Goodbye 2018: The Year in Debt Review

Hi Peeps! Goodbye 2018. Here is the review of my latest year in debt.

Past end of year reviews:  2014 Review  |  2015 Review  |  2016 Review  | 2017 Review

2018 In Review:

In the Winter, after declaring my 2018 goals, I kicked off the new year by making a student loan payment that put me In the 50’s. February was all about my bonus. I started the month imagining how I might allocate it while also dealing with housing instability.

Actually getting the bonus mid-month left me Feeling like a Rat…and a Cat. By the end of February and the winter season, I celebrated having paid off half of my $112,258 student loan debt. I now had a $56,000 balance and couldn’t be happier.   Read More

The Post Where I Have No Idea What My Student Loan Balance Is

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.        Read More

Student Loan News: Earnest Dies and Navient Takes Over Its Lifeless Body

‘Edgar’, Men in Black movie

Earnest Dies and Navient Takes Over Its Lifeless Body (repost)

One year ago, back in October of 2017, I wrote this post about Navient buying then student loan darling, Earnest. I mentioned the lawsuit against Navient, and borrowers likely concerns, as well as the founder-CEO’s impassioned plea to calm nerves and stem a possible mass exodus of customers. Borrowers were assured that Earnest would remain independent and that they would continue to be taken care of like they always had been.

Turns out the borrower concerns were well justified. One year later, that impassioned CEO, has collected a big payout check and left the company. Navient has installed new leadership and control.     Read More

What’s the News? Financial Headlines this Week

A few financial headlines caught my attention this week. Some good, others… not so much. So here they are; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the WTF?.

Good News: Retirement Savings Contributions Will Increase in 2019

It’s finally official that 401(k) employee contribution limits will rise to $19,000 in 2019. (Source: IRS)

If you are someone fortunate enough to have access to a 401(k), let alone be able to max it out, enjoy the extra $500 next year. Don’t forget to adjust your withholding settings in January.

Not to be left behind, IRAs and Roth IRAs contribution limit will increase from $5,500/year to $6,000/year(Source: IRS)

People who max this tax advantaged space every year (I hope to be one next year), are excited about making round, even $500 monthly (or $250 semi-monthly) payments instead of the odd $458.33 monthly (or $229.16 semi-monthly) payments. Yeah, this is actually a thing that people geek out on.      Read More

[-$38,300] Packing for Guilt Trips: Dealing with Debt and Family Expectations

 

It’s that time of year again, so yes, this post will be served extra ranty and with a large glass of whine.

This issue comes up for me every year, especially around the holiday season, but I’m also wondering how people deal year-round with having debt and pressure to meet family home-visit expectations.

When I was first starting out on my debt repayment journey, it was common for me to go home for the holidays once every other year. It was always a struggle to have that conversation and it came with guilt trips, of course, about my not visiting enough. Cross-country (coast to coast) plane tickets are expensive on a typical day. They become outrageously expensive ($1000+) around the holidays. My family never seems to care much about that.     Read More