The Year In Review
April 7, 2012
I reached a breaking point in my life where I was no longer willing to live in a state of denial with my student loans. Looking back on it all, it doesn’t really feel like I’ve been hard at this for a year.
Back then, my debt load was a whopping 45159.35.
41,971.74 to Sallie Mae
3235.31 in Credit Card Debt.
Today April 8, 2013 I have $332 of credit card debt and that’s by choice. Looking at the abysmal return of using my debit card for every transaction (1% interest after 10 transactions in my checking account), I can have enough small transactions to continue earning that but on my larger purchases I can earn money through Citibank’s Thank You rewards program. Still the idea is to use credit sparingly and I’ve done a pretty good job of that.
As for student loans, I recently broke a significant financial hurdle. Down to 40,775.26. So at a quick glance I knocked $4384 off my debt on an adjusted gross income of just under $30k. So roughly 15% of what I earned for the year went to paying down the debt. On top of the $1500 down payment toward our home purchase (most of it got reimbursed as part of ourrelocation package).
The older I get, the faster time seems to fly. 8 years ago I bought my first new-ish car, a 2003 Nissan Maxima. It was powerful, way classier than my Oldsmobile and also a bit of a money pit. I spent a big chunk of cash on 60k maintenance, tune-ups, getting brakes redone and the like. If I didn’t think the transmission would be going soon on it I might have kept it longer. The car I replaced it with also a Nissan has been fairly problem free in the next 5 years I’ve owned it.
Wouldn’t have thought in 2009 that I’d be living with a guy, much less all the way out in Texas. Definitely not my old stomping grounds on Long Island, but that isn’t entirely a bad thing. The people here are nice, overall it is a safer place to live, cost of living is half of what it was up north.
Today after much deliberation I decided to purchase a road bike. A 42cm frame, steel Takara Kabuto. The price was $199 plus taxes so about $215 total cost. I had looked at Craigslist and several retailers that weren’t Amazon and didn’t like what I found. Either too old, required too much maintenance or too expensive. The last thing I want is to purchase someone else’s headache. I’m typically a mountain bike guy but road bikes are better for distance and I’d like to do a little bit of sight seeing in Dallas. 🙂
The real reason for the bike purchase is related to health though. Back in 2005 I would ride my bike several times a week and was about 35 pounds lighter than I am today. If I can get closer to that 185lb ideal vs 220, the cost is worth it.