Exciting News!! (Debt update/Updated goals)

I made my goal 5 months early!!! My goal was to be at $120k by 6/30/15. As of 1/30/15. I’m around $120.3k. Once this payment of $800 clears, I’ll be in the $119k arena! I started this journey of really getting focused and trying to eliminate these students loans in Oct. 2014. In just 3-4 months, I’ve paid off about $16k. This is so incredible and I give all the thanks to God. It’s taken A LOT of discipline and Him blessing me with a bonus that was way higher than expected. It took a lot not to want to spend my extra income every month on clothes, shoes, etc. This victory makes it soooo worth it.

So am I going to create a new goal for 6/30/15?! Absolutely! As much as I want to be in the 5 figures, that’s probably not realistic since I have 3 trips (1 within the U.S. and 2 international) before that goal date. So my new goal is $105k by 6/30. It would be so awesome if I make it or I’m below that amount because then my 12/31/15 goal of being around $99k will be blown out of the water.

I’m so happy!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 🙂

Between the last time and posted and now, I was out of the country for a few days. It was a much needed vacation and I’m so glad I did. I didn’t quite stay within my spending budget. Once I got to the airport, I realized I missed some people as far as gifts and had to pick up some things really quick. Because of that I spent about $250 that wasn’t accounted for in my budget. I charged that to my credit card and will pay that off this month. Regardless, it was an awesome time but totally wasn’t ready for the cold that hit me when I stepped off of the plane. Anyways, I’m back to blogging because I find that it keeps me accountable. 🙂

2014 Accomplishments
– Conquered my fear of this debt and put some plans into motion about getting rid of it.
– Started this blog to document my progress.
– Started a new job!
– Towards the end of the year, started putting extra money towards my loans. [minimum payment who???]

2015 Goals
– Pay off 50% of Loan 2 (the variable interest rate one).
– Get cumulative loan balance to the 5 digits.
– Complete the 52 week money challenge (idk what I will do with the money at the end of the year…just keep it in savings? travel? put towards debt? put towards IRA account? I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there.)
– Travel to 3 countries [one of which I would like it to be a solo trip].
– Travel to 3 US cities.
– Run another half marathon.
– Start contributing to 401k and get employer match.

I’m so ready to decrease my loan balances and I’m excited for what this year will bring!

A good surprise…

Recently had my year-end review at work and found out my bonus will be 2.5x what I initially thought it would be! As much as I would love to spend it on “nonsense,” it will all be going straight to my loans! I’m super excited that I will be seeing that number go down a lot in 2015!

Byeeeee debt!

It’s been a while…

What have I been up to? Not much tbh. I’ve just been lazy to blog. Some updates:

  • I had some random expenses pop up such as a medical bill my insurance didn’t cover ($130), a down payment for a trip (not necessarily personal – will elaborate at a later time) in 2015 ($250). The good thing is that I just shifted money from my extra loan payment to cover these expenses and it won’t affect my goal date of pay-off.
  • The car has officially been donated. Just waiting on the tax receipt.
  • I have decided to use more environment AND pocket friendly cleaning alternatives. For example, I used a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water to wipe the surfaces in my apartment. From the mirrors, to the dressers, to the windows….amazing stuff and a gallon of white vinegar is only $3.99! #winning I also used a salt/baking soda/borax mix to clean my bathtub, sink and toilet. This was very effective, although I’m so used to those chemical smells that I had to use it after to feel like my bathroom was clean. Weird, I know! But I will slowly wean off the comet/ajax/409/etc. cleaning stuff. 🙂
  • I’ve decided to do a DIY project for some gifts this year. I will make earrings for my girlfriends. I have way too many friends and to buy a gift for everyone means breaking the bank. And we are not about that life anymore. So, DIY earrings for some and handcrafted bracelets from [country I’m travelling to next month] for others and we are good to go. For the men in my life, I’ll think of something inexpensive. It’s so much easier for ladies.
  • For the month of November, I paid $2,369 to my loans. wooooooot!!! Ya’ll, you have to remember I live in NYC and I work on 5th Ave so to walk down the Ave and see the displays in the stores….sigh -_-. #willpower

What am I thankful for?

