Posted tagged ‘loans’

February Resolutions – 5/8 is Acceptable

February 28, 2010

PHEW! I almost forgot it was the end of the month!!

On December 31st, I declared my New Years Resolution:  Make monthly resolutions.

For the month of February, this is how I did —

  • Read at least 1 book: FAIL. I did not read a single page.

  

  • Work out at least 3 times a week – hopefully this will go better this month…: FAIL. I did not go once throughout the month of February.

  

  • Pay off another $1000 on my credit card *sigh*: TOTALLY PWNED. Thanks to that wonderful tax refund I got, I accomplished this and then some.

 

  • Put $1000 toward my student loans: SUCCESS! I just barely made it. Again, I’ve got to give props to the government for taking lots of my money and giving it all back to me.

 

  • Attend my calligraphy class each week – no skipping class!: DONE! I love that class 🙂

 

  • Love Dan (he requested that one…): ALWAYS & FOREVER

 

  • Follow my dermatologist’s orders every day after my appointment on the 8th. In the past I have followed the doctor’s orders for about 4 days and then tapered off from there: TRIED, BUT HAD TO GO A DIFFERENT ROUTE. My health insurance held me back from that one. I went to Ulta instead and grabbed Dermalogica, which I have been following consistently. Sure, it’s not the same, but it is as close as I could get without dropping $400+ (no joke) on medication.

 

  • Do my laundry every week instead of waiting until I have nothing to wear: I DID IT TWICE THIS MONTH. SO NO.

 

So for those of you keeping track, I succeeded at 5 out of 8. 

I still struggle to believe that I didn’t go ONCE thoughout January. I mean.. I can believe that I didn’t go since I was there every morning when I rolled out of bed late and got to work barely at 9am, but… ugh. Disappointing.

I guess I can pride myself in that I don’t just “kind of” fail. I fail big and go home. *HIGH FIVE*

Oh, To be Young and Stupid

February 16, 2010

Sallie Mae posted my monthly payments schedule.  And while I would love to whine and complain about what a soul sucking, money hungry leech she is, I can admit that I did this to myself. 

At the height of this repayment plan, I’ll be shelling out $630 a month for oh.. about.. EIGHT POINT FIVE YEARS. The other 11.5 will be lower monthly payments, but still enough to make me depressed.

Here’s to making stupid financial decisions.

January Resolutions – 3/7 is Pretty Bad

January 31, 2010

On December 31st, I declared my New Years Resolution:  Make monthly resolutions.

Today is the last day of January, and that means it’s time for me to reflect on the goals that I made for myself for the month

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2009 has been a learning experience

December 30, 2009

So here we go.. a list of 2009 things that I have learned throughout 2009!!

Just kidding… 2009 is a little much.  Instead, I will take out the 0’s and reduce the list to 29 things I have learned throughout the year.

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budgeting for beginners

November 17, 2009

NOTE: This isn’t going to be a “how to budget” tutorial in case anybody stumbles across this entry in search of budgeting help.  I’m just going to go over my own finances, so don’t yell at me if you try to follow my percentages and don’t get anywhere.

First and foremost, I am in a lot of debt.  College is not cheap.  My student debt is a little over 300% greater than the national average.  I am also carrying around a bit of a credit card debt, but it is not outrageous by any means and I am not concerned with my ability to pay it off.

I am paid weekly, so making a budgeting spreadsheet was a little tricky for me.  I had to divide monthly bills into the number of weeks per month, and I was sure to color code each balance because I will be adding money toward the bill every week until I take the lump sum at the end of month.  Formatting in excel was a pain, but maybe that was because I wasn’t sure of exactly what I wanted before I started.  I’m positive that I will have to work out a few formatting kinks as I go along, but I am pretty proud of the layout and colors I ended up with.  That hardest part will be keeping up with this thing.  Good thing I made it really pretty – it motivates me to use it!

