Student Loans Suck: October Update

Another month gone! How is that possible? It’s now been more than three months since I started this journey, and I’m making leaps and bounds toward the finish line. Although there’s still a long way to go, I have a clear road map laid out for what the next 14 months will look like.

Things that happened in October:

  • I made my first $1,000 loan payment! Timing is everything, and several things came together at once that resulted in a four-digit payment. I’m looking forward to more of these in future months, whenever the stars align.
  • At the beginning of the month, I had five different Stafford loans. Some luck and one finagled payment (emailing the loan company to allocate it in a specific way) resulted in … THREE loans! Woohoo! It’s so satisfying to have two less loans on that list.
  • I created my Christmas budget and stuck to the plan I came up with to save for it (so far).
  • With my student loan balance under $10,000, I decided to reward myself with a gym membership. I toured several and settled on one that was close to my spending limit and had a great sign-up deal. So far, I love having a space to work out. When I walk in, my mind focuses in on that goal, and I’m not distracted by everything else in life.
  • The boyfriend moved for a job near the end of the month … so after eating a pint of ice cream, drinking some wine and feeling very sorry for us, I buckled down and realistically looked at my budget and where I can come up with some dollars to put gas in my car to go see him about once a month. The party line: it’s an amazing opportunity for him, and I’m so excited to see where it takes him. The internal line: don’tcrydon’tcrydon’tcrydon’tcry.
  • I made a will. It was actually (surprisingly) really fun, and not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Even though I currently have a negative net worth, some research made me realize how complicated things can get, even with a small estate, if there isn’t a will in place.
  • I made the decision to hit pause on my intense Stafford loan repayment to focus for a few months on paying a personal loan to my parents. Read more about that in Paying Off Emotion. So far, I made one payment, plus I have about $1,700 set aside toward this goal. My plan at this moment is to make a payment to them toward the end of each month, give or take depending on circumstances.

November Goals:

  • With my company’s biggest event of the year coming up in about a week, Starbucks will be unavoidable. But I will limit my intake to a total of $25 over the two-week event. That works out to about five overpriced coffees.
  • Continue stashing away money to pay back my personal loan and make a large payment near the end of November, probably of about $3,000 or a little under.

Student Loan Principal As Of October 31: $9,879

Personal Loan Balance As Of October 31: $5,300 (I made one payment to get it down to a nice, round number)

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