Student Loan Debt: Update #4

Hi everyone! I apologize for being MIA. When I got back from my flight on Sunday, I just wanted to relax. I had a crazy day at work and I’m sure I’ll be catching up for a few days. I had a great time with my parents; I will be making a post on how my vacation went later this week. I am happy to report I’m pretty sure I spent less than $100 the whole week I was there, and got a lot of decorating done!

Student Loan Debt: Update #4

Here is my monthly student loan debt update. This is where all the amounts stand after my last payment in August. I already made a small payment toward loan one for this month!

Student Loan Debt Update 4

Loan One

Subsidized: $2,921.87 @ 5.35% (-$113.49)

Unsubsidized: $1,478.98 @ 6.55% (-$108.85)

Total: $4,400.85 (-$222.34)

Loan Two

Subsidized: $4,843.73 @ 4.25% (-$38.36)

Unsubsidized: $5,982.55 @ 6.55% (-$47.49)

Total: $10,826.28 (-$85.85)

Grand Total: $15,227.13 (-$308.19)

In my last update, I mentioned how I wanted to place an emphasis on loan one because it has a higher interest rate. I made my usual big once a month scheduled payment along with a few smaller payments scattered throughout the month (usually at the end of every week). It really made a difference!

The downside is that now I’m paying the minimum toward loan two, and it’s showing. $51 went toward interest, and $85 went toward the principal. Ouch! I know I will be able to tackle it soon, but it’s depressing watching it go up and barely making a dent in it. I don’t necessarily want all the progress I made this year erased on it. When/if I get a raise, I might bump up the amount I pay slightly to make sure that doesn’t happen.

How the rest of the year will look

Unfortunately, I am slated to have a fairly expensive fall. My dad and cousin’s birthdays are on the 21st, and my dad would like a Kindle Fire HD. This is the first time he has ever asked for anything significant, so my mom and I are going to split this in half. My cousin is celebrating her 30th with a party at Dave and Buster’s, and it’s about an hour and a half away. I plan on spending $40 on a gift card + whatever food is there. We are hoping to carpool with my other relatives to keep gas usage down.


Then, R’s birthday is in October along with our two year anniversary, and we are trying to plan a little getaway. I’ve also been trying to see if there are any possible cheap flights to my parents for a quick weekend visit, but sadly I’m thinking it’s not quite worth it. The airport I have to fly out of is an hour away, and the latest flights on Friday’s are 6:30pm, which I doubt we would be able to make. I might just have to wait until Christmas when they plan on coming up to visit everyone. My other cousin’s are having a baby soon, and have invited us up there to visit. November seems to be a decent month for this, to space out some of the expenses. It’s usually about $80 in gas to travel to them, but at least we get a free room.

The holidays are an obvious expense coming up, and I want to start planning for that. Or at least discuss what R and I will do. We don’t have as much to go around as in years past due to rent being a huge expense, so it’s possible we’ll just do something for our two year anniversary and leave it at that. Sadly, most of the Christmas traditions are out the door without my parents. Our apartment is way too small to house a nice tree anyway, so I think we may all sleep over my grandma’s so we can have Christmas morning together. I’m not really sure what anyone wants yet, either, and I don’t have any good ideas, so it’s a little hard to budget for now.

I still want to make sure I am keeping up with my payments in the meantime. I don’t want to have any expenses that will take away from that. It’s important to me to finish out the year well. I hope to be around $3,500.00 for loan one by December, maybe a little less depending on things that happen.

How have you been doing on your debt repayment? Do you have a goal for where you’d like your debt to stand at the end of the year?



  1. debtfreeoneday September 10, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Hey you did brilliantly spending less than $100 on vacation! I so want to get rid of my credit card by the end of the year and then we can tackle the hubby’s consolidated debts. This credit card has been in my life for ten years! I’m not sure if I’m going to achieve my target yet but I really hope so.

