Student Loans Suck: January Update

IMG_3539January was hard.

The transition from getting paid every other week to an end-of-month paycheck format absolutely kicked my butt. As my bank account got smaller and smaller, I noticed myself making more small purchases than normal. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but $10 here and $4 there add up quickly when my checking account hovered so close to zero.

Thankfully, I’m getting back on track, and I have a clear, written plan for how this money will be spent in February. The bad news is that I was skating so close to the edge that I won’t have a chance to really dig into my loans until the end of February. It’s really hard to put off yet again, but a big loan payment now would mean continuing to be off track on my budget. I also have a few question marks built into my budget–both the dog and cat are due for a vet visit, and I had to go to the doctor, but my insurance hasn’t kicked in yet at work, so I’m waiting on a doctor’s bill.

The other big challenge for January was transitioning into a sorta-two-income household. Although we have no joint accounts and don’t plan to create any (that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen), Boyfriend and I go grocery shopping together, split bills and compromise along the way. Groceries and the electric bill have caused the biggest discussions so far. Our first electric bill was astronomical, partially due to some unexpectedly cold weather, and I’m having a hard time dealing with how cold we’re keeping the house to avoid another big bill. For groceries, we went over budget two weeks in a row, and while I make a list and generally stick to it, Boyfriend is more one to come up with ideas while he’s in the store. The last time we went shopping, I feel like we hit a good sweet spot between absolutely sticking to the list and taking advantage of good deals, and I hope that continues.

And even though Boyfriend and I are very open about finances and money, meshing into one household is taking some getting used to. Any advice or suggestions are welcome!

February Goals:

  • Stick to my written budget, and after the question marks are cleared up, pay whatever’s left to my personal loan.
  • Find some fun, free things to do around Midland with Boyfriend. We’ve done pretty good about finding free or cheap entertainment, but so far they’ve revolved around the house. That’s fine, but I’d like to find ways we can go explore and spend time together.

Student Loan Principal As Of January 31: $9,860

Personal Loan Balance As Of January 31: $3,200


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