$0 NO MORE PRIVATE LOANS!
$161,761.52 in federal loans with interest rates ranging from 3.28% (up from $2.65%) to 8.25%. These interest rates are a combination of fixed and variable interest rates.
I have officially paid off my private loans! Now I’m moving on to the big guns.
Current options to tackle my federal loans:
Pay off the highest interest rate loan (aka the 8.25%) to save money in the long run.
Pay off the lowest amount to give me quick wins and refuel my motivation. It is nice to see an entire loan wipe out fairly quickly.
Pay the minimum on the loans and build my emergency fund to $10k. I am half way there. In case you didn’t notice, I actually dipped into some of my savings to pay off my last private loan. I do like having a huge safety net.
Not entirely sure which I’m going to do yet, but will keep you posted soon. For now, I’m just going to celebrate the fact that I no longer have private loans!
So let’s get straight to it, lately, I’ve been burning out at work and it ain’t pretty you guys. I’m tired all the damn time and when I get home all I want to do is sleep. My recent burn out has left me reflecting more on my life overall and to be completely honest, I don’t have much of it. It’s the same routine. Every. Single. Day. So it’s time to stop living life on auto-pilot and start living life intentionally.
This means more goals! And not just financial ones.
I’ve selected to focus on the following four areas of my life: health; relationships/fun; personal development; and earning extra income! I might add, subtract, or combine some of the goals but for the most part these are the areas I feel I need major help in right now in order to keep me sane and off the hamster wheel.
I’ve been a complete couch potato. To get more active, my goal is to exercise 15 min a day Monday through Friday. I’m hoping to up this to 30 min a day for 7 days a week but I figured I start small. While I may look thin, it does not equate to being healthy. Skinny fat is a thing people.
I’ve been isolating myself from a lot of people due to the fact that I want to save money, my laziness, or just plain passing out after work. I’ve turned into a complete hermit. So my goal is to budget in some “fun” money, nothing crazy, but just enough to allow me back into civilization and to de-stress. My goal is to hang out with friends/family at least once a week on $200 per month “fun” budget.
I keep saying it but never end up doing it. So here I am saying it again. I need to earn more income. I’m going to start small this month and see if I can earn an extra $500 this month.
This is an area I have a lot of goals for – go figure. Read at least one book this month. Reflect each week on goals and create weekly action plan to achieve these goals. Write at least once per week. I used to write 2000 words a day. Now, I’m struggling to write 500 words a week. Writing was a hobby and skill that I’ve dropped and really want back. I’m going to aim to write 500 words per day.
So there you have it these are my goals for the month of June. I’m hoping by choosing to live life intentionally, I’ll be happier and not feel like I’m wasting away filled with regrets. Wish me luck! Remember to check out my progress in July!
$12,209.24 private student loan with a variable interest rate of 4.75% (interest rate has increased by 0.5%)
$159,902.81 in multiple federal student loans with different fixed and variable interest rates between 2.65% – 8.25%
As you can see, there isn’t a huge decrease in my total debt since you last saw me. But I have managed to increase my emergency fund to $10,000. This will cover 1 year of expenses and leave a bit of cushioning in my checking account. I’m not going to lie, the thought of draining my savings and throwing it at my debt has crossed my mind multiple times (and will probably pop up in the future). According to Dave Ramsey, I should pay off my debt first before building up my emergency fund. However, I believe someone in my situation who has 6 figure debt and a low 5 figure income needs to start saving and contributing to their retirement now (no matter how small) on the account of it’ll take me years to wipe out my debt. Now, that I’ve accomplished savings goal, I can now focus on my debt which should be in the $160k range fairly soon. I’ve been looking into refinancing, but haven’t had much luck due to the fact that I need a co-signor (my debt to income ratio ain’t doing me any favors). Unfortunately, I come from a long line of family members who wouldn’t qualify as a co-signor due to bad credit scores and horrible finances (the apple does not fall far from the tree). With that being said, I’m predicting by the end of 2017, I’ll have this debt down to $155,000 which is a far cry from my goal of getting it down to $115,000 by the end of the year. But you never know, a lot could happen in the next 8 months.
Before I tell you my 2017 goals, let’s take a peek at how my 2016 went.
Pay off $15,000 – Success. I paid off about $20,000 (about $50k overall). This is the highest amount I’ve ever paid off in a single year. I usually average about $10k a year.
Start saving for retirement – Success. I became eligible for the match and have enrolled in my employer’s 401(k) plan.
Earn more money than 2015 – Success. I got a new job during the spring/summer which pays me a bit more than my old job.
Be Happy! – 75% pass. I was feeling pretty happy until October/Novermberish. Maybe its the seasonal depression? Whenever I review the past year, I can’t help but feel “blah” at how little I’ve achieved and a sense of hopelessness and dread when thinking about the future. You know how viewers were completely disappointed at how Rory’s character turned out in the Gilmore Girls’ Netflix revival? Well that’s the same sentiment I feel when I look back at 2016 and my life in general. I’m 30 going on 31 – still youngish but not young enough to use my age as an excuse for my stupidity (the only people that can use that excuse are celebrities)
Anti-Fan – She cheated on him with a 50 year old. What a @#$%!
Fan – It’s not her fault she’s only 30. He’s 50, he totally took advantage of how young she was. He should know better.
Unlike what the world in general has been through, my 2016 (as you can see) was relatively calm and normal. Since 2016 has proven that anything is possible (ahem reality TV star for president anyone?). I’ve decided to aim high this year.
Pay Off $60,000 – Yea I don’t even make that much. I’m throwing out the SMART goals and trying the other motivational tactic of “shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” Hey anything can happen (i.e. President Trump, airplanes, ships, 6 figure student loan debt, landing on the moon, etc). I’ll be shopping around to refinance my loans and looking into 0% transfer balance deals (See I sorta kinda have a plan).
Increase my savings to $10,000 – Currently, I have a little more than $1k (pathetic right?). Shooting for that moon again!
Earn more than 2016 – I need to get out of debt ASAP. Whoever said that money isn’t everything…..you are lying!
Be happy – Do things I love, be kind to myself, etc (you know the deal).
My 2017 goals aren’t that much different than my 2016 goals – I just upped the goal amount by ALOT!
$16,670.85 private student loan with a variable interest rate of 4.25%
$157,702.86 in multiple federal student loans with different fixed and variable interest rates between 2.65% – 8.25%
Look at that number! I keep wishing that I could come back to this blog after a few months and say that my debt is under $100k. But, nope. No miracles. No quick, happy movie ending here. Just plain old reality. It’s still disgustingly huge. I’ve moved one teeny, tiny millimeter closer to being debt free. Negativity aside, I did manage to pay off one of two private loans! Now I have only one left to go (which will be gone by next year). Then I can focus on that beast of a 8.25% federal loan. If you’re wondering why I’m more focused on paying off my private than federal loans, the reason is after doing the math (by math I mean plugging in numbers into this calculator) I realized that my monthly min payment to my private loan is greater than the interest (and min payment) accumulating each month for the 8.25% loan.