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Archive for October, 2010

BF got the job :) And other news...

October 31st, 2010 at 07:57 pm

So it's been a while. I've been wrapped up in school, work, and taking the awful GRE. I didn't do nearly as well on the GRE as I had thought I would, but my score is good enough to qualify for my top choice program. That's all that really matters.

In good news, BF got the job he applied for. This is fantastic, as he's been looking for a while. He graduates in December, and as soon as we get back from vacation he'll start full time, making a salary of $52k per year. Not bad Smile It's really exciting for both of us. Obviously it will benefit both of us financially, and it eases many of the anxieties we had about finances when we come home from vaca.

It's amazing to think that in the "real world" in higher paying jobs that people really make that much money. I've never made more than $25k. He'll make in one week what I make in almost a month. Insane.

Obviously, this also brings hopes of marriage in the next two years a bit closer. Very happy times over here Smile

Other than that, I have no real exciting news. The GRE is over, and I'm organizing my finances for November. It was a bit of a spendy month, but I still dont have my car fixed up for winter... I need to get on that ASAP. I also have my lady check-up this week, so it'll be another $80 or so, and grad school application fees will total up to $110 this month. Income is a bit strapped this month, as well. It's rather sad. I'm really broke again.

We could have done much better in October. We didn't go out and buy anything frivolous, but we did eat out at restaurants more than we should have. I had to dip into my savings a couple times to cover basic expenses. Not cool. This month we're going to be better, at least after this first week.

We have a wedding to go to this coming weekend, and we're taking a trip to Pittsburgh the night before the wedding for some fun. I don't think the actual wedding will be bad, but that trip out to PA will obviously run us for food and such. It'll be spendy, but it'll also count for our "date night" this month. If we decide to do anything else special this month it will be at home, probably watching movies on the couch because it is FREEZING in our apartment. We will not be eating at any restaurants after next weekend.

We have yet to turn on the heat, despite frigid temperatures. We're trying to hold out a bit longer, but we'll see how bad it gets. Groceries this week were fantastic. For the last month or so we've been at right about $60-- for all of it, which we split. This week we totaled $37. Fantastic, and I have a great menu lined up on top of it Smile We had some leftover stuff from last week, so that's part of the rationale behind the drop. But regardless, that saved money is certainly needed.

I looked at my loan totals again to update my net worth. It's depressing to see it drop every month. I amass about $300 extra dollars every month in interest, if I don't make any payments to Sallie Mae. I'm trying my best to free up cash to contribute to my debt, but it's been really hard. I'm still trying to save up for vacation money and dipping into my savings. Needless to say, I wont be purchasing that camera. I'll just have to make due with what I've got. I cant really afford to amass another $800-1000 in debt for something that isn't entirely necessary. It was a want, not a need. It's more important for me to fix my car and apply to grad schools right now, and Christmas is coming up next month.

I'll stop here, as I don't have much more to report and have a TON of work to do. Hope you all enjoy your Halloween!

Those Pesky Loans

October 15th, 2010 at 04:53 pm

So quick update: No major spending, but I have a few expenses coming up. Need to replace my windshield, take the kitty to the vet, and get my yearly checkup at the "girl doctors" (lol). And, of course, vacation is coming up in December. And Xmas. And getting that camera I want so bad.

What I guess I want to bring up here today is my student loans. I updated the totals on October 1, right... and got on Sallie Mae yesterday to see what the total was, because I was thinking of making a payment on it.

October 1: $34,017.09
October 15: $34,124.76

wtf???

It truly amazes me that I gained over $100 in interest in the matter of 2 weeks. So this got me thinking, and I pulled up a loan payment calculator, and put in some figures and realized that if I wanted to pay it off in 10 years that I would have to pay over $400/month. That is absolutely ludicrous. If I want to pay it off in 20 years, still $300. Gaa!!!

So.

These are obviously scary figures, and I need to develop some sort of action plan. I mean, that isn't even the entirety of my student debt. That's just what I've got through Sallie Mae... It is, however, the highest interest rates I've got (9.25% for the majority of it).

I'm going to try and pay a target of $300/month, and obviously any additional income will go towards debt/savings as usual. It's just rather sad that my schooling has cost me this much. I'm not sure if calling them up and asking for a lower interest rate would do anything. Regardless, it's a bit distressing. I can cover my bills alright, and even put a bit into savings, but this is kind of ridiculous.

Income for this month hasn't been as high as I had hoped it would be, but I'm working on it yet, and I have a few payments due that haven't been sent to me yet. I also have drill this weekend, which will provide a bit of income also.

Regardless, I was highly motivated to make a $50 payment on those loans yesterday. I know, it's not much. But every little bit counts!

In good news, the Army requires me to get a dental examination-- which I got today. The Army does NOT cover cleanings, but the fabulous people at the office I went to donates them to soldiers for free Smile So I got my first cleaning in about 2 years for free. Happy day. I take terrible care of my teeth, and I thought I would have cavities, but as it turns out I don't have one... but my gums are in bad shape. I need to start a better regiment. Thankfully, the office also gave me a goodie bag (I love that), so I'm stocked on toothbrush and even more toothpaste, and mouthwash.

It's rough not having any medical insurance. I know that it's going to be required here soon, but as of this week I'm not *too* concerned about it. Mostly because the BF got a job Smile He's going to be making over $50k per year, with benefits. Though we're not married yet, we plan to be in a couple years. So by the time that I'm required to have insurance, I should. Crazy to think about. BF getting a job is a big step, as he's graduating with his masters in December, and he's had a lot of trouble finding anything. The market is just horrible right now. But he's good to go now, and I'll start my last semester of undergrad. Woo!

I have a campus visit at the Grad school I really want to go to next week. I'm really excited, but also really anxious-- because that means the GRE is even closer! I haven't studied nearly as much as I want to. I need to step up my game.

I should stop rambling now, and get to work. That money's not gonna make itself!

Anniversary Week

October 5th, 2010 at 08:43 pm

So yesterday was my and BF's 1 year anniversary. We decided to celebrate a couple times-- once yesterday and also this weekend. The thing is, we're both pretty strapped for cash. Gifts will in fact be exchanged this weekend. I would have opted out, but I really wanted to get him FIFA 2011 Smile He's been wanting it for a while. So that's what I'm getting for him. The actual celebrations, however, weren't/wont be too pricey.

Our first date was to see a movie, then we stopped at Steak n' Shake for milkshakes and french fries. Though neither of those things happened last night, I did make a delicious steak dinner for us (his request), and we did watch a movie at home. For free. Oh, and I made milkshakes Smile It was nice to make dinner together, and to relax and cuddle a bit.

This weekend we're heading up to Cleveland to have dinner at this fab little wine bar and go see the orchestra play. Whereas the wine bar will certainly be an expense, I get free tickets to the orchestra just for being in the military. Woo! So dinner will be the only celebration expense in all this hubbub. Not bad!

Other than that, not really tons of news. I'm entirely swamped right now... which explains why I'm procrastinating here on SA. I had 2 phone interviews today for two pieces I'm working on. My deadline is tomorrow and I haven't even started writing. Bah. At least I got the interviews all done... and I'm elated because one of them was with an interior designer that's done celebrity work-- which is really cool. She was incredibly fabulous to talk to, as well.

These two articles are grossing me a nice amount of cash, so I want to make sure they're quality. I'm excited to write them. I do love writing about design and interiors.

Work is as busy as ever, but I'm also knee-deep in all of this grad school craziness. I'll be happy when the applications are sent and everything is dealt with. It's quite a process.

I suppose I should stop procrastinating and get back to work now... I just wanted to check in. Hope everyone is doing well! Cheers!