Today I accomplished something I’ve been working on for a very long time that has nothing to do with health, fitness, food or my job. Any guesses?
I paid off my student loans!
I wrote about my journey with my loans a few months ago at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff here, but here is a quick summary: I graduated college in 2005 and had massive debt (nearly 6 figures). When I started paying them off that year, my monthly payments were the equivalent of a small rent payment, which meant I couldn’t afford a real rent payment on top of that with my entry level salary.
But I scrimped and saved and worked my way up at my job. I put almost all of my extra money every month on the debt and made spreadsheet after spreadsheet to track it all and to keep me motivated. I honestly thought I would never get to this point, especially after so many years of seeing a massive balance every time I logged into my account.
In a sort of nerdy way, the spreadsheets really were what kept me going the most. In the beginning they were insanely detailed, and I checked back in every month to update how much extra I had paid along with keeping a running total of how much interest I was saving by paying early. I do wish I had kept up that last part all this time because I would love to know how much interest I saved. These were 15 year loans, so I effectively saved 8 years of interest.
This has been a tough week at work so I’m happy to be able to go home tonight knowing that not only is it Friday, but that I also have something to celebrate. Now on to the next big financial challenge: saving up to buy a house!