Yes, my balance dropped. No, it wasn’t because of the minimum monthly payment. I’ve been standing on the sidelines of this race for long enough, I think. It’s time to get back on the track. This week’s payment is a warmup.
I almost didn’t make this post.
I wrote it a few days ago with good intentions, but also with a lot of caution. Whenever I start to feel the slightest bit of optimism about my finances and my ability to pay off this debt, something happens on this job that knocks it away.
I went to work the day before yesterday cynically wondering what was going to happen to knock me back from my plans in this post. Well, the job delivered, and I got two pieces of news that put me in a tailspin. Neither of these things immediately jeopardize my job, thankfully, but both will make the job even more unpleasant and will further deteriorate my ability to cope with it for any significant length of time.
I have no control over one of the things. I’m pushing back on the other. I’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I’m replying to recruiters who contact me and keeping my eyes open for other opportunities.
I’ve decided to not let this job stop me from making progress and I will keep going forward.
“Life Fund” Savings
As you already know, I’ve been stockpiling cash that is separate from my Emergency Fund because of the uncertainty I’ve been feeling around the tenure of my current job. My Life Fund total is now $8,000. I’ve been building it up week by week ever since I started this job, instead of putting the money toward my debt.
$8,000 would cover me for 4 months, maaayybe 5 months, including Cobra insurance premiums if I were to lose my job. If I were to get unemployment benefits as well, I would be ok for even longer. So, I’m planning to hold my Life Fund savings here at $8K for now.
Student Loan Debt
Going forward, I’m going to put money toward my debt again. I’ve made a warm-up payment of $421 this month to bring my balance to $15,000.
On my mark. Getting set. ….
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)
You got this! I hope things get better for you on the job. I think saving money in your “life fund” is really smart.
Thank you. 🙂 I hope things get better too, whether it’s at this job or elsewhere.
Good for you!! Personally, $8000 sounds like a lot to me, but then again, I don’t know what city you live in, and I am sure it is more expensive than where I am at. I’m sorry that you got news that made you feel even more stressed. This job has not seemed like a good fit for you from day one. Life is too short. Keep looking for something better. The whole place sounds completely toxic. I repeat: life is way too effing short (pardon my French.) Btw, you have not been on the sidelines of paying off your debt. I have been on mine. But you — you’re like in that .2 of the 26.2 mile distance of a marathon. You’re kicking ass. And remember, life is TOO SHORT to be miserable as long as you have been at this new job. And the last one.
Thanks, Terri. 🙂
Yes, $8k is a lot of money, but I live in an HCOL (high cost of living) area. Even though my rent is relatively cheap, because I live with multiple roommates, everything else is certainly not cheap at all. And I would have to have ACA or Cobra health insurance if not working, which will cost more than my rent. Even $8k won’t last very long here, so I have to keep this job until I can line up something else. Problem is, I’m going in circles trying to figure out what that ‘something else’ should be.
Yes, life is indeed too effing short.
Yep, it may feel like you’re on the sidelines but you are kicking debt’s booty! You inspire me, I am going through an expensive medical situation. But I am still paying debt and building an emergency fund. Then I see you blogging at 5:30 in the morning and kicking debt’s a@@. If you can do it so can I. Thanks sis, we’ll both see the finish line!
Good for you, Cathy! I hope your medical situation improves soon.
Emergency funds are a must-have and are very important to me. I have two of them! My Life Fund is basically an emergency fund for my emergency fund. LoL.
But I’m very risk-averse by nature; moreso than most people, it seems. Yes, we will both see the finish line. And it will be PARTY TIME!!
I’m so glad to hear from you! Sucks that the job is getting worse 😦 When you’re burned out, it’s really hard to roll with the punches.
I totally support you doing whatever you want re: the debt/savings balance at this point, or even changing your mind about what you want to do every two weeks 🙂 It’s super exciting to see the debt go down, of course, but I’m glad you have enough in your cash savings to cover you for quite a while. It’s such a relief to know the rent will get paid no matter what.
Keeping you in my thoughts!
Cash on hand=options. $0 in debt=options. Right now that’s what I need.
I’ve got some big decisions to make soon as I’m not going to be able to stay in this job indefinitely. It’s a lot to think about.
Very best of luck, I hope you get one big burst and bring it down by Christmas to a nice small amount.
Thanks, Paul. This debt is on its last legs! 🙂
Sorry about the job. 😦 It’ll be so great when you finally get out of there.
8000 in your Life Fund is awesome though. In addition to your emergency fund!
I’m sure it’ll feel really good to see that debt get smaller again! 🙂 You can always go back to the minimum payments at a later point should you feel the need to boost your Life Fund further.
Rooting for you as always!
Yeah, that’s the plan. I’m going to punch the debt with money while I can! 🙂
It is great that you have been able to save up an emergency fund of $8K. My rule is to have at least one year of salary saved in accessible invested funds. I do this to not only give me security but to also give me options in the event I wanted to quit my job, make an investment, or start a business. I know that is a high bar so the next best path is exactly what you have done, find a target amount that supports you for at least six months and then grow that over time. Too often people focus just on paying down debt and forget the importance of having some safety. It is inspiring to see individuals like yourself make a conscious effort to live minimally, pay down debt, and save.
Good luck and keep up that wonderful mindset. Don’t worry too much about your job, if you are good at what you do opportunities will find you!
Thanks for reading!
My ‘Life Fund ($8k)’ is different from my Emergency Fund ($10k), but they are essentially serving the same function for now. I’ll decide what to do with the Life Fund once my job situation stabilizes one way or the other.
Yes, I totally agree that a ‘one-year of expenses’ Emergency fund would be best for me. In fact, I wrote a post about it about a couple of years ago. Once I’m out of debt, that will be my next financial goal.
Thank you for your support! 🙂
can you come back to blogging like once a week? i binged your whole blog in 2 days so it’s very hard waiting 2+weeks for an update :(. Hehe, I know you have a life to live but maybe it would also help to have some accountability here?
Hi and thanks for reading this entire blog! I’d love to be able to post more often, but it doesn’t always happen, especially those days.