June already! Can you believe it?! Last month we made a $2000 payment to a student loan. Wahoo!!! But other than that, the month of May felt like a big, fat failure. After the $2,000 student loan payment, we had a cashflow problem because I didn’t earn as much money as I’d projected. I got too ambitious with the big payment. Luckily, we had the money in savings to cover the cash(non)flow, and we have already paid back the savings account.
But, it still stings. We spent $1400 more last month than we earned. At least $2,000 of our expenditures went to a good cause — paying off our lowest-balance student loan. It now stands at $10,028.49. I hope we can get it to four digits by the end of this month.
Student Loan Balance:
|Loan Type||Sept 2013 Balance||Last Month’s Balance||Current Balance||Current Payment||Difference from September|
|My Bar Study||$5,904.40|
|Spouse’s Bar Study||PAID||PAID||PAID||$0.00|
Net Worth Status:
Cash: -$1412.29. This deficit is a reflection of me having less income in May. The month before, I took on extra clients, but I didn’t have many of those types of clients in May and instead focused on the freelance litigation work.
Credit Cards: +$51.33. This is great, considering that those credit cards are carrying $700 in hotel expenses and $350 in car insurance expenses. It means that our everyday expenses were down. Sometimes I try to float those semi-annual expenses without dipping into our “annual savings” fund, but because we were at a deficit last month, we’ll take $700 out of that fund. We budget $1,000 per year for vacations, so it isn’t an issue — but I would have preferred to leave it in the savings account, of course.
Loans: +$2,698.79. Awesome!! What a great feeling!
Investments: +$2,121.04. We didn’t touch our investments last month, so the market worked its magic on our accounts. Our investments earned more in a month with us doing nothing than we earn with 80 hours of work.
Net Worth: +$3,356.21. I can kick myself for not making enough income last month or I can focus on how our student loan payoff increased our net worth.
- Make ends meet with my income: FAIL! I didn’t meet this goal, as you can tell by the cash depletion.
- Make an extra payment on a student loan: SUCCESS! Thankfully, we paid $2,000 towards a student loan before realizing that our expenses outweighed our income. That’s the beauty of paying the student loan first. (have you ever heard of the expression “pay yourself first?” Here in the Stapler household, we have to pay the student loan first).
- Begin negotiations with another buyer: FAIL! I also failed with this one. Mr. Stapler was super busy with completing the product rollout, and then he enjoyed his first weekend off in six months. It was a wonderful, but spendy, weekend.
- Start working on salary: FAIL! This did not happen. 🙁
- Make ends meet with my income: This is a recurring goal because I earn my income from freelancing for an attorney and by taking on my own clients. Hopefully, someday, I’ll be making ends meet just by taking on my own clients. But for now, the freelance work pays the bills.
- Make an extra payment on a student loan: This felt so good last month that I want to repeat it. My goal is to pay at least enough to get that loan into four digits. I project about a $1,000 surplus this month (as long as I work enough hours), so as long as we keep our spending in check and I work enough hours, I hope we can get to a $9,000 balance by the end of the month.
- Begin negotiations with another buyer: Mr. Stapler seems to walk away with a job offer each time he goes to a conference. He didn’t get a job offer at the last conference, but a very firm invitation to interview. In June, he’s attending another conference and plans to do some PR for our product there. We are gearing up to get the website polished up so newcomers can get a good impression. If we can get the site up before the conference, then we’ll send out an announcement and officially launch the product.
Even with the student loan payments, May felt like a failure because the cashflow problem got me down. We were scrambling for cash to meet our bills and that is just never fun. Looking at the boost in our current net worth makes me feel a little better, but I know that $2,000 of it is due to market fluctuation, so I can’t get too excited about that — I never count on a boom in investments sticking around for too long.
How was your month?
You’re doing a great job in moving your student loan goals forward! It’s so hard to be a slave to too many (financial) masters, and the progress you make in one will have more value that the offset to the pain you feel in another one. Remember – paying off a loan early will pay you back in saved interest over time, even if it is painful in a month, here and there. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the encouragement!