The most surprising part of this whole process was seeing how much money I really have at my disposal.  The last 4 years have gotten me adjusted to never having money.  I was unfortunate in that whenever I did have money, it all went away very quickly because some kind of bill was about to pry it away from my cold, dead hands.  Being broke constantly had its perks – I became very good at spending minimal amounts of money on unncessary things and I am also exceptional at finding awesome sales at the mall. 

Now that I am making the “big bucks”, I have more money to play around with than I know what to do with.  For the month of December, I have budgeted over $300 a week toward my “financial obligations” (student debt, credit cards, savings, retirement) because I have no idea what else to do with the $150 that was left when I got done making up the budget.  Don’t get me wrong – this is great! – but I just never thought I’d be putting so much money toward debts because I didn’t know where else to put it. 

So here’s an approximate breakdown of where I plan on putting all of my dolla’s once December rolls around:

 

Home (rent, parking fee, electricity) – 17%
Transportation (gas, maintenance, insurance) – 7%
Pet (food, vet, toys, etc) – 2.5%
Entertainment (movies, dinner, etc) – 5%
Health (gym, medicines) – 1.5%
Financial Obligations (debts) – 42%
Daily Living (groceries, clothes, hobbies, etc) – 9%
Vacation (this will go down significantly after my commencement) – 10%
Miscellaneous (Christmas, birthdays, etc) – 6%

I feel like I have left something significant out, but I will figure it out as I go along.  In a few weeks, after I get a better idea of what I am spending on a weekly basis, I will be revising this, but I think this is a good starting point.

My biggest challenge is going to be sticking to the budget I have created.  Self control has never been one of my strong points, and I would really like to figure out the best way to keep myself in line.  Giving myself some money each month to “splurge” is a tactic I am considering, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of making a budget in the first place? 

As I said, this budget is going to be revised in a few weeks.  In the meantime, if anyone has any tips on how to better fine tune this thing, pleast let me know.  And I am ESPECIALLY interested in tips on how to stick with it!

income shmincome

October 14, 2009

I woke up yesterday morning to a phone call from Delta.  I got a job!  I GOT A JOB!

It’s not quite my dream job.  My dream job escaped me about a month ago when I applied for the wrong “energy engineer” position (there were two that looked at first glance to be identical – it still kills me to think about).  However, the pay is still pretty good and the flight benefits are certainly something that I look forward to.  A few hours ago I sent my “Yes, I accept this offer” e-mail, and I will be starting on November 2nd.

So what did I do today?  SHOPPED of course!

I had to get it out of my system.  I have been so frugal and so particular this last year, I almost feel like I owe it to myself.  My jeans have holes in them, I haven’t updated my wardrobe in years, several pairs of my shoes have been eaten by my dog and have not been replaced.  And while I appreciate all of the donations that my family and Dan’s family have provided concerning the furnishings for our apartment, I have hardly contributed anything new.  No, I take it back.  I bought Dan a papasan chair for our 1 year anniversary.  Neat, huh?

And so today we went to Ikea and I bought a new bed.  The old bed we used was the one I grew up in. It had drawings all over the headboard, and it squeaked terribly.  I love the new bed and I can’t wait to sleep in it!

Ikea HOPEN bed frame

Ikea HOPEN bed frame

I also bought a duvet cover.  I hadn’t planned on buying sheets, but I have been looking for a duvet cover for years.  I never bought one because they are so expensive, but Ikea has them for under $50.  I couldn’t stay away.  Mine was $30.

I will buy a few more things, but for the most part my home furnishing shopping is finished.  I can’t say the same about my clothes shopping, though.  I do need some new jeans and at least one good winter coat and pair snow boots. Especially since I live in Minnesota and all.

After I am done with my shopping spree, it will be back to being responsible.  I have a lot of loans to pay back, and that will always be in the back of my mind.  But, for now, I’m going to celebrate and get myself a few nice things.