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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:12 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Cali
Thanks for the support guys :). Yup best thing I can do is just keep on keepin on. Just have to keep learning and get better at cinematography. There will be more opportunities. I'm only 27 and there's tons more time to be able to achieve all the things I set out to do. Most layout artists I know are in their 30s and 40s. Seems it's not something a newbie can convince others they can do anyways.

I got my contract extension the other day. I'll be signed on till about Sept 28th, my birthday haha. Although those dates are subject to change since this is all at will employment. One of my coworkers was let go far before their contract was over so I don't have too much faith in those dates. I feel a bit burnt out from this project so I'm hoping I get to do something different for the next.

Also I'll have to move out by May. My current roommate is moving out and I have to search for a place. None of my friends in the area are looking for roomies right now, well not near where I live anyways. It's going to be tough. In general, LA rent prices are going waaaay up. My apartment complex rent is going up 8% after this lease term. Yay for no rent control :(. So, I'm looking into other areas more suitable for a single person. I don't want to live too far away from work; the farther it is, the exponentially longer the drive becomes...and unfortunately it narrows the choices down to either the really expensive places or the really ghetto places. And I'm not living in the ghetto places. Even though roommates make the most financial sense, I don't feel comfortable finding roommates off craigslist or anything. Too many bad experiences from friends that have done that.

So, my choices are either El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Playa Del Rey, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Culver City, Palms, maaaybe West LA. No way in hell I'm living in Inglewood. Yeah sure $500 a month rent is great till you get shanked in the back. Which pretty much guarantees me paying at the very least $1000 in rent. And for that I might get a shanty studio somewhere. I bring in $3900 a month after taxes...I can probably swing $1200 but that's about my upper limit.

I'm seriously considering cutting back on savings/investing goals. I'm putting away about $600 a month and it's not leaving me much wiggle room. I may actually have to just so I can deal with these new living expenses. Ugh dammit LA, why do you have to be so expensive...


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
Ugh hang in there, its difficult anywhere.

Keep up with networking and job hunting.

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Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Cali
Thanks fantasma...I've permanently left one of my tabs in my browser set to a certain company's job listing page. Refreshing it every day hoping it changes ;).

I think I've found a good apartment for me. It's less than half the distance to work and it's closer to where all my friends live. Rent is a little more ($1150) but I think living on my own works better for my personality. I like my quiet time and found I can't stand tandem parking spaces. We'll have to see what utilities they charge for but it can't be worse than what I pay now...almost nothing is paid for by the apartment complex. It's in a decent neighborhood so that's a plus. The apartment opens up 3rd week of April so I'll take a look and if all checks out, it'll be my new home.

Also, I've been thinking of getting a pet. Mostly for companionship. I'm more of a cat person although I'm slightly allergic to them :(. I'd probably go for a hypoallergenic one or a few hamsters. Something I can play with and is easy to take care of. If only ferrets were legal in Cali. Speaking of, I need to send a letter to Fish and Game or some state senators about that. Banning ferrets is like banning cows. I don't understand it at all.

Oh! My lasik surgery went well. It's healing up nicely but it does feel like sand is in my eyes every now and then. Gotta say it's pretty amazing. I do hope it heals up better though...My vision still isn't quite as good as when I had glasses. I haven't received the bill yet but it's estimated to be $788. For intralase Lasik, that's phenomenal. Normally it'd be $4000. Sometimes I miss the feeling of something on my face but man it feels good to not have to rely on them.

One of my loans is almost paid off. I have about $965 left on my HESAA loan. Over $5k to $1k in about 2 years feels pretty good :). Once that's paid off I'll have an extra $113 per month freed up. Then come the monstrously large loans ><. I could pay it off now but I'll give it another month or so. I still have my lasik bill on the way. Although it is tempting...I'm in a position to completely eliminate it. Hmm...on second thought, with the move coming up I don't think it would be wise. Ok, entering holding pattern.

And I'm attempting to lighten the load a bit by getting rid of unused stuff. I actually have a mental block about getting rid of things, especially original packaging. I always think it could be useful if it needs to be returned. But I'm going to try and get over that and march over to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Also, I don't want to carry more junk to the new apartment than I have to :P.

Ok, that's all for now. Signing out!


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:04 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Where did you end up finding a place? I really miss my apartment in Hermosa Beach.

I know quite a few people that have cats even though they are allergic. My fiance just needs to take Claritin or Benedryl for the first week or so he's around cats, then he's fine.

Congrats on almost getting rid of one of the loans!


