It’s August! The summer is flying by… another month gone, so here’s another update on paying off my student loans:
20 Month Progress
- Starting Debt: $41,868.53 (Nov ’12)
- Debt Today: $18,917.17
- Total Debt Paid Off: $22,951.36
I had another good month !!! I saved every last penny, and was able to send in $1,500 towards the next loan I’m chipping away at.
- Starting Balance: $20,769.63
- End Balance: $18,917.17
- Paid Towards Loans: $1,879.24
- Interest Paid: $79.75
- Principle Paid: $1,919.36
I save so much by living with my parents – no utility bills or mortgage. Mom does most of the shopping too, so I only take a trip once or twice a month to contribute. I did splurge a couple times though like buying dinner and bringing it to Gram and Gramps. We had a couple birthdays and weddings, so I used some $ for gifts. But other than that, most my money went into loans!
There were some misc. expenses like sun screen for Avery, paying for copies of my divorce decree (so I could change my name back), and party supplies for our family reunion last weekend (pics coming soon!)
Red = goal, Blue = loans remaining to be paid
Last month I started gaining momentum, so the ball is rolling. As I pay off loans, that blue line is going to plumet and get steeper and steeper. I’m very close to paying off the next loan, which will free up more money the following months to go to the next one, and so forth.
Loan Pay Off Plan
I’m right on track with what I said last month, that I’ll pay off Loan 1-02 in mid-August, and start paying extra on Loan 1-01. This is the last BIG one, so by my calculations, I’ll have that paid off in December. I’ll just ask Santa for rolls of cash in my stocking 😉
I know, I know, I owe lots of pictures and recaps of the past couple weeks, but I haven’t had a spare minute. And I know this is all dry and boring numbers crap, but it really does keep me in check. I’m only 10 months away from having ALL my student loans paid off!
The Bigger Picture
So, I mentioned in an earlier post, about switching gears and about big plans… well, here goes. I wanted to move back to Vermont because it would be a better life for Avery, in so many ways. We have family and friends all around, and we have a place to stay, for free! Had I stayed in Boston, it would have been another 5-7 years before I could pay off my loans – ouch. Well, when you have to pay $1600 a month in rent, just to keep a roof over your head and $1300 a month in child care (all on one salary!), it’s practically impossible to make ends meet, let alone pay off loans, and save money for a permanent home (in Boston they raise the rent every year so people tend to move every year or two and I didn’t want Avery’s home to change that often. I want him to have a stable home.).
So, I’ve been working on paying off these loans, and then what? I know, I’m such a planner. Yes, I have another plan for after I accomplish this goal. As soon as I pay off the student loans (May 2015), I’ll put all my extra $ into savings…. for a home! No, not a house, Mariana – you were close ;). A home… and that home is going to start with buying a piece of land, and on it I’ll design and build a home for Avery and I. Crazy? I know. But that’s the dream. Build the perfect house, and live in it, forever. Avery will have a stable, permanent home that he can grow in, and after he’s all grown up, he can always come back.
So, I’ve been checking out properties in neighboring towns, looking into property taxes, schools, and all factors in picking the ideal location for Avery and I to live. I’ve been playing around with a design for the house. I know, I know. This is all a while away, but with this goal in mind, man does it motivate me to get these loans paid off!!!
So, roughly, the plan looks like this:
May 2015 – Pay off Loans
Spring 2016 – Down Payment on Land/Construction Loan
Summer 2016 – Build the House.
Yep, we would be building it ourselves, just like my parents did. So, friends and family be warned, because I’ll be asking your help!!!. All the while, still living with my parents (thanks Mom and Dad!), so we can take 3-4 months to build it.
Fall 2016 – Move into our new Home.
Avery turns 5, so we’ll be settled into our new home and have a year to adjust to our new home, the community and be ready for Avery to start public school the following year. This way, Avery can grow up in one community and not move around. He’ll go through school with the same friends, know his community, and we’ll be able to FINALLY put down our roots.
Oh, and I should mention that my education really is coming to use (and the 200lbs of books I’ve saved from school) because I’m designing a Sustainable house… solar panels, passive solar design, etc. It will mean lower energy bills, less impact on the environment, and man, would it be cool!
So excited… starting the weekend on a good note!
Check out my About Meghan page for more posts on finances and paying off my student loans.