If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I set a pretty cool New Year’s Resolution this year. Normally, I don’t set resolutions but I wanted this year to be my year. We all spend time and energy trying to get ahead and make life better for ourselves, but in the process we sometimes start doing things other people expect us to do instead of the things we want to do. “That was the old me, this is the new me.” Inspired by Shay Butler and his rapping buddy Rawn, I’m going to make this year my year.
My new year’s resolution is to pay off $20K of student loan debt this year. I originally said I would pay it all off, but then I realized I had more than I originally thought, thanks to taking out a loan last year to help me get back on my feet – which I will never do ever again. I’m done with loans. I’m done with credit cards. A mortgage is a little different, so unless I want to rent for the rest of my life I’m probably going to buy something in the near future once my debt is cleared up. That is probably my biggest motivation in paying off my debt now.
“Get on up, make your own motivation, Get on up I think it’s time to change the station.” -Shay Butler and Rawn Erickson
I’d like to stay here in the Capital District for the next 4-5 years at least, and with no romantic prospects on the horizon, that also means I won’t be having a family for the majority of those years, even if I do meet someone up here in the Capital District. The good news is that the housing market is fantastic up here. Low interest rates, lots of affordable housing in good communities that are recovering from a bout of foreclosures. I can really pick a winning property and have it appreciate in value. Owning a house would bring me a lot of peace of mind and hopefully let me get my second “career” started. I don’t have that much student loan debt left – about $29K. However, I’d really like to go into a home with no debt payments whatsoever, and be able to apply all of my earnings to paying off my mortgage quickly. Following the recommendations of the Churchill Mortgage company, which is a company that specializes in underwriting mortgages for people who don’t care about credit scores, I’m aiming for a 15 year fixed mortgage, to be paid off while I’m debt-free and working as hard as I can. I am also going to be looking for a duplex or a legal multi-family home to bring in some rental income – having been a B&B host for many years, I’m ready for it – and to potentially offer a place for my parents to live if they decide they don’t want to live alone in their golden years. For now, dreams of moving back to Long Island or New York City (or anywhere within an hour) have to be put aside. There is the option of living in Bridgeport, or somewhere close to the Bridgeport Ferry, which would be really convenient to visit my parents, but I don’t know much about the cost of living up there.
To pay off $20K in one year, I’ll set aside $1670 every month. It is now March, and I’m on track. With my current savings, I’m actually way ahead of track, so that is exciting! Perhaps my original goal of being able to pay it all off will actually happen! But I need those extra savings for unexpected expenses (which, for me, seem to happen every other week).
“‘People say, ‘But Dave, be positive!’ I am positive. Positive it’s going to rain.” -Dave Ramsey, FPU’s Baby Steps Live
I am on track! Keep checking back to see how I’m doing as I’ll update everyone on my progress throughout the year. If you have any ideas of posts you’d like to see – how I’m managing saving that much, where I’m putting my savings, or comments – let me know below.