Studenomics is all about the community. If I don’t help you guys get to financial freedom, then I have failed.
One reader is working towards freedom by trying to pay off their debt. In September we touched base with Jacquelyn to help her become financially free.
[Check out: Help out Jacquelyn.]
Let’s check out the update for January 2015!
What are the financials like?
Let’s start off by seeing where the financials are.
- Income is the same at $55,000 annually.
- Take home monthly is $2,954.
Our combined take home (until she gets the promotion) is 4156 with shared expenses.
Rent at 1515 a month. I have $450 in monthly expenses outside of shared expenses and she has $250. With all of that, it leaves us about $1,914/month to send to debt, not quite the $2,800 I need to get myself out of debt but it put some things into perspective. Her tax refund is going to clear out the rest of her credit card debt, which will help a lot.
- I got a $732 bonus because it was the New Year. That was a nice surprise. I’m expected to obtain a bonus in June but it is set up in a jaded way, so that the bonus is spread out over the course of the year instead of as a lump sum. I don’t know what my bonus structure is yet.
- I cannot partake in the employment 401k until I have been there for a year but they only allow enrollment twice a year: June and Dec. I started in July so I will have to wait until December. I’m trying to find the best place for me to begin a 401k or IRA, eventually both as my knowledge expands so that I have the best form of savings no matter where I land on the employment scale.
- My savings plan is $20/week for now as direct debit to an account I don’t touch with a decent APR (once the value is substantial).
What are the biggest financial concerns right now?
My biggest fear is our lack of any back up for emergencies, it makes the debt paying even more stressful as we want to make sure we pay our bills/debts and selves first but don’t put ourselves back into a credit card pickle.
I was able to transfer the remaining $2,000 on my capital one to my CUD card with no balance transfer fee and a 4% APR decrease, leaving that amount with an interest rate of 4.24%. There was $1,500 on my CUD card already so that portion will maintain the 8.24% APR.
I’m still learning how that changes my payment schedule and how interest is actually accrued with a balance greater than $0 when the payment date passes. For me, this was a great choice because my credit card debt is consolidated and once that balance is gone, it’s gone. My next step will be my loans, which actually have a higher interest rate but I want to be out of CC debt first.
I have to figure out the best way to leverage my payments into my student loans. That’s a bridge I’ll cross as it gets closer in the next few weeks. Essentially, just putting my payment to the loan that will bring me the greatest return, considering they all share the same interest rate.
I also figured out how much I pay on student loan interest monthly, if you want that. As far as I can tell my Fed loans were “consolidated” on the site but not by interest as I pay about $35-40 per loan in interest every month, totalling about $120. I pay $201.03 a month on those loans because they messed up some of my payments when I changed to lower my monthly amount and I didn’t foresee it getting better especially knowing I would be done with CC debt sooner.
The other loan I pay about $21/month of interest with a payment of $55.
My next big venture is to figure out the most effective way to pay those down.
What are the future plans with income and life?
Side income is currently random dog watching jobs, the last one landed us about $1200 but was a nightmare having six dogs. However, managing 2-3 dogs and making an extra 200-500/month would help A LOT.
The biggest step for me is just working my ass off.
If I want to avoid a part time job to focus on my online business, then I need to hold myself accountable because I won’t leave a job without solid income in place.
I’m working with Martin, a few writer mentors and ABM actually to build the business and gain different perspectives. I really have no excuse to not have my name out there. I have an ass ton of time and just need to develop habits, not routines.
Mostly, just trying to create an audience, be visible and reach the people I want to reach so I am not sitting in an office wishing I could be home doing what I know I’m supposed to.
What’s stopping Jacquelyn from her goals?
My fear is not the big dream, my fear is all the little things I have to give myself to in order to get there.
It’s the wishing and wanting without the drive to get it. A lot of me is driven by proving that I can be who I want and not feel like a total disappointment, but that’s what my story is all about. Defying expectations that have been placed on me by others or by a result of my experience with others.
This is my story to financial freedom and I no longer have to live shackled to a life I thought I was supposed to hold.
A personal update from Jacquelyn…
So this is a brief synopsis of where I’m at, not much has changed with my actual income or side income. The dog sitting was my partner’s idea. We are working on a way to shuffle the money to the appropriate places. Her income and debt is about 1/3 of mine.
We are hashing out specific budget numbers to make our decisions for us, so when we feel like we going out or spending money that doesn’t align with our goals, we have a reminder that says :
Just because you have the money in your bank account does not mean it needs to be spent…at least not there.
Most the time, the money is just in my account as a safety net until the next paycheck so that I have an easier time paying debt right away.
What are some must read articles from Martin?
It’s time to go back to school if you’re not 100% on top of your finances. Actually, this is the opposite of school. Lame personal finance advice comes to Studenomics to die.
I didn’t want to repeat myself so I’m sharing the must read articles for Jacquelyn and all readers in a similar situation.
How-to drink without going broke — This is key. I can’t tell anyone not to party. I would be the world’s biggest hypocrite. I can only suggest ways to save money on this expense and to not let it consume your life.
Start an online business in 6 easy steps — You can start your own online business and make money in the future (it won’t be easy). This is a fun hobby that could POSSIBLY lead to money down the road.
How you can save $25k by 25 — Proven tactics that have worked for me. No excuses! The title says it all and it applies to every age.
The ultimate guide to crushing your debt — Over 2,000 words on destroying your debt. The best possible guide on the whole damn web. You’ll find a strategy that works for you in here.
Add play to your life and never feel miserable again — A quick guide to helping you feel good. Being in debt can really bring you down. You need to do everything possible to stay positive.
Do you have any advice, tips, or praise for Jacquelyn?