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Student Loan Planning


As I have been diligently paying off the smaller of my two student loans, I continue to see that I might be able to pay it off by the end of the year versus next May as I originally thought. (When I originally made this plan, I and the BAD community thought that pay off by May, 2021 was a reach goal. It’s so exciting to feel it becoming a reality!) At the end of this month, the balance of the smaller of my student loans will be right around $8,000.

This table shows the planned payments toward this single loan for the rest of the year. (This is what is in my budget for it currently or rather in my financial planning worksheet where I have the remainder of the  year planned out.) Not accounting for interest, this would bring the loan down to right at $1,400 by the end of the year.

Nelnet 8-Aug-20 -600
Nelnet 22-Aug-20 -600
Nelnet 5-Sep-20 -600
Nelnet 19-Sep-20 -600
Nelnet 3-Oct-20 -600
Nelnet 17-Oct-20 -600
Nelnet 31-Oct-20 -600
Nelnet 14-Nov-20 -600
Nelnet 28-Nov-20 -600
Nelnet 12-Dec-20 -600
Nelnet 26-Dec-20 -600

If business continues like it has, I am 100% confident I can pay off this loan before the end of the year. And that includes continuing to pay minimum payments toward my other student loan to stop it from growing. (No payments are due until 9/26/2020 due to COVID-19.) And paying a minimum payment toward my only other debt, my car loan.

This is really exciting!

Thanksgiving Trip Money

Now, other than business going bad, which I don’t see happening these days there are a couple of other things that could affect this…but both in a positive manner. If I decide, due to COVID-19, that we will not go to Texas at Thanksgiving, I will dump the money budgeted for that trip into 1) paying this loan off, 2) some groceries because I don’t have groceries budgeted for the week before or the week of Thanksgiving and then 3) paying toward my final student loan! In addition, if I pick up any addition projects, not already planned for, which also seems pretty likely, I plan to dump all that income (after expenses and taxes) in this debt. Well, that’s definitely a run on sentence, but I think you get the point.

I am really sad to consider not going at Thanksgiving, but it is a reality due to COVID-19. But the thought of what I could do with that trip money…well, that kind of balances it out. I plan to make a decision about Thanksgiving in October to give the twins plenty of time to get off work if they need/want too to go. I’ve told my parents that if we don’t come then, we will try to come in February when the kids have “winter” break. Traveling at a less busy time will hopefully lessen the risk with the pandemic and two be cheaper.

Buying New Tires


buying new tires

I posted about cars last week, and cars are still on my mind. And that’s because my husband got a flat tire on his Mazda 3 this week. On his birthday. And it led to him throwing out his back. And then it led to us buying new tires. All four.

I was making a birthday dinner for him when he called to say he was on his way home. Just a little later he called again. He was laughing, but a little too hysterically to be normal. I knew something was up immediately. He said, “You’ll never believe what I’m doing right now…”

Flat on the Pavement

He explained—between crazy laughs—that he had started driving and realized he had a flat tire. He pulled over in a parking lot, investigated, and saw he needed to put on the spare. He unloads everything and sees that Mazda has given him the smallest tire iron in the world, and when he tries to loosen the very-tight lug nuts, he hears a pop in his back.

And then he is DOWN. Like laying down flat on the pavement. He can’t move at first. He just lays there for a few minutes flat on his back in this shopping center. Then he finds he can move around a little. That’s when he calls me.

I say, “Oh no! I’m on my way then.”

Just then, a lady stops to check on this man laying in the parking lot. I hear him say, “Oh, it’s okay. I’m okay.” Liar.

He tells me he really thinks he can finish the job, but the lug nuts are still really tight. Someone yells from across the parking lot, “STAND ON IT!” Which he does, and it works like a charm.

So he spent that evening eating cake and ice cream while on ice and heat and Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I guess the universe thought it’d be funny to remind him he really is getting older.

The Cost of Four New Tires

He tried to have the tire patched at Les Schwab, but they said it was beyond repair. In fact, the other three tires were wearing so much that we decided it was time to replace all four.

I couldn’t believe it! His car is a 2016 that we bought used three years ago. He mostly drives it 20 minutes to and from work. I guess I wasn’t prepared for them to bald so quickly.

The quote for buying new tires at Les Schawb was $422. He got quotes from Costco and a dealership, and they were both significantly higher. So we had all four replaced and the car is back to normal. (His back, on the other hand… we’re still working on that.)

We paid for the new tires out of our emergency fund, which is what we do with most major car repairs. We really don’t have a category saved up in our budget for car maintenance and repair beyond gas and oil changes.

How do you handle care maintenance with your budgets?

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