Happy fall! Even though Texas is still plenty warm most days, I love that twinge of cool in the air that makes me want to go buy school supplies. I’m not going to because it’s not in the budget, but the last time I went shopping, I practically drooled over the notebooks and pencils.
On paper, September was a good month. In reality, it was really frustrating. I constantly dealt with feelings of impatience. August was such a rockstar kind of month with things happening left and right to get the balance down, but September just dragged on. I just wanted the whole thing to be over, and I could see so much progress right on the horizon–just out of reach. It took everything I had not to check my loan balances every single day. Maybe, magically, they would dramatically decrease. They didn’t.
Nonetheless, I made good progress, even if it’s progress I won’t count until October:
- After a slow start of eBay selling, things suddenly picked up and I found myself making regular trips to FedEx and seeing a steady increase in my Paypal balance. I’m happy to report that I pulled $450 from Paypal for my loans (plus a little more to cover shipping expenses), and EVERYTHING is sold. I just have to wait for Paypal to release the funds, and another $500 or so will go toward my loans in October. Yay!
- September was my first month without an automatic payment to my student loan account. I went back and forth about this for several days before finally pulling the plug. Setting up automatic drafts from my checking account gave me a .25 percent discount on my interest rates, which was great, but because I’m making payments every two weeks (whenever I get paid), it also made it difficult to keep everything straight. I had to set up two different items in my budget–one for the autopay and one for the overage. I’m very happy with how it’s going, and I think making larger payments every two weeks will make up for the interest because every time, more is going toward the principal.
- I didn’t secure another freelance job, but the month also ended up being busier than I expected. Although eBay has been a good return on my time investment, it also sucked a lot of night and weekend hours that I could have been doing other things.
- I miss having a gym to work out. Despite my best intentions, I suck at working out at home. I really wanted to come up with a fun reward for getting my principal under $10,000 next month, and after running the numbers, it doesn’t really move the needle that much to budget in a gym membership over the next 11 months or so. Still considering, but very seriously contemplating that as a reward. Of course, it would also come at a terrible time, right as I would be getting really busy with work and holidays, so I might save it for my $5,000 reward, which, I think, will probably be next February or so.
- Create a Christmas budget including presents, travel and extra baking.
- Get student loan balance to less than $10,000 in principal.
- Come up with and implement a reward for reaching $10,000.
Student Loan Principal as of September 30: $11,243