I couldn’t sleep well the other night – kept waking up, and finally, at 2 a.m., just gave up and opened up my chromebook. I’ve started listening to some personal finance podcasts – not taking everything they say as gospel, of course, but just trying to keep an open mind about what others are thinking of doing, or have done, to improve their financial situations. (I’ve got a few linked on the right hand side of the page.) And the other day, the Listen Money Matters! podcast interviewed a girl who paid off $28K in three years after she graduated from college. And no, she didn’t live at home, but she does live with her boyfriend so she is able to cut down on her rent costs. I started reading her blog, Debt Free After Three, and then it lead me to this other blog called Dear Debt, wherein people are encouraged to write a Dear John type of letter to their debts. Their debts are not limited to just student loans, but it seems like they are a big cause of angst and pain and frustration!! (Gee, I *think* I know what they feel like…..)
I then turned to a blog called Yes, I am Cheap. Now this girl has flair! She says thinks just like it is. In terms of avoiding scams that say they will help you get out of debt, she reminds you that you have a “bullshit meter” so you better use it! I love it! She’s done some kind of brave things to decrease her debt by about $50K, but she still has a ways to go, so I felt better reading through her blog. Unlike me, she owns real estate (I did, when married, but no more.) She thinks it has helped her with her financial situation. She also takes advantage of promotional 0% interest rates on credit cards by using them to convert some of her student loans to consumer debt. (Which, by the way, you COULD get rid of through bankruptcy, unlike student loans….don’t even get me started on that rant as I’m sure you don’t have all day to read through this post.)
This got me to thinking….hmmmmm….. of course, that involves risk, as you need to be able to pay off the amount within the promotional time period, and also, promise yourself to not add any other debt to the balance. And, of course there is usually a balance transfer fee added to the amount you transfer – you don’t want that amount to obliterate the benefit of the difference in interest rates between the credit card and the interest rate you currently pay on your student loan.
And I just came across a podcast and website called Side Hustle Nation (the founder was interviewed on Listen Money Matters!). I think I’m a hard worker/side hustler, so I’m going to look into some of the suggestions this guy makes and see if any can work for me. I’ve been doing freelance transcription through Scribie.com, but am beginning to think it’s a lot of work for very little pay. The company is based on India, so it’s my thinking that probably the rate of pay that they give might be considered good over there, where the cost of living is so much lower. I’m applying to other freelance transcriptions where the rate of pay is higher, so wish me luck that those come through.
I’m keeping busy this month also by working extra hours at the fitness club. I have the week off between Christmas and New Years so I am covering some day time shifts there. Hey, why not get paid from both jobs, right? 🙂 I’m probably working about twice the hours I normally do in a month there, so I’m planning on taking some of it and paying it to the LAL Loan. I have made two goals for this year – (1) see if I can save up to $20K overall, and (2) pay down the LAL loan to $10K. I’m definitely on track to make the first one, and I know I could then take care of goal #2. But I have to admit, I’m torn. Part of me is worried about paying off the LAL loan before I move if I don’t have full time employment yet set up. Part of me wants to have more in the bank as a cushion when I make the big move.
Anyway, I just thought I would share some web resources I’ve come across that have been motivational to me in moving forward with one of my dreams, anyway. 🙂
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