Monthly Archives: August 2014

$8.29 in interest per day…small victories!

In doing my monthly calculations, I’ve realized that the amount I pay in interest has slowly but surely come down. Sallie Mae’s interest compounds daily (ugh), and I tracked the last few days to see that it’s been $8.29 per day of interest since my last extra payment. Which makes for about $240 to $250 per month in interest, which is a bit less than the $300-ish a month when I first started the blog.

At this point, I’ve paid down about 19% of the original amount, woohoo! That’s almost one-fifth! So it makes sense that my interest has gone down about one-fifth as well. I still have a ways to go but it is nice to see that the numbers are slowly budging. Even if it does seem soooooo slooooooow!

Anyone else calculate how much interest they are racking up each day? It’s eye opening! It’s like an entire meal!

Game Changer…changing the game plan!

I’ve made a concerted decision to update my game plan and move my self-imposed deadline from my 35th birthday (November 2016) to a bit later…May 2017. Not that you were even aware that I’ve kept changing my self-imposed deadline. When I originally started the blog, I was really conservative (and realistic!!) and said I wanted it all paid off by my 36th birthday (November 2017). Then I started making some more aggressive to “SUPER AGGRO” plans and kept turning it up from Labor Day 2017 (aka the blog’s 4th birthday), up to Labor Day 2016 (the blog’s 3rd birthday) or our first wedding anniversary (both September 2016). So it’s gone anywhere from a 4-year plan to a 3-year plan in trying to pay off $95k in debt, which would be a decrease of $25k to $35k per year (not including interest!). Then reality set in, and I recently pushed the deadline back to my 35th birthday when I started to realize I couldn’t keep up with those aggressive payments.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve even nailed any of the monthly goals for any of the aggressive plans, and then I end up just being extremely hard on myself and feel like I never have enough money. No wonder I get really stressed out and depressed over feeling like I’ll be poor and paying off my student loan debts forever!

So over this weekend, I finally thought “ENOUGH!” What’s another 6 months of paying off student loans if it means that the next 2 years will be that much less stressful? I was finding I didn’t have any extra money to contribute to an emergency fund (for car repairs), the travel fund, the triathlon fund, or the wedding fund. (And no…definitely not any retirement funds.) I’ve been waiting for the mid-year bonus (any day now, please!) to take my car in, as it hit 90k miles recently and is overdue for a check-up and probably new brakes. My savings/emergency fund is practically nonexistent. We don’t have the minimum $500 to open up a savings account for the wedding. And I charged our airline tickets to CA next month on the new United credit card (balance not due until October).

I can’t live that way. It’s ridiculous.

Since making the decision (in my head) to go a little bit easier, I’ve felt a wave of relief. That’s the obviously nice thing about self-imposed deadlines. They are SELF-imposed! Duh! That means you can change them…yourSELF! I’m already feeling way better and less stressed. The next few months I know I’ll be able to make these payments and won’t beat myself up so hard.

Anyone else find they try to bite off more than they can chew?

789!!

I finally checked my credit score. It’s 789! I feel like I just did awesome on my SAT’s!! (Yeah, for you younger readers, the highest score on the SAT’s back in the 90’s was 800.) ok, I know that the highest credit score is 850 but I’m still very much in the “excellent” range. Yay!

July makes sub 80k! even sub 79k!

Sadly for the blogging world, this once-a-month update is what’s it’s come down to this summer. But it’s summer time, triathlon season is in full swing (yay), and work continues to work me way too hard (boo). Still, my monthly finance reports are enough to keep me accountable and are my bare minimum for keeping the blog going!

So YES, I AM FINALLY UNDER $80K!!! Whoop whoop! I even snuck in under $79k with a new total of $78,807.33 (balance checked on August 4th). I think I’m a little behind on my original game plan, but you can’t deny that it’s progress since the starting balance of over $95k. I put $1,815.90 toward Sallie Mae, but $293.81 of it was interest, so only $1,522.09 went to my balance. Still trying to get my monthly contribution (minus interest) over that $1500 hump!

July marked the beginning of real wedding planning. My bestie and Maid of Honor flew in from Texas, so we tried on dresses, looked at invitations, and sampled tons of cupcakes. I went over in the various dining out budgets for obvious reasons and was also $57 over in the grocery budget (however that includes $50 to renew my Costco membership, so I was actually pretty good).

I went over in the “Fun Fund” as I paid for another triathlon entry fee ($117 for an Olympic tri), but this is most likely the last entry fee I’ll pay for 2014 as I’ve paid for races through next February at this point! And I really do need to set up some sort of “Triathlon Fund…” imaginary or whatnot!

I’m glad I do look over my budgets once a month because I realized that I was fingerprinted for work ($45) and need to get reimbursed for that.

In cohabitation news, we finally opened up a joint checking account! This is just to help us split up the household expenses (i.e. rent) better. We also put together a fairly rudimentary wedding budget ($4,850) but still have to do more research and decide what we can cut (like I don’t think we really need a DJ) to make things feasible. I actually took our outfits out of the wedding budget as I felt that however we got married (huge ceremony or eloping), I’d still buy the same dress. So the budget is more for the ceremony and reception/party we’re throwing. And my dress budget is still under $500 and I’m sticking to it!

That’s the scoop! Just chipping away at it… Until next time!