Did you participate in Black Friday / Cyber Monday or did you participate in Buy Nothing Day?
I bought one thing on Black Friday. I had no business buying anything else given my finances right now.
Balance Up and Rate Down
My student loan balance hasn’t dropped as I didn’t make a payment this pay period. Why?
Reason ONE. I have refinanced my student loan with a new lender.
Yes, yet another refinance. In case you haven’t figured it out from how much I’ve been writing about it, my servicer had been Earnest. I’ve been very unhappy with the Navient takeover, so I’ve moved my account elsewhere. With the move to my new lender, my fixed rate will drop from 3.25% to 3.09%. Not a big difference, but I’m very glad not to have a higher rate given that rates have been going up everywhere. I won’t know my exact balance or have any payments due until the dust settles with the switch between lenders.
I don’t trust Navient and their reputation for malicious incompetence. I don’t know what my new servicer will be like, but they have many fewer complaints than Navient. I’ll have to take my chances. If you have Earnest as your servicer and can’t / don’t want to leave, just keep on top of your account and payments. Document everything. I’ll be doing the same with my new servicer. Good luck to us all.
Reason TWO. My credit card balance is out of control.
Yes. This infernal, blood-sucking debt has been slowly growing. As soon as it crept over $1,000 little alarm bells should have started to go off. It’s been chronic overspend over the past several months. A charge here, a little purchase there. It adds up. This also includes some expenses from my last two trips home to visit family. Very recently it jumped up to over $1900! I just put $1009.55 toward the credit card now, which takes the balance down to $900, and will finish paying off the rest next month. Time to beat this thing back under the ground where it belongs.
My job has been somewhat more tolerable lately. Since I was removed as lead of ‘big high-profile project’, my work load has been rather light, so I’m not complaining there. I’m still working on the project, but in an ‘assistant’ capacity now, which I am barely tolerating for additional reasons. I hate that project. Unfortunately, it is a harbinger of things to come in this job (and industry-wide). There is a smaller project just like it that I might get assigned to in January. The writing is still on the wall. I’m still burned out and making plans.
I’m putting out feelers to explore other career options.
The reason my credit card debt jumped up to over $1900 was that, on Black Friday, I signed up for a 13-week online course in the field I’m thinking about transitioning to. It cost $500 (with a discount). The course looks very good as the syllabus is designed well and seems as though it will be a good introduction to the discipline. Classes start in a few weeks and I will complete the course around my work schedule as it is designed for working professionals with day jobs.
If this course goes well, I’ll know I’m on the right track with pursuing this field and will take additional courses. As the field is somewhat related to what I do now, I’d hope to be able to leverage my current experience while moving over so the initial pay drop wouldn’t be as steep.
On the other hand, if I hate the course subject matter, then I’m only out $500 and can move on to exploring something else.
What are you trying to get rid of before the end of the year?
I have to slow down student loan repayment to beat this credit card debt back into the ground where it belongs. I don’t want to take credit card debt into the next year. What are you trying to kick to the curb within the next few weeks?
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)