#3 on my Thirty before 30 list:
Attend a Chicago Bears game at Solider Field. CROSSED OFF THE LIST! I’m about a month late on this post since I attended this game on October 6th. My parents bought me four tickets to the Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints for my birthday. $200 per ticket! JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH…I’m blessed. It was me and my favorite three people doing my favorite thing in my favorite city.
I, being a huge fan of the Bears, and my boyfriend, being the biggest, crazed Saints fan I know…I thought it would be a good idea to see our teams play against each other for a change. We have only attended Saints/Falcons games, and I finally wanted to see my team play. Of course, I thought I was going to be the happy one at the end of the game. Note my huge smile before the start of the game, but then notice my boyfriend’s devilish smith with his New Orleans beads and Brees jersey. One of us was not going to be smiling in 3 hours.
When we get to Solider Field, I’m completely in awe with its beauty. It was the most beautiful stadium I have ever been too. It’s in the heart of downtown Chicago, right on the lakefront, with a backdrop of the skyline. It was gorgeous. I loved it! We had some awesome seats, too. It was perfection. We drank beer. We ate peanuts & hot dogs. We were so merry. But again, someone(s) was going to leave unhappy…
And those people were me and my daddy. The Saints kicked our butts 26-18. It was never really a game. It was a typical Bears game where Jay Cutler could do nothing with the ball. He tried at the end, but it was a little too late. We were no longer smiling, and I received a “you are a loser” sympathy kiss from my boyfriend. Of course, the bf enjoyed himself and thanked my dad for the tickets. My dad basically said in so many words “aww, f*ck you!” hahahaha!!! In conclusion, I loved every minute of the experience, and it will be a moment I never forget.
This year has been one big roller coaster ride for myself and many others. I feel like I have been riding the ‘Goliath’ at Six Flags over and over again. I have hit many twist and turns along the way from a broken air conditioner to broken car door handle to a “unforunate” situation in March. I have had over $2,500 of unexpected expenses this year. (more…)
Happy Monday! Hope everyone has a wonderful, positive and productive week. Every Monday I will share some great links I read around the web and hopefully it will either inspire, motivate or teach you something to help you through your week. (more…)
I’m not sure where to start. So much has happens since I turned 28 about a week ago. Well, not that much. I’m not pregnant or getting married or anything, but some great, random things happened to me.
Let’s begin with my “Week before my birthday” surprise party thrown by my boyfriend and my good friend Valerie. Instead of screaming and jumping up for joy when I saw 20 of my closest friends and family say “SURPRISE!”, I gave the worst reaction ever, and I still feel so bad about it. It was more like an *eyeroll* “Why are these people here? I’m too tired for this.” To my credit, I had just worked from 4am-8pm (yes, 16 hours!) and had to get up the next day at 3am for work. When I got off, I was really looking forward to just drinking a beer, eating dinner and going to bed. (more…)
Byeeeeeee 27! I’ll miss you. Age 27 was the year of growth and getting my life in order. Story of a typical damn near 30 year old girl. It’s always so bittersweet seeing another year of your life go by. As I reflect back on the year that was, I smile. It was filled with lots of love and hard times that I fought through & made me a better person. (more…)
Thirty Things I want to do before I turn 30…
1. Advance in my career
2. Travel to South Africa
Attend a Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field
4. Save $15k in my emergency fund
5. Mentor a young, black girl
6. Become a yoga enthusiast
7. Go to a R. Kelly concert
8. Strengthen my relationship with God
9. Read one book a month
11. Make new friends
12. Stay in touch and visit old friends and family
12. Eat healthier and drink tons of water
13. Learn my history and background
14. Organize photos on my computer
15. Learn to put makeup on
16. Go bike-riding with my boyfriend
17. Take a painting class
18. Have friends over for dinner
19. Go on a mother-daughter vacation
20. Blog more!
21. Pick out my clothes the night before work
22. Learn the art of networking
23. Send thank you cards
24. Cook more!
25. Travel to Mexico
26. Win in my fantasy football league
27. Pay off credit card debt
28. Buy a mac desktop computer
29. Think positively and stop worrying so much.
30. GET MARRIED!
After people read my last blog I’m out of student loan debt!!!, they had some questions. “How did you pay it off so fast?” “How much were you putting down every month?” “What was your interest rate?” Here’s the background story. In 2007, my mom and I wanted to pay off my college loan in five year instead of 10 years. In order to do that, I would have to double my payments from $196 to $400 a month.
Where my loan started (September 2007):
I started with about $18k in student loan debt with 5.25% interest rate. It wasn’t too bad compared to the student loans now. Kids are coming out with $50k in debt. That’s crazy to me. In 2007 straight out of college, my first job was only paying me $24k/a year, which was like $600 every two week. I had to work major amounts of overtime in order to still be able to make a payment of $200 a month while my mom paid another $200 a month. Somewhere down the line when I was making more money, my mom stopped helping me out. I started throwing money at the loan. I would throw my $1000 tax returns at it, my extra paychecks and money here and there. Sometimes it felt like it wasn’t even going down. Most of my money in the beginning was going toward interest, which can be very frustrating. At the beginning of 2012, my mom came back to the #teampayoffloan and then I stopped paying payments on it. I started becoming reckless with my money, spending it on having the “best” weaves and going boutique shopping. Yes, shake my head. For about 10 months, I wasn’t holding up my end of the deal.
