Hello, my fellow debt slaves. Contrary to extensive and prominent media reports, I am still very much alive and still very much in debt. It was difficult to maintain my thrifty habits during the holidays and New Year and I’ve fallen into the ridiculously wasteful habit of buying my lunch. I have resolved to return to my monkish habits in February. The H.M.S. Mr. LawSchoolDebt has already sprung enough fiscal leaks over the year and I can’t tolerate further punctures to my checking account if I am to avoid a Titanic-esque situation.
Without further adieu, here is where the law school damage stands:
|Principal||Accrued Interest||Interest Rate||Total|
In other words, I’ve made almost no progress on my debt over the last couple months. Even though I’ve made several not-insignificant payments over the last 60 days, the interest rate is KILLING me! I’m in the beginning stages of examining some refinance options. The 8% and 7.65% interest rates on a couple of my loans are criminally usurious in my biased opinion.
I’m concerned that if I leave the government repayment programs, I won’t have the protection of IBR, which establishes a very low base monthly payment – a feature that would come in handy were I to get canned at work. I’m not concerned that would happen, but you never know and I’ve experienced extended periods of questionable employment after law school, so I feel that it’s prudent to prepare for worst case scenarios. Law school and my post-law school experience has absolutely bashed the naive optimism (some might say delusions of grandeur) I previously had as a late 20-something.
I got a little bump in pay at work, but I’m still making in the $50,000 range, which needless to say, is nowhere near enough to pay off my law school loans. People hear law grads complain about $40-60k salary ranges, which probably sounds ridiculous to the average person, but when you take into account huge law school loans, these salaries really aren’t enough to pay rent, food, car payments, and God forbid, live a life in most American cities.
I’m still exploring other employment options, but I don’t want to jump into something new without having a thorough understanding of a career and its opportunities. I did that once with law and I don’t plan on making the same mistake again.
In January, I addressed a couple small money issues that can add up by canceling my LinkedIn premium account and downgrading my gym membership. I’ve also stopped my bad habit of buying books on impulse.
So there you have it, folks. I promise to update more often going forward. I hope everyone else in Debt Land has been staying the course and doing their best to hack away at their personal debt monster. Here’s to a fiscally responsible 2015!