Yesterday I sat down and started doing some serious financial planning. I took a job a little over a year ago with the understanding that its sole purpose was to help me pay down debt faster. Somewhere along the lines I got a little distracted, though. Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I had money! Like, plenty of money! So I went out a lot and bought a lot of beer and went on lots of vacations and bought an expensive computer and an expensive camera, all of which I have loved, but I still have that $54,000 worth of debt in my back pocket, making all of those things weigh extra heavily on my soul.
So I sat down yesterday and started crunching numbers and pounding out a budget. And now for the first time in over a year I don’t have a lot of money at my disposal. But last night I paid off the first of the three student loans that have been tied to my neck for the last 10 years, as well as the bill for the thousands of blood tests they ran when I was pooping blood a few years back, and the depressingly high bill for that excruciatingly painful wisdom tooth extraction I endured in March.
And I’ve got money going into savings, and money going into a health savings account (with pre-tax dollars, thank you!), and enough to pay for electricity and gas and rent and even a vacation or two here and there, and all the rest pouring into those debts. If all goes as planned, I will be free of all debt in 5.1 years or less, the less possibility coming from the decently good chance that I could get promoted sometime between now and then. Of course, these days promotions do not necessarily come with raises (because we’re supposed to just be grateful we get to go somewhere and pound our heads against the wall day after day), but maybe someday before 5.1 years is up, that trend will change.
Meantime, I’ve got no less than 75 different projects going on to keep me distracted from the fact that I’m spending 60% of my income on student debt for a degree I have no intention of using after I’ve finished paying it off. Lucky you, this blog is free and I get to use it to share in my (not-so-) newfound hobbies. Oh, the fun possibilities!