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My Longest Billing Cycle

I moved from New York over eight years ago. The bank account was transferred, cell number replaced, moving expenses paid off, last state income tax form sent (the first time NY gave me a refund) and so on. Most of my financial links to New York were dissolved by mid-2006, but one of its legacies still stubbornly persists: the student loan debt I acquired there. Like all middle-class college graduates I look forward to the day the payments end. And November 2014 isn't as far away as it used to be. :)

Eight years ago was also when I started living away from my parents. My obligations here in Florida quickly surpassed those I had in New York and it showed on my credit card bill; statements that used to be paid off each month were now accumulating old charges ("residue" as I'd come to call it) and interest. After years of progressively tighter spending, starting while still in college, I finally cut all non-necessities in 2006... giving leeway only where birthday/Christmas money was concerned. As a result most of my gear is still what I bought with allowance back in the 90's. All of my current desktop computers were ones others were throwing away. Only the laptop is less than nine years old (it was from my 2011 birthday, to replace a failing 2001 model). For the most part it's been a frugal decade.

Next year in November I will make my last payment on the largest loan I've yet held, an event I've dubbed the "Great Expense Crash of 2014". Now I've come up with a phase-out plan for my strict spending rules, the process aided by a second job I've held since '08 and will begin using exclusively to pay off the remaining (smaller) loan. Ignoring the income from the second job lets me cheat and ignore the expense of the smaller loan, plus pay it off a little early.

This month I reach the first items of the phase-out: this year's road trip to NY and, when I get back, my first new desktop PC in eleven years. March 1st the no-debt-unless-necessary rule goes away altogether. This will increase my credit card balance (residue) in the short term, but I've decided that nine months isn't too long to sit on added debt as long I don't let myself go crazy. This won't be a license to spend like a maniac, just to catch up with some of my "not necessary" electronics. Finally, next November the loans are gone and I can address that credit card balance, plus look into a 401K, buying a condo, etc etc.

And of course road trips, especially Saturday day trips. My car needs more miles on it!

(As March 1st happens to fall on a Saturday, I've dubbed it "Super Saturday." If that sounds like a store's sales event it's no mistake.)

 

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EGRABOW.COM and its original content Copyright 1999-2018 Ryan Grabow. May be reproduced in good faith unless otherwise stated.
EGRABOW.COM and its original content Copyright 1999-2018 Ryan Grabow. May be reproduced in good faith unless otherwise stated.