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Little update

July 2nd, 2019 at 08:32 pm

Spendy things this week: Surprise vet bills took a chunk out of the budget. Lucky to have an emergency fund to be able to do what needs to be done.

Frugal things this week:

Spent about $14 making a homecooked meal , including dessert, for date night instead of going out or getting takeout. This made for a nice relaxing evening and there were leftovers for lunch the next day.

Went grocery shopping today and spent about $30 total at two stores. Tomatoes on the vine are gorgeous right now and only 1.99/lb, so they feature heavily in this week’s menu.

Resisted buying any wine. I don’t need to be drinking extra calories unless it’s a special occasion.

Car repairs, dollar store wins, debt snapshot

June 25th, 2019 at 03:54 pm

Just checking in with some random updates:

Having some work done on my car this week, but it should all be free- various items have been recalled, so the local dealership is replacing the defective parts.

Skipped buying spices at the grocery store. The markup there seems excessive. Saw a container of cayenne pepper for $8, which was only slightly bigger than the last one I got for a dollar! Go through a lot of spices cooking at home, so I ended up going to the dollar store and buying them for $1/each. Have not noticed a quality difference.

Saved $20-40 by borrowing a few items from family that I only need for a week or so, instead of buying them. These things were just sitting in the basement unused, so not an inconvenience for them.

Debt snapshot:

For some of the paid off federal loans only principal is listed because it’s hard to tell the total interest paid on the website.

Private loan: $19,612.46 principal and $454.07 interest – PAID OFF
Grad plus loan: $9,546 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #1: $8,500 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #2: $8,500 principal- PAID OFF
Stafford loan #3: $8,500 principal and $1,399.20 interest: PAID OFF
Stafford loan #4: $43, 216.20 principal and 15.51 interest: Balance $43,231.71
Stafford loan #5: $43,952.80 principal and $10,612.71 interest: Balance $54,565.51
Stafford loan #6: $44,013.66 principal and $10,627.65 interest: Balance $54,641.31
Stafford loan #7: $48,070.76 principal and $11,607.08 interest: Balance $59,677.84

Total: $212,116.38 Principal: $179,253.42

Car repairs, dollar store wins, debt snapshot

June 25th, 2019 at 03:42 pm

Just checking in with some random updates:

Having some work done on my car this week, but it should all be free- various items have been recalled, so the local dealership is replacing the defective parts.

Skipped buying spices at the grocery store. The markup there seems excessive. Saw a container of cayenne pepper for $8, which was only slightly bigger than the last one I got for a dollar! Go through a lot of spices cooking at home, so I ended up going to the dollar store and buying them for $1/each. Have not noticed a quality difference.

Saved $20-40 by borrowing a few items from family that I only need for a week or so, instead of buying them. These things were just sitting in the basement unused, so not an inconvenience for them.

Debt snapshot:

For some of the paid off federal loans only principal is listed because it’s hard to tell the total interest paid on the website.

Private loan: $19,612.46 principal and $454.07 interest – PAID OFF
Grad plus loan: $9,546 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #1: $8,500 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #2: $8,500 principal- PAID OFF
Stafford loan #3: $8,500 principal and $1,399.20 interest: PAID OFF
Stafford loan #4: $43, 216.20 principal and 15.51 interest: Balance $43,231.71
Stafford loan #5: $43,952.80 principal and $10,612.71 interest: Balance $54,565.51
Stafford loan #6: $44,013.66 principal and $10,627.65 interest: Balance $54,641.31
Stafford loan #7: $48,070.76 principal and $11,607.08 interest: Balance $59,677.84

Total: $212,116.38 Principal: $179,253.42

Frugal efforts, nonfrugal week

May 23rd, 2019 at 06:38 pm

This past week wasn’t super frugal due to some fun summer activities, but much appreciated to get away for a couple days! I think road trips are still one of the cheaper ways to vacation though.

