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I’m Tired of being single…

Okay, now that’s off my chest! Im down to $55K student loan debt from over $94K. I am preparing my house to sell. So I am overwhelmed with freaking repairs and new appliances and windows that stick. Im cleaning my garage which is a torture of its own. And every time I turn around I’m spending money. Continue reading “I’m Tired of being single…”

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Side Hustle

What will I do to earn about $600 per month. I have about 20 hours per week to sacrifice. So that’s about 80 hours. The best thing is I could work for minimum wage here in Alabama and make…

Ok so sorry but I published the above unfinished post. I could blame the dogs trampling my phone. Or maybe on one of my many sleepless nights I rolled over it while tossing and turning. But yep it was posted.

So with the possibility of only making minimum wage for my time, knowing my time is a finite resource, I decided against a part time job.

This post was started when I removed a boarder from my home. I was afraid that the income from them would be greatly missed. So this post was nothing but panic. But with a few adjustments to my budget, all of my fears were squashed. This has truly been the most peaceful living I’ve experienced in my adulthood. I was blessed with 2 pay increases since that day that helped significantly. And I very quickly realized what things were important.

Putting my mental health before my student loan debt was worth it. My student loans payments are getting made. I have no emergency fund thanks to several emergencies. I still have a home and all of it’s expenses. Still have my 2009 Camry that I pray makes it into 2020. So it is what it is…hard, sometimes lonely, but empowering.

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I just read there are people fleeing the country to “escape” their student loan debt. Read their stories here.

Young people, there is no silver bullet! Fleeing the country is equivalent to placing loans in deferment. Interest is still accruing and that overwhelming loan balance is getting larger and overwhelming-er.

Figure out what you can do to make payments! Reduce your living expenses. If you are able to live with your parents or a friend / relative then live with them. If you have time to work a second job work a second job. Sell your stuff. Do odd jobs…anything legal that pays. But don’t let your balance grow!

I do understand that everyone’s chosen major didn’t lead to a well-paying career. There’s a lesson in that one statement alone. College is not the place to pursue your passion or interest IF it doesn’t lead to employment. It is the place to secure skills for gainful employment. Don’t go to a University for basket weaving. Watch YouTube videos to learn about basket weaving and practice basket weaving in your free time. Go to college and learn how to educate. Then once your debt is paid maybe you can sell handmade baskets on Etsy and teach basket weaving online. You get my point.

Everyone’s life presents different challenges and obstacles. But take this from someone who knows, ignoring your debt only makes it worse. Make your minimum payments at the very least. There’s also an income based repayment option with most student loan lenders. Don’t let this debt follow you into to your thirties and forties. And if you find yourself in my shoes with debt in your 40s from decisions you made at 18, don’t let it follow you into retirement. It only gets harder to pay.

My highest balance: > $94000 (after years of deferment)

Current balance: < $62200

Age: 44

Year when I committed to getting out of debt: 2012 (yep you read that right, 15 years after graduating)

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Roommate Free! What does that really mean for my money?

There is a crap ton of emotional baggage that goes with asking one of your good friends to move out of your home after an extended period. However, I decided it was time. In previous posts I talked about the frustrations I felt with the living arrangement. And I knew it was no longer beneficial for me. Truly it didn’t benefit them either. So now what does that mean to my money. Well, for starters I have no “get ahead money”. I didn’t need money to maintain my lifestyle but I wanted money to improve my lifestyle. I didn’t want fancy purses and shoes, I wanted freedom from student loan debt. In the past 6 years I have made some slow but steady progress. My student loan debt is down from $93000 to $71600. I increased my monthly payment on February from $561 to $1080! My credit card debt is down from $4400 to $2900. It was used for a new toilet, decorations and furniture (a fact I’m not proud of). My car is paid off! At the end of 2017, my credit score had gone up a 160 points. then plummeted when I got a new “loan” (see my sad attempt at explaining myself below)!

I am finally tackling some home improvement projects! Two weeks ago I got rid of my 15 year old cheap carpet and torn linoleum! But that came with a $10000 price tag. I financed my floors. The whole time I went through the approval process for my floors I thought I was getting an installment loan. Then BAM! I got a maxed out credit card in the mail. Seems the amount I was approved for was the exact amount I needed to do my floors. And I got a stinking credit card. I should have asked questions and read the fine print. But I let the excitment of my new floors get the best of me. This made my credit usage 42% of my available credit. Little boys and girls with good scores are usually under 20%. I bought a new AC/Heating unit almost two years ago with a personal loan. It costed $5000 and I made my last payment before my first floor payment was due! I’m painting my house interior at the rate of one room a month. I’m starting in my boarders’ rooms. Hopefully fresh paint and no carpet will get rid of the smell. It is not terrible but unpleasant. I paid a family friend $125 to do two rooms. And those are the first and last two rooms he will ever paint for me. You get what you pay for! As we speak I’m getting an oil change and tune up ($300). My car has 206,000 miles! I’m trying to take care of her so she will take care of me 1 more year.

I have one more major thing to do this year. I will fence in my backyard for $1600. Hopefully everything in my house will hang on for a few more months so i can catch my breath.

