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Posts tagged with: bank of america

Thank You and Farewell

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thank you and farewell to Blogging Away Debt

This is my last post for Blogging Away Debt. It’s taken me some time to accept it, but I’ve realized I’m just not comfortable providing more personal information (like detailed budgets and income info) and I know it makes my blog posts suffer. (#borrrring) I believe this community would benefit from following someone who’s more of an open book.

I am very grateful for your support over the past year. Since I started blogging here in November 2019, we’ve dropped our student loans from $295,000 to $273,000. So I’ve blogged away $22,000 of our student loan debt principal!

Writing has always been an outlet for me, but it’s been especially helpful to blog about my financial insecurities, questions, and worries this year. I’ve found that debt payoff is not an easy conversation topic with most crowds—especially family and friends. It’s been great to feel surrounded by people that get it. It’s so nice to have somewhere to be accountable and to share our little victories. Many of you have cheered for me, given me tough love, and educated me. Thank you.

Our goal was to pay off $30,000 of student loan principal this year. 2020 made sure that didn’t happen. However, we did pay off $19,412.21 of principal and $10,854.27 of interest. So surprisingly our overall total payments toward debt did total $30,000.

Becoming a part of the financial blogging world has helped me in so many ways. I’ve learned about good financial practices and things to avoid. I’ve found people who also have triple-digit debt. And I’ve found people that have already paid off debt like that and lived to tell the tale. There’s something about not feeling alone in this battle.

Despite (and because of?) our forced 6-week shutdown of our business and income this year, we put $42,000 of an emergency fund into a HYSA. We sold a home mid-pandemic and bought a new one under weird, stressful circumstances. Blogging here also motivated me to add more lucrative freelance jobs, while still doing office work for our business and becoming a reluctant homeschool parent. We now regularly pay extra to our student loans each month, something I never dreamed possible just a few years ago.

As we rang in the new year 12 months ago, I had no idea what was on the horizon. But even though this year hasn’t gone as planned and has been full of a lot of fear and pain and prayer and sweat and sweatpants, there was still been progress. I’ve gained more confidence in our financial plans, and more importantly I have hope. For years we were only making interest payments on these stupid student loans. I thought we were never going to pay these suckers off! I don’t feel like that anymore.

So while I wish you could have followed me blogging away all my debt, thank you for being here as I blogged away during this eventful, crazy year.

I’ll be checking in regularly to cheer on Hope, Beks, and the others, and I wish you all the best in the new year!

Working in the New Year

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While it seems the rest of the world has taken the week off, my family is hard at work. In fact, other than Gymnast, all of us (me and the 4 oldest kids) are working almost every day this week including New Years Eve and New Years Day. As I sat back and reflected on this, I swelled with pride.

Each of the kids is driven in their own way. And I am certainly recognizing that each of them has their own motivation. Some are motivated by money, some by a particular financial goal, and some because they genuinely like being needed, valued and helping people. This same motivation plays out in how they handle their money as well. I’m just starting to recognize that in my kids and as a result taking a look at that in myself.

Job Changes in the New Year

On that same thought pattern, there are lots of “job related” changes coming in the new year. I am starting my new corporate job. Sea Cadet is starting a new part time gig and returning to school part time. Princess is putting in her notice at her first job and starting a new one (at least that’s the plan today.) And Gymnast is weighing his options regarding working versus sports at school. I am encouraging him to continue with sports. He needs that outlet and I need him to have that outlet, not to mention I think it will help him to connect with more of his peers. The combination of moving here and COVID has made him pretty isolated.

I am also forcing Princess to cut back on her work hours in the new year, for her final semester of high school. She worked almost full time last semester. This worked because she really only had one class she had to attend on a daily basis. This next semester she is taking 4 classes, 3 of which will meet every day. I told her I don’t want her to look back on her senior year and just remember working. Because I am limiting her work hours for this semester and she has done a phenomenal job at savings, I will be covering her “bills” (phone bill and 1/2 her car insurance) for this semester.

Unemployed for 3 Days

It has recently dawned on me that I will be “unemployed” for 3 days. (Not really as I do have continuing clients and work.) Hear me out…I am currently committed to my new job as a contractor through 12/31. And I don’t get on-boarded with them as an employee until Monday, January 4th. So I have 3 days I can technically go dark without really losing income.

I don’t know if I will take advantage of this, but it does give me pause. The thought of staying in bed and staying off electronics for an entire day is pretty enticing right about now. Happy New Year to me! Any exciting New Year’s plans for you? I imagine there will be lots of new traditions tried this year.