.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      I’ve definitely seen you grow over this last year Melanie! Hope you had safe travels back to Portland. The sunny weather is going to miss you. lol!

  • http://www.mymoneydesign.com/ MyMoneyDesign

    That was one hell of year! But I’m really glad to hear that it ended on a good note. My 2013 had some very extreme ups and downs, but all in all I can say that I’m right where I wanted to be as we close things out.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      I just read your plan and I’m amazed at what you’re trying to do. As far as ups and downs, I think we all have that in our year.

  • http://momanddadmoney.com/ Matt @ momanddadmoney

    Wow, what a year! It’s always crazy looking back and seeing all the things that have happened. Sometimes the day to day can feel like we’re never getting anywhere, so writing all of this out can be really inspiring. I especially love how you weathered some down times to come out of the year feeling really strong.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      yea that’s part of freelancing for sure. You have to have patience but be prepared for those dry months. Hence the big e-fund goal.

  • http://www.budgetbloggess.com/ Michelle

    What a year you had! Cars are such a pain aren’t they? Just like a house they are an endless money pit. I suffered from a lack of motivation in the latter half of 2013. I’m working to put an end to that, I have some big changes I need to make.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Hope you get your mojo back Michelle! yes cars can be a pain. We love em when they run well though. ha ha

  • http://luke1428.com/ Brian @ Luke1428

    You had quite the year Tonya. It’s definitely no fun to have physical problems that slow you down. I’m dealing with my own foot issues right now (a result of all my running) and that is bringing 2013 to a frustrating conclusion (at least as running is concerned). Looking forward to all that 2014 has in store though. Happy New Year to you!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      yes I just commented on your blog about that. It’s VERY frustrating when you are kept from doing something you love.

  • John S @ Frugal Rules

    That is a pretty awesome year Tonya, especially on the financial front! I love looking back at this time of year and seeing how things turned out and how they were different than what I thought they’d be. Our year was pretty up and down in the beginning, but has really turned out very well when the second half of the year is brought in.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      I think every year for everyone has it’s ups and downs. Glad it turned out well though in the end!

  • http://www.youngadultmoney.com/ DC @ Young Adult Money

    Sounds like you had a great 2013! I’m so happy that work picked up for you the past two months. It’s interesting how that seems to be the norm in freelance/project-related work where all of a sudden out of nowhere you are super busy when you did not expect to be. I got pulled into a project at work about a month and a half ago that has taken up a lot of my time, but it was totally unexpected so it’s been crazy trying to adjust. Anyway 2013 was a great year and I’m really happy to be so invested in my blog and online income in general. I’m really looking forward to continuing to put a lot of effort towards it in 2014.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      It’s definitely the norm. Something any freelancer should be prepared for. Good luck on the project and all your goals for 2014!

  • http://suburbanfinance.com/ Suburban Finance

    Looks like you had a good year. Car problems are the worst! I’m glad you got past that part. Iceland sounds like a great trip :)

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      The. Worst. I think of what I could have done with that 5k. I know some maintenance is part of owning a car, but I think I got “taken for a ride” with my car.

  • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial

    Glad you had a great 2013, and I’m sure 2014 will be another awesome year for you! And I’m excited you mentioned FinCon.. I’m planning on making it this year (I’ve never been to New Orleans, either) – hope to see ya there!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Yay for fincon! Can’t wait to meet you!

  • Student Debt Survivor

    Sounds like a pretty great year overall. The expression on your face in the photo with the shoulder “stuff” totally cracked me up. 2013 was a good year overall, but the last week or so has been miserable (first the ice storm and now a broken furnace). That being said, I’m trying not to let those things change my outlook on the year over all.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Yes I make a lot of faces! :) That sucks about the ice storm and furnace. :( And yeah you can’t let those minor setbacks ruin your whole year, although it’s no fun to be cold. I run my heat and it’s in the 60’s and 70’s here.

  • http://Www.Plantingourpennies.Com/ Mrs PoP @ PlantingOurPennies

    I think your year was definitely a win! Ours ended up pretty well, but we missed our spending goal – but it was a stressful year. So next year that’s one of the things were going to focus on.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      I think so too! Good luck with your savings goal next year!

  • Kyle James

    The best part of your post…NO DEBT! Well, and the trip to Iceland is pretty cool too. All the best for you in 2014 Tonya!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Yes I want to continue saying those words the rest of my life! All the best to you as well Kyle!

  • Girl Meets Debt

    $25k more than last year is a definite win T! Woohoo! I always enjoy all the funny and cute pictures you share. Happy new year friend! :)

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      lol I’m glad! There are more funny faces where that came from. :) Happy New Year to you as well!

