Money Money Money

I can’t believe it’s almost February!  Where did January go?!  Maybe the busyness from the holidays followed by being busy catching up at work has made this month feel so short.  Either way, I’ve stuck to my New Year’s Resolutions, and I’ve been chipping away at my student loans, staying on budget every month, and done some cheap/free activities with Avery this month. Here’s three (money money money) financial updates this month…

First, a little recap on my student loan status this month…

14 Month Progress

  • Debt Nov 2012: $41,868.53
  • Debt Jan 2013: $29,149.64
  • Debt Paid Off:  $12,718.89

Although $ is tight, I put every extra penny towards an additional loan payment this month.  It wasn’t as much as December, but it helped… I’m almost under $29K !!!

January Review

  • Starting Balance: $29,894.98
  • End Balance: $29,149.64
  • Paid Towards Loans: $736.98
  • Interest Paid: $110.69
  • Principle Paid: $847.67

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I’m hoping I can pay off the next loan on my list with the help of my tax return… but who knows what that will look like after selling a house?  Either way, it looks like there will be a few hours of overtime available this coming month (I only got 2 last month :() so I will have more extra $ to put towards these loans…

Loan Pay Off Plan

  • SM 1-08 @ 6.55% (February ’13): $0
  • SM 1-07 @ 6.55% (Nov’13): $688
  • SM 1-05 @ 6.55% (Nov’14): $3020
  • SM 1-06 @ 6.55% (Mar ’14): $3315.55<– # is going down!!!
  • SM 1-02 @ 6.55% (Sept ’14): $6432.2
  • SM 1-01 @ 6.55% (2015): $7222.47
  • VSAC C @ 4.77% (2015): $2087.54
  • VSAC A @ 3.17% (2015): $4659.28
  • VSAC B @ 3.17% (2015): $2323.85
  • SM 1-03 @ 2.1% (2015): $1350.48
  • SM 1-04 @ 2.1% (2015): $1332.37

As I write all these numbers out, I think back to before I started paying these loans off… I can’t imagine how much I would still have left if I kept paying minimums and didn’t sit down and put all the numbers down in front of me, every month.  As scary as it is, seeing how much debt I have, having control of it, and a plan to abolish it, is empowering.  I know there is an end in sight, maybe not my 30th birthday, but I can reach for that and even if I pay them off a little after that date, it’ll be SOOO much better than paying these for 10-15 more years!  I know how much $ it would free up a month, which would mean more $ to save for Avery’s college, or save towards a house for us, so many possibilities when my expenses will go down by $800-$1000 a month!

And that brings me to this month’s budget…

It’s hard to admit, but we were very close to being in the red this month.  I’m a little disappointed, but I knew it was going to be tight this month.  My income was lower than expected because I was only offered 2 hours of overtime – although I am swamped at work, I can only do certain kinds of work on overtime, and there just wasn’t much available this month. We were in the green though (I earned more than I spent)… so that’s a good thing!

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I knew going into this new apartment and having laid out all my expenses that I needed to work so much overtime every month to stay afloat.  I know it’s risky, but affording a two-bedroom apartment near my office is near impossible.  I was good about cutting costs this month though, so we squeaked by.  I have high hopes for next month.  I know there is some overtime available already, so I’m jumping on that on Saturday.  I’ll be able to make some more $ next month and use it towards student loans.

On my monthly expense excel sheet this month, I didn’t spend much on activities/entertainment.  That’s because Avery and I did some cheap/free activities like going to Chuck-E-Cheese – I only paid for tokens, we didn’t eat there, and it was over an hour of fun!  When we visited Vermont, we went to a high school basketball game (that Avery LOVED!) and that was free for him and only $3 for me.

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Because it’s been so cold outside, we’ve been keeping ourselves entertained inside too.. Play Doh has become a daily activity, especially with the new ‘hair salon’ contraption MiMi got Avery.

Overall, this month wasn’t financially great, but we are keeping our heads above water.  Avery and I are happy and healthy with a roof over our head and food on the table.  I’m thankful for that.

❤ Meghan

Check out my About Meghan page for more posts on finances and paying off my student loans.

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