  • Jesus Christ – my savior and redeemer. He has saved me, even though I don’t deserve it. I mess up over and over again, yet His blood has washed me.
  • A warm apartment and food on the table everyday.
  • Family and friends that love me to pieces.
  • Ability to pay my loans. The amount is daunting but I am thankful that I have a great job with a great salary to pay these monstrous loans.

No more Consumer Debt (woot!) & Updated Goals

I paid off ALL my CC debt yayyy!!! Only student loans to focus on and boy am I on a mission. I shared in a previous post that I switched my FedLoans to a private lender. I also decided to use my CD plus some money that should have gone to an extra loan payment this month to pay off my CCs. I would have saved money paying towards the student loans (since the CCs weren’t accumulating any interest) but just getting rid of those balances gives me two less things to focus on.

So here are my new goals (and even though its a hefty sum, I’m glad it’s just Student Loans with one lender and all my chump change will be thrown there):

Again, I’m getting rid of the lower amount first because it’s a variable interest rate loan so with the uncertainty I’d rather try to get rid of that first than put my extra bazookas to the bigger loan.

By December 31, 2015 (preferably earlier), I want to be in the 5-figures. Heck, I don’t care if I owe $99,999. I want that balance to be 5-figures! One goal, very simple, but very aggressive. I will stay positive and remain hopeful.

I’m excited about this journey and I’m so glad that I am no longer living in fear of my debt. 🙂

Donating vs. Selling my car

My car is almost 15years old but I think these cash for car people are crooks. $200 for a car that is in great condition and has less than 86K miles on it. Yea ok! As you go sell it for about $1000 and get a gigantic profit. No sir!

I will donate my car to the Metro-NY Chapter of Wheels for Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation. Obviously, it won’t be direct cash going towards my loans but I can get a deduction when I file my tax returns early next year. I’d rather any benefit/profit go to someone who is truly in need than some people trying to cheat me and get a profit for their personal gain. Granted I don’t know what they would use the profit for but at least I know with 100% certainty that the donation will be used for a great cause.

This will also free up the car insurance money! $160/month (paying my parents cellphone bill to compensate for that). I love that I’m getting things done on my to-do list!

Saying No

My first no (well sorta kinda…)

This time of year gets really hard. In addition to the holidays, there’s black Friday (lol), my birthday and friends’/family birthdays (most of my close friends have birthdays towards the end of the year). It honestly becomes a money guzzler – presents, eating out, etc. Everything about this time makes you want to spend, spend, spend and spend some more. blah

My friend asked me if I want to go see a show with her for her birthday – tickets are running at about $70-$90 depending on seating (not even sure if this includes tax). Before I would have said YES! before she even finished the sentence. But I told her no. Well not all blunt like that. The good thing is I already informed her of my “financial lifestyle” change so she kind of assumed I would say no but still asked me. Which I think is very sweet of her. If she does go out to eat, I will join her but other than that I will have to take the L and not go. It sucks but if I want to see progress, I need to make some sacrifices.

I’ve also decided not to buy presents this year. Well…let me rephrase that…I’ve decided not to buy expensive presents this year. I’m actually traveling internationally at the end of this year and the good thing is that I’m staying with family so no out of pocket expenses except for souvenirs. Where I’m going (I will share later), I can definitely get inexpensive and unique gifts because the dollar goes a long way. Also, I went to India earlier this year (for work) and got people some really nice stuff so I should think that not going overboard for Christmas and Birthdays won’t be a big deal to them. If so, then oh well!

I think this post went on a bit of a tangent but I’m glad I was able to stand my ground and decline an almost $100 outing. I know there will be a lot more of these invitations but I guess it will get easier with time? I hope so!