  • http://recreatingcarly.wordpress.com/ Carly

    Great year, Tonya! And it looks like 2014 will be even better! Are you going to see the Northern Lights in Iceland?! I REALLY want to do that! I saw a deal on Groupon recently including air that was super cheap, but I just couldn’t justify it while I still have debt. Next year!! Take lots of pictures! And Happy New Year! :)

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Thanks Carly! How are you doing? Haven’t seen an update in awhile! I really hope I get to see the northern lights when I’m there. I was thinking about another trip this year, but even though I’m not in debt, I’d rather continue saving right now too.

  • http://theheavypurse.com/ Shannon Ryan

    Congrats on a great year, Tonya! 25K increase is huge and I have no doubt 2014 will be even better for you. I need to bookmark your new site because Healthy, Fit and Frugal is right up my alley! Here’s to a great 2014!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Thanks Shannon! Hope so! And thanks for bookmarking my new site!

  • eemusings (NZMuse)

    I just got downgraded to a 3 too! Let’s hope to claw that back in 2014.

    So nice to meet you this year, thanks for showing us around. You’ll have such a blast in Iceland, stoked for you!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Thanks E! So weird about the rankings! Can’t wait for Iceland!

  • Travis Pizel

    There must have been something majorly changed in the PR ranking algorithm…I did some poking, and a lot of sites I visit that were 4’s are now 3’s, and ones that were 5’s are now 4’s. Strange. I’m enjoying your new site and following along with your half marathon training..it helps motivate me with my training as well – keep up the great work, fellow #pfworkouter!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      I guess I should feel relieved it wasn’t just me. Maybe 3 is the new 4? lol!

  • Charles@Gettingarichlife

    Hey Tonya,
    I understand about having health problems and how that can impede in the things that you love to do. Glad the increase income balanced out the negatives.

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      I know, it sucks! :(

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    What a year, Tonya!! Absolutely love that pic of you and your nephew- so cute!! I think you did awesome in 2013, and know you’ll do even better next year. Our 2013 had its ups and downs too, but all in all, it was a success. Happy New Year, my friend!!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      He is such a cutie and a ham. I think you did amazing this year Laurie! Incredible discipline!

  • Holly Johnson

    Iceland, huh? That sounds awesome. What do you plan to do while you’re there?

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      See the northern lights!…hopefully.

  • http://www.WellKeptWallet.com/ Deacon

    Congrats on making an additional $25k this year and kudos for publishing your numbers. That is something I have yet to do and I admire you for doing it!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Thanks Deacon! Hope 2014 is a great year for you! BTW I don’t post ALL my numbers. I feel a bit weird about it.

  • Sally @ TinyApartmentDesign

    Way to go!!! I did pretty well this year but have a big credit card bill this month which sucks, but I am ready to make more money in 2014!! And having no debt has been a blessing!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Ah the credit card bill. I know how that is. Good luck tackling that!

  • http://thebrokeandbeautifullife.com/ Stefanie @ brokeandbeau

    Congrats on a great year! I can’t imagine trying to run three sites, I can barely keep up with what I’ve got. Happy New Year!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Well BATB is still my first love, and ISWLG isn’t doing well, but I have high hopes for HFF! :)

  • http://brokemillennial.com/ BrokeMillennial

    Wow, you’ve had a fruitful year! Ups and downs but sounds like mostly ups in the end.

    Love that you’re going to Iceland. It’s one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. I have India on my 2014 vacation list, but it will largely depend on what I end up decided about grad school. 2014 will be a year of big decisions!

    Have a Happy New Year!

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Awesome to know about Iceland. India would be a great trip!

  • http://girlcountingpennies.com/ Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies

    It seems 2013 has been a great year for you, Tonya! Well done! Happy New Year and I hope 2014 turns out even better for you! :)

    • http://budgetandthebeach.com/ Tonya

      Thanks Eva!

  • http://www.LisaVsTheLoans.com/ Lisa vs. the Loans

    You have had one heck of a year Tonya! Hope the left shoulder starts to feel better this year. I absolutely cannot wait for FinCon14 in NOLA! Hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet up :)

  • http://www.debtroundup.com/ Grayson @ Debt Roundup

    Sounds like you had one hell of a year. 2013 was great for me. The blog did very well and I am happy with it. I can’t wait to see where the next year goes. This year was really great because of my son. It was awesome to watch him grow up.

  • http://www.monsterpiggybank.com/ Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank

    What a massive 2013! I hope this and your new blogs continue to do well over the coming year and that you have a blast in Iceland – I would love to visit there one day.