My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

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DebtGrad64
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby DebtGrad64 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:20 pm

I need a supportive boost again. This month has been a bit more expensive than normal. Part of it was for a trip I planned for labor day with some friends, that I am partially regretting, and partially excited for. The money wasn't exactly budgeted and I made the excuse that it was my last "hurrah" for summer. Blah.

I think I might be addicted to excitement. I get really down and bored when I'm not doing exciting things. It's strange really.

Anyway. I get paid at the end of this month and I want to get back to a strict budgeting routine. I also plan on attending some upcoming career fairs that will give me leads and job offers. My current plan is to obtain my Masters and leave my PhD program. My faculty actually support this and have been very kind with their advice! I think in the long run I will make more money with a Masters degree moving forward than a PhD in Academia. It will be more fulfilling work for me too.
Thanks for a much needed supportive boost!

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Eagle
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby Eagle » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:43 am

This month and last month haven't been great for us iether. Saved $25 last month and on track to save about $50 this month. Blah. But hey you get knocked down you get back up.

We also splurged on a weekend getaway this past month and plan one at the end of this month. Of course we are out of debt... But to your situation life is too short. A trip every now and then is good for your health. However, I would encourage you to save up for a small trip towards the end of year for example instead of busting your budget.
~ Eagle
www.eaglesoaringhigher.com

DebtGrad64
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby DebtGrad64 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:56 am

Sharing a couple of wins!

- Met with a designer to begin developing advertising media for a tutoring business on the side.
- Subsequently found a cheaper designer through a friend.
- fell back in love with grad school... advisor is super supportive.
- took out 6000 in government loans this semester and used it to pay private loans
- canceled an unnecessary craiglist purchase today before it actually happened.
- found a good, committed gym buddy to keep me lifting.
- found a good, committed study buddy to keep me studying.
- decided to put much more money to safety because the car is going to die soon...

Sam
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby Sam » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:05 am

I need a supportive boost again.


One of the tricks I used to keep us on target when we were paying off $55,500 in debt ($27,000 of that was Mr. Sam's MBA) was to track our pay down on an excel spreadsheet. I kept my motivation up by knocking those debts down dollar by dollar and I also did lots of snowflaking, when I found an extra $10, $50 or $100 I would put it towards whatever debt I was working on via electronic payment.

Then I would update my excel spreadsheet and would smile at whatever progress we had made. I do the same thing with our current saving goals, but for whatever reason savings is not nearly as fun as killing debt.
Sam

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

CecilyC
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby CecilyC » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:27 pm

Sam wrote:For whatever reason savings is not nearly as fun as killing debt.


Boy, is that ever true, in my experience. Why is that, I wonder??? After all, debt is the elimination of a negative, and savings is the accumulation of more goodness, so, you would think savings would feel even better.

Maybe it's because the goal for savings seems more abstract?

DebtGrad64
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby DebtGrad64 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:17 pm

Thanks for your recent replies. Another update of some great fortune that I have had.

I recently landed a consulting job at a firm in Manhattan so I will be moving to the Big City once I finish my terminal Masters degree (yes, I finally decided to quit the PhD. That is just not a path for me, and saying it is so scary, but helpful). My adviser has been incredibly supportive.

I will be able to live at home with my family, save money on rent, and since the job is mainly travel most food expenses will be paid for as well. I will be making much better money, and can funnel almost all of it to debt.

So grateful for the support here!
-DG64

fantasma
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby fantasma » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:16 am

Beware of the consulting job: travelling and restaurant food gets really old really quick.
Be what you want to attract.

Kate1
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby Kate1 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:48 pm

Congrats on the new job! I know it wasn't an easy decision to quite the PhD but it sounds like you are relieved. I'd throw everything you can at the loans while your expenses will be mostly covered. That will give you more options if you do get tired of the travel as fantasma suggests.
Last edited by Kate1 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kate

LeRainDrop
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby LeRainDrop » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:07 pm

Congratulations on your new job! We can see you struggled a lot over whether to continue pursuing the PhD or choose another path, and it makes me really happy for you that you wrestled through it and found great opportunity. If you continue to live as frugally as you do now, then you should be able to make great strides in paying off your debt.

