I am probably echoing many others out there, but I can’t believe we’re nearly a week away from Thanksgiving. This year has been the fastest to date and I feel dizzy with how much has happened.
I’ve been on the hustle, continuing to make sure that my self-employment is a viable and lucrative option. Because of this, my own blog has taken a backseat and for that I am remorseful. I want to try to build both things concurrently as I truly love the blogging community and writing in this space.
Somehow with securing new clients, writing until my wrists are sore, and trying to maintain that elusive work-life balance, I’ve neglected to update you all about my debt repayment journey!
As happy as I am with self-employment, it does affect my ability to consistently put over $1,000 to my student loans. This is not necessarily an income issue, but a cash flow issue (when payments get received). Also, I had some extra expenses this past month that I’ll go over.
In total, I was able to put $698 to my debt in the past month. My current debt totals are:
This is so much better than the $81k total I have amassed — and much easier to handle than the $68k that was staring me in the face after I graduated from NYU in May 2011. I’ve paid off $33k in about 3.5 years — while making a low salary.
After all this time, it finally feels like I’m making progress. I will be happy once my debt total is below $30k.
So, what prevented me from putting $1,000 to debt?
Well my 30th birthday was part of the culprit. As some of you might remember, I initially wanted to go to Iceland Airwaves, a rad music festival in Iceland for my big 3-0. Well, with FinCon, and job changes, I just couldn’t justify it. Instead of traveling, I went a few hours away to the Oregon desert (I didn’t know it existed!) and spent a weekend away with my sweetie. My mom also decided to come up for a few days. In total that cost around $200.
Then I also had a scary situation arise, where my computer decided not to turn on. I have an oldish Macbook from 2010 and it had been slowing down, then one day it decided not to turn on. I immediately started to freak out. I now make my living on that thing! I was paranoid all my work would be lost and I’d have to drop mad cash for a new computer right then and there. I took it to the Genius bar (so clever aren’t they?) and they diagnosed the issue and I forked over $160. It was a hard drive issue — I later found out I could have fixed the hard drive myself, but I’m just so bad with that kind of stuff, I just let it go. I was seriously thinking the worst, so $160 to fix my computer wasn’t bad. Bonus: I didn’t lose anything!
Then after reading this and this post, I decided I needed to be an adult and get renters insurance. After having my computer snafu, I was determined to protect myself. Not only that, but my partner is a musician with tons of instruments and equipment, so it seemed too risky to not have renters insurance. Without his stuff and my laptop, we’d both be out of making a living, so I forked over another $167 for a year of renters insurance. I instantly felt better.
So that was $527 that was unexpected. Because I live on a bare bones budget and throw any excess towards my student loans, unexpected expenses like this just means I have to lower my payment a bit. I have decided to start a ‘Computer’ targeted savings account with Capital One 360 though as I imagine I might need a new one in the next few years.
Aside from that, I’m getting into the groove of self-employment. My inner night owl is in full flight and I enjoy the flexibility it gives me. I’m excited about trying new things in 2015 and really trying to make Dear Debt even better. I want more dear debt letters, to create an e-book, and ramp up my side hustle coaching. I’m also interested in doing more Twitter chats and hosting events with brands and bloggers.
Yeah, I have a lot of dreams! So I better keep working on my own goals, while still creating kickass content for others.
In case you missed it, here is a sprinkling of my writing around the web.
5 Alternatives for People Who Can’t Go Home for The Holidays via The College Investor
The Art of the Follow-Up: How to Get a “Yes” Without Being Pushy via Careful Cents
When Being Frugal Backfires via Retire By 40
5 Things to Consider Before Taking the Leap into Self-Employment via NarrowBridge Finance
How to Have a Cute Wardrobe in Any Weather via Money Saving Pro
What I Learned From Getting My First Credit Card at 28 via GoGirl Finance
What’s new with you? Tell me: what are you enjoying spending money on or feeling guilty about spending money on? Or tell me new and exciting ways you are making that money!