Long read, but all relevant to my financial pace from here.
A couple of years ago, I did a specialty program at a college that was supposed to help me travel and make money at the same time. Unfortunately, after all was said and done, the money making didn't happen very much. I did get a lot of traveling in, but by the time I got back to Canada, I was $22k in debt. $20k on a loc, $2k on a credit card.
Things got worse when the recession was just starting to hit and I couldn't get a job. I was doing random jobs to make whatever little money I could. After several months of searching, I found a dream job. It was doing work I love, paid $22 an hour despite my lack of relevant education, and I got loooads of overtime. I have been working there for roughly 14 months now.
During that time, I started going back to school. I always planned to go to university. I realized to pay for it I needed to take out student loans at the time. I was still paying down my loc while going to school and the student loans are interest free at the moment. So, over the last 14 months, I have paid down $12k of debt on my loc and credit card even while being in school for the last 8 months. I realize there is still room to go, but I feel pretty good about that. On an even brighter note, I made a very, very good decision last spring.
The housing market tanked for a while. It wasn't as bad in Canada as it was in the US apparently, but still, prices dropped. As did interest rates. I always watched real estate listing for some reason, and an opportunity came up for me to buy a cheap condo in the city where I live. I did with a partner, and we rented it out for $150 more a month than all the costs came out to. Now I know many people say one should not go into debt for any reason at all when paying it off, but it turns out this was, as I said earlier, a very good decision. The housing market rebounded, and I just sold the condo for quite a bit more than I bought it for. When all is said and done, I will be making between 20-22k out of the deal.
So, I have $10k on my loc, $5.5k in student loans and $20-22k coming in, plus summer coming during which time I can save up more. I also just received a 2k scholarship for the next school year.
What I plan to do is immediately pay off the line of credit and be done with the thing, may it rot in hell. After that though, suggestions are welcome. I plan to put $5.5k away for the coming school year, perhaps in a GIC that I can access when my tuition fees are due. One need/want (both) is that as I am moving off campus, I need some form of transportation. I would like to buy a used motorcycle as they are much cheaper to run and don't depreciate significantly. I have sort of set my mind on that.
The one thing I would really appreciate a suggestion on is what I should do with the remaining money. On the one hand, I could pay down my existing student loan and be totally debt free. However, I do not NEED to pay anything for at least 3 more years, and there is not interest until then. My other option is to put the extra money away for my third year in some sort of low risk investment account and let it grow for the next year and a half. Best case scenario, I get lots of work this summer and can do both.
So that is my saga, if you made it through the whole thing, kudos! If you have comments, feedback or suggestions, I would love to hear them.