PAYOFF SUMMARY – JUNE 2016.

Total amount paid to loans : $3,480.85

Total amount paid to principal : $2,779.44

Total debt remaining : $115,995.87

Where the money went:

  • DSP1 (TARGET LOAN) : $2,627.14 ($2,507.10 to principal)
  • DSP2 : $271.85 ($79.13 to principal)
  • DC : $200.02 ($54.06 to principal)
  • DUS1 : $190.81 ($69.55 to principal)
  • DUS2 : $118.74 ($43.26 to principal)
  • DSS1 : $72.29 ($26.34 to principal)

Comments : Not too shabby of a payoff this month. A huge help was the aforementioned savings bond coming into play. I managed to keep my budget within reason this month. I did get absolutely killed on car maintenance though (separate blog post coming). I haven’t worked at second job in three weeks so next month might not look as impressive.

 

A GOVERNMENT ISSUED U.S. SAVINGS BOND.

The mini financial “windfall” I mentioned in the last payoff summary happened. It occurred in the form of a government issued US savings bond.

When I was a child, my grandfather took out six savings bonds in my name during the years of 1982-1995. They weren’t for a lot of money, but the interest has been gaining on them since then at 4% each, which is absolutely lovely nowadays. Only the first one, the one purchased at my birth in 1982 has matured. So I cashed it in! It was a $200 savings bond that he purchased for $100 – and with the interest added in it was just under $600! It was a nice chunk of change to give to DSP1.

So I still have five bonds remaining. The next one won’t be matured until 2017, which isn’t too far off. I debated whether to cash them all in while they were still unmatured. It wouldn’t be as much money but it would cut down the loans sooner, faster. I ultimately decided to wait and let them accumulate the maximum interest.

I’m sure when I was a kid, I totally didn’t appreciate these gifts from my grandfather. “A piece of paper that supposedly represents future money – but I can’t touch it for 30 years? Um, thanks?” I sure do now. Thanks, Grandpa. I miss you.

BUDGE IT.

The following is my oversimplified budget. Do I stick to it? More or less.

STUDENT LOANS – $1132

RENT – $700

UTILITIES – $200

CREDIT CARD 1 – $450

CREDIT CARD 2 – $250

BRACES PAYMENT – $175

“BUFFER” SAVINGS – $120

Everything left over at the end of the month goes straight to DSP1.

As you can see, very simple. I do not have categories on the credit cards, i.e. food/clothing/entertainment. You might be wondering why the HELL I allow myself $700 on credit cards each month. While it does seem like a lot, the cost of living out here is tremendously high. Roughly $350 per month is food alone, and we don’t go out to eat very often. I do have to say that I rarely hit $450 on CC#1. It typically hovers around $350. Credit Card 2 is for clothing, gasoline, and general personal upkeep – and I typically go over budget in those categories. Since I have a profesh career, I sadly can’t just decide to stop taking care of my appearance in the name of budgeting. While I have markedly cut down on clothes shopping, hair color/cut and makeup/skin products are $$$$$. I haven’t gotten to the point of shaving my head and wearing a wig full-time, but give it a year or two.

The buffer savings is interesting. This little savings account is sort of an offshoot of my checking account. It’s not the savings account that my emergency fund is being held in. This little stash covers the two large payments that occur once every three and six months, respectively – our water bill and my car insurance. Since they’re not monthly payments, I don’t budget for them, per se. With this little savings, I’m not scrambling to pay these when they roll around.

The braces payment will increase to $200 in July. I decided to up it in order to pay it off a full month early. December will be my last payment!

So there you have it. Not the prettiest budgeting strategy in the world, but works for the time being.

 

PAYOFF SUMMARY – MAY 2016.

Total amount paid to loans : $3,099.98

Total amount paid to principal : $2,387.11

Total debt remaining : $118,735.31

Where the money went:

  • DSP1 (TARGET LOAN) : $2,246.27 ($2,097.63 to principal)
  • DSP2 : $271.85 ($84.81 to principal)
  • DC : $200.02 ($58.47 to principal)
  • DUS1 : $190.81 ($73.07 to principal)
  • DUS2 : $118.74 ($45.45 to principal)
  • DSS1 : $72.29 ($27.68 to principal)

Comments : More of the same. I worked at the second job 3 out of 4 of the Saturdays in May so that was cool. My parents came out to visit from the east coast so more money than usual was spent with that, although it was lovely to see them. Even though I’ve seen a ton of progress and that keeps me motivated, I’m definitely already starting to feel the fatiguing effects of the payoff process. I’m not worried about it, because I know it’ll be a long time before they become detrimental, but it’s still kinda unnerving to feel it so soon.

 

Next month: I’m expecting a (small) money windfall, so that should up the June payoff!

OPENED ROADBLOCK.

I did in fact get part of my speeding ticket refunded! Woo! I ended up taking the $160 out of the emergency fund – because that’s what it’s there for. I got $80 back which I’m so happy about. It went directly back to the EF, which is slowly but steadily gaining interest every month. Even though the percentage is not very high, it’s nice for this account to be on the right side of compounding interest.

PAYOFF SUMMARY – APRIL 2016.

