OH SO CLOSE to being under the $80k mark! The good news is that I ended up back to a $0 balance for my credit cards, and that I’ve now paid off over 15% of my original $95k+ student loan balance. But damn, I was so close to being under $80k, which I had projected when formulating my original game plan. After paying off $700 to knock out my credit card balance, I was really hurting and wanted to get under that $80k mark, but was only able to put an additional $750 towards Sallie Mae. (My goal had been to put $1450 to the Sallie Mae, which would’ve definitely put me under $80k. Instead, I still put $1450 towards total debt. Oh well.)
Anyway. I was able to bring my balance down by $951.90, and paid $264.00 in interest. I’m still learning to not be so hard on myself, and maybe I should not aim so high as I end up disappointing myself. I’m a victim of overachiever syndrome, and although I have both a conservative version of the game plan (bringing down my debt by $1500 each month) and the “AGGRO!” version (-$2000 each month), I keep aiming for the AGGRO version, falling short, then beating myself up. UGH.
Of course, this also makes me too timid to blog, as I feel embarrassed, and thus you only got two posts in June. Sorry about that.
So how did June go? Oh, so much that went on. I ended up going over budget (by $40) in the groceries and dining out category, but it was worth it as a close friend and her boyfriend came in town and stayed with us for a couple nights. She’s from Australia and I hadn’t seen her in FOUR YEARS, so I treated them to dinner on their last night.
Otherwise, I was very overspendy in the health & fitness category…which I guess I don’t have a real budget for (though I’ve thought about setting up an imaginary annual fund for this). I signed up for several running races throughout the rest of the year, and then was so inspired from seeing my old Aussie triathlon friend, that I signed up for a half ironman at the end of October. Whoops. $250 entry fee, which is only the beginning as it’s a 6-hour road trip to North Carolina and we will probably book 3 nights of hotels. But hey, this is a hobby that makes me feel more sane in my day-to-day life, and my friend/neighbor also signed up for the same race so we are partners in crime! It will help to split the costs too.
I’m trying not to stress out about finances, but it’s a little bit hard when we have a wedding coming up in 14 months that we haven’t started saving for, a couple of these road trips, and I really want/need to go home to California to visit the family in September. My brother and his wife are having their first baby in September and my grandmother has been sick for a while. I haven’t been home since Christmas and want to take Mr. Bacon back with me as we haven’t been back together since getting engaged.
I’m looking into playing the points game with a United Airlines credit card (they fly direct from DC to San Francisco), but I know I have to be really good about paying it off every month (every week?) so I don’t fall back into old habits.
Right now I’m really looking forward to Friday (payday!) as my checking account is about to hit under $50 once one of my loan payments and the utilities bill goes through this week. 😦 Mr. Bacon tries to be helpful but he also has a bunch of medical bills to pay this month. I know it will get better, and it’s really great that I can put over $900 per month towards the debt, but I can’t help but feel discouraged that I’m not doing better.
Any ideas on staying motivated other than giving myself these little pep talks? I do realize that I could save a ton of money by not having an expensive hobby like triathlons, but that would lower my quality of life!