The Site is Back!

Hello again!

The website is back in action! Wanna know why it has been shut down since February? Money!

I realized that I wasn't posting content like I should be and I could no longer justify paying the monthly fee to host the site when it was literally a waste of money since I wasn't utilizing it. And the site is about saving money. So, at the time it made sense. 

My best friend is getting married in October and I have been saving the money that I would have spent on hosting this site (plus a little more), and putting it into a jar to pay for my part in her wedding. It feels so good to be approaching her wedding and know that I have money stored away for this specific event. 

But, I'm back! Because I miss blogging, because this site provides a certain level of accountability, and because I miss hearing from all of you! 

My current grand total for my student debt is $17,979.24. I'm in the 17's now! I graduated with $56k in student debt so $17k feels so good! I have been paying a lot longer than I originally had hoped but along the way I have learned so many things about personal finance and how to create and maintain budgets. I'm thankful for the things I have learned and patient with myself as I continue to chug along. As long as there is significant progress, I'm happy. 

I am hoping to be completely debt free by October 2016. After my debts are paid, I am going to save a solid base fund and travel the world. Very literally. I plan on starting in Spain and slowly making a full circle around the globe until I end up back in NC. I am at a point in life where I feel I need to travel while I still can. The work I do currently can be done remotely so I am hoping to be able to keep my job while traveling. Since it will realistically be a few years before I can go, I have plenty of time to research all the cheapest travel options. I wanted to mention it now because I will be more than likely posting on the affordable options I find. 

Also while away from NDB, I have been working on my personal photography page. Check it out at www.chelseatakesphotos.com or on Facebook! I have discovered my interest in photography and would love to chat with anyone who has a similar interest! Hopefully in the future the photography will develop into an additional income source and also help out with the school loans.

I'm so happy to be back!


Tax Return & Suze vs. Dave

The day has come! I can officially strike another student loan off my list! This past week I was able to put $2,709.43 on my Chase Student Loan and pay it off in full!

                          Screenshot of my bank account statement proving the payment happened

                          Screenshot of my bank account statement proving the payment happened

How did I have the money to make this large payment?? Taxes! I filed my taxes a few weeks ago and once my return came, I bit the bullet and put it all on my debt. I'm gonna be honest and say that it was INCREDIBLY tempting to only put a portion towards my debt and put part into my housing fund but I didn't and now I can say that I have completely paid off my Chase loan! 

I logged back on tonight to see if there was some sort of Congratulations page but no, this is all there was:

                                                              SUCK IT CHASE STUDENT LOAN!!

                                                              SUCK IT CHASE STUDENT LOAN!!

Even though Chase didn't seem to care, I've never been happier or more proud of myself. 

Since August 12, 2014 I have paid $8,218.33 towards my debt total...not too shabby for 6 months!

Now comes the hard part, do I choose to go Suze Ormans path or Dave Ramseys?!

I have two debts left to pay before complete financial freedom:

My car = $9798.52 @ 5.25%

My Federal Loan = $18,771.52 6.63%

Grand Total Remaining = $28,569.54

While I am proud of myself for completely paying off my credit card debt and paying my smallest, private student loan, I realize I still have quite a journey ahead. 

My situation is that I do not know which route to take next. Do I continue on Suze Orman's path and pay my highest interest rate first? That means I would focus on paying off my Federal Student Loan which has the larger balance. Or do I follow Dave Ramsey's snowball method and continue by paying my smallest debt first, my car, and then my student loan? What to do? I have been thinking about this long and hard and I think that I am a goal driven person. I like goals that I can meet and move forward from with greater speed. I think that I am going to focus on paying my car off completely and then work on denting that Federal loan. 

Lets hear it for Dave Ramsey and his snowball effect concept!

How is the progress coming on your debt payment plan? If you qualify for a tax refund, are you going to put it towards your debts?