So as thankful as I am to have my entire home to myself, I am overwhelmed with the mounting financial responsibilities. I have worked all the overtime I can and won’t stop any time soon. God has given me more than I can ask for and taken care of me when there wasn’t enough. I will keep my faith and focus on Him. I have a grateful heart and a mind to work as hard as I can over the next couple of years to get and keep everything moving forward.

Status Report:

Amex- $2900

Floors- $9875

Student Loan- $71600

PS- In the couple days between writing and publishing this post. My hot water tank started leaking!

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Good Deeds

We have all heard the saying that no good deed goes unpunished. But the only punished good deed is the one that you perform and place your own high value upon. For some people you’re good deed is simply status quo or what life owes them or what they deserve from you as their friend or family member. We allow ourselves to be disappointed when we decide that the deed we performed should be appreciated, reciprocated, or at the very least respected.

When you do something for someone that is above or beyond your reasonable service, let it be from your heart with no expectations. If they are truly appreciative you will know. And if they are entitled or narcissistic you will know. Either way you’re good deed was the currency paid to learn a valuable lesson about that individual.

Have hard limits of what you do regardless of the reaction you receive to avoid being the fool. If you find yourself playing the role of a fool, never be the same fool twice. You will condition an ingrate to think you owe them something and they will have a high unrealistic expectation of you and your quality of friendship or family relation. My boss refers to this as feeding a wild animal. If you have ever gone on a hike or spent time in nature there usually was one simple instruction: “Don’t feed the wild animals!”. Because if you feed a wild animal and you stop, the animal will become angry and attack you for more food. You are not a friend you are a resource. Animals aren’t known to have great reasoning skills.

Remember: When flying, the airline’s safety briefing tell you:

“In the event of a loss of cabin pressure you are to secure YOUR oxygen mask before assisting others (including your children).”

YOU are the most important thing for YOU to save.

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Really single…

So as I sit at the bar of my favorite restaurant I realize the gravity of my singleness. I am not newly single. I have been out of a relationship for over 3 yrs. However, for 2 years and about 9 months I’ve been scrambling to find a new love. I have been on about 6 blind dates and twice as many online app dates. Everyone has a single guy they think would be perfect for me or a brother/ uncle newly divorced. What I realized from all these hookups is that most single guys are single for a reason. And all the blind dates in the world won’t change their status. If I happen to really like them they disappear in the ether. If we have a great date I literally never see or hear from them again. So finally I gave up. At first I thought if I gave up it meant I had acknowledged there is no one out there for me. I would be an old maid with a house full of cats. But it has been liberating. I have discovered I love my own company. I know me a lot better and look forward to what else I will learn about me. I have new strengths I never knew existed. For example, I sit tonight in a restaurant alone. I see joyful couples of all ages and I don’t feel any jealousy. I am enjoying every bite of my dinner and every sip of my dirty martini. I dressed like I wanted (comfy). I made eye contact and spoke kindly to all that greeted me. No shying away or acting like I was waiting for someone. I sent a few text messages out of boredom but I stayed in the moment. I even waited till I returned home to complete this post. For the first time in months I was alone and not worried about being lonely.

Posted in The Struggle

MLMs…I’m not buying it!

It Works! Mary Kay! AdvoCare…I have done them all.  The best thing I got out of these multilevel marketing (MLM) businesses were the products themselves. Unfortunately, the products won’t make you rich.  What pays, is getting everyone you meet to drink the kool-aid.  I have fallen in love with many products.  The Mary Kay Satin Hands is the most amazing dry skin product I have ever used on my hands.  I could sell it because I believed in it.  But you can’t sell stuff you don’t like or don’t use.  I didn’t like the makeup for my skin tone.  I was addicted to MAC eyeshadow so I never used the MK color palette.  And the skincare I liked was discontinued after I began selling it.  The facts, that I only liked 30% of my products and knew the group I was in only cared about my quota, helped me walk away.  Read my post The Brief Love Affair I Had With Lipstick

Then I tried AdvoCare at a time in my life when I was least committed to my fitness.  I was talking the talk but not walking the walk.  I did love those Spark drink mixes though.  However, I never tried to sell one pack.  I used my starter kit and abandoned ship.  Who knew later I would drop 15 pounds and actually set fitness goals.  But I did that without AdvoCare so I was really uninterested in selling the goods.  

Next I followed my niece into It Works!  I have not used a single product and I have been a distributor for 7 months.  My starter kit is in my trunk.  After about 4 months I decided I wasn’t turning my Instagram into a way to worry the shit out of all the people I follow or that follow me.  Also I didn’t want to use stock before and after photos to convince people that It Worked for me and would work for them.  Nor did I want to post earnings checks to make folks interested in the business.  And besides I would have to hustle and earn some money first.  Honestly, I signed up in hopes of a small secondary income and so far i have lost $140.

I now have a friend courting me to join her Rodan Fields business.  The initial investment is about $700!  That shit ain’t happening.  

(But best peel and moisturizer ever!)

My truth:  MLMs are increasing the size of my shovel.  I’m done digging a larger debt hole with get rich quick schemes.  I’m just going to continue working and chip away at my existing debt.  It’s slow but effective. 

BTW: I have cancelled It Works.