Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

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saro
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Postby saro » Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:43 am

If he wanted to elope, I would've agreed happily. The groom pays for the wedding in our culture so he's paying for everything (though I did offer to help). I'm not happy about it but have agreed because it's what his family wants. I wanted a bbq in the backyard. My parents are also hosting a party in the U.S. which I also don't want - they're paying for it, so I am also going along with it. I tried to reason with them but they kept saying, "You're our only daughter, we want to have this party."

He doesn't have any debt and he's on a full scholarship that offers a good stipend for our living expenses. He doesn't have a credit history (no credit cards), but my credit is quite good, so I don't think it will be too hard to build his up while we're in the U.S. We'd like children but not while he's in school. The program is 2 1/2 years so I hope to knock out most of my debt by then. If I can get a job at a good law firm (big 'if'), or even if I get steady legal temp work - it's possible.

My degree is not from Harvard but it's from a pretty good school and it's a choice I made when I decided to get my law degree from a private law school. I don't know if I would've made the same decision again. The amount of debt that I have weighs heavily on me but I am happy with my degrees.

Unfortunately for my friends and classmates, I know plenty of lawyers with the same or even more debt. I lived quite frugally when I was in law school and didn't rack up too much credit card debt. The credit debt that I have now is from medical expenses after law school.

saro
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Postby saro » Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:03 pm

So, I'm back. Wedding went well, so did the party in the U.S. We've moved to our new place (and paid for the move by being very frugal, wedding gifts and cash wedding gifts).

I am on my last month of my savings, I have enough for September loan payment and then I need a job! I'm looking for temp jobs (document review & contract positions) and also permanent jobs. I was hoping for a temporary job right away, but we'll see- it's not certain yet. I'm taking the bar exam this February and if I'm temping, I'll take the two months off (if I have the money saved up, of course) to study. If i've got a job, then I'll do the best I can.

Rent & etc are paid for through my husband's fellowship but I'm stressed. I am kind of letting money management slip through the cracks. I haven't spent money on anything crazy (or at all, actually). I felt a strong urge to go book-shopping but discovered the fantastic new library in town. It's really great.

But I'm not checking our account balance and haven't paid my credit card (with the moving expenses) in full yet. Also, my husband keeps wanting to sit down and do our accounting but he's busy with school and I am avoiding the accounting paperwork...

Any ideas for a jump-start on the accounting and/or job search? I know what I need to do, but I'm somewhat paralyzed...

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frugalcoconut
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Postby frugalcoconut » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:05 pm

Since you said you know what you need to do, my only advice is to start doing it without really thinking about it ... just plunge in and take it one step at a time.

saro
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Postby saro » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:35 am

You're right. I made a list and am plugging away on it now...It also helped to space it out in two days. I really shouldn't get so angsty after 2 days of the job search...

Daedala
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Postby Daedala » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:31 pm

When I am looking for a job, I make myself a rule: I have to apply for X number of jobs each day. Found via Monster, Dice, the paper, friends, whatever: I have to make so many applications. The number varies depending on what's reasonable -- when I was looking for more general stuff, it would be ten per day, but now that I'm overspecialized, it's far less, because it's simply harder to find positions.

I kept a spreadsheet of jobs I'd applied to for two reasons: to feed a growing sense of accomplishment, and to be able to tell any contracting houses where and what I'd applied for as necessary.

When I was looking for general stuff, I had several different resumes (one with a tech writing focus, one with a help desk focus, etc.), so if you have several possibilities, create a resume for each. I also reused one of a few different cover letters, but I customized each to make sure that it was relevant to the job.

saro
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Postby saro » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:36 am

Thanks for the advice. I will do that. I made a log of all the places I've applied but am now instituting the must apply to 10 places a day. Or at least make contact/network. It's helping me feel much more productive...

Wish me luck! :)

Sam
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Postby Sam » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:58 am

Depending on what kind of job you are looking for, it may be hard to apply for a certain number per day. I would set aside a certain amount of time per day to work on the job search (i.e. 4 hours a day) which could include working on your resume, reading interview books, preparing for interviews, writing cover letters or thank you letters, researching job options, going on informational interviews, having lunch with people in your network, etc.

