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Weekly Debt Update #9- Over the Hump and Future Plans

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Hope everyone had a great weekend and a great start to the week!

I’ve officially paid off more on my student loans than I owe! I can’t describe just how good that feels (but I can try- amazing!) but I still have a lot of work to do…approximately $55,000 of work. So…I don’t really feel much need to celebrate anything, just take a nice long look at how far I’ve come, then put my nose back to the grindstone.

Here’s what my balances look like as of the 21st (my Navient auto-debit date):

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid Off
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$24,224.78$3,612.46
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$19,006.27$3,190.75
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$0.00
$20,692.10
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,570.60$2,779.58
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$4,276.91$1,819.12
Sallie Mae 06 and 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00
AES6.8$9,000.00$0.00$9,000.00
TOTALS$110,587.66$55,078.56$55,509.10

Since last week, I’ve been doing some thinking about what I’m going to do after all my (non-mortgage) debt is gone. I know my number one goal is going to save up 1 years worth of expenses. Basing the 1 year on my current expenses, less the student loans, since I’ve lived my entire adult life on a bare bones budget, I have annual expenses around $15,000. If I throw all the money that I put onto my debt into a savings account, it should take me between 5 and 6 months to do this. I also know that after I save this money I want to catch up my retirement that I missed on this past year, which will go to a Roth IRA- roughly $5,000.

So that’s what I know I want to do for sure. After not, I’m not quite sure at all. I developed a future budget that I could use:

Future Budget

Since I haven’t done any spending in the past few years, I’d like to have budget lines for a future vehicle and/or repairs for my current car (which is already at 86K miles), clothing, and some travel. HOWEVER, I also want to pay 2 mortgage payments monthly and continue to save. One of my biggest inspirations to really start hammering the debt was/is Mr. Money Mustache, so I’d really like to continue living a fairly frugal lifestyle while continuing to save as much as possible. Well- I can’t have it all, so I think this budget is a good balance between spending and saving. And the good news is this is all based on my current pay, which, hopefully, I should be making more in a couple years. I also based my income on the fact I’d like to contribute 5% to our company’s 401K plan to get the most match as I can.

I’d like to hear from people in comments on what you did after you paid off debt- were you to worn out from the payoff that you went into spending mode, or did you continue the lifestyle?

On a budget note, here’s where I currently stand in March:

Weekly Update #9

 

There’s couple of big items that came up this month (which weren’t all that unexpected): 1) I had a crown put in at the dentist a couple weeks ago. I have insurance, but I owe %50 out of pocket for this type of work. The cost- $397.50. 2) I filed and paid my local taxes. I knew when I withdrew my government retirement account (back in September) I would owe state and local taxes on it when I filed in the new year so I knew this was coming. I paid $700 to PA last month and $310 to the city of Erie over the weekend. 3) I had to take our one dog to vet a couple of weekends ago to have them look at an ear infection and to get her vaccinations. The costs- $132.02, but me and my GF have a plan set up- if it’s “her” dog (the white one, Harlow) that she brought to the relationship, the GF will take care of the vet bills and vice versa for my dog (Bubba, the black one). Since I took Harlow in while my GF worked, she wrote me a check for the visit that I just deposited yesterday and, thus, isn’t reflected in my budget, yet. 4) I had to put down a $100 deposit for the B&B I’m taking my GF to in April to make up for my V-day gift to her (the poorly timed concert tickets :/). I didn’t expect this since I didn’t remember putting a deposit down the last time I booked a room. O well, it just means I’ll pay less when we check out.

I also spent more in the groceries/eating out category than I normally do. I had to go into work for a couple of weekends this month, so I bought breakfast for myself on the way to make it easier to go in. I also had a surprise visit from one of my best friends (who lives in North Carolina) over this weekend. Didn’t spend to much, but I treated him to lunch at Moe’s while he was passing through town. It only cost $25 and he has paid for me more times than I can count in the past, so I owed it to him.

My slush plan is fairly low, much lower than I’d like it to be:

Slush Fund= $1,129.84 (plus $132.02 when the check clears)

I have future plans to fill it back up, but I’m not going to do anything at the moment, just continue staying the course for now.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!


Opening Pandora’s Box

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There has been a LOT of discussion here about my student loans.

This is predominantly fueled by the fact that I’ve been paying minimums on my student loans while opting to pay extra on other debts (see last debt update here). But since my minimum payments do not even cover the interest portion of my student loans, their balances have continued to grow.