Frugal things for the week:
- Saved almost $100 booking through AirBnB instead of using the regular rental website for the same exact place
- Used a travel mug and resisted stopping for snacks on the way there or back
- Used up some odds and ends for dinner after getting back, putting off a grocery store run for another day
- Got seven new books at a free book exchange
- Cancelled Amazon prime. I got this as a 30 day free trial initially, but now was being charged monthly and don’t use it much

Now that the weather has definitely settled into summer territory, I need to sort and box up my winter clothing and go through my box of shorts and T-shirts to figure out what will still work for this year and what needs to be replaced. My go-to black work flats finally fell apart (literally, pieces fell off), and I need a pair of summer-appropriate black heels, but I’m going to inventory and make a list to avoid duplicates. Yard sale season is starting around here.

Loan snapshot

May 1st, 2019 at 07:57 pm

Another loan snapshot for tracking.

For some of the paid off federal loans only principal is listed because it’s hard to tell the total interest paid on the website.

Private loan: $19,612.46 principal and $454.07 interest – PAID OFF
Grad plus loan: $9,546 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #1: $8,500 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #2: $8,500 principal- PAID OFF
Stafford loan #3: $8,500 principal and $1,399.20 interest: PAID OFF
Stafford loan #4: $43, 595.23 principal and $6693.44 interest: Balance $50,288.67
Stafford loan #5: $43,952.80 principal and $10,882.72 interest: Balance $54,835.52
Stafford loan #6: $44,013.66 principal and $10,898.01 interest: Balance $54,911.67
Stafford loan #7: $48,070.76 principal and $11,902.37 interest: Balance $59,973.13

Total: $219,692.86 Principal: $179,632.45

Tax return, monthly interest savings

April 21st, 2019 at 12:23 am

Just a quick update. Received hefty federal and state tax returns due to an error in the withholdings when I switched jobs. I applied the (larger) state refund to my student loans and well as covering an $860 car repair bill. My car is a 2003, but my mechanic felt like it was worth doing this work based on what good shape it is in and the fact these models routinely get to 200,000 miles (it’s at 156,000 now). Have honestly put very little money into this car in the last 7 years, and some of the bill this time was for expected maintenance costs (replace the battery, fix flat tire, replace belts, etc).

I’m expecting a $1000 federal return, which will also go to student loans.

According to my calculations, I’m saving $132 a month in interest based on the principle paid off so far.

Loan snapshot

March 21st, 2019 at 02:32 pm

Student loan updates:

It seemed like a good time to post a snapshot of my loan progress . For the paid off federal loans only principal is listed because it’s hard to tell the total interest paid on the website. As you can see, I owe Uncle Sam approximately a gazillion dollars.

Private loan: $19,612.46 principal and $454.07 interest – PAID OFF
Grad plus loan: $9,546 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #1: $8,500 principal – PAID OFF
Stafford loan #2: $8,500 principal- PAID OFF
Stafford loan #3: $8,500 principal and $1,399.20 interest: Balance: $9,899.20
Stafford loan #4: $43, 595.23 principal and $10,794.81 interest: Balance $54,390.04
Stafford loan #5: $43,952.80 principal and $10,882.72 interest: Balance $54,835.52
Stafford loan #6: $44,013.66 principal and $10,898.01 interest: Balance $54,911.67
Stafford loan #7: $48,070.76 principal and $11,902.37 interest: Balance $59,973.13

Extra payment, taxes

March 3rd, 2019 at 06:40 pm

Just a quick update- sent $800 to the student loan from a payment for some side work. I did a $100 side job as well, but it usually takes at least a couple months for the check to come. Dropped off my taxes and will hopefully hear back soon. I think I overpaid this year, but there were a lot of unusual circumstances, so having a professional look at it.

February spending

February 24th, 2019 at 10:02 pm

This has been a pretty spendy month so far, with variable spending at $778.25. This doesn’t include regular bills, charitable donations, extra debt repayment, or work-related expenses, some of which will eventually be reimbursed, but it does include discretionary budget categories like groceries.

