Reflections: reaching the $10k mark

Today I have reason to smile. Well, everyday I have reason to smile but today in particular is a good, good day. My student loan balance has now passed the $10,000 mark to sit at a healthy $9,800ish. Having started the year with over $25k of debt (line of credit and student loan), I finally feel a sense of calm. I feel like I’m not running towards a finish line that keeps moving further away mockingly. I can see the finish line and it’s closing in on me quickly.

I would love to say I could start slacking now but quite the contrary. I’m going to have to push that much harder in my last 4 months to ensure that I reach my goal on time (May 1), or even earlier! Lucky for me, beginning of the year=tax refund! I have no investments (boo me!) and still tons of unused education credits, so I hope to get back a good chunk o’ change and hopefully retire my debt significantly earlier than planned (read: within 2-3 months, not 4!). Once this is done, I can finally move forward and focus on saving money for the future.

Although I’m not proud of the fact that I got myself into debt, I am proud of the steps I am taking to get myself out. I’ve always been very laid back, laissez-faire if you will, which has sometimes bordered on unmotivated. For that reason, I’m amazed by how far I can get by setting a goal and motivating myself to stick to my goal. This year, I’ve held down two jobs, worked my a$% off, made some sacrifices but also enjoyed myself. I had to learn to say ‘no’ to dinner plans, travel plans, basically any fun plans.I still like to think I made time for the things that mattered though, like seeing my friends, attending weddings and taking a breather once in awhile. All in all, I think I’ve learned and grown more this year than I have in any of my 27 years of life. The great thing about my debt is that it has taught me spending and saving habits that will last me a lifetime. Now that’s something I don’t regret for a second.

Five thousand mark, here I come! Are you proud of what you achieved this year?

LF

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