Getting Rid of My Debt, Part 12: Recap, and WOWWWW

Will spring ever get here??
Will spring ever get here??
Bikes in the snow. My baby blue has been inside throughout all of this.
Bikes in the snow. My baby blue has been inside throughout all of this.

I’ve noticed that people tend to really like these posts on my blog, and I hope it’s because my progress inspires people. This has been a really tough winter in the northeast – ridiculously “butt cold” temperatures and when it does warm up, it’s just to snow.  (See my evidence in the pictures above.) So, I needed a pick-me-up to make me feel good.  I have been meaning to chart my progress on my wall, so I gathered up the numbers.

 

Here’s how they look since I started really keeping track:

Sept. 2013:

Personal loan: $4,211.42
LAL loan: $20,939.94
Simmons Loan: $23,620.04
Big Daddy (federal) loan: $75,390.94

TOTAL BALANCE: $124,162.34

Today:

Personal loan: $000000000 (gone, gone, gone!!!!)
LAL Loan: $18,871.05
Simmons Loan: $23,620.04
Big Daddy (federal) loan: $75,390.94

TOTAL BALANCE: $117,882.03

DIFFERENCE (DECREASE in DEBT): $6,280.31  🙂 🙂 🙂

Of my last two payments on my LAL Loan ($455 and $171.95, respectively), here’s how much went to principal and how much went to interest:

$455 total payment = $397.46 to principal and $32.54 to interest
$171.95 total payment = $169.12 to principal and $2.83 to interest

I cannot tell you how happy this makes me!!

It’s been 5.5 months and I’ve gotten rid of more than $6K in debt, AND have increased my savings accounts to more than what they have ever been before since I’m on my own.  I’ve gotten rid of enough shit in my apartment that I can now keep all of my christmas decorations here instead of taking up space in my brother’s attic. I’ve gotten a job at the gym which has been a goal of mine, and I start this Thursday evening. I’ve taken an additional test with NASM and passed, and am working on test #3 and certification #2.  Out of nowhere, “my” author has asked for  my help again on her book, and she really respects my work (and sense of humor) and pays me well for my time. I have a positive net worth due to my retirements savings and am continuing to put in more than 6% of my salary into my 403(b) account on top of the 10% that my employer puts in a pension (yes, really, I have one) plan, in which I am fully vested.  Things are coming together!! 

(To my friends out there reading this, if I ever get down on myself, could you remind me to read this post? Thanks.)  As my brother said to me on facebook the other day “Sis, you’re doing it!”

You may have noticed that two of those loans don’t appear to have changed, balance-wise, since I embarked on this course. Today, that changes. You see, when I had more debt, I asked my lenders to allow me to just pay the interest that kept accruing on my loans per month. That equals $558/month. Yes, it’s depressing as hell to think about paying over $6,000/year just to keep a loan from growing.  I’m calling my lender today and will be asking them to put me back on the standard repayment plan, so at least some of my payment goes toward cutting down the balance. It may not be much, but as I have learned, every little bit helps.

Good things are happening. I don’t know how or why but as I say to some of my friends when they question why things start going their way, “do not question the wisdom of the gods, just go with it.” 

And now, for those of you who love the snow, I leave you with one more image. If I had been standing next to this snowpile (which wasn’t created by plows, etc., it was just there, it would have at least been up to my waist.)

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Feeling cold yet? :-)
Feeling cold yet? 🙂

Getting Rid of My Debt, Part 11

Yep, it's another cute pet photo - my Callie!! She's teeny-tiny!
Yep, it’s another cute pet photo – my Callie!! She’s teeny-tiny!

Well, I’m getting there. Been doing really well with the freelance work so I should be receiving a second payment this week. My financial adviser suggested I set aside 30% for taxes, and then it might be good for me to split the remainder between savings and paying off my private law school loan. She thinks that if I do something like that, based on what my invoices have been for, I might be able to bring down the student loan from the roughly $19,485 that it is sitting at today, to around $11K. Imagine that!  Read more

Getting Rid of my Debt, Part 9: Changing Cell Phone Carriers

Osito!
Just one reason I am working hard to get out of debt. So I can save more like my baby girl, Osito.

If you know me in real life, you know that I can sometimes be what they call, ahem, “decision-impaired.” 🙂 Before I make a decision about something, I feel like I have to research every option, you know, leave NO stone unturned! It might be because of my current full-time occupation of being a law librarian, and having a wealth of resources at my disposal every day. I feel like I need to keep looking for things until I find out definitively that I have found all that is to be found. Read more

Getting Rid of my Debt, Part 6

I was going to write this as a Making Progress Mondays post, but the day got away from me yesterday. Sorry!

The last week has been kind to me. Not a ton of progress in the cutting debt area, overall, but the hope for saving and paying off debt definitely increased. I am going to be working at a gym as a front desk person, hopefully in January. I have officially been hired and will probably just be the fill in person but you never know when that could become more permanent! AND I have started doing freelance work for someone I worked with a few years ago. At times,  when I’m working on her book, it feels like no time has passed, but I know it has. Because I am different now. I have a real focus to my work I didn’t have before.  And I LOVE IT!

The debt total stands at this today, having just made some payments on my personal loan and my LAL loan.

  • Simmons loan: $23,620.04 (paying interest only right now)
  • Big Daddy loan: $75,390.94 (paying interest only right now)
  • LAL loan: $20,437.99
  • Personal loan: $633.85

GRAND TOTAL:$120,082.82

Total as of Dec. 1st: $120,563.23 

DIFFERENCE = $481 decrease in debt!!

On a completely unrelated topic, I just finished reading a book, This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart, by Susannah Conway, which I highly recommend. She writes from such a place of openness and I just found it to be really refreshing. I also felt like a lot of what she wrote was written for me (although I know that’s not the case.) That’s how much her writing spoke to me. I found I was bookmarking almost every single page.

Have you ever read a book that touched you like that? Please let me know if you have  — I’m always on the lookout for good books, especially now that the snow, ice and cold weather have come to New England and I’ll be running on a treadmill a lot more. (Having broken my anterior fibula last year, I’m becoming a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to running outside on snow and ice.)

I’ve also begun reading Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering, by Mark Hawthorne, which a friend told me was on sale today on Amazon for .99!! (Kindle version, it’s usually more like $34 to buy.) I’ll let you know in a future animal issues post what I think of it. So far, it’s looking really good.

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