[-$35,638] Easing into the End of the Year and Happy Singles Day

Easing into the End of the Year

In my Packing for Guilt Trips post, I wrote about my dread of dealing with family turmoil this year because I wouldn’t be going home for the holidays. So eventually the conversation came up. I let them know I wasn’t flying back and…

…they were ok with it. Holy Hell. I was not expecting that reaction based on our earlier conversations. I was braced for push back, as I have dealt with it from them for many years past. It seems I gave them too little credit this time. I guess they realized that I have already been traveling a lot this year to spend time with them. If they had problems with my not going back for the holidays, they haven’t voiced any to me, at least not yet anyway.

So far, so good, but we’ll see.    Read More

[-$37,300] 3 Ways to Go – A Halloween Inspired Post

 

As a single person do you ever think about what will happen to you after you’re gone? To your body, that is.

I have no significant other or children and it’s quite possible, if not very likely, that I’ll never have either, thus I’ll have less of a tie to any particular location for burial. So maybe (many, many decades from now) I’ll be laid to rest near other family members in the local cemetery back home, if there is still room by then, and if there are any younger extended family around who care to help arrange it.

But then again, maybe the standard burial plot isn’t for me. What might it be like to have a different experience? Over the past several months, I randomly came across three very interesting types of memorial services and thought it would be cool to bring them together in a post. With Halloween here, now seems like a good time. Read More

Single Woman Chronicles #1 – Online Dating Hope and Rejection

This post marks the start of an ongoing series that I am calling the Single Woman Chronicles. This series will appear from time to time and cover the ‘Single Woman’ part of Double Debt Single Woman. Enjoy!

rejection-early-age

I am now in a new city with a new job, and with new hope for curing my singleton problem. I’m still in a steep learning curve at my main (office) job, while getting the hang of my second (online) job. So, in short, I’m busy and tired all the time. Working so much keeps me distracted from the fact that I am very, very single.

I’ve been here for a few months now and have yet to make any friends or meet anyone special. I know, three whole months! I’m bored and boring. After all, only boring people get bored, right?  I decided to reactivate an old profile on one of the online dating sites. Profile content – no problem, settings – no problem, photos – problem. I didn’t have any recent pictures.

I have no friends yet to photograph me in cool places, doing cool things. Fine, I decided to put up selfies. (By the way, I really hate the word ‘selfie’.)  I thought about getting professional pics, but shot the idea down. I did that before, when I first opened the account a few years ago. I had my hair and makeup professionally done. I even hired a photographer. The pictures were beautiful. I looked great! I even got some guys sending me winks and emails. Unfortunately, I didn’t look like the pictures on a day-to-day basis. Who could keep that look up?! This hit home one day when I spotted one of the guys who had messaged me in a local grocery store. I was not looking hot. I tried to hide from him, but I could tell that he’d recognized me too.  He never approached me and I don’t blame him. I got out of the store with my purchases as quickly as I could. I took those photos down soon afterwards. That online dating stint was a total failure.  I learned my lesson about putting up ‘glamour shots’.

glamour-shot-photo

LoL. Remember ‘Glamour Shots’?

So, back to present day. I want my pics to be natural and real – the real me. Now, most of us think of ourselves as relatively attractive – not models, but not trolls either. Despite being more of a plain jane, I think I’m quite cute. My iPhone camera, unfortunately, does not agree. After taking dozens of selfies, the camera roll reveals shot after shot of a distorted, blemished, and haggard face. OMG! WTH?!  Where is the cute chick I see in my mirror?  Gizmodo has a great article about why we look different in photos than we do in the mirror. (Yes, I had to look this up!)

36bamirror-vs-camera

[Image credit: LoLBing.com]

In desperation, I picked the least horrible one in the bunch and threw it up on the site. (Sorry for that visual.) Yes, only one. It was a closeup shot of my face sans makeup, which I usually don’t wear, taken in the bathroom mirror. Yeah, I know, but bathroom mirrors have the best lighting.  I did a bunch of searches for potential matches and sent out about 10 personally crafted emails. As a woman of a certain age who is not classically beautiful I have learned that I have to be proactive when it comes to trying to meet anyone online. And I waited.

A few hours later, I got two responses! Woot! Upon opening, one said, in a short but sweet way, thanks but no thanks. Ok, fine. The other one was not scathing per se, but was very detailed in a judgmental way about why I was not a match for this particular individual. Ouch. This second rejection rocked me. Combine this with the fact that as of the following day, the person that I most wanted to hear back from (omg, major crush!) had read my message, but not replied. I felt so sad and rejected that I hid my profile. Within two days of getting online, I was retreating like a wounded puppy. I needed time out to heal psychologically. With that rude awakening, I realized that I had been out of online dating for a long time. I forgot about how much of a thick skin you have to have.

