I am writing this in the hopes that getting the idea out of my head and into the universe will help me (with time, patience, and hard work that I am prepared for!) to whittle down my student loan debt by the time I am thirty.
I began college in the fall of 2006, as naive as they come. I was also never taught how to manage money before. I didn’t received an allowance growing up, so I never learned to budget nor save for anything. I attended university for 3 1/2 years, racking up massive student loans to pay for both my tuition and multiple apartments. My friend Jackie graduated a few months before I had made my decision to leave school. I think the fact that the only job she could land coming straight out of college was managing a Mattress Firm (she’s moved on to greener pastures these days :)) is what really did it for me. Why was I about to waste anymore time, money, and energy on something that may not pan out for me in the long run?
After quitting school, I remained in San Marcos for about 6 months – screwing off mostly, but working full time as well. I did not, however, save up any money during that time. Quite the opposite actually – and that is part of the reason why I ended up back at home. I have never been good at saving money. It’s just not one of those things in my repertoire of shit I am good at, in fact, it’s relatively high on the list of things I am not. I love money, and just as much as I love getting it, I loooove spending it! The only issue is that while I was in school, I often used the excess money from my loans to live beyond my means. Instead of being wise and investing that into paying off my loans in the future, (again I said I was naive – which means young and dumb, of course) I spent the extra money on an iPod, clothes, and other such material items that I related (at the time) with my happiness.
Now here I am, 2 years since I quit school, with my loans rearing their ugly heads at me – so to speak. Just today I got off the phone with Sallie Mae (a word to the wise – NEVER take out a loan with this company. Their customer service is just plain awful and they harrass you 20 times per day..minimum.) and I was sent to their collections agency for not making my previous payments. I was told I needed to pay $969 within the next 3 weeks (or they begin litigation, eek!) and then I can begin making payments of around $150 per month. So, just like that, my savings are nearly depleted. So obviously NOTHING gets achieved from trying to ignore these guys (lesson learned).. The next step is to start actually making an attempt to get my debt in line.
I accumulated roughly 30K (maybe a little more with interest) throughout my stint in university. I am 23 right now. That gives me around 6 1/2 years to pay off my debt (that’s less than $400 per month!). I have complete faith in myself.. I just need to learn to stick with a budget and put every spare cent I can into decreasing the seemingly massive amount. Thanks to Holly (the couch potato athlete) for her posts on debt relief! (They couldn’t have come at a better time! :)) I signed up on Mint.com so I can start a budget and savings plan. I intend to learn at least one profitable side trade (sewing, glass blowing, and crystal wrapping are at the top of my list!) to also put towards my debt.
For the first time ever, I am excited to see the hundreds of dollars go.. Because that means the sooner I will be finished with this madness! I can already feel the sweet relief of being debt free. And that’s the exact emotion I will continue to allow myself to portray. No longer will I feel like a slave to these companies! In no time at all (because let’s face it, the next 6 1/2 years are going to fly by as fast as the last did..) I will be on top of my finances. That’s a feeling worth more money in the world.
Do you have any short or long term goals?
*My short term goals include reading more (1 or more books per month), washing the dishes after I use them (I’ve gotten into the worst habit of letting the dishes stack up!), and being more aware/in control of my emotions.
*My long term goals include paying my debt, purchasing a nice (energy efficient) car, learning to belly dance, and working on forgiveness.
As for food, I’d like to introduce…
Sam’s Simple Salad and In-a-Cinch Vinaigrette
I usually have this for lunch while at work. I’ll pack it to go and bring the vinaigrette on the side. It’s very yummy and if I skip a day or two I’ll find myself with intense cravings!! 🙂
Bed of Organic Spring Mix
Thinly sliced red onions
Sliced cucumber (I cut them in half as well)
Sprouts (these are Alfalfa)
Raw sunflower seeds
*If I’m not going raw, I will add shredded parmesan, goat cheese, or feta.
Juice of one lemon
Splash of Red Wine Vinegar (equal parts to the lemon)
Season w/ Garlic Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Add Olive Oil to taste – Simply wisk together with whatever utensil you see fit 🙂
Couldn’t get any more simple. That’s what I looove about it! I can hear my tummy rumbling, sounds like dinner time for me! 🙂
Hope you have a good night!