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The Only Thing that is Consistent is Change

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Things continue to return to ‘normal’ around here, or at least, a new normal.

As you know Gymnast went to Texas last month to spend time with my parents and siblings. Princess and I will join them at the end of the month to celebrate Gymnast birthday and see my parents. We are traveling using the airline credits we gained from this same trip last year.

I’m really grateful that it has worked out for Princess to take college classes this summer. She is getting 9 hours in for FREE thanks to Georgia’s dual enrollment program. And since they are all online, it’s really made it easy for her to have a life. I’ve been very impressed with how she is managing her part time job, 9 hours of school and enjoying her free time with friends as new driver.

Ready to Adult

The camp Sea Cadet works at every summer has just announced that they will be holding day camps this year rather than the overnight camps. Before the COVID 19 changes, he had planned to return from Americorp and spend the summer as their camp nurse. Since he was sent home early, he has gotten a full time job as a health screener at a factory, a part time job as a EMT with our local county and is completing his Fire I training with the promise of a full time firefighter/EMT job in another county. (As I’m writing this, he’s just returned from one of his Fire I tests…a real burn.)

But he has decided that he does want this one last summer at camp, so he will be returning to Virginia. He will work for the month of July as the camp nurse. He will have completed his Fire I training before he leaves. As a result, he anticipates coming back to a full time job at as a firefighter/EMT in another county.  And he will also be able to hang on to his part time EMT job in our local county as well.

Waiting to Find Out about School

Gymnast, Princess and I will return to Georgia in July. Princess will have a couple more weeks of school at that point. I am hoping to get Gymnast his drivers permit. And we will wait to hear from the school districts are going to do. There are lots of rumors floating around, but we will wait to here definite plans.

That will determine what happens with Gymnast…until we have something concrete from the schools, the plan is that he will remain here.

Resetting Our Financial Goals for 2020

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I typically set a few goals at the beginning of the new year, and this past January was no different. Except this year it was tough. I had a hard time thinking of what I wanted to focus on. I couldn’t think of where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to accomplish. I just couldn’t set a clear vision for 2020.

Perhaps the universe was preparing me??

Thinking back, it’s crazy to me how much has happened. Back on New Year’s I had no idea what “quarantine” and “murder hornets” really meant.

Setting Financial Goals

We did end up making some financial goals for the year for our family. One of them was to pay off $30,000 of our debt this year.

In 2019, we paid off almost $42,370 of our student loan principal, so $30,000 seemed very doable. We weren’t confident on what our tax return would be this year, and my husband wanted to get back to contributing to our retirement later this year. But $30,000? We could work hard and do that. I was taking on more freelance work and our business was growing.

However, I think my Magic 8-Ball would say, “Outlook not so good.”

The pandemic and resulting loss of work really messed with our goals. It definitely slowed our momentum. Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, we took the forbearance from Earnest for our student loans, so we made zero payments in March and April. Those little skips really set us off course. Interest stacked up and the principal went no where. I made a $2,500 payment in May that didn’t even cover all our interest.

Tracking Our Debt Payoff

Thanks to the BAD community, I now see we accumulate about $1,100 of interest a month (or about $37 a day… gag). We decided we could pay $5,000 from our tax return towards our debt (the rest of the tax return is going into savings just in case we have to shut down our business again).

That payment went through yesterday, and I legit whooped and hollered when I saw it on my screen:

Debt Progress for our Student Loans

See that drop in the June entry? That’s progress!

After months of sitting at $287,734.51, our principal finally dropped to $284,135.62. That’s a 1.25% change! I know it’s silly, but it’s just so much better than 0%. Seeing progress is so energizing.

Resetting Our Financial Goals

It’s undeniable that we have to reset our financial goals for the year. It’s nearly half-way through 2020 (hallelujah), but we’re far from meeting our debt payoff goal (wah-waahhh). And—this is a terrifying thought—we still don’t know what the rest of the year will bring.

But I don’t want to give up on our goals quite yet. So at least I can say that as of today, we’re on our way: we’ve paid off $6,796.63 so far this year, and there’s still time to catch up a bit more. My latest freelance job will pay more, and we’re getting a bit of cash back here and there, like a preschool reimbursement because we couldn’t go the last 3 months.

I think we have to give ourselves some grace this year, but I’m not ready to quit yet.

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