Welcome to October! The season of pumpkin beers and horror movies is here. My favorites so far are Flying Dog’s The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale and The Voices, respectively. I will be doing some travelling for work this month and will also be hosting my parents in DC for the first time. No Halloween costume plans yet–I’ll likely default to Hermione because I’ve already got the hair and the wand. October should also be a relatively slow period at my day job, but I’ve been saying (and hoping) that for months and it’s never true. It’s also that point in the semester where school really picks up. Papers on projects on readings. Send coffee. Before I get too ahead of myself, here’s how I matched up against my loans in September.
Victories (Money I Saved):
- Stuck to my goal of only using Lyft after my late night class. Total Savings: At least $50.
- Received 2 $10 of a purchase of $50 or more grocery coupons in the mail and remembered to use them. Total Savings: $20 off our monthly grocery bill.
- Fit my entire book collection onto two bookshelves. A little context: I went through a phase in my life where I would go to used bookstores and thrift stores and buy stacks of book. Why? Because I loved to read. Because they were cheap. Because I was building up my personal library with classics I felt I needed. I was proud of the hundreds of books I owned. When I first began to reevaluate my finances, part of that was taking a hard look at the stuff I owned. There were entire shelves of books that I either hadn’t read or didn’t like. Why was I keeping books that brought me no joy or sparked no interest in learning? Purging was challenging and happened in phases, typically before moving to a new place. But now, in the Year of Our Regina George 2017, I’m finally there. I can look at each book and tell you what it means to me or why I kept it. Total Savings: At least $79 (the cost of an IKEA Billy bookcase), plus what I save by no longer buying all of the books.
Defeats (Money I Had to Spend):
- Our first electricity bill in the new place slapped us with a deposit we weren’t expecting since my credit score has been killing it and I always pay bills on time. I’m guessing it’s the moving around a lot that flags us as shady. Total Spent: $110
- My beloved iPhone 5’s battery was becoming increasingly unreliable. Not a huge deal until you’re trying to snag a ride at 11:00pm and your phone shuts down mid-request. I took the plunge this month and upgraded to a 6s. Total Spent: $80
Draws (Money I Chose to Spend):
- Shameful blogging confession: I bought a premium theme. I didn’t like the look of my site and was spending way too much time cobbling together something I only felt lukewarm about instead of writing. The ease of use and cleaner appearance has been worth the cost so far. Total spent: $61
- Bossed Up Bootcamp is coming to DC in November. I’ll be facing a career transition after I graduate in May and I’m trying to prepare for it now. Plus, I’m excited to be surrounded by so many other kick ass women for a weekend! Total Spent: $250
Student Loan Payment for September: $200
Far short of the $375 goal I set in August. I’m disappointed, but I made decisions to spend money on things this month that will support my future goals. I don’t regret those purchases.
Goal for October: $375. Time to hit that benchmark!
Remaining Student Loan Debt:
Projected (for Spring 2018): $7,574*
Accrued Interest: $1,883.03
Graduate PLUS Loans:
Accrued Interest: $19.48
Grand Total: $70,389.44
I’m working on paying off the accrued interest first since it will be capitalized at the end of my deferment period. Capitalization is this fun thing where accrued interest is added to your principal loan balance, which causes you to pay even more interest over time. See Student Loan Hero for more info.
My student loan debt increased by $36.86 this month despite making a $200 payment. The interest on those Stafford loans is a real bitch. If I hit my October goal of $375, I’ll knock out the rest of the accrued interest on the PLUS loans and start tackling the Staffords. Here’s to seeing my debt decrease in October!
*I’ve made the choice to begin paying off my loans with the understanding that I still have Spring 2018’s tuition to pay. While I could put aside the money I’m paying off now for my future tuition, the dent would be small and I would need to borrow no matter what. And I’m not sure that I trust myself to save that money and actually use it for future tuition. So accrued interest it is.
Hit any September milestones you are proud of? What are your goals for October?