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:24 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
I would fly to Cali just to be able to get lasik at that price. The discount for me with my insurance company is 1200 per eye!

Going to try contacts.

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:23 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:50 am
Posts: 98
sula_nebouxi wrote:
Thanks fantasma...I've permanently left one of my tabs in my browser set to a certain company's job listing page. Refreshing it every day hoping it changes ;).


Why not just send an open application so you can beat the official process? You might just send your resume at the time they're thinking about looking for someone. I remember that at the company I worked at it could take up to 4 months to go the permission process to post a job opening. All that time we knew we wanted someone we just had to get through all the red tape. If you happen to send a resume at a time like that you'd be in before anyone else knew about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Cali
kaitlyn, I live in Hermosa Beach! It's quite nice here. Although that water treatment plant sure is an eyesore. The price isn't too bad actually. Only $1000 in rent for my half. I can't believe that's considered average :(. It's 25% of my paycheck so I'm doing pretty well. I found an apartment in Westchester but it wasn't as nice as what I have now. It's $1100 per month for a studio. But the amenities and the grounds looked very shoddy. I didn't feel like I was coming close to the value of my current apartment. I'll be passing on that place and staying at my current apartment (which is going up in price to $1090, bleh). Also I'll have to look that up! I was under the impression that you had to constantly take allergy meds to have an effect.

fantasma, that sucks :(. But you get an insurance discount though! Not many people do :). Contacts are a nice inbetween. I tried them out a long time ago and didn't like them. Too much of a hassle for me. Maybe the mechanical lasik will come down in price with the intralase lasik coming in.

Sonja, I do send them demo reels every now and then, but it tends to get lost in the piles of other reels. It's a pretty popular place for people to apply to :). I've sent my demo reel on 3 separate occasions and I've only gotten a response once. Better than nothing I suppose haha. I'm not sure what the etiquette is with sending stuff to them...I wouldn't want to inundate them with emails. Right now I check in with them every 6 months. Speaking of...I'm due to check in with them in a couple months...

So anywho, the apartment thing didn't work out. I checked it out and was pretty underwhelmed. The bathroom was a bit moldy, I didn't see a full size fridge, the kitchen was miniscule, there was no cable hookups and the manager didn't seem to know anything about internet. I just thought it was a bad deal. Oh wells. My roommate decided that he wants to stay so I agreed to stay with him for another year long lease. Rent is going up to $1090 but at this point that seems like a steal compared to anything else around that price point. Living on my own with comparable living accommodations would cost me $1300 or more. My roomie's also cool with me having a pet so we'll see what happens.

I really want to have a ferret... :(

It's going to be a slow month for debt repayment. Lots of fees and things are due. Car insurance, car registration, lasik bill coming in the mail. Soooo, till then.


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Cali
So it looks like my Direct Loan from the government isn't being serviced by them anymore. It's being done by a third party. EdFinancial or something. And now the minimum payment has gone up $46 per month. I'm a bit disturbed by this since it was a fixed rate loan. And if they can just alter loan terms like that, who knows what else they can alter. The rate hasn't changed so far. It's still 4.75% and it's still owned by the Department of Education so...I'm not sure what authority this servicer has messing with my loan. I can make the payments, but I'm a bit wary of what's going on. I called them about this and they said "Oh, it's all to serve you better. We wanted to give you the best rate possible". I'm like...what? Uh...ok. I think I'm going to call them again and get some clarification here.

Anywho, I guess it shouldn't matter too much. I've decided that the Direct Loan should be my next loan to attack. Seeing as how it's currently the highest interest rate after my HESAA loan. I'll probably just end up bouncing around if/when the interest rates go up on my other loans.

I've also been cleaning out the closet. It's rather cathartic. I've found lots of old stuff that I plan on giving away. I've tried selling some and haven't had any luck. There goes my side income money making scheme...

I've also attempted to sign up for a rewards credit card. I believe I've got the discipline needed to pay off the balance each month. Unfortunately, the rewards cards I'd like to get rejected me. Like the Amex Blue Cash card...I even have a 700+ credit score too! They must have some serious requirements. I might look into other cards. Probably the Amazon card or one of the Citi ones. I actually have an old department store card that I'm going to cancel. There's really no reason to keep it around and I don't think I'll take too much of a hit on my credit score.

I'd also like to take a vacation soon. Nothing major, just a staycation at home. I could just use a few days off to gather my thoughts. Seems the nights after work go far too fast to really unwind. I'm an introvert...I feel like I haven't had quiet time in a while. Anyways, that's my scatterbrained post. Hopefully by this time next month, I'll have killed my first loan :). $450 to go on it!


