By the end January I had started to see some improvement in my finances. Admittedly, the progress was small but I was excited to be making progress in a positive direction. My savings increased from $546 to $794 which included to opening of a high yield savings account. My retirement savings increased from $69,644 to just over $70,000. My retirement savings consisted funds still in a retirement plan from my previous employer ($69,200), a traditional IRA which was recently set up in order to roll over the funds from my previous employers retirement plan, and I had just started contributing to the 401k plan with my new employer. My net worth went from -$44,069 to -$43,416. Again, the gains this month were rather small but it provided me the motivation to continue on this path.
The zero based budget was working for me even at this early stage. I was gaining confidence in my ability to save money. At this time I began looking at ways to tackle debt. I also began researching investing so I would be prepared when to make smart investment choices when I rolled over the funds from previous employers retirement plan into my IRA.
At the start of this journey the goal of financial independence seems far off but I am focused on my plan to spend less, earn more, pay off debt, invest and stay invested.