I think this has caused some psychological pains for readers (or maybe even physical pains – i.e., headaches!). Seriously. I thank you guys for being so invested in my debt situation and me, in general. I apologize for getting so many of you riled up over the situation!

I recently had some great comments on this post that I want to copy and paste verbatim:

Debtor said:

I’m going to make one last pitch for you to get those student loans to a reasonable level.

Can you see that in a year, your ACS and Navient loan balances have INCREASED? I know you want to get rid of the car debt but really this is hard for me to understand. At 2.49% why not just pay a little above the minimum car payment – enough so that it pushes your actual due date forward (like you are) but don’t focus on it.

An average interest rate of 7.5% on 72 grand is a LOT of money. But that’s just me. Like I said, this is just my pitch – i know you’ve said you have the emotional thing with the car but really, it’s such a big balance there too, it’s not like you’re going to pay it off this year. In other words, you paid off 8500 of the car in a year but your loan balance grew 3300. If you had allocated that money to your loan, your overall debt would be lower!

Ok, the accountant in me will give it a rest but does anyone else see what I’m saying?

And here’s a comment from V:

I know that loan seems huge, but I’m gonna just comment here that something funny happens when you tackle a really large number. At first, it feels pointless, and you plod a long and suddenly you take a look and go, okay it’s still huge but not that bad, then at some point you go…oh wow, I can totally kill this, and that is the most motivating thing ever!! I guess what I’m saying is avoiding looking at the huge loan is actually taking up more mental energy than you think; it’s like that giant elephant in the room, best to acknowledge it and tackle it head on. Are you really paying off the car first because you care about it more emotionally or because it allows you to avoid looking at the large loan for awhile longer? Just something to think about; perhaps your focus on the car is really just avoidance in disguise.

And here’s my response, in a nutshell…

  • I agree 100% that I have got to STOP letting these loan balances continue to grow. It’s counterproductive to be paying down some debts while others continue to rise. In the past I’ve basically ignored the problem because I haven’t viewed it as “new” debt (e.g., like buying a car or TV financed), but it totally IS new debt. That’s exactly what it is! Dave Ramsey says the #1 goal when you start trying to get out of debt is to avoid all new debts!!! I’m not doing this. And the only one suffering as a result is ME. This is going to change.
  • I stand firm with my decision to focus predominantly on my car loan (as opposed to the student loans). Here’s the deal. ALL of my student loans have a much higher APR than my car loan (for reference, car loan = 2.49%; student loans range from 6.55-8.25%). I feel like many of the comments are akin to saying “just pay off the highest APR student loan, then you can go back to the car.” But it’s not like that. Even if I were to do that, I feel like many of you would STILL be upset that I’ve gone back to paying off the car, given that it’s still half the APR compared to other student loans. So then I’d be stuck in this (seemingly) never-ending student loan pay-down that will take years and, meanwhile, be paying minimums on my car for the entire length of the car loan. I mean, my car balance is about $15,000; my student loan balance is about $95,000. That’s a HUGE difference and those student loans are going to be a HUGE mountain to climb. My preference is to pay off the car in full within the year and then throw that $450/month toward student loans. That $450/month is my largest monthly debt obligation. I want to get rid of it asap!

So here’s my solution to this dilemma….

I’ve finally – for the first time on the blog – opened up “Pandora’s Box.” In the table below you will see ALL of my Navient Department of Education Loans. But let me explain a couple things first….

First, this isn’t all of my student loans (I still have ACS loans and Navient Federal Loans, too). Also, you’ll notice that I’m predominantly focusing on the UNSUBSIDZED loans.

You may recall that I’ve signed up for the income-based repayment plan. In this plan, any unpaid interest on SUBSIDZED loans is forgiven. With my ACS loans (which are subsidized), my minimum payment does not even cover the interest, but my balance has remained steady because unpaid interest has been forgiven instead of being added to my loan balances.

While I’m focusing on paying down my car debt, I have GOT to STOP accruing interest on my loans. That means I’ll be paying extra toward them, but only on the unsubsidized loans. I hope this is not a controversial point. I owe all of this money and, eventually, all of it will be repaid. But it just makes most sense to accept the gracious gift from our government (there aren’t a lot!), to have my interest forgiven on the subsidized loans. That means I’ll continue to pay minimums on them and ONLY pay extra on the unsubsidized loans so I can keep the extra interest from accruing. Make sense?