The end of the loan (October 2012):
By October 2012, we managed to pay almost $10k towards my loan to $7,950. Pretty good for 5 years. While I was visiting my parents in DC, my dad came up with this brilliant idea. He decided to pay off my loan so I wouldn’t have to pay anymore interest on it. Instead, we wrote out a contract saying I would pay him back with no interest. My mom decided to pay half of it that day. Thank God for my parents! So, all I had left was $4k. The Lord is good. My motivation came back to me! I wanted to be done with this loan. In January, I wrote out a payment plan and it was all paid off August 15, 2013.
*huge sigh of relief*
It took me six years to pay off my 10-year college loan from Virginia Tech. *pats myself on the back* In 2007, I started off with $18k in student loans. I believe my interest rate was about 2.5%. At that time, I wanted to pay it off in five years, but six years is pretty good, too. This January I was broke and really sad about it. I needed to figure out a way to get extra cash in my pockets. I decided I needed one less bill to worry about and a new job. Both of which became my goals for 2013. I could either pick my cable bill or my student loan/credit card bill to eliminate from my life. I chose the latter. I can’t be missing Love and Hip Hop. NO MA’AM. I was down to $3,200 debt with my loan and also had $1,300 in credit card debt. I knew this would be obtainable and easier than finding a new job. I wrote out a plan on January 8th to pay off all my debt by August 2013. My plan was to pay off my credit card in March and then throw $400 at the college loan every month. With that plan and with dedication and the support of my parents, I accomplished this goal on August 15.
How did I do it? First, I got a second job working the front desk at a yoga studio for extra cash, free classes and zen. Then I gave up shopping, getting my hair did, going out with friends, vacationing and pedicures/manicures. It was an absolute struggle. I cried many of nights from being so broke. For eight months, I walked around in the same outfits, the same busted black flats, a raggedy mop on my head and no makeup on. I looked like a walking billboard for depression. I missed out on so many fun activities, vacations with friends and the Beyonce concert. The one thing I could not give up though was fast food and eating out. I still had to get my skinny fat girl on!
The day I paid off my loan I went straight to the mall. It was like walking into heaven. I got my hair did at Carol’s Daughters, bought some new black heels, foundation at mac and 8 pairs of earrings. I think I dropped about $350 at the mall. Then I cried all the way home. I felt so guilty spending all that money, but I realized I needed all those things so now I’m happy with all my purchases. I will be splurging on myself for all of September then its back to business for me. My birthday is 3 weeks away (September 5th) and I will be going to Miami with my cousins. In October, I’m going to my hometown of Chicago with my boyfriend. My daddy mac bought the fam tickets for my birthday to the Bears vs. Saints (Me vs. my boyfriend) game in Chicago. So excited for all these upcoming events.
With all that said, I’m STILL in debt. *super sad face* I went back into credit card debt and owe my dad for the classes I’m taking at Emory. I need a new job where I’m making more money to afford myself! I will be writing out another plan in October for this new debt. Wish me luck! *sigh*
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…and I will be out of student loan debt. YAY! I am making my last payment on August 15. I’m so happy I stayed focus on my goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the year. It’s so nice to see the light at the end out the tunnel. THE STRUGGLE IS ALMOST OVER! Freedom is near
My action plan:
July 18: $100
August 1: $300
August 15: $500
Happy Summer! This is definitely my favorite season. The season of vacations, sunshine, festivals, beaches, BBQ, pool time and flip flops. OH JOY!
It’s also the time where I spend more money than any other season. I’m usually going on some lavish vacation. Treating myself to pedicures every two weeks. Buying booty shorts to flaunt my stuff. Eating out with friends to enjoy the summer breeze. Or just being carefree. This summer though I don’t want to be careless with my money, but more careful. I am almost to my 2013 goal of getting out of debt and I don’t want to detour from my path to financial freedom.
Since my boyfriend and I are saving for a lavish vacation next year (Travel fund is at $550), we are going to have a frugal yet fun summer. Here are some things I have planned this summer:
- Driving 8 hours to Ruston, Louisiana to visit my boyfriend’s family for the 4th of July. I love going to Louisiana for some relaxation, good home-cooked southern food and drive-thru daiquiris.
- My boyfriend bought himself a bike last week so we plan on biking throughout Atlanta to see all the funky, cute neighborhoods and parks.
- SIX FLAGS!!! We are some roller coaster addicts. My job sells $20 tickets and $40 season passes to Six Flags. You can’t beat that price.
- I really want to go to the Jill Scott concert at Chastain Park. Tickets range from $116-$65.
- Summer web development classes. I will be taking 4 classes this summer. After the summer, I will have 2 more classes and the capstone left to do.
What do you have planned for this summer?