Birthday candles – “Blowing out” another student loan

 

The last year of my 20s arrived at the end of June. Yay for Cancer season! Turning 29 I thought would feel more sentimental, maybe even a little sad? Or at least that was what I thought about 2-3 years ago as I made my way downhill on the 20s train. But now, I feel quite the opposite. The 20s have been full of great memories and milestones, but also nearly a decade in the making. My interests and lifestyle are similar, yet so completely opposite from where I started at 20. As cliché as it sounds, I’m actually getting excited for the next steps… whatever those may be in my career, personal life, etc. Although I will admit that the ‘birthday blues’ came in waves with philosophical thoughts of “What am I doing with my life?” , or “Is this all you have accomplished in the past 29 years?” Fortunately, the self-deprecating thoughts were long drowned out by July 4th thanks to the pool, beers, and sunshine!

The most important event of my birthday was saying goodbye to another student loan to the tune of $3848.80. It was my “present” to myself! And, paying of this most recent loan means I am officially DONE with Navient. This is especially exciting considering I just read a NYT article which discussed some pretty disturbing tactics used by Navient… tsk tsk.

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Treading water

I have decided this month is just about staying afloat. I WANT to focus on generating more income to devote towards my loans, and budget & save like crazy! The reality looks different. Two personal trips + 3 work trips = Treading water. And well, I’ve decided that it’s ok. These cumulative 4 works leave little ‘extracurricular’ time for anything but the necessities, RE: Food, water, sleep, work, exercise [when I can], travel, repeat. To top it off, the month brings a few ‘extra’ expenses. I won’t go into detail here, but one was certainly unexpected. So to be honest, the cash flow is going to be in the red this month, womp womp.

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Love where you live

Since moving to Tampa from Miami late last year, I have rediscovered the library. Prior, I was finishing up graduate school and could barely get through a few “leisure books” per year. Now with my dissertation (almost) a distant memory, I have found myself with a huge chunk of free time that was previously occupied by writing, reading academic literature, and worrying about what in God’s name I was going to do after I finished my program. Fast forward six months, I am gainfully employed and have become a loyal library member.

Ok, library books are not a sexy topic. However, it is totally in line my debt free mission.—i.e. free books. The Free books + free knowledge = SUCCESS. Even more boring, is my “library routine”. Every 2 months or so, after I renew my 3 books at least a few times, I stop by to pick out my next batch. Usually, I vacillate equally between fiction and non-fiction. But, I’m a total sucker for self-help books and was immediately drawn to Melody Warnick’s This is Where you Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live. I took this puppy home supplemented by my guilty pleasure ‘light fiction’.

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Summer wardrobe + Student debt

The clock is ticking. The unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day, is almost upon us. The Type-A, planning type that I am means that I’m revving up for the season to come. Personally, this equates to a few upcoming work trips, but more importantly THREE weddings of college friends + ONE bachelorette. It’s going to be a great summer!

My clothing spending has been slim since 2017 began. I invested in a new pair of running sneakers and a pair of workout pants in January, and a replacement black cardigan in February (a wardrobe staple!!). Aside from those few things, I spent nothing! Part of this has to do with the fact that I recently started a job where I work from home. I have the luxury of rolling out of bed and wearing whatever I want.  But, to be honest it usually feels good to change into something somewhat civilized. I don’t know what it is, but it just gets my mind in the game for work mode. “Civilized” for me is nothing fancy, a t-shirt, jeans, casual dress, some sandals, etc. Regardless, I’m totally winning in the work wardrobe department.

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Committing to debt free

Welcome to WisedebtHER! I’m a late 20-something, female, millennial, and cat mom, who is more than ready to conquer my student debt. The “Wise” implies that I aim to learn and grow as much as possible on my journey to debt free and beyond. I am planning to pay off my debt by the end of 2018—a lofty, but completely plausible goal! A little about me and my debt:

I feel it is an important disclaimer to note that my professional background is in health care, nursing and research to be exact. A personal finance expert I am certainly not, nor would I ever claim to be—at least not yet. I’ve been consuming personal finance blogs, podcasts, and books like wildfire the past 4 months (more on that later).

In terms of my debt, I’m probably what you would consider your “Average Jane”. I left undergrad with approximately $30,000(ish) in student debt. To date, I have paid off 2 loans in full (woo hoo!). However, I still have a grand total of $22 K more or less to pay off. I pay my credit cards in full each month and still rock a fully paid off 2006 Toyota Corolla. So while I consider myself extremely lucky, I still have far to go in terms of being $$ savvy.

The reason I decided to start a blog is two-fold. For one, it holds me accountable: “Hello universe, I’m ready to be debt free!” More importantly, it would be a bonus to connect with fellow WisedebtHERs: women (or men!) who have successfully paid off their debt, student loans or otherwise.

I’m a self-described introvert and overwhelmingly a social media/blog observer, but I felt this experience was far too important to sit on the sidelines. I’ll be sharing my successes, failures, and everything in between. I hope you’ll join me for the ride!