I'm wrapping up the year and reflecting on being grateful for 2015 as a whole. So much has happened in such a little time, and I'm looking forward to 2016!We have less than two weeks left in December and I’m stubbornly in denial about where the hell 2015 went. (What else is new?)

I’m sure most of you will agree, but when I think back to 2014, I definitely didn’t know what amazing things 2015 would hold. There’s a lot I have to be grateful for, and I wanted to do a year-end wrap up of it all.

Plus, it’s always nice to take a moment and appreciate all that has happened to get me to where I am today. Especially when the year has gone by so fast! I encourage you all to do the same.

Being Grateful for Opportunity

I received so many different opportunities in 2015! My business was just taking off at the very end of 2014, and it has continued to skyrocket upward.

I’ve had to be pickier than ever with the work I take on, which both surprises me and saddens me. I hate telling people no, but I’ve learned that, at this point, I need to put my sanity first.

Having so many opportunities available to me has been a learning opportunity in and of itself as I figure out what I want to focus on and where I want to go next. I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve had, whether it has worked out or not, because you can’t know if it’s right unless you try.

While I began freelance writing, I added VA work into the mix shortly after to expand my services. VA work isn’t linear at all, and I’ve learned it requires a lot of experimenting to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are. Thankfully, I’ve gained a bit of clarity this year.

Being Grateful for Community

I say this all the time, but the PF community is truly wonderful to be a part of. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t began blogging, and I only started because of the inspiring individuals I’ve been honored to get to know.

FinCon, despite being a crazy whirlwind weekend, was so much fun, and I’m so glad I got to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. It inspired me to focus on strengthening existing relationships and forming new ones. It has been a rewarding experience, to say the least.

Not that any other community should steal the light, but as some of you may remember, I was privileged to volunteer at a huge convention back in August for a company I love. But the company isn’t the best thing, it’s the community surrounding it.

I am so lucky to be part of not one, but TWO kickass groups of people. I have a tendency to lose faith in humanity fairly quickly (all it takes is turning the news on or driving), but if it ever needs to be restored, I know where to look.

I’m very grateful to have been surrounded by kindness and selflessness this past year, and I think it has also made me a better (and more positive) person. So thank you all!

Being Grateful for the Little Things

I say this a lot, but if you’re having a horrible day, chances are, you can find something to be grateful for, even if it’s just the fact that you’re still breathing.

This year hasn’t been an easy one, emotionally-speaking. It has felt like a roller coaster more often than not.

There are days I wake up and I want nothing more than to close my eyes and go back to sleep. There are times I want to throw a blanket over myself and hide. There have been other days where I’ve cried for no reason at all.

Don’t let anyone tell you self-employment is a piece of cake. A lot of entrepreneurs like to paint a pretty image of their lives, especially on social media. And maybe some of them do have “perfect” days, but no success story is based on perfection.

I’ve learned to come to terms with that. I don’t think any job is ever perfect. Our perspective isn’t always going to be 100% positive. We’re human and that means we have bad days and good days.

The important thing to do is to:

  • Focus on the good when there’s a lot of bad
  • Stop and appreciate how good you have it when things are great
  • Remember that every day is a new start
  • Realize you’re in control of your thoughts and empower yourself to make the situation better
  • Comfort yourself with the fact that without the bad days, you wouldn’t grow as much as a person
  • Forgive yourself, plain and simple
  • Always remain grateful for something, whether it’s your loved ones (that includes pets), health, shelter, food – any basic necessities you have that others may not

Always hold onto the little things.

Being grateful for the little things in 2015

What Does 2016 Hold?

Well gee, I wish I had a crystal ball so I could tell you! Seriously though, while I’m not huge on setting a million goals for myself, there are a few things I want to make happen next year.

Paying Off my Student Loans

Melanie just recently kicked her loans to the curb and I couldn’t be happier for her! She has made such amazing progress and I feel like I need to up my game.

