Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Student loan strategies

I subscribe to a ton of PF blogs, and lately a lot of them have been talking about debt reduction strategy and student loans. Most of my friends are paying either the minimum or slightly above minimum payments. A lot of finance books are also talk about not paying much more than minimum towards student loans, and I wonder why. They say it’s because it’s a low interest loan, and you would be better off investing that money at a higher return.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’ve always thought that any debt is bad debt, whether it’s credit card, student loans, a car loan, etc. My student loans have a 9.5% interest rate, and that’s practically the same for every student in Canada, I would imagine. Is that considered a low interest loan? To me, it’s highway robbery! For a while, I was paying $2 a day in interest!

Anyway, reading all of this has gotten me doubting my debt payoff strategy again, and it’s not like I can just take back all the money I’ve paid towards my loans. It makes me nervous that while I’m pouring every last cent into my student loans, the next person is paying the minimum, but socking away all that extra cash into investments, emergency funds, etc.

I know everyone has their own way of paying off debt, but it still makes me stop and think about if I’m making the right choices. I wish there was one solid set of rules that everyone followed regarding finances. That way, if you deviated from the rules, you knew you were screwing up. But I guess that’s just not how life works! :)

Spending on food and taking on a 3rd job

Spent $22.16 Friday night for me and the BF on drinks and appys for my friend’s birthday. I budgeted an extra $20 out of my dining out budget this month b/c of her birthday, so I don’t feel badly at all! Plus, that’s not a lot of money for 2 drinks and 2 appys anyway. Although, the nachos were a disappointment! :)

Yesterday, I spent $7.16 at Starbucks before we had to go to the arena. I bought my usual tea for $1.70, but my sister bought a fancy drink. I didn’t mind though. We also got an oat bar to share.

I’m at work right now (yes, on Easter Sunday), so I don’t have access to my Quicken data, but I’m pretty sure I’ve spent $36.02 on food so far in April, and it’s only the 8th! Since I budgeted an extra $20 to cover my friend’s birthday, I still have $13.98 for the month.

In other news, I’m still on the fence about taking the 3rd job . My current PT job will be ending for the year soon, and that means I’ll only have my full-time job from now until September. That’s no good. I’ve always had 2 jobs, even while going to school. It feels weird not to. So, I think I’ll go for it. It’ll only be a few shifts a month, and the hours are super flexible, so it’s not like it’ll be too bad. Plus, free concerts! And a couple hundred extra bucks a month would definitely help.

Almost there!

I just got my tax refund today, so I updated the sidebar. I put the entire $1300 towards my student loans, and now I’m at 97% paid off!! HOORAH!!! Next Friday, they’ll be gone forever!!!

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