Here ya go…

NumberTypeAmountAPRMinimum Monthly PaymentMonthly InterestDifference
1-01Unsubsidized5612.478.25%$20.42$38.5918.17
1-02Subsidized8762.696.55%$31.87
1-03Unsubsidized6967.406.55%$25.3438.0312.69
1-04Unsubsidized6794.026.55%$24.7137.0812.37
1-05Unsubsidized2215.906.55%$8.0612.094.03
1-06Subsidized860.806.55%$3.13
1-07Subsidized7433.456.55%$27.00
1-08Subsidized6572.026.55%$23.91
1-09Subsidized8762.696.55%$31.87
1-10Unsubsidized17557.996.55%$63.8895.8331.95
Total:260.1979.21

As you can see, my minimum monthly payment is $260.19. To this, I’ll be adding extra payments to cover the interest on my unsubsidized loans in the amount of $79.21, which equals a total monthly payment of $339.40.

Luckily, this won’t really seem like a larger payment, because I’m almost done paying off the license fees (which were $75/month minimum) AND one of our medical bills (which was $50/month minimum). So, thanks to the magical debt snowball, this shouldn’t be a big ding in terms of eating up additional income.

What this does mean, however, is that I’ve got to gear up to face a SERIOUS battle ahead.

Not only will I be facing this horrific monster (aka: HUGE student loan debt), but I’m going to have to spend a LOT of time dealing with my loan service provider on a monthly basis. You see, all of these loans are grouped together online so there is no way for me to pay extra only on certain loans. Instead, if I want to pay extra it is divided evenly amongst ALL my student loans. The only way to correct this is to call in every month to have a representative re-allocate the funds toward the specific loans I’m working on. Every month. Also, I’ve heard horror stories about how difficult this can be. Often times funds are still not applied correctly, causing interest to continue to be accrued. I’m not even going to lie. This is going to suck pretty badly.

But I do agree that I cannot continue to bury my head in the sand and allow these balances to keep going up. No way. So starting next month (April)….I’m waging war. Wish me luck as I prepare for battle!

Anyone have experiences dealing with Navient? How would you rate the ease of specifying extra payments and/or dealing with customer service?

Just for fun, check out this post that former blogger Adam wrote about dealing with Great Lakes. Read the comments, too!! What a nightmare, right?!?


Weekly Debt Update #7- About Me and Other Stuff

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Hey everyone,

Ok, so on Thursday I posted about my latest accomplishment- I paid off debt Sallie Mae 03! But what I didn’t post was… everything else. A couple of you asked if I could post more about me- a valid point which I’m more than happy to share, knowing that people want to hear more than just “blogging away debt”.

So here’s what lead me to…well… here:

I’m currently 28, having just turned 28 last month.  I was born and raised in the beautiful (not really, but still awesome) Buffalo, NY with my 2 parents, a younger sister (2 years) and brother (5 years). We lived a very comfortable (for us kids) middle-class life in the suburbs (translation: we looked like we had more money than we did). I grew up with Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres and chicken wings- 3 of my favorite things to this day. Sometime around the age of 10, I decided I wanted to be an engineer, not just any engineer, an Imagineer- a Disney cast member who designs everything in the theme parks. This was my dream and to some extent, still is. After a long road through high school, in which I was quite the trouble maker, I got accepted to a few schools for Mechanical Engineering, two of being University of Miami (FL) and University at Buffalo. Going to U of M was also one of my dreams and I made an early decision to go the summer before my senior year. Sometime during that year, I got the bill for the 1st years tuition- $40,000 FOR. ONE. YEAR. Like I said earlier- I was a screw off and didn’t do any favors for myself in terms of scholarships and grants. After a long talk with my parents we decided that going to University at Buffalo (UB) for $4,000 a semester and living at home made way more sense than going to an out of state, private school.