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      I’m sure you will! You have a lot of determination – you already have a head start over most people. My parents have been struggling with their credit card debt for as long as I can remember (likely longer than 10 years) and are just getting around to paying them off since they received some money from the sale of their house. Before then, they paid some extra toward it, but it wasn never their main focus.

  2. Budget and the Beach September 10, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    That’s great you only spend $100 on your vacation! I think it’s hard for a lot of people as the holidays are approaching so it’s so important to remember that taking care of yourself is key FIRST! You would hope people would understand.

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:26 PM

      Yes, unfortunately sSOME certain family members like to make sure they “stand out” with their presents, but I try not to get into all of that. My grandma knows how much I appreciate her, I don’t need to buy her tons of stuff for her to know that. For those that matter the most, I think they will understand!

  3. September 10, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    It must have taken a great deal of restraint to only spend $100 on vacation. Well done.

    You seem to be doing the right thing regarding focusing on loan one due to the highest interest rates.

    Looks like you may be able to break the $15k point next month – a good milestone to keep you going!!

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      Honestly, staying with my parents made it rather easy. They had me quite busy being out shopping almost every day, and luckily it was for the house, so I was able to “spend” on things via my parents. Always fun!

      Yes I hope I can get below $15k next month! I think I will be able to. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. DC @ Young Adult Money September 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I’ve said it a few times but I essentially only pay the minimum on my student loans. I have other savings goals (emergency fund is the main one) that I would rather pump the money into. If paying more than the minimum fits in your financial plan, though, that’s great! Crap, I forgot how expensive the holidays are and I’m not looking forward to that budget hit.

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      I’m not looking forward to it, either. I love the weather and the holiday cheer, but not spending all that money on presents!

      I was the same way in the beginning. I started repaying my loans last year in June, and I was horrible because I should have started paying toward the interest, and I didn’t. For some reason it didn’t register to me that it would make a big difference. I continued to pay the minimum, building up my bank account/emergency fund, until I started reading PF blogs earlier this year. So I’m a bit behind and feel like I should make it up! It’s always good to know where your priorities are, though.

  5. Mike September 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I completely agree with the focus on paying off debt, despite the good arguments about the many other things you could potentially do with the money. Debt is mostly corrosive. I wish I would’ve discovered this fact earlier in my life!

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Thanks for stopping by Mike! It can be difficult to focus on debt when there are so many other temptations, but I have to keep myself in mind during the holidays, too!

  6. Girl Meets Debt September 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Ahhhhhh reading this post reminds me of how expensive the holidays can be! Thanks….I think? ;) Great month with your debt repayment E.M!

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      You’re welcome! =) At least they’re not really in full swing until November, so enjoy two more months of not worrying!

  7. anna September 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Great job with your debt repayment – that’s a great idea to “sprinkle” in extra payments at the end of the week, I’m sure that really adds up! Good job looking ahead for what the fall/holiday outlook will be as well – they sound like big expenses, but I’m sure you’ll make it work. Keep us posted on the salary negotiations, best wishes with getting an increase!

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      It’s a bit easier (mentally) than dropping large amounts all the time. Plus it kind of keeps the interest down. I am hoping to keep expenses down as much as possible, but some things are just inevitable. Thanks for the well wishes on the raise!

  8. Done by Forty September 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Thanks for the reminder that the holidays are coming! They snuck up on me again, it seems.

    Congrats on the super frugal vacation as well as the progress on your student loan debt. Every step is one closer!

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      Seriously, this year is flying by. I can’t believe it will be fall soon! Taking it one step at a time can be hard, but it’s helpful to keep in mind whenever I feel frustrated with my progress.

  9. cj September 10, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    $100 for a week!!!??? Fantastic and a fantastic fam! We spend as little as possible on family stuff and gifts. It helps us in paying off our loans too. We are working ahead of sched on our 2 loans, both to be paid by 2020 or sooner! Have a Jolly one!!!

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Yes – mostly due to my mom or my grandma paying for things, but I tried to be cheap whenever we ate out. Great job on being ahead of schedule!