In sum, treat job searching as a job and dedicate certain hours per day to that job.
Sam

http://adventures-of-sam.blogspot.com
(Follow Sam's financial and real estate adventures.)

saro
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Re: Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

Postby saro » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:16 am

Well, it's 2 1/2 years down the road.

I'm 4 months into a job that is exactly what I wanted to do and that will allow me to pay off my school loans by the end of 2011. I always thought I'd have to trade job satisfaction for salary, I'm still really surprised how it's turned out.

I've paid off 2 loans and 2 big ones to go. No cc debt at all and we have an emergency fund/savings account in place.

Main goals now are staying on track and making sure I'm saving up enough for my taxes (I'm a consultant so I have to pay self-employment taxes).

suzwantstobefree
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Re: Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

Postby suzwantstobefree » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:31 am

Saro,

I understand what you mean about having a job you love that also pays well. It is really nice to "have it all" isn't it? Wow - you are on fire to pay off those student loans, that is awesome!!!

saro
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Re: Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

Postby saro » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:55 pm

Thanks Suz. I'm trying really hard to maintain my focus without getting burned out. I truly am surprised, because I wasn't very happy about taking this job initially. I thought that it wouldn't be interesting or effective (I thought non-profit law was the way to go).
A lesson for me. :)

suzwantstobefree
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Re: Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

Postby suzwantstobefree » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:50 am

Well, you don't have much time to go to get the student loans paid off. Maybe you should consider planning something special for once they are paid off - like a vacation or whatever would drive you until they are done!!!!!

saro
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Re: Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

Postby saro » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:18 am

Yes, I'm excited about it. I have a book-mark folder titled 'stuff i want'. I figure I'll splurge on something in that folder once I am completely debt-free.

I usually forget after about a week what i book-marked though - let that be a lesson to me about the 'gimmes'.

saro
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Re: Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

Postby saro » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:02 am

Ugh. People, I don't share the details of my finances with anyone except for my husband (since it's joint) and baby brother (so he'll learn from my mistakes). Two trusted friends share my successes with me (when I pay off loans) and y'all to keep me motivated. So why did I share some a teeny tiny bit of my personal finances with acquaintances.

So why do relative strangers get in my business? We were at the office lunchroom the other day and a number of people said they were planning on big purchases. I said, "Well, I'm just paying off my student loans."

Responses: "Oh no, but you probably get a great interest rate, you should save it." and "You should treat yourself."

I just said, "Yes, but I would feel better having no loans at all."

Look, I know I make alot of money and am very pleased about it, especially since I've been the queen of non-profit for such a long time, but I have goals and those goals are more easily accomplished with no student loans. What if I want to quit my job or go part-time? Or start my own business?

But, I've been day-dreaming about new clothes, a spa treatment, exotic travel and a really nice condo in the U.S. I am usually not like this so these day-dreams are surprising to me.

No big deal in the big scheme of things but I think the advice, coupled with a bout of 'I wantitis' just upset me.

I am focused and will remain focused.

suzwantstobefree
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Re: Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

Postby suzwantstobefree » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:49 am

Saro, there is nothing wrong with wanting stuff - I think we all go through that. However, because we are responsible and we realize the amount of freedom we will have without debt we think differently then a large portion of the population. Freedom from debt allows you to be able to do things that others may only dream about. That extravagance today means that your choices are limited later. Stay the course Saro but allow yourself self some thing when a milestone is completed. Trust me it will be much better in the long run - I speak from experience as my choices are limited right now due to my debt.

saro
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Re: Saro's journal - or my road out of debt...

Postby saro » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:40 pm

You're right Suz.

Once I thought it through, I realized that I truly don't want anything but some DVDs. So I've saved a bit of my current paycheck for some 'fun' money and will probably spend it within the next few weeks (Once I get out to the DVD store!). So, I won't be spending more than $50 (probably much less). :clap:


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