Money Monday

Money Monday

I always act like I (and my husband) will never make more money than we are making right now. I don’t want to place losing bets. Or you know, even pretend like I know the future. Because I don’t. Anything could happen. One of us could lose our jobs at any time, so we’d better prepare now. I’m all about being prepared for negative things. 
But then my husband went and got a promotion. 
Just so you know, you should be prepared for good things too? Meaning, when you get a rare and blessed windfall, have a plan. And I don’t mean spend money like you’re going to inherit millions from an uncle you never knew existed. So like the basics: pay off debt, save, splurge (?). And address that with significant people in your life so that they can keep you accountable (or so that they can’t catch you with a hole in your pocket and ask to buy a Batmobile). 
So what are we doing with this happily unexpected windfall? 
Paying off student loan debt! Yay for financial literacy arriving in my 20’s, I guess. 
-Smudged 

Money Monday

First Money Monday

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).

Kill with color

Still kind of horrified when people talk to me in the check out line though.

Can’t win them all.