Total amount paid to loans : $2,899.98

Total amount paid to principal : $2,234.69

Total debt remaining : $121,122.55

Where the money went:

  • DSP1 (TARGET LOAN) : $2,046.27 ($1,965.58 to principal)
  • DSP2 : $271.85 ($78.07 to principal)
  • DC : $200.02 ($53.47 to principal)
  • DUS1 : $190.81 ($68.76 to principal)
  • DUS2 : $118.74 ($42.77 to principal)
  • DSS1 : $72.29 ($26.04 to principal)

Comments : Welp, here is more of a “normal” month. Still paid off a nice chunk. Some friends came out to visit from the East Coast so I had a lot more expenses than I had anticipated, but it was a fun time. Back to the grind for next month.

 

ROADBLOCK #3.

The roadblocks are coming much earlier in the game than I had anticipated. This time it’s in speeding ticket format! I got busted by one of those mobile radar things that doesn’t only photograph your license plate, but also the driver’s face! So the citation I just received in the mail includes a color picture of my dumb face, completely unaware that I was currently be radar-ed for speeding (only 11 miles over the limit, I’m not a total jerk). The damage? $160! Sigh. The roadblock dilemma – pay from the second job income, or take from my emergency find? Hmmm, ehhhh, mmmm, blahhhhh – think I’m gonna pay from the side job money. Can’t bear to touch the emergency fund, especially since this is totally my fault that I have to pay so much money. Ease up, lead foot.

A possible consolation – it’s been known to happen that my state refunds part of speeding tickets if you pay in full and swiftly. I will do that, as well as include an apologetic letter, and hope for some mercy. Maybe I’ll mention that I’m paying more than 100,000 in student loan debt and $160 is a lot of money for me  – really pull at the heart strings and all.

WHO AM I?

A person is in debt; consumer, medical, educational – doesn’t matter. They have two choices.

1. Forget about it, so to speak. Keep living like they have been living. Pay off debt over a long period of time. In the end, pay back double/triple the original amount in interest, but generally get to live their life how they want in the meantime.

2. Put their life on hold to pay it back as soon as possible. Forgo birthdays, holidays, vacations. Live as frugally as possible, throw every cent against the debt until it vanishes. In the end, pay the least interest and become free quickly, but suffer socially/mentally/personally in the meantime.

I mean, obviously I’m choosing number two, incase you haven’t figured that out from the blog. But I find myself sometimes wondering – what type of person chooses option number two over number one? What characteristics make a certain type of person who chooses #2? What qualities does this person have?

I’m almost comparing this to a “suffer now or suffer later” type of equation, even though it’s not. If given that choice, I’d almost always choose to suffer now. Get it over with. But debt is more like a “really suffer now or suffer less but for a lot longer”. I’m choosing the extreme and quick over the mild and long.

I doubt there are identical characteristics across the board, but I think I personally am a  “suffer now” because of my personal characteristics: Type A personality, ambitious, perfectionist, constantly need a project to work on, impatient, list-maker, control freak, fidgety, organizer, future-planner, sees things in black and white sometimes, COMPETITIVE, nit-picky, constantly seeks approval, sees everything juuuuuust short of perfect if only I could change this one thing and this other thing and oh this other one too.

That list is full of qualities that aren’t really that great. But it’s gotten me this far and hasn’t given me a heart attack yet. It’s the only way I know. Suffer, survive.

 

PAYOFF SUMMARY – MARCH 2016.

Total amount paid to loans : $6,305.78

Total amount paid to principal : $5,571.98

Total debt remaining : $123,356.24

Where the money went:

  • DSP1 (TARGET LOAN) : $5,446.27 ($5,260.41 to principal)
  • DSP2 : $271.85 ($90.03 to principal)
  • DC : $200.02 ($62.62 to principal)
  • DUS1 : $197.21 ($82.61 to principal)
  • DUS2 : $118.74 ($47.43 to principal)
  • DSS1 : $72.29 ($28.88 to principal)

Comments : YAAAAAAAAAS. As expected, another great month because of the yearly bonus! Paying over 5K to DSP1 felt AMAZING. It kinda sucks to go back to more “normal” monthly payments now, after two months of ridiculousness. DSP1 has now dropped BELOW DSP2, DC, and DUS1 to now become my THIRD highest balance! That was quick! It’ll be below 20K very very soon (like, in a couple days). Very exciting.

I cheated a little bit this month. DUS1 (#4 loan on payoff list) was six dollars away to dropping from 22K to 21K – so I paid $6 just to see it step down. Felt good. It’s the little things, you know?

Next month: Back to normalcy. Anticipating around $1800 in balance payoff in April.

ROADBLOCK #2.

Had some car trouble this past weekend. I met my friends to go snowshoeing and as soon as I got out of my car, I noticed radiator fluid GUSHING from the underside. It emptied quickly, and I knew if I drove the car, it would overheat. So I forfeited the snowshoeing trip and AAA towed the car to a repair center. It seemed to me like the problem was that the radiator hose had become loose or had a crack – a very inexpensive and quick fix to replace a hose. However, that’s not the case. A hose did break, but it’s actually a different hose that is behind a bunch of other parts. Quite inaccessible and a very labor intense fix. So while it’s just a hose that busted (thankfully) it’s still going to run me ~$250. I debated taking the money from the emergency fund to cover the bill, but I’m going to use the money that I’ve made working the second job this month so far. I guess it’s good that I held onto it and haven’t thrown it to DSP1 yet, like I was going to start doing.

Thinking about doing some other car maintenance soon as well, like checking the transmission and such. Anything to keep this machine on the road for as long as possible.