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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
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It is currently Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:29 pm




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 Post subject: Adam's Financial Journal
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 5:54 pm 

Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 6
Alright everyone, here's my story...

I was born to frugal (read: cheap as hell) parents, and thankfully picked up the gene. My whole life I've shopped around, compared prices, and picked out the best deal. I made it through undergrad with little debt, thanks to scholarships and parents. My total loans only came to about $10,000 from 4 years of undergrad. Then I entered veterinary school. Scholarships are hard to come by, because everyone here is a high achiever, so I am being forced to take out loans. I was lucky enough to have a nice little pile of money set aside entering vet school, so I didn't have to take out much beyond tuition for my first year. With my second year looming, it's looking like I'll have to take out a bit more.

So far, my vet school loans total $26k, bringing my total to $36k total. This past semester, I took an interest in paying down my loans as much as I could during school, before the interest is applied to the principle. So here I am, looking to learn what the best way to do this is, and explaining a bit about what I have done so far.

The first thing I did was use scholarship money (checks written out to me, no documentation of what it's spent on necessary) to actually pay for tuition, and not beer. This is possible because I am holding down 2 part time jobs, which give me enough money to cover rent and bills. The rest of my money goes toward other "stuff". This year, I was awarded $6,000 in scholarships, some of which I do have to use this summer for living expenses as I am out of town on an externship. As soon as I get done here, I plan on putting the rest towards my loans.

I've also decided to pay off the interest that accrues on unsubsidized loans during school. This interest sits idly by while you're in school, but once you're out, it dumps into the principle and starts gaining interest itself (compounding interest is no fun when it works against you!). So every month I set aside a little bit of money to handle those costs.

That's the plan right now. I'd love to hear some feeback from everyone on what they did to pay down student loans a little faster.

Take care,
Adam


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 Post subject: Re: Adam's Financial Journal
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:05 pm 

Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 12:00 am
Posts: 132
Hi Adam,

It sounds like you are making good decisions, especially paying off interest on unsubsidized loans. I don't have much advice to offer. I'm paying off my student loans now (6 more months and I'm done! Wooohoo!)

Below are some things I wish I thought realistically about when in law school. I am very happy I did go to law school, however, I could have been smarter about jobs right off the bat. I probably would've taken the same (low-paying) job right out of law school since I got very, very good experience but I would have been smarter about the next few jobs. I don't know very much about your field but hopefully this will help you:

- Are you networking enough so you have good job prospects when you graduate?
- Have you researched whether there are loan forgiveness programs at your school or federal government?
- When you graduate, have you thought about the sort of things you need to do to make sure you don't succumb to lifestyle inflation?
- What are your long-term goals? Make sure you balance your long-term goals with your short-term goals. For example, maybe you might want to take a lower-paying job after graduation b/c it will equip you with better skills. If you do this, what's your realistic plan to handle your loans?


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 Post subject: Re: Adam's Financial Journal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:15 am 

Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 6
saro wrote:
- Are you networking enough so you have good job prospects when you graduate?
- Have you researched whether there are loan forgiveness programs at your school or federal government?
- When you graduate, have you thought about the sort of things you need to do to make sure you don't succumb to lifestyle inflation?
- What are your long-term goals? Make sure you balance your long-term goals with your short-term goals. For example, maybe you might want to take a lower-paying job after graduation b/c it will equip you with better skills. If you do this, what's your realistic plan to handle your loans?


To answer your questions:

-Networking isn't as key in veterinary medicine as other careers. I can show up at any clinic across the country with the required skills and get hired. That said, I am still taking advantage of networking opportunities, for example, I am externing this summer at the clinic that I hope to work at when I graduate.
-There are loan forgiveness programs out there, but they aren't really worth it to me. You have to spend 5 years in a terrible place, and they only pay back 1/2 of your loans. I'd rather work hard at a place I enjoy.
-I'm a pretty simple, country kid, so I don't think lifestyle inflation will be a big deal for me. I do plan on starting a family soon after school, which is why I'm taking the steps now to pay my loans down.
-I'll answer the last set of questions in the next post.


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 Post subject: Re: Adam's Financial Journal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:23 am 

Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 5:12 pm
Posts: 6
Here's a quick list of my short-term and long-term goals.

Short term (next 5 years):
- Graduate with my DVM, get a job in upstate NY's dairy country.
- Pay off the interest on my loans before my 6 month grace period ends.
- Pay off 10% of my loans (which should total around $110k when I graduate)
- Contribute $5,000 to my "future account" (a high yield savings account I have set up for down payments and stuff like that).

Long term:
- Obtain a positive net worth.
- Start a family, and be financially comfortable with that.
- Become a partner in a practice/own a practice (this will essentially double or triple my salary).
- Send my kids to college wherever they want to go.

That's literally the 30-seconds-of-thinking list I came up with. Nothing too serious or set in stone. I've always been pretty good with money, so I think it'll work out. I'll keep ya'll posted though.


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 Post subject: Re: Adam's Financial Journal
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:20 pm 

Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 12:00 am
Posts: 132
Adam, it looks like you're on the right track and doing really well. Looking forward to keeping up with you on the fiscal fitness journals!

Upstate New York is LOVELY, I am sure you'll enjoy living there.


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