  10. SarahN September 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    You asked about debt, dodge that one. So on holidays… cause I couldn’t reply to your reply to my reply… I hadn’t had the ‘I’ll meet everyone’ freak out yet, but then when I thought about it, it’ll be fine! It’s a tiny family – he’s got two siblings and his father, that I’ve not met (I’ve met his mum), then I have only one Aunt (on his mother’s side) and they don’t have any kids. And one set of grandparents. Easy peasy!

    So holidays, today when pay comes in, I’ll need to look at covering the cost of Vietnam flights on my card. And reconcile the difference in fares (I paid for Vietnam and he paid for Perth), get the little I’m owed, and shift money around. I like to go overboard on christmas gifts (without carrying over debt), so I should start planning who/what etc!

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      Oh that’s not too bad. My boyfriend has a huge family, and they always invite a lot of family friends, so it was overwhelming for me. He has four uncles and one aunt and all but one have kids (just on one side of the family that we see most often).

      I went overboard last year with Christmas presents, so I think I might take it easy this year. It’s hard to buy things for my parents since they’re not here – I don’t really know what they need. Hopefully more decorations for the house won’t hurt!

  11. Micro September 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    I’ve been slowly buying Christmas gifts over the course of the year for everyone whenever I see something they would like. I’ve just been stashing them in my closet for the time being. I’m hoping this will really help minimize the higher spending levels I normally have in December.

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      I think it will lower your expenses! It’s a good idea, I just can’t bring myself to buy things and hold onto them. I rarely find gifts for others because my family is too independent. When they want something they get it immediately, so I’d run the risk that eventually they would buy it for themselves. Everyone is hard to shop for, I might have to think of gift cards + nice homemade gift.

  12. Holly@ClubThrifty September 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Great job chipping away on those student loans. Yes, the holidays are coming. Did you have to remind me? Ugh…..

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      Thanks! Haha, just tell your family your new house (hoping you’ll have found one then) is their giant Christmas present this year!

  13. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living September 10, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Ughhhh holiday spending. I’m not looking forward to that either! Luckily after our wedding, we’re pretty much done spending. I’m a bridesmaid in an October wedding out of state that I already bought my plane ticket and dress for, I’m sharing the hotel with two other girls, and it’s in a cheap area (San Antonio) so I’m hoping to have a trip cost similar to your $100 vacation!

    It’s better to enjoy your life now and be able to have fun now and then than to stress too much over your loans. While it sucks paying interest, it sucks more having debt repaid off at the expense of great memories. So long as you can at least meet your regular payments, any extra you can do is icing on the cake!

    1. E.M. September 10, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      I can imagine wanting to finish out the year spending as little as possible after a wedding! Good luck on keeping your expenses low in October – sounds like you have a good plan in place.

      I’m always battling with myself on my student loans. I don’t want to compare myself to others, but when I see so many people throwing thousands of dollars at their loans a month, it makes me feel like I need to step it up. Extra payments are the norm with debt bloggers so I don’t even think twice about paying more!

  14. KK @ Student Debt Survivor September 10, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Excited to hear more about your trip (and how you kept your spending so low). We’re trying to figure out our Christmas plans too. Bf has taken the whole week off (which almost never happens), so we might be able to go up to Maine this year to see my folks.

  15. jefferson @See Debt Run September 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    You know that you have a good hold of your finances when you are already budgeting for the holidays in early September!

    1. E.M. September 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      Well, technically I am just keeping them in mind, I don’t have a solid budget for it yet! Better to think ahead though, otherwise I’ll be doing too much last minute shopping and December’s expenses will implode.

  16. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply September 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Oh wow…I can’t believe we’re talking about the holidays already! I was saying the same thing with my co-workers…time flies. Honestly holidays aren’t too bad for us…I only usually get something for my wife (though she doesn’t want me to spend too much) and I give my parents cash (tried presents but they are so hard to shop for). I’m sure my wife will get something for our little one as it will be his first Christmas!

