The Journey Begins

Inspired by reading several other awesome debt blogs, here's my stab at things. To give a little background, I am a grad student with a couple years left before I enter the (real) job market. I worked full time during my first 2 years, but recently quit so I could focus on school and pulling up my grades. My primary income is now student loans -- roughly $24,000 per year (10k in January, 4k in May, and 10k in August).

I am in a committed, long-term relationship with my live-in boyfriend and he has been very supportive thus far. Right after I quit, he gave me a $10,000 loan to help pay off my credit card. He has said I can pay it back once I graduate, but has mentioned the loan a few times in a way that's made me feel bad, i.e. 'That money could be used to start paying me back' (admittedly, only when I make purchases that I probably shouldn't be making). I would like to start paying him back ASAP. We have always been been even where finances are concerned -- each paying half of the rent, bills, furniture, etc -- and I really hate having this 10K "cloud" hanging over me. It's depressing. At the same time, my grades were really suffering as a result of working full time; I know I can't go back to that. At most, I can try a part time job -- I'd like about 16 hours a week, if possible.

To elaborate on my aforementioned "purchases" -- I love purses. And shoes. And clothes. I'd like to think this is the only way in which I'm a stereotypical woman. My love for these things has really skyrocketed in the past 2 years (FT job plus nightly school did NOT equal a happy girl). They've been the things I've turned to when I'm stressed. Yeah, in a way -- shopping is my crack (or my nicotine, or my alcohol -- neither of which I use or abuse; at least I save money in some areas!). It was fine when I was working; I could shop as much as I wanted and still get every bill paid. Now it's a bit different. I have school only now, but I've been stressed in a different way -- stressed over being productive (constantly running through my head: must study, must get exercise), not having enough money, the absolute NEED for great grades (to justify quitting my job), and family stress (since my relative is living with us -- "just until she gets a job" -- of course, that's been almost a year now). And that stress has fueled a few new purse purchases.

I've been trying to shop smart (as in, only buy stuff that's discounted), but I've been in denial about what I think is the reality -- I need to stop shopping altogether. I need to keep my eye on the prize; in 2 years, hopefully, I'll get a great paying job as an attorney, and I can go back to buying what I please. Until then, I should be frugal, and not only make sure all my extraneous debts are paid down, I need to prepare for the inevitable student loan payback. gulp.

I'm hoping this blog will help me stay on track; remind me of my debt and my income (or lack thereof). And maybe it will inspire some other people along the way? The first step towards a (meager) income was signing up for SendEarnings which allows me to earn essentially free money while on the web. Please click on the link to sign up if you're interested -- I earn a little bit from referrals, and every penny counts!

Here is a breakdown of my current debt:
Visa: $8,864.11 (11.24% interest)
Mastercard: $2,494.65 (24.99% interest)
Car Loan: $10,961.00 (payments @ $370 per month; done by 5/8/2011)
BF Loan: $10,000.00 (interest free)
TOTAL DEBT = $32, 319.76

(I'm separating out the school loans, because I won't have to start making payments on them until 2 yrs, 6 mos from now, and because I really can't think about them now and remain sane. Sadly, this number is only going to increase.)
Student Loans: $10, 301.14 (govt) + $114, 700.23 (private) = $125, 001.37


undercover vixen said...

so i figured since a lot of my traffic came from your site, i'd start reading from the beginning to see how your story started (been reading the recent posts). I'm not sure if you have this shopping "problem" at this point but i wrote this article at ehow,
( ) that basically gives some tips on how to get all these fab clothes for a bit less. It might help reduce your total spending whilst allowing u to keep buying jimmy choos!

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