....is admitting you have a problem. And boy, do I. I've been reading lots and lots of Personal Finance Blogs over the past couple of weeks and have decided I wanted to join this community of people baring all (albeit anonymously for me) and document my journey to financial fitness.
I'm 28 years old and living in a medium size city with a professional degree and lots of student loan debt. A butload in fact. $167,000,000 at last count though I admit I haven't been on top of them as every time I check up on my finances I get overwhelmed and more than a little depressed. I officially owe my life to Sallie Mae and other lenders, thus the name Sallie's Niece.
So I've decided to set some financial goals after a month or so of really bad financial problems.
Here are the goals as of today:
1. Survive the next 8 days on $157. Not too terrible I realize - luckily my $600 from the federal government came in today so that my rent check went through and I have a little left over (a rarity).
2. Pay off "short-term" debt - two payday loans (never buy these!!!) totaling about $400; loans from friends and family totaling $460 (super embarrassing as one of these friends is now out of work); pay overdue bills - utilities around $400, cable (now shut off) around $200.
3. Develop a working budget. This has already started but it turns out I have absolutely no idea where some of my money goes every month so I am vigorously tracking it now.
4. Start paying as much of my student loans as possible.
5. Save up an Emergency Fund of $1000.
6. Contribute (after a long lapse in which I drained all my savings) to my Roth IRA.
These aren't ordered in any real order (I don't know how long it will take me to tackle that utility bill for instance) but it's a general idea for how I want to go about getting out of this hole.
Let's hope things get better from here on out.