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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
and exchange ideas
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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 1:52 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Thank you for that challenging question! I don't really have to be lonely. I do have friends that are sometimes extravagant with their purchases, or like to do expensive activities, but often times people are down to do things that are low in cost. This weekend I am going to a BBQ, going out to a club with no cover (and I don't purchase while I am there) and then Saturday I might be hosting some visitors... So I guess lonely is not really a problem :)

I have friends I can Skype with as well. And call on the phone. I'm the one who gets down on myself the most and frames this next part of my life negatively. It's certainly not the best, but it's not the worst!

How does one handle "saying no" to expensive things with friends? "I can't afford that trip right now, but have fun!" ???


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 1:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:04 am
Posts: 43
I have the best luck with inexpensive counterproposals, as opposed to, say, 'no, why would I ever want to spend time with you.' "Hey, how about going out for expensive drinks?" "I'd rather grab burgers at cheapbutyummy," or "Or you could come over to my place and we could potluck."

What you said would work well, if you were comfortable talking about your finances with them. If not, a diplomatic excuse - you are a PhD student, I'm sure you're dramatically busy?

The main GRS site has a lot of articles on the subject, along the lines of 'ten inexpensive things to do with friends.'


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 2:03 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Today has been my best day yet since I had the "realization" of all this money that I have taken out for my undergrad career. I've tossed around several ideas for ways to make alternative money on the side, and I think because my major focus right now has to be graduate school, I am going to stick with low commitment endeavors. Selling old junk on eBay is one (I am going through my room bit by bit to get rid of items).

The other endeavor that is meaningful to me, applicable to my work, and something I can take on slowly is tutoring. One student a week, maybe two if I think I can handle it. All this additional money can go right into savings.

I'm planning on reaching out to local private schools to see if they need tutors, and I'm curious if other folks here have experience / ideas on how to begin this small side venture?


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 174
My parents always said that when you're in school, your job is to be a great student, so I agree that you need to focus on academics for now. But a little side job never hurt!

The problem with tutoring may be that kids are getting ready to be out of school for the summer. Maybe you could post an ad on Craigslist for summer tutoring for kids who are struggling? Enrichment sessions for gifted kids? Or how about proofreading/tutoring/conversation practice for ESL students at your university? Just a few ideas...

Also, if you like writing, I've written and sold some articles on a site called Constant Content. I've made decent money for the time I've put in it and it's something you can do as you have extra time.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:39 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Well today started out great, but now I am in a really tough place. I went to a dinner tonight with fellow grad students and they are all discussing how they are buying homes, planning for kids, getting dogs... All things that involve money and all things that I want one day, but feel so very far away. How does one keep their head up?

Light at the end of the tunnel... light at the end of the tunnel...

I can do this. I can do this. Right?


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:09 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1683
Location: Ottawa, Canada
DebtGrad64 wrote:
Well today started out great, but now I am in a really tough place. I went to a dinner tonight with fellow grad students and they are all discussing how they are buying homes, planning for kids, getting dogs... All things that involve money and all things that I want one day


If it makes you feel better, your friends are probably shouldering a mountain of debt taking on all of those things. It makes them "normal," but you can be smarter/better than that.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:12 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:52 pm
Posts: 19
I'm just finishing a Masters, and can relate to a lot of what you're going through. Every once in awhile I look around at my fellow students who are getting married, having kids, buying a house, and I get frustrated that my life hasn't "started" yet. Then I think to myself, if I could have all of it tomorrow, would I take it? And the answer is always NO. Because I have my own life list to complete before I'm ready for all that. I have my own goals, both personal and financial, and I DECIDE when and how to accomplish them. Just because someone I know is at a certain point in their life doesn't mean I have to speed up my own progression to match theirs.

Some might say don't worry, those other people are going to be in debt later, and regret their hasty decisions. I say it doesn't matter what happens to them. Stick to your plans, even if it means bowing out of a few events. Better yet, attend some campus events for grad students and make friends with people who are more your speed. I've met great people from other departments that I never would have crossed paths with at such functions, and being able to hang out with like-minded people takes a lot of stress out of the social equation.

It sounds like you've got a solid plan that is flexible enough to keep you from going crazy. Good luck with your PhD!


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:16 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1140
Location: Maryland
Hi and welcome.
Your last post struck a chord with me for some reason. You probably aren't aware of this because you haven't paid attention, but people are always talking about what they are buying, where they are going, what they are doing. You listen, and agree with them, be happy for them, and know that one day you will be in their place talking about all the things you are buying or saving for. You can't let what other people say get you down. Like kombat said, you have no idea what's going on in their pockets.

