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September goal reached and general brain dump

September 30th, 2014 at 09:29 am

AS's student loan hit, with $136 going to principal.

Also, we got a call from Sallie Mae about NT's loan a couple days ago. I logged on and saw that we'd missed a payment in August and had one due for September too! I hadn't even been checking his account because he's in school until mid-December and they shouldn't have come due. I quickly paid both (a little over $100 total) and will take it out of the money I've been hoarding for getting out of the condo. Then I called Sallie Mae and it turns out they'd been waiting to hear from the college to confirm enrollment but payments had started up anyway. They've put a hold on future payments pending confirmation from the college.

So long story short, I paid off some interest that had accrued plus $25 on NT's student loan. Annoying that we had to make a payment now, but I'm always happy to reduce debt! Smile

All told, that's $161 put to principal. That takes us to $1581, exceeding the $1500 goal for September. I'll post an October goal soon.

Other news:

- One of my favorite co-workers, probably in her 40s, is dying. Stage 4 lung cancer. She just found out a couple months ago but probably won't last many more days. She started chemo and planned to keep working, but it was progressing way too fast, so she's in hospice now. Healthy woman, full of energy, smart-alecky and hardworking. Two tween-aged kids and a husband and parents. This will be the second unbelievably vibrant woman I know this year to die of cancer. It is awful. Especially knowing there's no hope of her survival at all.

- Beyond aching for her and her family, the suddenness of it makes me evaluate whether I've got a good balance of delaying gratification while allowing some. I think I am. We allowed a big gratification -- moving into our new house -- in exchange for delaying a lot of little things. If luck continues to go our way, we'll be able to start introducing those little pleasures early next year. Doesn't seem like that long, except when I think that if my co-worker had found out about her cancer today, she'd likely have died by early next year. But it does make me glad we moved into the house. Couldn't imagine putting all that effort, money and mental anguish into buying the place and never getting to live there.

How to live your life to its fullest while keeping mind that you have anywhere from three months to 60 years left? That's the financial balancing act. Those who don't have that many wishes that take money are lucky. A good deal of the things I want to do, have or see will cost me money. But it's not all that. Some of what I want to do is just not work as hard and spend more time with family and friends. That doesn't take money, really, just good money management and work/life balance. And we're all actively trying to achieve that. It's gotten a bit better for me and AS; NT is still stretched way too thin, but if he can hang on through mid-December, he'll at least get college off his plate, and that's a biggie. And hopefully his new managerial role at work will eventually mean more delegating and less long hours, but only time will tell with that one.

OK, sorry, I had to write about that. I know it wasn't too cheerful. It's been weighing on me and when I heard about her going into hospice yesterday, I had to get it off my chest.

Other stuff:

- AS now has enough freelance work to fund November and part of December. She's got some potential work that will finish off December if it pans out. If she funds through January, I'm going to start allocating future jobs toward 2014 taxes and AS's retirement, which have both been neglected since the end of August. After that I would start socking away money to get out of the condo.

- No word from the people interested in the condo, so we're going ahead with getting the rest of the floors redone. Should be about $800, which I've already got set aside.

- We got through our third and final set of visitors (just Friday through Saturday). My sister and two of her kids (adults, really). My sister generously paid for all meals out, so we just paid for carshares to/from airport, a haircut for my niece, an ice cream cone for my nephew and a few other little things. Came to about $75 which we all helped pay in. A cheap visit! I have no money until Friday, but that's quite all right.

- I have my final(?) dental appointment for my implant this week. I hope no adults in my household lose teeth for a very long time! It's been nearly a year-long process and would have cost about $5000 if I hadn't used pretax money and credit card rewards to offset it.

- Living in deliberate frugality again, I've noticed the same reactions as the first time we did it, when we started our debt-payoff journey. I'm not ashamed at all to say I have no money for a new winter wardrobe, that we can only get new furniture if it's free, that we have no money to eat out, that I'm not going to replace my sneakers with holes in the heel until they actually become uncomfortable, that we've cut our haircut visits in half, etc. I feel good about these decisions because they're helping us to carry two mortgages and move into our big new house. Some people seem to react positively, but others kind of get quiet and look embarrassed or sad. I just think it's funny now, because I know I'm working toward a place where I can easily afford those things again, and I'm not feeling deprived by putting off these purchases. In fact I feel smart, free and empowered by these decisions. It's not like we don't have some money in the bank and tons of available credit on cards; I just don't want to use any of those things until we're in a better position with our debt and monthly budget. If we absolutely need something, there are ways to pay for it.

7 Responses to “September goal reached and general brain dump”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    So very sad about your coworker. Prayers for the family and those who have known her, including you! I think you are doing great. I decided to put off a haircut for at least another two weeks to make some progress in a few areas. It does feel good to be able to make that choice.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    "Some of what I want to do is just not work as hard and spend more time with family and friends. That doesn't take money, really, just good money management and work/life balance."

    Exactly!

    Before I read those last couple of sentences, what I was going to say was that when you face your mortality you realize most of it doesn't matter anyway. You don't fret about the money you didn't spend and the things you didn't do, when you truly think you may only have months to live. You just wish you had more time for the loved ones in your life.

    & good money management makes it all possible, for sure. Makes it so you can have your cake and eat it too. Wink

    As to cancer: F Cancer. Client was just telling me a 15yo in her family was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes. Just made me sad, particularly given her age. Frown

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm glad to hear that, about what goes through one's mind in the last few months. That's one thing I agonize about with someone so young like my co-worker who may have had a ton of things she was still planning to do.

    "F#*& Cancer!" was the rallying cry of my other friend, a fellow college alum who passed away in February, as she battled throat cancer for about two years. It really is one of the cruelest things in the world, with its capricious way of striking young and old alike, fit and healthy or not.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    I am sure there are people who have regrets at the end, but you would not strike me as on of those people Ceejay. Wink You know, just living your life in a way that is important to you. Which reminds me, I saw an excellent blog post on that and I should share that. Will maybe do so today. IT would be a good tie-in to your comments today.

    When we weren't sure of the outcome of my spouse's brain tumor (before we knew it wasn't cancer and it wasn't spreading quickly), I asked him if we should consider cashing out some retirement for some bucket list type stuff, and he looked at me like I was CRAZY. He said he wasn't going anywhere or doing anything but spending time with his FAMILY. I didn't "get it" in the way he did. But he laid it out for me pretty well. IT did change me. I've never been particularly materialistic, but that whole experience made me even less so. Just a stronger sense about what is truly important.

  5. snafu Says:

    I find it incredibly difficult to manage the work/family/life balance. Work overtakes me regularly. Every holiday I feel extended family demands impossible to satisfy. Oddly, money and stuff don't play a role as planning for that part works out. We have a family protocol called ETE [Eliminate the Evidence] which asks us to put items away when we complete a task or leave a room. For example, if I make a sandwich, I will always put the ingredients and utensils away before I take one bite. I'd rather have less stuff to look after so anything new coming in requires something of similar size to decamp.

  6. snafu Says:

    this 1st paragraph fell off my response...

    I find it difficult to publicly state I am a repeat cancer survivor. I am so sorry you are losing someone you care about and admire. For the most part patients will recover and survive if they have annual check ups and seek medical care for the early symptoms. The figures are really astounding. I hope this is the last time you'll hear such devastating news.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm feeling the F*** cancer cry too. Frown The IT coworker/friend at the NM school who battled lung cancer off and on all last year ... it's back. Stage 4.

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