“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
Month 3 – $113,106
Original and current payoff totals and interest rates. Listed in order of repay.
Graduate Plus – 8.25% – $35,407.95 –> $30,382.36
Stafford – 6.55% – $80,356.09 –> $80,693.17
Perkins – 5% – $2,133.10 –> $2,030.41
January has come and gone… along with half of February… so it’s about time I report in about my achievements. I contributed $2675 to my student loans last month. Still chipping away at this boulder of debt bit by bit. I have expanded my side-work to include the care of two families, with more lined up later this month. And I continue to love it. I look forward to every visit and feel like I hit the jackpot every time I take the little ones for a walk/jog along the beach to play. I’m really just being paid to work out and laugh. Not bad!
I have had some recent conversations with my nearest and dearest regarding my choice of side-job. It is perhaps not the most lucrative of options. But for now, it affords me flexibility and requires very little driving. Which is a welcome relief from my regular commute-heavy life. It has also been enhancing my weekends – I leave feeling uplifted and productive. I welcome the positive contribution to the delicate balance between my goals and sanity.
The easy part? Not buying stuff. When you remove shopping from the equation of life – be it for clothing, home décor or otherwise… it really minimizes the amount of decisions needed in a day. A welcome relief! I have not missed it at all (except maybe once or twice during my “wamp wamp” moment). I do look forward to refreshing the ol’ wardrobe at some point – but I am in no hurry.
The hard part? Entertainment and travel. It continues to be tough to cut back in these areas for me. But when I am starting to feel like a spendy-pants, I just sit down with a calculator and simply crunch the numbers until I arrive to that “holy crap, you need to stick to your plan” moment. At the pace I’m going now, it will take me about 6 years to pay off the debt. I would luh-hove to expedite this, but we’ll see…
As quoted above, we make a living by what we get. True, I am honed in on what I can “do, do, do” to bring things “in, in, in.” But it is important to remember that giving must also be a focus. With the recent passage of Valentine’s Day, I was reminded – as I am most days, really – of how fortunate I am to have so many people I love in my life. I also realized I missed a resolution in the New Year…see number 7:
1: Continue down the path to financial freedom. 2: Be kind. 3: Work hard. 4: Stress Less. 5: Sweat once/day. 6: Drink more water. 7. Express more gratitude.
Gratitude. It is so important and I have been majorly slacking in this area of late. I ‘think’ gratitude most moments of the day, but do I express it? Maybe 5% of the time. The moments fleet. It’s really unfortunate how informal my gratitude has become – it’s just not good practice. Business or personal. I’m bringing back the “Thank You” letter. Snail mail. I’ve got some stamps and cards at the ready… it’s time they serve their purpose.