I know you don't have a lot of time, but I volunteer with the SPCA as a foster dog mom. They provide me with food, a crate, a snuggle buddy and everything I need. I can volunteer as much or as little as I want, and if the dog doesn't meet my requirements, I can turn it down. At my SPCA, we only keep dogs for about two weeks minimum, and depending on their situation, we may keep them longer. So...at least that would fill one of your voids. Look into it, and stop being down on yourself because you don't have what others have. Apparently, you spent a lot on something, so you must have something. Enjoy it and appreciate what you DO have.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:44 am 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Thanks for the replies everyone. I do have all I need, so that is good. I try to think long term and know that if I ever have kids (and I really want kids one day) that they will at least have a financially competent father at that point, who knows what the hell he is doing with money!


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 11:05 am 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
One of the things that is frightening is that my private loans only allow me to defer payment of interest for 6 years. This means that some of my loans will begin to roll over while I am in graduate school. I am paying off the oldest loans first, to avoid the interest payments while in graduate school, but the fear is that my dissertation will take much longer than 5 years, and I am only fully funded for 5. I can probably swing minimal funding if I need more time, but that's not guaranteed, and I have this fear that I will be "overcome" with debt while trying to write.

To be honest, that far into the future is so very hard to predict. Many folks in my program have kids, families, and hobbies and they all manage to finish and get jobs. My angst over this scenario is doing more damage than the actual debt is! I don't have to worry. I have an income and I am being very wise with that income now.

Does anyone know anything about consolidating student loans that are private. HESAA doesn't have a consolidation program anymore, but surely I could get another private company to consolidate these loans for me?


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:15 am 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
I was just curious if anyone knew of some resources based on what I last wrote? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:21 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
I just went grocery shopping for the last time this month, and broke even on my grocery budget! It's a small win, but it's a win nonetheless!

Granted, some of the food that I have been eating has been previously purchased items, but I also bought some long-term items this month (like a giant bag of rice, and several on-sale items that I use frequently that will not go bad).

More importantly, as I was checking out I realized that this is the new me. This is how life will always be from now on, because consumption isn't my goal, but saving money, being debt free, and eventually investing ARE my new goals.


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:21 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Can I talk about work-life balance while getting out of debt? A part of me wants to not stop working at all until this debt is gone, but that's 6 years from now. It's unhealthy and unrealistic. I had a pretty serious weightlifting habit going, and my new reduced diet and desire to find a part time job have taken over. Not to mention, I'm still working on this PhD program. How does one find acceptance with their current financial state of affairs and remain upbeat, optimistic, and still push forward?

Sigh. Long journey to go. :worried:

Good news (I think). I'm being interviewed for a part time tutoring gig!


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 4:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1140
Location: Maryland
I'm an old girl, so I can't help you with the student loan question. There is a thread on the Personal Finance page with others with student loans, so they're probably more up to date on who to call or what to do.

Great job on the grocery shopping. Breaking even is not a bad thing. Write your list and stick to it.

As far as acceptance to your financial situation, you just have to go with it. Nothing or no one is going to change it but you, so stick to your plan, and work your plan. Burying your head in the sand or pretending like you don't have loans is only going to make things worst, so read, or lift weights or watch movies-whatever you like to do to relax and think about other things until it's time to make another payment, and keep chugging away. As you know, there are a ton of people tackling debt (including me and my new car!), so just keep at it. Have a good one and good luck with your interview. I loved teaching math as a part time job until I got into grad. school. :)


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 Post subject: Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 7:50 pm 

Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm
Posts: 67
Every response from everyone here makes me feel really great. Thank you. One reason this debt is hitting me so hard is that I have always "dreamed" of being a millionaire. Granted, dreaming obviously hasn't gotten me very far. The dreams come from living with parents who had absolutely no money knowledge whatsoever and who gave gave gave to their kids, without insisting on hard work. I am learning my lesson and accepting responsibility for this now. It's my time to change my future. The parents are still in debt...

My dreams are slowly shifting to dreams of being a millionaire while still maintaining a frugal lifestyle. In the past my millionaire dreams involved fancy items. Not anymore. I want the wealth to be able to be secure, and to provide for my own children (while insisting they work part time and invest themselves!)

But I live in fear that 30 is too late to start investing. That 30 is too late to make it to a point where I can be a millionaire in my lifetime. I believe that mathematically this isn't true... but with house expenses down the road, and car expenses... I'm letting my fears get the best of me here, aren't I?

I think I am forgetting that not only will I eventually be in the black, but that I can then use my income to generate additional income through investments and assets. This is doable folks? Right?!


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