We’ve all had the same experience. We’ve spent countless hours daydreaming, planning, improvising, and generally preparing to achieve something big. Maybe it’s been a wedding, a career, a car, a house, a vacation, a college degree, a piece of artwork, or becoming debt-free. The object itself doesn’t really matter. What we share is the approach to the goal. The day-by-day closing in on our heart’s desire, and the struggles that come with it.
There’s an old adage that goes something like, “nothing worth having comes easily.” And isn’t that the truth? Nothing hurts worse than falling short on something you’ve spent hours, weeks, or years trying to achieve. Just ask Tom Brady.
Yep, we’ve all been there. Ok, maybe not exactly there (i.e. 1 yard line despondent), but close enough to relate. We’ve all lost sight of a dream, even if it was only temporary, and we’ve all hit those potholes at 80 mph on the highway of life.
While I have not figuratively hit a pothole at 80 mph in my loan pay-off quest, I have hit a few speed bumps at more than the advisable speed. February is the month of hearts and love, yet for me it was more the month of “oh please, nothing else break.” Here’s a quick breakdown of the unexpected expenses.
1) I got sick. Now, I have medical insurance (until the end of August, but that’s another story), so the visit to the doctor didn’t break the bank. At least, I don’t think it did. I haven’t seen a bill yet. I did get free antibiotics from Publix, so there was that. More importantly, being sick means missing work. Since I get paid hourly and have ZERO sick days, missing work means missing money. I was sick for a week and a half. You don’t have to be as awesome at math as I am to figure out how much that’s going to hurt me next month. COST: $400 in productivity.
2) I failed at math. Again. Remember that blog post last month in which I talked about my car insurance bill going up by $16 a month? Yep. I forgot about that when I made the new month’s budget. Here’s a helpful budgeting tip- don’t do that. Banks don’t like it when your account comes up $16 short. You’ll spend a hour talking them down and convincing them that if you didn’t have the $16 in the first place, it is highly unlikely that you’ll have an extra $30 now. COST: $16, plus 1 lost hour & 1 literal headache.
3) I am a klutz. Worse yet, I forgot this detail as well, and didn’t invest in proper safety gear for my electronics. Anyone wanna see a sad picture?
I use my phone for EVERYTHING. I tweet, I text, I schedule, I research, I email, I take pictures, I bank, I read, I play games, I listen to music, I navigate, I write/ jot notes, and occasionally I even call people. If I don’t have my phone, I need a much bigger bag to hold all the replacements. My phone lets me consolidate my life. It’s also vitally important to several of my jobs. Ergo, a smashed touch screen, especially one that leaves slivers of glass in my thumb (true story) is not a viable option for me. COST: $180, and another two years to AT&T.
Life really does get in the way, doesn’t it? I’ve been telling myself that getting out from under this mountain of debt is worth it, and that’s what’s kept me plodding along so far. But it’s becoming a tired refrain, so I’m going to need for nothing else to break in the next few months. (And yes, I bought a protective case for my new phone… and the monthly insurance.)
Now to the fun part. I triple-checked my math on this section. Twice.
February End Tally
$11,587.54 (beginning of February balance)
– $660 (February payment: $602.59 principal, $57.41 interest)
+ $52.62 (February accrued interest)
At the beginning of the month, I set a goal for myself to be under $11,000 at the end of February. It may be only $19.84 under, but hey- under is under. So Yay! for small victories. Let’s see if I can’t get it under $10,100 by the end of March.
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