So 2014 was probably the craziest year of my life. Took and passed the biggest exam of my graduate school career in June, got married in August, moved in with my husband, set up our finances slowly but surely, got to work on sprucing up our apartment, continued working and going to school full time, took a few fun trips to California, Canada, and Oregon, and then finally remembered I have a blog that’s supposed to be documenting all of that stuff.
It took a lot longer than I expected for us to combine our finances, create a budget, and start saving. In fact, we’re still in the ‘create a budget’ and ‘start saving’ phase of our financial life, but at least all of our accounts are combined and we have a good idea of how much money we spend every month. So far we’ve saved enough in our emergency fund to float us for 3 months in case we both randomly get booted from graduate school, so now the focus is going to be on savings and debt repayment. I still want to slowly start saving for a house and will probably put that money into a mutual fund or another slow growing investment fund, but we also have a ton of student debt that we need to start paying back.
Right now we have two loans out – a Graduate Plus loan at 7.9% interest and a Stafford loan at 6.8% interest. Those interest rates are way too high and it’s my goal for the month of February to figure out whether a loan consolidation company will work for us, or if we’re just going to have to bite the bullet and pay a shit ton of interest on these loans. I mean, seriously, how do people get loans that are below 5%? The one sliver of hope among this mess is that we are currently on a deferment plan since we’re both in graduate school. However, interest is still accruing so I’m not sure much good the deferment is doing us, but at least we don’t “have” to pay off these loans right away.
Right now we can probably save about $200-$300 a month, even with all the random stuff and food (omg, so much food) we buy. Once we cancel Comcast – after the Super Bowl – we should be saving another $100. I’m really hoping that we can get into a good groove and put at least $500/month towards our loans and make some headway this year.
I’ll be writing more about our day to day finances, debt repayment, and random stuff that happens in our lives. One of my goals is to keep up with this blog – even if it’s just once a week checking in, redefining goals, talking about what I spent on bars vs. restaurants vs. groceries, to share non-personal finance topics, or really whatever I feel like writing that day. The blogs I like to read the most are the ones that let you in to the blogger’s personal life so that you feel a connection to them. PF blogs (or really any others) that just give the reader topics like “How much the Super Bowl costs (calling it!)”, “Top financial new years resolutions”, “How to save money without leaving the house”, etc are SO BORING and redundant. We all get it – you either have to save more money or make more money to get ahead. The interesting part about money to me is how everyone deals with it (or doesn’t) and why we make the choices we do. Plus, eventually I hope that one day I’ll look back with my google glass in my self-driven car and reflect on how far I’ve come since this tiny blog started. Hope you continue to read along!