This blog inspired me quite a bit for this post. I've been reading some personal finance blogs, and this one really stuck to me. She also has a similar post, and it had me thinking of how I've had to trim things down.
I hate school loans. I like that I was able to go to college and finish in 4.5 years. I'm glad I'm not still in school. There is an upside to school loans.
I still hate them.
I'm really good at saving money. While yes, I did live in a dorm in college and did use the campus cafeteria, I still bought food for the weekends and other things I needed. My goal was to not pay more than $2.00 each for most things. Obviously things like facial cleanser cost a little more, and I did make exceptions for things like these sweet chili potstickers that I loved (and that are no longer made. Sad.) I did well, mostly.
Mentally, it made me consider needs vs. wants, like the author of My Alternate Life.
Deoderant is necessary. What isn't is the $4.00 tube that really doesn't do anything other than supposedly make your armpits beautiful or something.
That's the easy part.
I need a new car. It's not urgent right now, but my car is a 21-year-old minivan, which I have driven since high school. It was given to me when my parents bought a newer van later, and because my dad all about maintenance, it still runs pretty well. It's no Bugatti, but my commute to work is short and my van (affectionately known as Bessie, and referred to as "she" most of the time) does well.
But the old girl will not last forever. Machines don't. Soon I will need a new car. I want a Jeep Wrangler. If I had a lot of money, I'd get this gorgeous tangerine colored 2013 model I saw at a dealer outside town. If I had enough to buy an older one in cash (which I'd prefer), I'd settle for a late 90s Wrangler. They were still really good, and they hold their value. The reality is, I don't have quite enough to do that without depleting my savings, and I don't want to deal with another payment. The sad reality is, I probably have enough to pay cash an older model of something sensible.
But I still have to make those school loan payments and live on what's left of my paycheck after the damage is done. There are many times I wish I hadn't taken out school loans. I'm getting married at some point. I want a nice wedding.
I think I can afford myself that want, because I have been saving up for that since I got my current job. I'm determined to not default on my loans. My dream is to pay them off in huge chunks, because that would be the best revenge on high interest rates.
Right now, I'm happy. I refuse to let myself stress out anymore over my loans. I still hate them, but with the measured coldness of an assassin. Those loans are going down.
And when they fall, it will be a really good day.