Month 24 Update – $32,140.58

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So here we are…April 5, 2014. Listening to some Fantasia and Aretha Franklin tunes on my Audio-Technica headphones while bf watches Scrubs and our siamese cat sits curled up a foot away completely unphased by both the noise of my typing and the television. I feel beat down by an irregular sleeping schedule, where I passed out around 10:30PM and woke up at 4:45AM. I was going to go the ambitious route and go to the gym / catch up on some reading. Instead I wormed around in bed for an hour before falling asleep again. Then I see the sun rise, check my phone and it’s 7:22. Oh crap, I’m late for work. So I go through the usual shower / iron routine, telling my bf to walk the dog and delaying breakfast until I get to the work cafeteria.

I hit an important milestone, on Month 24 of making straight payments to Sallie Mae. This shit is neither fun nor easy. I certainly see how some people can go for ten years of payments and still not have their loans paid off. Life can certainly get in the way of your plans to become debt-free. I have had some increased anxiety as of late with them. Going to Florida next month for a wedding. Bf reimbursed me most of the none I put down for that trip. $600 and change with airfare / hotel factored in. Then today he’s like you should really go visit your parents. Sure that would be nice but with what money, I have about $350 to my name right now. I currently have I hold myself to higher standards that I can get this paid off as quickly as possible while still enjoying life. Debt to me is slavery. I can’t turn back the hands of time but I can focus on my abilities in the pleasant to create a better life.

Another friend bought us tickets to the NCAA Championship games in Dallas next week. I don’t know any of the teams really, but it should be exciting. Never went to a basketball game before. Don’t lecture me, just because I lived an hour from Madison  Square Garden doesn’t mean I went. Same with the Statue of Liberty… or the World Trade Center back in the day.

I was thinking today maybe sell the car and drive around in an absolute piece of crap car until I am debt-free. Of course maintenance is an issue there and I’d always wondered how many years I could get out of a perfectly reliably running car of which I have full knowledge of all its maintenance records and overall treatment. Then I think about the $3k I put in the audio system that would not be appreciated by a 2nd owner or by the dealer / used car sales guy making me an offer. Last but not least I thought about how people get royally screwed over when trading in a car. Do I really want to put myself through all that again for a shiny piece of equipment that gets me from point A to point B. Even if it’s a hybrid or an electric car that will cut my fuel costs by half or a 3/4. I don’t want to be on the treadmill forever. I want to lose the weight and keep it off. My freedom, my sanity is worth more than material objects.

Also listened through the whole Millionaire Next Door Audiobook and stared going through Secrets of A Millionaire Mind. My goal is to shift my mindset to thinking more in terms of opportunities that exist instead of limiting thoughts in my head to generate wealth. Over the the years I’ve encountered systems of get rich schemes that sound good on the surface but upon closer inspection have either large inconsistencies or have so many negative things written about them why would I want to go down that path. MLM comes to mind, if people are going to buy something from me I want to believe 100% in the product / service and it must genuinely fill some kind of need or want in their lives.

I don’t think I’m a greedy person. I just know where I have fallen short in the past and want to see more of a payoff for my hard work and efforts.  Right now that hasn’t happened yet and it can be frustrating. I see myself farther along than I currently am. I feel beat down, tore down but I can and will get back up and do some amazing things with my life. A positive net worth would be a good first step. Last but not least along with getting more omega-3s, I find keeping a busy schedule is a sure-fire way not to get depressed. Simply put, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.

Was about to hit post, then I looked at Haha Money’s How Rich Are You article. Plugged my number in to a calculator and combined we are in the richest 0.4% of the world’s population and our income is 42 times that of the average person. For just me it’s in the richest 6.1% of the world’s population and income more than 14x the typical person. Kinda boggles the mind how I could be richer than so many people in the world yet feel so financially broke.

If anyone is reading this in their 20s, I have one bit of advice. Well two really. Start planning early and don’t let the time pass you by. I’m not old, but the years have taken a toll on me. Losing my dad and grandmother so young, watching them struggle with health issues for years, a decade of being unable to get traction professionally, racking up student loan debt. The most recent one was a former friend going clinically crazy last month & being checked into a mental health institution for self-destructive behaviors. He is out, but after some of the threats and obsessive behavior I no longer choose to associate with him.

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2 thoughts on “Month 24 Update – $32,140.58

  1. I’ve been getting email updates of your blog for a long time now, and I’m so flattered you subscribed to mine. Thank you so much. Have you ever listened to Dave Ramsey? I do sometimes (I go in spurts) and when I do, it does help to motivate me to get out of debt. But I totally understand what you are saying – this is not fun, not fun at all, trying to dig your way out of debt. I look at your $45K that you started with, and I have to tell you, I CANNOT wait until I get down to that number – that would be awesome!! (So see, it’s all relative.)

    When you start to feel like you’re getting nowhere, just look back and see how far you have come. It helps me to do that. Think about what you were like before you started, and how you are now, and how you have changed (for the better.) You probably have a better sense of priorities now than you did before.

    Oh, and by the way, selling my car was one of the best ways for me to really get the debt going away. I know you are in Texas, so mass transit may not be the same as it is with me in Boston. But it has certainly helped. Do you guys have anything like ZipCar down there? That’s what I do now whenever I do need a car. So much cheaper in the long run, trust me.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you and tell you to keep it up. Just know you are not alone.

  2. You’re welcome. Yeah I listen to him almost everyday on my drive home from work. The exceptions are when I want to break the cycle or am down about money. Sometimes you need a distraction. I don’t identify with everything he says, the very religious nature of his teachings for one, but the basic message is sound. Spend less than you make and invest the difference. Regardless of the advice giver, that seems to be a common theme. 🙂

    It certainly is relative. I was listening to DR and a 28 year old women had over $100k in debt and her bf was asking about advice on dealing with it. Her income was also much less than mine in NYC where cost of living is 2-3x as much. I have come a long way and look at previous postings to reaffirm this.

    Mass transit in texas doesn’t really exist. If I were going to downtown Dallas sure but I work way north. I could carpool with my bf but we’d kill each other. I run on a different time schedule and don’t want to be feel like a teenager who is waiting on his mommy to give him a ride, haha.

    Keep at it with the gazelle-like intensity. The hardest part is making that payment and realizing how much of your money just vanished. It didn’t really vanish though, it’s a step closer to freedom. Thanks for the words of support. Everyone’s story is a little different. I’m a gay man so take it for what it’s worth but you look great at 41. 🙂

    You’re still relatively young and the choices you make now are going to put you in a much better place down the road.

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