I’ve made a few large (for me) payments toward mine, and they currently sit at $6,300. My larger loan is $4,999 (that was intentional), and my smaller one is at $1,300.

I want them gone. I wanted to pay them off this year, but with barely earning anything in 2014, I took this year to catch up on savings. I did manage to make some big payments toward my loans, but not enough. 2016 is the year I will be debt free, dammit. Please feel free to hold me to that.

Saying Goodbye to Charlotte

Charlotte is a great little city, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not my city. I never felt like I was at home here.

While I don’t want to say goodbye to my parents, I can’t hold myself back, either. I’m 99% sure I’ll be heading to Austin (along with like a thousand other people). The lease is up in April, so I need to get a move on figuring out the logistics.

More Travel

I had a lot of fun visiting my family and friends the three times I went back to NY this year, and I don’t see a reason to stop doing that.

Beyond that, I want to take advantage of the freedom I have and travel to see friends. I’ve already got a trip to San Diego planned thanks to FinCon, and if I somehow don’t move to Austin, I’ll be making it back there for the convention again in July.

If I can somehow score a great deal, I’d love to go overseas for the first time, maybe in celebration of paying off my loans? =) I just have to get a passport…

Prioritizing Self Care and Development

That was one of my goals for this year, and I failed. Completely. In the sense that I fell flat on my face and never got the hell up.

I have put everything ahead of myself this year and that was a mistake. I’ve been riddled with stress, I wake up with headaches 80% of the time, and I get hit with another one at some point in the day. I feel tired and uninspired and just blah.

I need to recharge, and that means not apologizing for putting myself first and actually following through on it. I need to find a way to balance this around work, and I want to incorporate more creative outlets into my life. Expect more on this soon.

Thank you all for such a wonderful and crazy 2015! This will be my last post of the year as I take some time to reflect on where I want to go. Wishing all of you a Happy Holiday/Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/JUST CELEBRATE OKAY?!? *party poppers*

What are you being grateful for as the year comes to an end? What are you hoping for in 2016? Have any major plans you can share? Let me know so I can cheer you on!



  1. Kara December 21, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    Come to Austin and hang out with me! :) I had a similar year: amazing strides in so many areas but definitely struggled with boundaries and self care. Here’s to more balance in 2016.

    1. Erin M. December 21, 2015 at 10:39 PM

      I would love to, especially since my visit this past year was so hectic. I barely got outside of the convention center!

      It’s certainly a learning experience, especially as you seem to experience success in stages. Things went from fairly manageable to barely manageable in the span of a couple of months, and then I never took time to step back because things were always demanding my attention. A good problem to have, but not at the expense of my health. I hope you find more balance, too!

  2. Chonce December 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    Sounds like a great year overall! Prioritizing self care is a big goal for me in 2016. I often give up my sleep and free time to work extra and while that comes with the territory when it comes to balancing everything, I feel like there’s always room for improvement.

    1. Erin M. December 22, 2015 at 12:51 PM

      Giving up sleep is not fun (and I have no clue how you wake up early ;)). Working smarter and not harder is always on my goal list. If you can find higher paying clients, then that usually allows you to scale back a bit as far as side hustling goes.

  3. Money Beagle December 22, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    What a nice post, thanks for sharing all of this. It sounds like 2016 will be full of exciting change. Good luck to you!

    1. Erin M. December 22, 2015 at 12:50 PM

      That’s what I’m hoping for, thank you!

  4. Kara @ Money Saving Maven December 22, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Congrats on a very successful year! How exciting to think about travel and moving in the coming year! :-)

    1. Erin M. December 22, 2015 at 12:53 PM

      Thank you! It is exciting, though I wish I could just teleport myself and my stuff to a new location. It’s an 18 hour drive to Austin, and my last long distance move didn’t go too well.

  5. Jen December 22, 2015 at 2:16 PM

    I completely understand how you feel about just hiding in my blanket sometimes. It is so not easy being a one woman show all the time. I hope a new city in 2016 brings you new good adventures!