Not interested

A week later I reactivated my account with a thicker skin.  My profile has been back up for a few days now. I continue to send out a few messages per day. I have yet to receive any messages. Note: I am not messaging models, actors, or tycoons here. I am very realistic about who I message. These are regular looking people with regular lives, like me. Most of them have profiles that show that no one has contacted them all week. They read my personalized message, then… crickets. I know this is par for the course for online dating, but damn. They’d rather continue to be alone than talk to me. Ouch.

Rejected

LoL. I have to laugh about it. I still hold out hope that something may come of it. In the meantime, I have to make more of an effort to get out and take a class or join a few clubs — oh, and find the number of a good photographer.

.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

My Financial Goal for 2013

I have two massive debts, but only one financial goal for 2013.

As you already know from my first post, I have $110,000 in student loan debt and $30,000 in credit card debt. I’ll explain how the debt accumulated to these levels in another post. Suffice it to say that the vast majority of debt accrued in my final two years of grad school when I was unemployed or underemployed after the economy tanked. In any event, this is the debt I am facing.

My goal for 2013 is to become credit card debt free.

This debt of $30,000 will be paid off by the end of the year. It is both the smaller of the two debts, and also the one with the higher interest rate, so it makes sense for this one to die first. And die it will. It carries a 19.99% interest rate. That’s right. (They raised my rate from 13.99% to 19.99% immediately before Obama’s credit card reform went into effect. I, and millions of other Americans, have been over the proverbial barrel ever since.) It’s time for some Kill Bill revenge er, to repay Citibank for all they’ve done to for me over the years.

How will I accomplish this?  I’ll do this in a series of steps that I will explain throughout the year. In general, my plan is to cut my expenses way down and throw all of my available money at this debt.

Image

I’m implementing a 2013 spending freeze (moneyning) or spending fast (andthenwesaved).

  1. I’m moving out of my posh downtown shoebox studio apartment. I will rent a room in an old, small, three-bedroom home with two roommates in a rough neighborhood.   Savings: $1,000 per month. I took inspiration from blogger Rosetta (among many others) for getting rid of crap, renting a room, and living light.
  2. I will be starting a second job, if all goes well, in February (or March at the latest). This has the potential to bring in an extra $800 per month. I’m not going to count this as a secure income source until I’ve been in the job for a couple of months, as it appears to have a fairly high turn over rate. Note: This is in the education arena where I started putting in applications 6-8 months ago so it’s not like I just decided to get a $800 per month side job last week. The timing just happened to work out. So for now I will not include this in the repayment plan, but if it works out, it will help me to get out of debt much faster.

I bring home $3,700 per month. My goal is to live on $700 per month and throw $3,000 toward debt.  The monthly budget that I will need to stick to is ultra simple because I am single and have no dependents. Yes, it is simple, but draconian er, challenging.

$700 per month budget.

Rent: $425 per month rent (all utilities and internet included)
Phone: $65 per month (I’m looking at ways to reduce this. Yes, it is an iPhone.)
Transportation: $0  (I get a free public transit pass from my employer)
Food: $190 per month   (Don’t know if this is even possible. Look for separate posts on this.)
Clothing/Misc.: $20 per month

I know this budget may look insane to some people, but it’s what I am willing to try my best to stick to until this high interest credit card debt is gone. When the credit card debt is gone i can add a bit more padding to the budget.  And if the second job is a keeper then I will have even more to work with. Only time will tell. Rest assured that this is a means to an end. I have no plans to start dumpster diving, although I don’t judge people who do.

Well, that’s my 2013 financial goal. What is yours?

Live like no one else (now), so that later you can live like no one else.   Dave Ramsey

.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

My First Post

This blog will chronicle my spiral into debt hell, my awakening about the debt scam and debt slavery, my embrace of minimalism and my slow and painful climb out of debt. My “double debt” refers to the $140K twin terrors of student loan debt (80%) and credit card debt (20%). “Single woman” will address the difficult choices and life situations women without partners face when dealing with debt alone. Those of us women in our 30s and 40s who are carrying large debt face even more serious life decisions with respect to dating, and family formation all to the soundtrack of a ticking biological clock. I’ve learned a lot already and want to share this with other women going through similar experiences. I also want this blog to serve as a sober warning to those younger women who are considering (or are in the process of) taking on large student loans. “Don’t do this at home.”

I’m on the brink of making some drastic lifestyle changes and need a place to focus my thoughts, plans, and energies.

.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)