Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: You Live & You Learn!


You know what I really struggle with? Debt. I don't struggle in the fact that I can't pay my debt or that I have too much, it’s having any at all that really gets to me. Currently my only debt is student loans and a couple hundred dollars owed to Macy's for a couch I bought. The university I attended was a pricy one and I'm actually very lucky that I got out of there with right around $20,000 in debt for an education that would have cost me well over $100,000. I was fortunate in the fact that I received money from my grandparents and grant money. I'm also incredibly blessed that I landed a career right after college and it was also in the field of my major. Those are two things that are hard to do these days. In essence, I shouldn't be complaining about paying back a small amount considering what I've received in turn, but it's still hard. To go from never having any debt to being smacked with $20,000 is a bit of a shock.I throw hundreds of dollars at it every month hoping it will go away. It doesn't though. I've never been really great with money. I was never taught how to properly budget or how much money I should put away. I was taught "Don't spend outside your means". I'm happy I've never become one of those people to just blow through money, but I definitely am not good at knowing how to deal with money that well. I've been putting a lot of thought into student loans lately. I looked up one of my accounts thinking that I had put a major dent in my loans since I was blindly sending checks off every month for one and having automatic withdrawals for the other for the last few years. I was shocked when I saw one of my accounts. I had my payment date way off and in turn, was not paying on time and I had been penalized. I started to think: what can I do to pay these loans off as soon as possible? I pay all my bills fine right now, but I can't afford financially to put more into my monthly payments. I then realized what the easiest option would be. I need to move into a cheaper apartment.

This summer when my lease was up at my old place I knew two things. One, I was ready to live by myself again and two, I was getting a raise and wanted a nice, new place. It would be my first place as a career woman and I deserved it. I now realize that I was a little gung ho with my thinking and maybe I should have looked around a few more places first. You live and learn though, right? That’s what this is all about! It was just so alluring: first month’s rent free, the first person to live in my unit, garage parking, a bathtub that I could actually bathe in without wondering how many gross people have stood in it! The last reason was enough to get me to jump up and down giddy with excitement. Everything looks better when it is new so I knew no matter how I decorated; it would be cute and fancy looking. What more could a girl want? Well..six months later, a girl wants no more loans!

It sounds so exciting and liberating to think of not having any debt to my name! I really want to buy a house or a condo in the near future and I feel like these student loans are standing in the way of me and my new home. Although that would be bringing on new debt, it wouldn't be the same situation I'm in now where I am paying loans on top of rent.

My tentative plan is this: once my lease is up, I'm moving into a place that is cheaper. A lot cheaper. It saddens me to think that I may have to leave this wonderful city in order to achieve that, but for a year, I can handle it. If I do move into a place that is significantly cheaper than where I am now, I can pay my student loans off in a year and start to think about purchasing a home or a new car. And to me, that sounds the most appealing right now. Until then, I will continue to chip away at my loans, albeit slowly.

Linking up with those gals below today!

Life As Always 

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Sarah Alway said...

Debt is the WORST, but you've got an awesome attitude and a great plan. Plus, I don't think there's anything to be ashamed about having school debt... education is important. And you're obviously a smart girl, thinking ahead for the future and the best way to pay it off. PS that photo of you with the tree is too stinking adorable!! Happy holidays girl! And thanks for linking up. :-)

Jamie @ You Gotta Have Hart said...

Debt is the Worst, Sarah is right! I wish that I had the mind set that you do. While I don't have much debt and no student loans, I'm about to go back to school so I'm hoping to keep things under control. Thanks for linking up!