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.

 

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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 meĀ  – really pull at the heart strings and all.