Well, it’s been a crazy month. Where to start? Let’s just dive in.
1) I’m a college student again. I was about halfway through a degree when I got pregnant and subsequently withdrew from school, and I recently got the desire to finish. It just doesn’t seem wise to be entirely dependent on my husband’s income while having no degree of my own…what if something happened to him? My plan was to start classes in January (online, at a non-profit accredited actual school), but things fell into place earlier than expected. When asked, “Want to start classes next Monday?” my response was, “Uh…sure!”
2) I discovered my student loans. So, I knew I had student loans from my first 2.5 years in school. My wonderful, generous parents have been making the minimum payments, and last time I asked about my loans, their response was, “Don’t worry about them.” So I’ve been living in blissful ignorance…
But with all the FAFSA-ing and financial hoopla involved in applying for schools, I finally found out just how many student loans I have. (~$14k, spread over 6 loans.)
3) I made those student loans our responsibility. I’m pretty sure my parents just plan to cruise along making minimum payments for the life of these loans. But I can’t let them do that. The loans are in my name, they’re on my credit report, I need to take responsibility. And while my parents have never been particularly transparent about their financial situation, I know they’re struggling a bit.
4) …I took out more loans. You were probably wondering, and the answer is yes. I took on more loans. I have a Pell Grant paying for about half of my class, and I accepted subsidized loans to pay for the other half. (I declined the unsubsidized loans.) My plan was to accept the loans, continue our aggressive paydown of my husband’s loans, and when those were gone it’d be pretty easy to set aside enough that as soon as my grace period was up after graduation, we could pay the loans outright. Tuition at the school I’m attending is very reasonable.
5) …but that plan probably won’t work anymore. With my previous loans thrown into the mix, I’m not so sure how this is going to work out. Back to the drawing board. I probably just won’t accept loans for later school terms.
6) My husband got a raise. A jump to a new topic. But it was good news from the month, and one that will hopefully help us out.
7) I’ve started my photography business. In an uncharacteristic move of “Why the hell not”, I made myself an oh-so-official Facebook page, followed by a website. To my great surprise, I’ve already done a newborn shoot, family shoot, have a maternity shoot scheduled, and have a couple families expressing interest in family shoots. Tis the season, I guess. (And I really mean I was surprised. I honestly thought nothing would happen.)
8) We’ve decided to increase our emergency fund. Recent events, including an ER visit, suggest that a couple thousand dollars is not really sufficient for a family of four.
9) Stomach bugs suck. That is all. (…but they don’t suck as much as ER visits.)
10) It’s still getting up to 90 degrees. Ridiculous, but at least it doesn’t require the heater. Also, this was an entirely superfluous piece of information.
11) We’ll be getting new insurance in November. We currently don’t pay health insurance, since we’re still on our parents’ plans. My father-in-law is dropping his insurance soon, so now we need to shop around. Any advice?
Okay then. That was a lot.
Where to from here?
We’ll be throwing all extra money into our emergency fund until it hits $5k, I think. That’s still not a whole lot, but it’s better than what we have. We’ve received a lot of gift money from family lately, and that’s gone straight to that goal. Then, we’ll cut the spending again. This month was a train wreck of eating out and miscellaneous shopping. It’s ironic to cut spending right before Christmas…but I’m trying to arrange a “secret Santa” style arrangement with my siblings so I’ll only be responsible for one of them. This is already in place with my husband’s family, and it helps. But Christmas is probably another post for another day.
How was your October? As eventful as ours?