    1. Erin M. December 23, 2015 at 3:27 PM

      It’s not! That’s why I’m so, so grateful for all my freelance friends. Having other people to talk to during the rough times who get where you’re coming from is important. Thank you!

  6. Preston December 22, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    Great post and good luck in 2016! We had several big changes in 2015:
    -New jobs for my wife and I
    -Paid off all debt
    -Started a blog

    We are discussing 2016 goals tonight over wine and the fireplace! :)

    1. Erin M. December 23, 2015 at 3:27 PM

      Thank you, good luck to you as well! Sounds like 2015 was a pretty solid year for you. Blogging can be quite an amazing adventure. =) Also, I totally wish I had a fireplace, even though it doesn’t feel like winter here…

  7. Sylvia @ Miss PF December 22, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    Great goals! Traveling changes your life. You’ve gotta go oversears next year! Let me know if you need any tips and tricks…it’s my passion! :)

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Erin M. December 23, 2015 at 3:26 PM

      Merry Christmas to you, too! Oh I have NO doubt I’ll be reading a bunch of travel blogs next year, haha. I’ll likely need all the tips I can get.

  8. Melissa December 23, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    Thanks for sharing, reading about your journey in 2015 was inspiring and I have no doubt that 2016 will see you debt free and moving forward. :)

    1. Erin M. December 23, 2015 at 3:25 PM

      Aw, thank you so much! I’m definitely determined to be debt free next year. =)

  9. Cat@BudgetBlonde December 23, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    I can’t wait to see where you go from here. 2016 is going to be a great year for you!

    1. Erin M. December 23, 2015 at 6:32 PM

      Thanks, Cat! I’m sure it will be for you, too. =)

  10. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank December 25, 2015 at 11:49 PM

    Hi Erin, it seems like you have great 2015! And, I know that your 2016 will be even greater. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Definitely, many blessings to be grateful for.

    1. Erin M. December 27, 2015 at 11:02 PM

      I hope you enjoyed your Christmas, and Happy New Year!

  11. Rob @ MoneyNomad December 26, 2015 at 6:53 PM

    I love reading about people’s reviews of the current year and dreams for the future. I always see January as an opportunity to start fresh. Best of luck with paying off that debt this year. And reach out if you’re interested in doing some writing for business blogs – I’m leaving my job in 2016 to do full time content marketing. We’ve got a few clients and are always looking for more writers. Either way, good luck and I look forward to seeing some awesome accomplishments at the end of 2016!

    1. Erin M. December 27, 2015 at 11:02 PM

      Thanks so much Rob, and good luck to you as well! Awesome to hear you’re doing content marketing full time. I’ll keep that in mind. =)

  12. Diana December 30, 2015 at 9:16 PM

    Hi Erin, you had a great 2015 because of those meaningful experiences and travels. You may have a great 2016 to come and more to be grateful for. Happy New Year!

  13. Cody January 1, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    Happy New Year to you Erin! Hoping 2016 will be great for all of us and gives more blessings to be grateful for. Have a meaningful and prosperous year ahead.

  14. Melanie @ Dear Debt January 10, 2016 at 5:15 AM

    Gah, I missed this! I also failed with self-care. This year I’m going to try harder. I actually slept 8+ hours this week twice which was a start. I may have to cut back on work. Let’s focus on supporting each other, moving in April and prioritizing self-care. We can do it!

    1. Erin M. January 10, 2016 at 12:04 PM

      Yay sleep! (Seriously.) I’ve also been reevaluating work and how many hours I spend in front of my computer. Something definitely needs to change, and we’re more than capable of making that happen!

  15. Pyper Barnes February 20, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Hey Erin!

    First time reading… found you on Frugal Rules. I just wanted to say that I love your blog and this article in particular. I will be stopping by at least once a week.. you go girl!

    In short, enjoy the little things in life. If we can all do that, we will all be happier.


    1. Erin M. February 22, 2016 at 11:39 AM

      Hi Pyper, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. The little things definitely matter more than we think!


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