People often find it strange that I went to school for art and accounting. As if someone who likes math can’t be an artist or vice versa. I don’t necessarily excel at either, but I made good grades and really appreciated both. Finances are very important to all people. Oil paint costs money, scanners cost money, Photoshop costs SO much money. Art is a very expensive hobby sometimes. I also struggle with anxiety at times, so being prepared has been my best defense against worrying about money.
There was a time when I was afraid to look at my bank account or my loans. I was too scared to deal with it. Which only got worse as time went on, obviously. It’s like filling a bath tub with water and instead of turning the water off when it gets to high, leaving the room and closing the door behind you. So I looked. And I planned. And I figured it out. I still get anxious. Even my little emergency fund doesn’t totally keep that at bay, but I feel a lot better.
I currently have about $8,500 left on what was originally a $15,000 loan plus a good amount of interest. My plans, all things remaining the same, will have it paid off in November. Sometimes it’s a little painful paying out $1,200 a month (WAY above the minimum…I have a friend whose minimum is $1,100, which sounds terrifying). The thought of having no debt so soon alleviates a lot, but things pop up. Emergency lights in vehicles informing you to take it in to fix things you don’t understand. A dog with what seems like a tumor growing in her armpit. I’m in a better boat than a lot of people, I realize. I have a decent job, no serious debt outside of student loans, an emergency fund.
So I employee methods to keep my spirits up. I get a little too excited about payday because I get to whack a chunk out of my debt. I check to watch the numbers go down. I play with spreadsheets to predict the exact date of final pay off if I pay $100 extra more here and there. I keep a piece of paper that I slowly color in to visually depict the debt going away. I plan what I’ll do with all that extra money when the debt is over (invest! so exciting!). I think about how much easier (certain) problems will be to take care of when I don’t have to worry about my loans. One less bill to never ever pay again. One less thing to think about. I like that. I like that a lot. I am really risk-averse. I am very cautious. But I definitely sleep better at night knowing I have a plan (I also have a sleep mask, which helps considerably too).
Still kind of horrified when people talk to me in the check out line though.
Can’t win them all.