Growing Up But Still Bad At Math

15 Oct

So, as is the story of my life when it comes to basic math, I have miscalculated (seriously- I have a Masters Degree in statistical analysis, but when it comes to basic subtraction, I’m at a loss.  True story in fact- I was at the pool last month and talking to a fellow swimmer.  I mentioned that I had swam in college, and he asked how many years ago I had graduated.  You guys, I couldn’t even subtract 2008 from 2012.  I stammered while trying to come up with the answer (4! It’s 4, you moron!! Or just say 2008!!!).  The guy gave me a strange look and went back to his laps. This is why I’m not allowed out in public without a chaperon (or a calculator).).

But this time, I miscalculated in a good way.

You see, I’m further along in my loan pay-off that I thought.  I overestimated the amount of interest each month, and I’m going to owe roughly$470 less on my December payment than I originally thought.  Rather than a final payment of $1,334 in December, it’ll be around the $865 mark.  I’ll be undergrad-loan-free and have extra money in my pocket!

Now, before you all start sending me your Christmas lists, I have already made plans for that money.  It’s very likely going to be buying me a brand-new bed.

Why do I need a new bed, you ask?

Why, because it’s very uncomfortable to sleep on the floor, even if that floor is the floor in your very own apartment.

Yes, that’s right, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am finally growing up and moving out.

Like most of my generation, I moved back in with my parents (or the singular parent, in my case) after school.  No job meant no money for rent.  Now, I haven’t been living at home for free- I’ve been paying a monthly rent to cover food and utilities, and paying all of my own bills.  I just was spending about $500 a month less than I would have on my own.  I also had the security of knowing that I wasn’t going to be evicted if I lost my job(s), and the warm-fuzzy feeling from knowing that I was helping my family not risk losing our house.

But now I have a full-time job, I have medical insurance (or close enough), I have savings, I am about to be free of my undergraduate student loans, and by golly, I’m 26 years old.  It’s time I learned how to cook for myself.  (I’m actually really excited about the prospect of having my own kitchen.  My family doesn’t share my food allergies, and that means I either can’t eat what the rest of the family is having for dinner, or risk being sick.  Having my own kitchen means no gluten, caffeine, or artificial sweetener can accidentally contaminate anything.)

So, now begins the hunt for the perfect apartment.  I’m hoping to move in January or February, so I’ve got to start looking now.  The good news is that rents are often lower in the winter, since the demand is lower.  It also means that apartments that have been sitting empty for several months are more negotiable in terms of price.  And I am an excellent negotiator.  (True story part II- I once got 30% off a dress because the zipper was broken.  A discount of $9, which after a 99 cent replacement zipper at Wal-Mart and 10 minutes of sewing, netted me enough savings to go see a movie.  This story took place seven years ago, when you could see a movie for $8… with a student ID.)

The point is, I’m feeling pretty happy about my miscalculation.  After almost a year of adjusting monthly goals because I forgot the factor in interest, or because I couldn’t make monthly goals, or because I just absolutely failed at basic mathematics, it’s very nice to make a mistake at the other end.

I wonder if the government will find a mistake in my grad student loans and send me a letter that they’ve been decreased too…

Probably not.  But that’s a blog topic for next year, when the graduate student loans come due.

Until then, here’s a pretty graph for you.  A fair number of my blog hits come from people searching for a student loan graph, and you all seem to like staring into the soul of my budget.

Yes, the blue “actual balance” line held steady from July to August, and actually increased from January to February, but hey look- it almost touches the red “ideal balance” line twice!


3 Responses to “Growing Up But Still Bad At Math”

  1. jend1229 October 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    What program do you use to track your debt? Seems like you have a great handle on getting it paid down. I am also at the +1000 dollar mark each month trying to aggressively pay down my student loans and I think it would be motivational to see a graph like yours.

    • Losing My Cents October 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

      I use Microsoft Excel. I set up a graph based on a table where I put each month’s ideal payment and actual payment, so as I add info into the table, the graph updates. If you want, you can email me at and I’ll send you a template.


  1. What November Brings « Losing My Cents - November 1, 2012

    […] I go stare at my massive budget spreadshee (an example of which can be found here), why don’t you let me know how your November looks? Will you be super busy? Super relaxed? […]

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