Like Sam, I kept an Excel spreadsheet as I was paying down my student loans, and it was so fun to watch the total debt go down. I know that sounds so geeky! In my spreadsheet, I created a new tab around the same day every month, and each tab was the same format -- listing all my student loan debts, interest rate/type, and balance, plus the total debt at the bottom. When a debt was paid off, I kept it on the list with a $0 balance and grayed it out. Over time, when you click between tabs, the exact same cells line up, so you see exactly how much your debt balance changed over time (e.g., what was the balance one year ago? and what is it now?) Trust me, the more you pay off, the faster it goes!

DebtGrad64
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby DebtGrad64 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:07 pm

It's nice checking in here and seeing all the support from people.

My plans are growing stronger and stronger. Once I start the job, I plan on doing exactly this and annihilating the debt! My offer was very nice, and I am going to ask for an increase because I will be leaving the PhD with a masters degree, and I do not believe the firm took that into consideration.

I see myself working this job for a few years maybe, and since the weekends are now all mine, I might try and find a bartending gig, or something on the side in the city to pay off debt faster.

Y'all the best!

CecilyC
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby CecilyC » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:11 am

Congratulations and good luck with the new job! I'm sure it feels great to have a clear direction. We'll all be waiting to hear how this helps you blast away at the student loan debt!!!!

DebtGrad64
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby DebtGrad64 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:37 pm

Thanks Prof. C,
I am overall really happy and really grateful, but I am struggling with some identity issues. It's really tough to be in a PhD program, and know that you are leaving. I still have a whole semester left and I feel like an alien, because some people know that I got a job and some people don't know yet about me leaving for a job. I feel like I am lying to half of my department. On the surface my advisor says that he fully supports me and that the firm is happy to have me as an employee, but I can't help but think that he is disappointed.

I feel no real danger in telling folks that I am leaving, but academia is such a strong culture, especially here in my department, that I honestly feel incredibly inferior.
Blah! At least I have a new path... I am simultaneously applying to medical school next semester as well, because it was my original undergraduate dream and I just got scared. The job will be a nice intermediate step, or if medical school doesn't work out, at leas a strong backup.

Thanks for knocking some sense into me about this :)

fantasma
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby fantasma » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:22 pm

I dunno is medical school really your passion? It is a huge commitment....if it does workout..
Be what you want to attract.

DebtGrad64
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby DebtGrad64 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:33 pm

Fantasma, I was premedical during my undergraduate years, and then stopped that path when I recognized the PhD programs that I thought would fit me. I have talked heavily with some doctors, and I am shadowing now, and I think my instincts were right to begin with. Academia was too solo, too removed from directly helping people. A career as a medical doctor is more hands on, and still keeps the research door open. I am at least going to try it. I have a good friend who left a phd at Harvard and went to medical school. We talked. He loves his life. He's just wrapping up residency.

But yes, it's good to think about.

DebtGrad64
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Re: My DebtJournal out of 100K of Undergrad Loans

Postby DebtGrad64 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:33 pm

Brief update,
Knee deep in organic chemistry, the only class I still need to be "pre-med certified." I've also been shadowing a psychiatrist and have shadowed a few times at a local community clinic. I feel as though I was meant to be an MD all along. On the side I've been keeping, occupied with friends who don't love spending money either (who knew those kinds of friends were so awesome... I didn't 8 months ago). I've also been narrowing my research interests and reading more academic papers on things I WANT to read about so that if I do get into medical school, I have some idea of things I would want to research when looking for additional side-projects/research funding/awesome MDs to chat with.

Found out from my company that I start working early this summer. Can't wait. Also potentially planning on deferring the medical school thing for an extra year if I get in. Why? Because I could pay off more undergrad debt, and also because I don't want to "ditch" this company so fast. I would rather give them 2 years of highly committed work, and leave on good terms, than use them as a stepping stone. That feels crappy to me. Maybe I'm just paranoid. Also, maybe I will love it.

Debt is still getting paid off every single month. The amount has dwindled a bit. Psychologically I know I have higher income heading my way, so I've been a bit heavy handed with the credit card on material items. Granted, most are aimed at improving my kitchen and or health. Being a foody can be pricey. Buying non-perishables in bulk helps. +1 to dehydrated foods, and fermented foods.

Retrospectively, I'm fascinated about my first visit to these forums, and the psychological mess that I was at the time. Mind is fascinating. Psychiatry here I come!


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