Saturday, January 31, 2015

Crazy Things I Do To Save Money: Notepad Out of Junk Mail

Notepads are one of those things that you should never waste money on. You get all kinds of paper in your mailbox everyday that you may toss in the recycle bin without a second thought. I make my own notepads from the junk mail that I get.

Step 1: Take unwanted junk mail and letters you receive and turn them over. Chances are you have blank paper on the other side that hasn’t even been used.

Step 2: Grab a pair of scissors and a binder clip

Step 3: Cut the junk mail into 4 squares

Step 4: Secure your new “notepad” with the binder clip

Now you have a notepad to write out a grocery list, doodle, write your plan for world domination or whatever you want.

The 27th

The 27th is when my payment is due. I had an automated payment of $182.73. Then I added:

$60.00 (put back from my 12/31 check which was my raise which I pretended that I didn’t get)
$36.15 (an Amazon payment for selling an old Nook)
$216.32 (Money that I earned for picking up 2 extra shifts)
$60.00 (put back from my 1/15 paycheck which was my raise that I pretended that I did not get.)
$6.22 (an Amazon payment for selling an old video game-hey every little bit helps.)


Then I always put back $200 for my student loan payment which I will continue to pretend to pay even though my payment has been going down.

$200.00-182.73=$17.27 (I add this difference to my payment.)

Grand total to put towards extra loan payment= $395.96

I applied this to my Stafford Loan 4 to pay down one balance at a time.


Remaining balance $895.83

The Plan

I plan to pay off my loans a few different ways.

Last year, I “pretended” like I did not get a raise at work and took the extra $120 a month and put it straight towards my student loans. I plan to do the same thing this year with my raise to add to the $120 I already put  towards my loans. It may be tempting to  celebrate and spend your raise, but if you do it once, it is harder to keep the discipline of going back to pretending like you don’t have it.

I also get the occasional quarterly bonus from work that I also put towards my loans.

I have taken clothes and other items that I am not going to use or no longer care about to my local consignment shop.

I sell used items that the consignment shop won’t take like old video games and books on Amazon.

Not getting a raise this year?

Do you:

Have cable or satellite?

Have magazine or newspaper subscriptions?

Have a gym membership that you don’t use?

Have any membership that you don’t use?

Get your hair and nails done?

Have someone come in to clean your house when you are capable of cleaning it on your own?

Have someone mow the lawn or do any other maintenance that you are capable of doing on your own?

Go out to eat more than once or twice a month?

Eat fast food?

If you stop doing any one of these things or a combination of several of them, then congratulations, you have just given yourself a raise. I know that you may be thinking that “I HAVE to have my hair done.” or “I HAVE to have satellite are you kidding me?” Just remember, these things are temporary and you don’t have to give up everything. Just look at the things in your life that are priorities and eliminate the things that aren’t.

My gym membership is a priority because I see it as an investment in myself (and I love working out).

I could go without television because whenever I take the time to actually turn it on-there is nothing on that I am interested in watching-so I turn it back off and grab a book or go outside. My husband CANNOT go without television and so it stays. I chose when I sit down to watch a program with him or do something else. My life does not revolve around several shows that I have to see every week.

I do not get my hair or nails done. I clean my house myself. My husband loves working outside so our lawn and landscaping is taken care of. We stay away from fast food for the most part, but we love going out to eat for date nights.

You have to decide what will work for you and what will not. Just remember that these changes are temporary. After your loans are paid off and you are debt free, you can use that money however you like.

Getting Started

Welcome to my blog. I created this as a way to motivate myself and others to pay off student loan debt and realize that there is more to life than money and working all the time. Let’s rewind to around 2007-2008. I was working on my Master’s degree and doing an internship and working 40 hours a week and an extra 20 hours a week for an internship. I was exhausted and have no idea how I made in through that year. I never felt the relief that I felt on the day that I graduated-no more papers, no more final exams, no more unpaid internship. The six month grace period came and went and I finally received my monthly student loan bill of $235 and a grand total of $35,000 in student loans.

When you see a huge number like $35,000, you try not to think about it, just like a mortgage payment. You blindly go through each month making the minimum payment because that it the way that it is supposed to be-right? WRONG. I didn’t want to spend the next 30 years of my life making the minimum payments. That would mean that I would have this payment until I am 56 years old. I’m sure there are better things that I want to spend my money on by the time I’m 56.

So after making 120 payments on time, my monthly payment dropped to $204.36. I also opted to have the monthly payment taken out automatically, which also gave me a little break on the interest that I was paying.

So here it is 2015, and I have paid off a total of 3 of my 12 Stafford Loan Installments by throwing money at the smallest of the loans to get them paid off. I was amazed by the rush that I felt when one more was eliminated out of the list. I still have a long way to go and hope that you can experience the same rush that I have by paying off those student loans.

So here is where I am at now:

I owe a grand total of: $29,606.98 as of 1/19/15 and my loans are separated into the following:

Stafford Loans     Loan Balance     Interest Rate

1-01                     $4,398.13                  2.33

1-03                     $4,398.09                  2.33

1-04                     $1,291.48                  2.33

1-05                     $2,199.20                  2.33

1-07                     $3,232.29                  2.33

1-08                     $4,174.08                  2.33

1-09                     $1,199.54                  2.33

1-10                     $4,559.93                  6.8

1-12                     $4,154.24                  6.8

Grand Total:$29,606.98

The loan that I am currently attacking is the 1-04. Last year, I pretended that I did not get a raise so the extra $120 a month that I get goes towards the extra student loan payment on top of the current monthly payment of $182.73. I also add any extra money like from the items that I sell at my local consignment shop, bonuses from work or any extra money that may come my way.

I plan to show you how to pay off student loans as quickly as possible and help others to do the same and get excited about the process of this as well so you can live life free from the anxiety of student loan debt and start living the life that you want to live.