My freshman year of college I really turned things around- I had relatively high GPA for the program (3.8), worked nearly full time and helped coach my high school wrestling team. This coaching gig gave me the itch to go back and wrestle myself- in college. In high school, I was good but definitely not great. UB was/is a NCAA Division 1 school, meaning you have to be pretty awesome to excel there. So, I transferred. To a private Catholic University in Erie, PA. Why? Because it was the only Division II school that had both a wrestling program AND mechanical engineering. Well, private Catholic University means BIG $$$ (and even more $$$ since I had to take summer classes to catch up due to “nontransferable credits”) and somehow in the course of me deciding the transfer, I lost sight of why I didn’t go to my “dream school” in the first place. Was it a great experience? Most definitely. I met my lifelong friends, gained a tremendous amount of skills wrestling in college and graduated with a degree, a pretty sought after degree, or so I thought…

At the time I graduated in 2009, the economy was already deep in recession (something I think we all remember). It’s hard to find someone who WASN’T affected by all of it. Anyways…getting a job was tough, really tough. I remember sending out 15-20 resumes a day and not getting any calls, let alone interviews. I wasn’t the only one. Of 13 of us in the program, only a couple (2-3) had jobs lined up after graduation, and it was for firms they had internships with. The fear of not being able to pay bills and having to move back in with my parents kept me motivated. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to get an internship in my last semester with the Federal government to work in construction and equally thankfully they had a position open that I could have when I graduated. Problem was, an intern had to work 600 hours before they could be hired full time, so I worked 70 hours a week, while going to school full time (I had to give up wrestling to achieve this). The day after graduation I had a full time job (but not great in the pay department) and was in full time student loan debt.

As you’ve all seen from my initial posts, I graduated with $110,000 in student loan debt (now matter how many times I write, it’s still crazy). For 2 years after gradation, I lived in a basement apartment (which had windows, albeit, not good ones) and paid interest only on my largest batch of student loans- the private ones with Sallie Mae. As terrible as it was for a while ( I was only making $50K at the most while I was with the government) this set me up to be disciplined to pay off my debt. Even paying interest ONLY on half I loans my payments still added up to $700 a month. It truly scared me with what could happen if I lost my job and couldn’t pay (reading student loan horror stories on the internet didn’t help any). So I worked form the ground up, putting whatever I could to pay off my debt, even taking a 2nd job for a year busing tables. This also lead to me taking up a whole bunch of hobbies that really don’t cost that much- playing guitar, here’s my current guitar:

IMG_2372

,surfing (yes, you can surf Lake Erie- look up YouTube videos), and here’s proof (that’s me, over the summer):

IMG_2146

longboarding (the skateboard kind) working out, running and reading. From my intro post, here, and here,  you can read my journey form the last five years. I currently “own” a house, which I share with my GF and our 2 dogs: Harlow (the white one, a whippet mix) and Bubba (an Australian Sheppard mix), both rescue dogs:

IMG_7259

IMG_5744

Ok, so that’s pretty much the run-down of my bio. I think a good reason why I don’t post too much info about myself, is because paying off debt is boring, like REALLY boring. I can count on my one hand the amount of times we’ve “gone out” since last summer. I’ve paid off over $48,000 since September of ’09 and in order to do that I’ve cut a lot of money absorbing things out of my life, which gives me little to discuss other that what I’ve posted in the past. What I do love posting about is what’s come up in the past week and what I’m expecting in the week to come that lead to me being able to put a good chuck onto my loans.

I guess here is where I’m looking for some input- what do you guys want to see? I could post weekly updates like I was doing with more insights into my financial plans, or I could most more personal items about my life, like this post…or some mixture in between. Just let me know in the comments!

Since this post is already long enough- here’s a quick look into my monthly budget thus far. Big ticket item- had to pay $397.50 at the dentist’s for a crown which came out of my slush fund.

Weekly Update #7

And here’s where my debt balances are:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid Off
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$24,462.48$3,374.76
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$19,189.15$3,007.87
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$0.00
$20,692.10
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,723.61$2,626.57
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$4,969.48$1,126.55
Sallie Mae 06 and 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00
AES6.8$9,000.00$0.00$9,000.00
TOTALS$110,587.66$56,344.72$54,242.94

Note to all: I will be now focusing on paying Sallie Mae 05 (the next lowest balance). Interest rate does not concern me at this point since I should have these paid off quick enough that it won’t have a large effect.

Thanks for continuing to allow me to post on this blog and thank you to all the comments on my last posts!


Another One Bites the Dust…

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First, before I go into any announcements, I want to thank those who wished me well on my post on Tuesday. After a couple more rest days, and besides the lingering congestion, I’m finally feeling back to normal.

To my announcement- I did it! As of this morning I have paid of my Sallie Mae 03. See my table below.