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:58 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
sula_nebouxi wrote:
I'd also like to take a vacation soon. Nothing major, just a staycation at home. I could just use a few days off to gather my thoughts. Seems the nights after work go far too fast to really unwind.


I _completely_ agree with this. By the time I get home, I feel like I eat dinner and it's time for bed. I'm not sure I ever feel like I actually relax/unwind any.


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:12 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Cali
Panda, I'm sorry to hear you feel that way too :(. Here's to a 4 day work week! Haha...if only.

So, I've reached a nice milestone without realizing it. I've got over 3 months of expenses put away for my emergency fund! My monthly expenses are about $1700 a month. So that's about $5100. It would really just cover rent, food, utilities, gas, and phone. If I became unemployed, I'd be able to stretch it out even more. I believe I'd get $450 a week. So that's about $1800 per month(Not sure if taxes get taken out before I get that check or if I fill in something on my tax return). Thankfully, I could sustain myself for quite a while with those benefits. Hopefully I won't have to use this $5k.

So, I'm going to shift my automatic savings from emergency fund towards loan repayment. That extra $150 a month will be a nice boost! Anyways...small update. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Cali
The past month has been a spendy month unfortunately. I had a lot of bills and replacement costs come in at the same time. Most notably, car registration+smog test, renter's insurance, replacement office chair, new shoes, and clothing. But that's not the end of it though. With summer approaching, my car's AC decides to go broke again. I actually wrote about it breaking way back in March 2010 or so when I was inbetween states, living in a shanty near my alma mater. It wasn't a serious fix, cost about $40 for a new part and I fixed it myself in about 5 minutes :). I'm hoping that it's just low on refrigerant which will be a relatively cheap fix. But wait, there's more! My vacuum decides to fail and spray dust everywhere. It doesn't seem to seal dirt in the canister anymore. I'll have to look into getting a new one =/. Oh yeah and my lasik bill still hasn't come in yet. I'm waiting for that to take a chomp out of my wallet. Well, I guess when it rains, it pours.

In my buying spree haze, I ended up picking up a copy of the first movie I've gotten a credit in! I probably won't watch it anytime soon, but it's nice to have a physical thing in my hand that I worked on :).

Also, my HESAA loan is officially dead! It's great seeing those 3 words "Paid in Full". I hope I get a congratulations letter or something. It's the least they could do after taking almost 3 long years to pay it off. But, it's finally done :). I wish I knew my final score with how much interest I had to pay them. I wanted to get the stats. Unfortunately it might be another 5-6 years before the next one is paid off. And that's with pretty optimistic goals. Unless I can find a way to drastically cut rent or something, my plan is to increase my monthly payment by a couple hundred a month and try not to think about how much I'm throwing at it.

Anyways, off to declutter my room a bit. Apparently not even Goodwill wants my junk. Sigh... :(


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 12:39 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Sula_n, I want to say thanks for sharing your story on here. When I signed up it was nice to see another person with so many student loans. Keep on pushing! It's great motivation for others to see your upbeat attitude and strength.


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:13 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Cali
Thanks DebtGrad! I try not to let things worry me too much. It's all I can really do. In the words of a famous blue, forgetful fish, "Just keep swimming". Hmm...maybe a poor choice of words since I can't swim :X. It's good to know that it's been helpful though! I'm going to keep adding to this as long as I can. Maybe I can look back at this in 10 years and realize how far I've come, or how big of a putz I was. Maybe a little of both. :)

Oh and I like listening to this to remind myself that bad situations never last forever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJdcROXeaWc


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:20 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
totally crazy, but I knew exactly what that youtube video was going to be before I even clicked it. I love Ave Q!


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing old mistakes, student neck deep in $100k of debt
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 960
sula_nebouxi wrote:
Also, my HESAA loan is officially dead! It's great seeing those 3 words "Paid in Full". I hope I get a congratulations letter or something. It's the least they could do after taking almost 3 long years to pay it off. But, it's finally done .


Just reading up on this thread. Sounds like you are getting there! Congrats on paying off your HESAA loan. Keep up the good work. ;)

Keep in mind you cannot control other people. You cannot control circumstances. What you can control is your attitude. It's about the 90/10 principle: 10% of life is made up of what happens to you, 90% is how you react to it. Check out Stephen Covey the 90/10 Principle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMipyQ5cgyg

Edit: To fix quote format issue.

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Last edited by Eagle on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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