Saturday, April 28, 2007


I made a transfer to my Money Market account, meaning that I now have $7,000 in that account. Next pay day, I plan to transfer in another $1500+.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Goals

I don’t earn a lot of money, but considering the cost of living where I am, I can certainly save. My short-term goal is to open a one-year CD in August with a minimum deposit of $10,000. This is a fairly attainable goal, given that I already have $4,000 in savings and another $3,000 in my checking waiting to be transferred to savings. If I’m really optimistic, I might be able to open it by June 1st, but I would rather play it safe with my first goal. My longer term goal is to have at least $20,000 by the end of May 2008, when I plan on quitting my current job.

In addition to the monetary goals, I'm also working on keeping track of my spending and setting a budget. I've managed to do this pretty well for the last few months, so I just need to keep it up and pare back the categories, like food, where most of the spending happens. I should raise my credit score, but it will have to wait until I've had my current credit card for a few more months. Lastly, I'm going to educate myself on debt, savings and finance. I'm going to have to go into debt, but I can at least be smart about it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Debt

A quick profile of the expected debt:



Health Services Fee




Program Fee


Room & Utilities


Board & Personal




These expenses are for the 2007-2008 academic year, which means they could increase, are only for 9 months in the case of room and board, and only cover one year of the two year program. I understand that there are scholarships, grants, and fellowships out there to reduce this debt and that living frugally can lessen some of the numbers, but it's still more than I make in a year.

All told, I’m facing $150,000 in debt.

Debt is Scary

Debt is scary.

There, I’ve said it. As someone who’s planning on attending a very expensive graduate school program next year, I’m starting to face the reality. Debt is scary, and it’s about to be something I’m intimately familiar with. There is no way to completely avoid this debt, but with some effort, I hope to minimize it.

The first step in minimizing debt, everyone says, is acknowledging it, which I’ve already take care of. The next steps are a little more vague. There needs to be a good dose of spending less than I earn, some managing savings and a little working on the credit score. A scholarship search is also probably not a bad idea. Lastly, a little accountability goes a long way, hence this blog.

We’ll see how it goes.