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid Off
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$24,462.48$3,374.76
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$19,189.15$3,007.87
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$655.99$20,036.11
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,723.61$2,226.57
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$5,356.99$739.04
Sallie Mae 06 & 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00
AES6.8$9,000.00$0.00$9,000.00
TOTALS$110,587.66$57,338.22$53,249.44

Although I haven’t updated the table, the balance is now $0! This will give me an extra $34 per month to throw at the next debt in line- Sallie Mae 05. AND, not only did I knock out #3 but I started to pay down #5 bringing the balance to just over $4,900.

With it being so late in the week already (my apologies…)and the fact I didn’t do ANYTHING last week except take Nyquil and watch Netflix, I figured I wouldn’t do a full blown debt update, I’ll just save it for Tuesday, unless I get enough comments to warrant one.

I do have one question for those paying off debt- do you guys do anything to reward yourselves when you reach a milestone, or do you figure the ability to put more money on the next debt is enough of a reward in itself? Let me know in the comments!


Formal Event – eeekk!!!

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Houston, we have a problem!  A BIG problem!

Ok, maybe it’s not a problem, just a challenge, a big one!  My Sea Cadet’s division is throwing their annual awards ball.  Last year, his first year in, I let him go, but we didn’t really make a big deal out of it.  This year, he’s been in a year and has been selected to be part of the Honor Guard (a special unit that does a ceremony honoring the MIA/POW of each military branch is how he explained it to me.)  I want to support him, I am super proud of him BUT….

Two things really…social situations make me all sorts of uncomfortable.  I have NEVER been good with people, small talk, happy hour…none of that.  NEVER.  I get nervous and self conscious and in this situation where I understand pretty much nothing about military stuff, well, I’m WAY out of my depth and comfort zone and pretty much, know no one who would be there.

And second, dress up?! Me?!  I mean if it’s not jeans and a t-shirt, then you most likely will not see me in it.  Seriously, I even wear them to church…okay, I throw a scarf on to dress it up a bit.  But this is a FORMAL event.  I mean, I saw the pictures from last year, the parents were in FORMAL, like prom dresses.  Who does that?  Who likes that?  Ok, I know it’s part of the military culture, I see enough Facebook posts of friends whose husbands are in the military, but really…me?

So I asked him…”do you want me to go?”  Hey, I remember this age, it was a really big toss up on whether I loved or hated my parents at any given time.  And the bottom line is, he wants me there.  He wants someone to witness his achievements, to smile proudly at him and to belong too.  (Yes, I threw all those words in, he just stumbled around on the yes.)  So I’m going… and it’s in a week!

What in the world do I wear?  I can promise you that there is NOTHING in my closet that will pass muster, not even close.  And unfortunately, I am a big girl so it’s not like I can just go borrow something from someone’s closet (ooh, I miss those days!)  So help me!  What does a mom wear to a son’s formal even that won’t a) break the bank, b) not be a complete waste of money since I hate the thought of buying something never to be worn again and c) doesn’t make me look like I’m trying to relive my high school prom days???

Help, I’m DESPERATE!

Just for fun, this is my prom picture from my junior year...I love reliving memories from pictures, but do not want to go there in real life!

Just for fun, this is my prom picture from my junior year…I love reliving memories from pictures, but do not want to go there in real life!


Weekly Debt Update #5- V-Day and B-Day

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Good afternoon everybody!

Thanks to everybody for commenting on how they spend their typical Valentine’s Day on last week’s post.

For this V-day I budgeted $52 for a pair of concert tickets to go see a band (Milky Chance) that both me and the GF really like. The concert itself isn’t until April, so my plan was to get a hotel room and dinner for us that night- I would have paid for this as her birthday gift, which happens to be around the time of the concert.

Well…it turns out the night of the concert is her last final exam and group presentation for one of her graduate classes.  So unfortunately, it didn’t work out as I had planned. I’m going to sell the tickets (the concert is already sold out, so I should get face value for them) and plan on using that money to do a small weekend trip in April to a B&B we both really like (which has been less than $150 for the room and dinner when we stayed there before). Not the idea I originally planned, but still something she seems really excited for.

For my gifts (v-day and b-day combined), I got some very sweet (and inexpensive) items that I love but never buy for self- a bag of beef jerky, sour patch kids, gold fish crackers and ‘coupons’ (20 minute massage, 3 hours of uninterrupted guitar playing, etc…) which really made my day. And Sunday I got to spend all day doing whatever I wanted (played guitar, played with the dogs, nap) while she did all the chores normally assigned to me. It was wonderful. Despite what she paid for the gifts (couldn’t have been more than $20) I couldn’t have asked for more.

