Friday, April 30, 2010

Monthly Student Loan Debt Roundup

It's everybody's favorite time of the month! Time to do my monthly student loan debt roundup!

I'm happy to say that I am in the $120s! Seeing one digit go down is encouraging - makes me think my desire to not have six figure student loan debt isn't so impossible.

And I'm happy to say that at least two (I think only two) of my loans are now at values of less than what I borrowed! Woo hoo!

Both the Perkins Loan (originally $8800) and the Law School loan (originally $2000) I took out my third year of law school when my scholarship money ran out and I had a tuition deficit to meet. I'm grateful for the loans since they helped me avoid taking out private loans - only needed one of those evil evil private loans in law school, but I want them and their high interest rates to be banished.

So here are this month's numbers:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Budget 4/28 - 5/11

I am crossing my fingers that my wedding dress arrives in the next two weeks (oh please go back to that post and read some excellent troll comments!).

Ticker update alert - with today's contribution I believe we have just over $5000 left in the Wedding Savings account. We're just about on target with our wedding savings with under three months to go.

Personal training has been going well too, though I'll have to scale back my sessions to once a week instead of twice of week due to money and time constraints. A month of intense training gave me the foundation I needed to work out on my home and was, in my opinion, money well spent. It's tough to stay motivated but with a lot of hard work, I have seen some results.

I am also anxiously awaiting the busy time at work to be finished - we all are - but right now it seems everything is in such a state of flux that there's no telling what will happen. My workload has doubled and while I am getting tons of hands-on experience, it's hard to juggle three projects at once. Last night I had a dream about my boss! (Not that kind of dream I swear, but he bought me mozzarella sticks....weird, right?)

Anyway, enough non sequitor, let's get to the budget!

Starting Balance = $1261

100 - Credit Card
500 - Wedding Savings
93 - Perkins Loan
80 - Law School Loan
100 - Groceries
90 - Health*
140 - Personal Training
157 - Misc

*I'm pretty frustrated with my insurance company. They never tell me I owe them anything at the appointment and then I get a phantom bill in the mail several weeks later (still directed to my old address even though I moved six months ago and have told them that). Anyway, today I sent a check for my $25 annual dental deductible and have another $20 to pay for labwork. I finally found my checkbook!

Where it Went 4/13 - 4/27

I was really bad and didn't even get around to posting a budget on the 13th for the past two weeks. But even still, I want to document how my money was spent just to stay accountable.

It's been pretty busy both at work and in wedding planning. My fiance and I got to take a quick trip out of town two weekends ago, which will probably be our last weekend truly alone before the wedding. It was fun. This past weekend I had my shower (yay for presents!) and the following weekends are chock full of many obligations to friends and family. The fun has just begun!

So here's a quick accounting of how I spent my last paycheck ($1261):

Credit Card - 160
Sallie Mae - 406
Defaulted Student Loan - 260
Sprint - 74
Healthcare - 85
Office Work Party tickets - 60
Misc. - 160

Stay tuned for more budgeting!

I Paid Off Nice Collection Agency!!

Back in May 2008, shortly after creating this blog (woah reading those old entries is a bit painful) I posted about reaching a payment agreement with a creditor I termed "Nice Collection Agency." Every month for 21 months they have been deducting $125.81 from my bank account and I knew that, someday, this old credit card would be paid off.

Last month they only deducted $75 and I thought that was curious but since I haven't really been keeping track of the amount I still owed, I waited one more month to see what would happen. And this month it seems the debt has finally been paid off!

So yes, 21 months after entering into the agreement, and a full decade after racking up the charges, I am DONE with Nice Collection Agency. I feel very relieved to have that monkey off my back.

Next up is getting a copy of my credit report to make sure the account shows up as paid in full...and figuring out what to do with an extra $125.81 a month (I'll give you a hint....saving it!).

Today when I was digging through my old blog posts I remembered how frustrated and helpless I felt back in 2008, when I couldn't control how I was spending my money and future stability seemed so out of reach. I realize I still have a ways to go..but it's nice to know I have made some progress.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where it Went 3/31 - 4/13

Personal Training is going great! I have lost ten pounds in three weeks!* And inches too. I'm feeling pretty good even though it's really hard work and the diet is kicking my butt.

*Note that it's only healthy to lose about 2 pounds per week and my trainer wasn't expecting that much to happen so quickly so I have to be careful I'm getting enough calories and don't hurt myself, etc.

Expect a longer post today about the final stages of wedding (budget) planning but for now here's an accounting of my budget for the previous pay period:


Personal Training - 280/220
Perkins Loan - 93/93
Law School Loan - 80/80
Credit Card - 0/200
Groceries - 75/0
Health - 45/40
Wedding Savings - 580/580
Misc. - 163/140

In other news, I learned an expensive internet lesson: just because something looks awesome on a web site doesn't mean it will look awesome in person. Sigh, have to return a too expensive dress I bought to wear to my shower but at least I'll get my money back!

And since I was having too much fun with my April Fool's Day post, I neglected to mention that it's been a year since I've been at my "new" job. Woohoo! Hopefully this means I will be seeing a pay bump soon.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Won the Megamillions!

I can't believe I'm writing this. I haven't even told any of my family members or friends this life changing news but it's been eating me up inside and I figure since this is an anonymous blog about my money I just couldn't hold this secret in any longer.

Let me say that I usually abhor gambling, but last month while accompanying my fiance to a business trip in California I urgently needed to use a restroom after drinking three Ginger Ales on the plane. We stopped at a convenience store and I had to make a purchase to get the restroom key. Since I clearly didn't need anything to drink and I already had gum I thought the next cheapest thing was a throwaway lottery ticket. It was a few weeks later that I finally discovered the piece of paper floating around my pocketbook was worth $133 Million!

I'm so excited! But cautious at the same time. I don't want to let the secret out and have people try to influence my financial decisions. I have hired an estate lawyer who specializes in lottery winnings. After paying taxes up front - and of course paying off my student loans - I should net about $70 million. My lawyer has reccomended buying an annuity with most of the funds which will pay out about $200,000 a month for the rest of my life!

We are buying a boat and sailing the world. Stay tuned for blog posts from paradise! Early retirement here we come!