Unusual extra spending: $75 for a nice used desk chair to replace an old one that broke. $30 for a filing cabinet for my home office area. $70 for a nice Valentine’s dinner and drinks, with tip. This is more than a typical date for us, but every once in a while it’s fun to dress up and splurge on trying something new. (We roughly take turns paying for things.) $65 for some new bras and a dress to replace worn-out items.

Grocery spending was around $200, which isn’t too bad, although it could probably be lower for one vegetarian who doesn’t buy imitation meat and cooks at home a lot. Buying coffee and cafeteria snacks remains an area for improvement, even though I do keep some snacks at my desk and avoid pricey Starbucks coffee. Even the cheap stuff adds up!

Other spending included things like gas, forever stamps, mailing packages with Valentine’s candy for friends, liquor for a social gathering, a copay for dental work, and Hulu and Washington Post online subscriptions (don’t count these in the regular bills category because they’re definitely discretionary entertainment expenses) .

Private Loan Payoff, Repayment Strategery

December 10th, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Still here, still bad at posting regularly! Life is busy but good. Financial updates:

Been putting a big chunk of each paycheck toward my only private loan, and I mailed a check for the final payoff balance on Saturday! It usually takes at least a week for payments to show up. Looking forward to getting down to one loan servicer to deal with! Very grateful for the private loan though- they offered much lower interest during the years while I was still in school.


Payment for a side project came through, $685 after taxes. I sent this to my federal loans as an extra payment, but it’s also a test to see if my payoff strategy will work. With the federal loans I have a big balance and a lot of interest accumulated in one “account,” but it’s actually made up of multiple smaller loans taken out at different times. Any extra payment is applied to interest first, so I’m really hoping if I designate it to go to a certain loan within the account (loan #1) that means that once the interest on only loan #1 is covered, it starts hitting principle. This will make a HUGE different in how long it will take and how much total interest I’ll pay.

My goal is to eventually refinance (6.55% is insane), but I’m reluctant to lose the federal protections and IBR option until I’ve been at my job for at least year and find out for sure they plan to renew my contract. If I have to pay ALL the accumulated interest on the federal loans before the principle starts to go down, may need to rethink that plan. So far based on some preliminary research it looks like rates as low as 4% would be possible.

Net worth, private loan, blog related rambling

November 5th, 2018 at 06:17 am

It’s been a while- life is good but busy! I Financially I’ve been chugging along and trying to minimize spending to focus on loan payback.

The website for my private loan doesn’t give you the actual total, just the remaining principle balance. You have to call or write for the actual balance. Regardless, once the principle is gone it will stop generating interest and I’ll probably just let my autopayments finish it off, so I guess it doesn’t matter. My current principle balance is $13,297.

I know a lot of the bloggers here like to track their net worth, but I’ve never bothered to calculate mine because it was so far in the negative and at points in training I wasn’t even able to keep up with the interest. Now that I have a job that will let me make actual progress, I decided to bite the bullet and see. Not pretty- 181,459 in the red. I don’t plan to track this closely, but do like that it also captures contributions to retirement. The net worth number only includes the principle balance of the private loan. On a happy note, I did finally hit my silly personal goal of having at least $1000 per year of my age in retirement savings.

Even when I’m not posting much I always follow the blogs here (been reading this site for years before I finally made my own account). I agree with CB in the City that is seems like a lot of regular bloggers have drifted away- hope everybody is okay! (Definitely not complaining- I’m obviously terrible about blogging when life stuff comes up.) Still wonder about Ima Saver sometimes. I remember when I first found this website, Ima Saver, Boommeyer, whitestripe, and Ceejay were the blogs I really followed, and now Ceejay is the only one still active. Life gets busy, interests change, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some regular bloggers eventually stop for privacy reasons when people in real life find their posts, but it does make you wonder if something else happened to them.

Extra loan payment

September 14th, 2018 at 07:52 am

I’ll have to write a longer post later, but the student loan pay-down goal continues. I’ve gotten a few extra checks recently to throw at it:

Side project payment: $250
Comcast refund: $20
Rental deposit refund from old apartment: $935
Total: $1205