Edit- Here’s my card that she made (I wanted to show everyone):

Homemade Card

Edit- Here’s the homemade bag she made:

Homemade Bag

Ok, so on to my financials! I finally took the juicer back and received store credit! (Edit- I asked for store credit but the amount showed back up in my checking account!)

Here’s what my monthly budget looks like so far this month:

Weekly Update #5 (1)

My electric bill for this month ended being $11.04 less than expected, which was nice. The misc costs is a total of the concert tickets ($52.00) and my EZ-Pass bill ($25.00, I don’t have a line for this since it’s so irregular. I only get charged when my balance drops to below $10.oo and it automatically refills to $35.00 from my checking account, maybe once every 3-4 months).

My slush fund total increased by $9.00, to 0 out my checking account, to a balance of:

Slush Fund: $2,587.78

Here’s my debt totals to date:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid Off
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$24,462.48$3,374.76
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$19,189.15$3,007.87
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$655.99$20,036.11
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,723.61$2,226.57
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$5,356.99$739.04
Sallie Mae 06 & 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00
AES6.8$9,000.00$0.00$9,000.00
TOTALS$110,587.66$57,338.22$53,249.44

I was able to pay $653.46 onto the balance of my smallest student loan, bringing that to a balance of $1,153.01. I should have this paid off in only 2 more weeks! To think, this was the loan that scared me the most (balance plus interest rate) not 1 year ago.


Weekly Update #4- Orlando Trip

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Hey everybody!

I’m back from my visit with my sister and my nephew. I couldn’t be more stoked that I went. An amazing trip. I got to Orlando on Wednesday night/ Thursday morning at 12:30AM (just barely, though. I made my connecting flight by the skin of my teeth. 2 minutes later and they would have taken off without me.) Since my sis and her fiance are both Cast Members at Walt Disney World, we spent all of Thursday at Magic Kingdom with the baby. Friday was spent hanging out with my sister and other family that was visiting, while her fiance worked. Saturday was spent at Epcot and Animal Kingdom and I left very early Sunday morning.

Here’s a picture of me and baby on my favorite ride, Living with the Land, in Epcot:

Disney Pic

 

He was so amazing and seemed to love the rides we took him on (if sleeping on them means loving them, lol). The only ride he didn’t like was Haunted Mansion, which he just screamed and screamed and screamed on.

OK, so for the financial aspect of my journey, I had budgeted $200.00 (above the $70 I normally carry in cash) for the trip, but it ended up tallying $280.00, give or take. I took it all in cash and had too much change left over to count, I just threw it all in my change jar. I would have been pretty close if I had accounted for the $25 in baggage fees each way for my checked bag. Oh well, I’ll know better next time. The remaining $230.00 was spent mainly on food. I bought dinner on Wednesday (McDonald’s) when I arrived, snacks throughout Magic Kingdom on Thursday, dinner at Sweet Tomatoes Thursday night, dinner at Downtown Disney on Friday night and snacks throughout the day on Saturday. Given the fact we ate so much in Disney, the damage could have been much worse, but my sis gets a pretty nice Cast Member discount that could be used at each stop.

So, here’s what my budget looks like for February:

Weekly Update #4

I have yet to return the juicer (ugh), but I’ve vowed to do that sometime this week, hopefully as early as tonight. But thankfully, even though I spent a majority of week in Florida, I was still able to pay $497.85 on my student loans, which brings the tallies to:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid Off
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$24,462.48$3,374.76
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$19,189.15$3,007.87
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$655.99$20,036.11
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,723.61$2,226.57
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$5,356.99$739.04
Sallie Mae 06 & 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00
AES6.8$9,000.00$0.00$9,000.00
TOTALS$110,587.66$57,338.22$53,249.44

My current slush fund balance didn’t change from the previous post:

Slush Fund= $2,577.57

For the following week, with V-day (Saturday) and my birthday (Sunday) coming up we have some plans for the weekend, but nothing that will cost a significant amount. I have some money budgeted and a pretty good plan for my V-day gift, but I can’t reveal how much and what I’m buying until next week (my GF reads this too, lol). How is everyone else going to spend their Valentine’s Day? Do you treat it like a holiday to celebrate your spouse, or do you see it as a “Hallmark Holiday”? Let me know in the comments! I know couples that do both. Some see it as a nice day to enjoy time together, and others just see it as another day.