My morning generally includes something along the lines of 30 minutes to an hour of reading through posts of different sites I follow and reveling in their successes and learning from the tid bits they’re sharing. When it comes to the pf community I tend to circle around, a lot of the posts are regarding debt repayment. I suppose it’s something I identify with somewhat because yes, I am in debt. And the more I see people paying off what they owe, the more I think “Why am I not doing that?” which caused me to reevaluate why exactly I wasn’t.
So I went on a quest to figure out what my monetary priorities exactly are.
- Tuition for the Fall 2013 semester + $500 I owe my university – One of my big goals for 2013 was to graduate with no additional loans, so any time I think of a financial goal, my first thought isn’t “Pay off Discover!!!” it’s “Put away enough in tuition before my fee bill is due!!!” For a while I felt very guilty about this, and I honestly couldn’t tell you why. So the goal is to pay the $500 that I owe my university currently (so I suppose that counts as debt repayment too!) and $760 for my first tuition payment by August 8, 2013.
- Discover Card/Emergency Fund – The idea of not having an emergency fund at all is more disturbing to me than my DC balance. I know a lot of people may disagree with me on that point, but I’ve had too many emergencies arise in the last six months (replace all four tires, replace alternator, family illness, etc.) to be able to continue to live paycheck to paycheck with absolutely nothing in the bank. I will continue to make minimum payments on my DC at least through the end of 2013, and once my tuition is completely paid, start making more aggressive payments to have it finished off by the end of 2014.
- Student Loans + Interest – Once my DC is 75% paid off and my EF has a month’s worth of $ in it, I’ll begin to make more aggressive student loan payments (beyond the minimum). I know that the longer I wait, the more I will pay (in interest), but I would really rather build up my EF a bit first.
- Big Purchases (car, computer) – As I mentioned above, there were a few large purchases that had to be made on my car, which has been ridden hard. My mom bought it used with the intention to use it to drive to work and back and make longer trips with while my dad used the truck to travel to and from work. When I went to Florida last summer, they lent me the car (my own actual car has a ~$600 repair sitting on it) and purchased a new one. I don’t anticipate more than a few years out of the car I am driving right now, and it was originally intended to be my younger brother’s…so the plan is to eventually fix my actual car. On another note, my laptop is about to start its fourth year of life. Between having access to my work computer and my smartphone, if my computer dies I could probably get along for a while without it (I mean, people have for years, right? Plus libraries do exist).
My priorities do not currently focus on obliterating my debts.
With this in mind, my goal won’t necessarily be to create a giant loan repayment plan, but a Save & Pay Plan. Half of my goals are savings oriented, the other half are debt-oriented, and with my current income (I did apply for another job, so cross your fingers!), I do need a highly detailed and controlled plan to guarantee I can accomplish at the very least my tuition payments. As I said before, I am finally caught up on bills (e.g. rent, insurance), so I can start planning ahead.
So full steam ahead on the Save & Pay Plan!