Friday, August 10, 2012

Close to Kissing Graduate Loan #1 Goodbye!

I have an addiction problem. I’m addicted to paying off my debt.

So this really isn’t a problem now is it? In the last few weeks I’ve become even more intense about paying off my debt. It is because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, at least where one loan is concerned. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve managed to put almost $7,000 towards Graduate Loan #1. Looking at that number, I can’t believe it, really. But here’s how I did it:

1) Tax Return: I received approximately $1,000 back from the government in March and instead of going out and spending it on a trip or a massage (two things I would love to spend a grand on), I sent another payment to Graduate Loan #1.

2) Second Job: After taking a full-time job in early June, I didn’t need to work a second job as a restaurant hostess anymore. But I continued to do so. I did cut down to three shifts a week instead of five, but three shifts still brings in about $400 a month. Now, instead of using that money to pay rent, I put every paycheck towards this loan. I’ve recently been promoted to a server at the restaurant, so I’ll be making even more money that I can throw at my debt.

3) Birthday Money: I have received a few gifts for my birthday, which has included some money from family members. I put it all towards the loan. People have asked me what I did on my birthday or if I treated myself to anything special. My answer is that yes, I treated myself to the peace of mind in knowing that I’m almost done paying off Graduate Loan #1.

4) Selling Crap: I’m not a clothes or shoes person, but I do have more clothes and shoes than I think I need. I think it is an issue of being a working woman who needs a professional wardrobe. But it also has something to do with having a mother whose favorite hobby is shopping (and not for herself, she loves giving gifts - it is why we call her Mrs. Santa Clause). Because of these two things, I’ve accumulated more crap than I really need. So I’m selling some of it. I’ve had great success with a local consignment shop. I’ve made about $70 in the last six months and will be taking a few bags of fall and winter clothes in over the next few weeks as well.

I’ve also sold some DVDs on and donated books to a local charity. In addition to selling other items on eBay and Craigslist, I’ve made over $200 since the beginning of this year. What did I do with it? That’s right, I made an extra payment towards Graduate Loan #1.

As of today, I have a balance of approximately $2,500 on Graduate Loan #1. My goal is to get this balance down to ZERO by the end of the year. That will mean that I managed to pay off a $9,000 loan in one year! This will definitely be my crowning achievement and a testament to how hard I have worked this past year. I can’t see myself burning out until this is paid off, but I do fear a bit of fatigue after this is done. After all, I still have two loans left (and large balances on them at that). But what I can tell myself is that two payments are better than three. My roommate has promised to take me out for a beer once I’ve paid the remaining $2,500 off - so there is a reward at the end of all of this, even if it is just a beer.

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