Monday, August 3, 2015

Happy Blogiversary WEEK - Retirement and Student Loans Today!

Did you all know that I like to write really long posts that really should be WAY shorter?  You did?  Good for you! Yeah, I know I ramble....and if I was writing all of this for pay, then I probably would do it differently.  But since my AdSense takes a year and a half to add up to a minimum payout, I don't exactly see this as a money maker, so I ramble.

My actual Blogiversary is Thursday, Aug 6.  I am going to break everything down into (still too long!) chunks, with a summary on the 6th.  I hope you will stop by everyday, but there will be a summary later this week in case you don't! Here is the schedule for the week:

Aug 3:  Retirement and Student Loans
Aug 4:  Cars and Medical
Aug 5:  Credit Card
Aug 6:  Summary

I am going to write a little Way Back Then vs. A Year Ago vs. Now kind of enjoy.  Alot of it is a rehash, so feel free to skim if you are familiar with the story.  As I have realized over the years, I used my side bar to update numbers and wasn't as good at putting those actual numbers in the body of a some of the numbers are estimated or are from the closest post that I can find.  So for you math-y people...I totally realize that if you add some of these numbers, they won't always equal. 


Retirement loan
Day one of blog:  This particular loan didn't exist, but a different loan did that was not included as part of the original total
2014: $16,376.69
2015: $10,052.45

Looking back, I think we didn't "count" the retirement loan in the debt total because we were a little in denial about it.  Since it was auto-debited from G-man's pay, and we weren't "physically" making a payment, it just didn't really exist.  But that was so far from the truth.  That money was paying a loan, and it was money that we didn't have to pay other things.  Yes, we were paying ourselves back, but it was still a debt. When I started the blog, I was really coming to terms with our situation.  We were at 76k debt, and the idea that it was probably closer to $83-84k was more than I think I could handle.  So I rationalized it.

So when we paid it off in 2012, and in turn dipped into that well again (discussed here and here)....I counted it.  It consolidated all of the credit card debt (which included a Lending Club loan that was the first step in consolidating Credit Card debt and working on the amount going to interest), which certainly was REAL.  I don't regret doing this loan.  It has allowed us to really make some headway on things that we would not have been able to do otherwise. I do regret that we have used the retirement account over the years for things other than retirement. 

A year ago, we were already waist deep in the idea we were moving (it was about 3 weeks later that we received the offer).  By October 2014, we modified the terms of the loan to extend it to a 5 year loan instead of a 4 year loan as originally done.  We were realizing that the pay cut we were facing coupled with the current repayment structure would not work.  By redoing this, our repayment went from $380/pay check to $221/pay check.  Had we not done this, G-man's pay check would have covered our mortgage, a car payment, with about $100 left over.  Even with the change, we still had a $300/mon cut from his pay (just the office...this has nothing to do with a second job).  As much as it hurt my heart to realize that we needed to extend this loan because of cash flow (we would be about 9 months away from completion now), it was necessary. 

Today's total....ARGH!!  Do you see how close it is to being under 10k?  Because this is an auto-debit, it isn't as easy to just add a few dollars here or there.  In hindsight, when I figured out that the total was going to be THIS CLOSE to being under 10k, we should have made a one time $55 payment along the way (it is possible, just not as easy).  We would have been closer to $6500 left right now if we didn't make the modification.

Moving forward, this loan is in hot debate for a few other ideas we have.  That is an entirely different subject and not one to discuss today.  Right now, we are just doing what we have been doing....but it could change in the coming months.  (And in case any one is interested...the actual account has $127k in it, but I would have to have G-man look up how much is available to us for non-retirement stuff....not that we are doing that right now).

Student Loan

Day one of blog: Was split into 2 loans (Older loan from undergrad that was co-signed with my dad and was about $1,691.81, and consolidated loan from part of my undergrad years and graduate school which was $30,300 in 2003 and we did interest only payments or deferment for years)
2014:  $23,284.59
2015:  $21,311.57

Of all the loans here....this one was the most frustrating to find numbers for!!!  The website only keeps one year of statements.  I have a notebook that I keep information on, but I usually don't put the "year"....but I can tell you that in February of 2011(??), the older loan had $188.91 left, and the consolidated loan was at $28,791.39.  OMG....I am shooting my past self....

Way before this blog....there was even more student loans.  I paid for my undergrad degree on my own, so I started paying student loans in late 1996 (6 months after my graduation).  I had a $10,000 loan that was already paid off before I even started this blog.  

If I had it ALL to do again, I would have put mega money toward my loans before I had kids.  I would have liked to have had my undergrad paid off before I had to start paying my grad loans.  

OK, moving forward....

I feel like this loan is the ugly step-child of our debt.  It gets very little attention.  We pay $229 (roughly $171 goes to principal and the rest to interest) a month, and that is all we do.  I have talked about how keeping this loan for so long has been so stupid on our part.  I just didn't understand the power of interest, and by the time I did understand it, all sorts of other damage had been done.  So this poor debt is on the bottom of the pile.

I really hope that in my next job, I get closer to the earning power that a Master's Degree should afford me.  I certainly don't have it now; while my job has allowed me to do other things...upward mobility and higher salary were not part of that.

We are still a ways away from the next milestone for this one.  Le Sigh.  Poor student love here.  I promise day you will get some attention!!

Hope to see you tomorrow for the cars and the medical stuff!!!


  1. Congrats on the progress! It'd take me some real digging to look up my yearly starting & ending #s, but I may just do that!

    1. I have kicked myself....I am getting better at keeping the numbers now!

  2. You are on the downhill slope of your retirement loan. That must be a good feeling. You are getting so close!

    1. Crossing the 10k line will be great. Cars are almost there too.....that is tomorrow's topic.

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