    1. E.M. September 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      I feel like this year has gone by faster than any other! My parents are really hard to shop for, too. Trying to get ideas out of my dad is like pulling teeth. At least if I get him a Kindle Fire now, I can buy books or apps for him. My mom is kind of sharing it, too. I like gifts that you can keep giving with! My mom is also a candle fanatic, so when in doubt, I pick her up a few of those.

  17. Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans September 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    First of all, spending less than $100 on one week of vacation is impressive!

    And I totally understand. When I first started blogging (over a year ago), my main focus was my student loans. Now, I’ve resorted to pay only the minimums on them since I still have CC debt to get rid of and I’ve been seeing my interest pile up faster than I’d like.

    Fall looks like it’ll be expensive for me, too. *sigh* I look forward to it, yet my bank account dreads it at the same time.

    1. E.M. September 11, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      Interest really sucks. I am glad I don’t have consumer debt or I’d be even more torn! I love fall, too, but for some reason we have a lot of family birthdays. My dad and cousin this month, R next month, two other cousins in November, and somehow we have to fit our anniversary in there. Yikes.

  18. Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa September 11, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    It looks to me like you are doing great on your student loans. You definitely have a very forgiving interest rate on all of them.

    I’m going about it with the same approach. Everything I have towards the higher interest stuff and the minimum on the rest.

    1. E.M. September 12, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      Thanks for stopping by Michael! It seems like a good strategy. You’re correct that my interest rates could be a lot worse, but I still dislike interest in general =).

  19. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer September 12, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    E.M. you’re doing great on the student loans, and I love how you’ve really thought out your gift, traveling and Christmas spending. You’ve set budgets and looked for ways to cut expenses, like traveling together. Excellent work, my friend!

    1. E.M. September 12, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      Thanks Laurie! The holiday’s can be so draining, sometimes it is worth it to think ahead.

  20. Matt Becker September 12, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Looks like you’re making good progress with those loans. With the holidays, I think we all have to remember why these people care about us in the first place, which has nothing to do with how much we spend on gifts for them. That’s not to say we should be cheap, but there are plenty of ways to express your love without dropping big bucks.

    1. E.M. September 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      I agree with that, but there are some materialistic people out there who judge based on how much you spend. I’m feeling a bit of extra pressure to “represent” my family now that my parents have moved, and I just can’t afford to give out gifts and cash for every occasion. Not everyone in my family thinks this way, but they do like to gossip about it.

  21. Free Money Minute September 12, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Less than $100 on vacation. Great job. Sounds like you focused on getting rid of that student loan debt. Best wishes as you continue to tackle this debt!

    1. E.M. September 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      Thank you! It’s my top priority right now, and probably for the next few years.

  22. Pretired Nick September 12, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Great progress killing off that debt! You’ll be there before you know it!

    1. E.M. September 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      Thanks, I hope so!

  23. Pauline September 12, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    That was a cheap holiday! I used to spend nothing at my mum’s, now since she doesn’t spend on herself I try to buy her things she wants and doesn’t buy. This time a printer and a bicycle rain coat.

    1. E.M. September 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      Printers are always good to have! That is what I try to do for my parents for their birthdays/Christmas – make sure to listen beforehand and see if they say they need anything. Chances are, they won’t get it for themselves and I get to spoil them a bit.

  24. Debt Hater September 12, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Great job on being able to put a $300 dent in your loans as you approach an expensive time of year for you! It’s awesome to be able to spend a vacation at a place you don’t have to pay for as well and still have some time off.

    I wouldn’t worry about that minimum payment towards loan two looking too small – I know that feeling. Just remember that you are saving money in interest in the long run by putting more money towards the higher interest loans. I look forward to seeing if you can reach your $3,500.00 for your 1st loan by December!

    1. E.M. September 12, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      It was definitely nice to relax and have all the amenities of home. Sometimes I prefer that over a hotel room. I know that paying more toward the higher interest loan is better in the long run, it just stinks right now looking at that huge number and to know I’m not really working toward it. Not yet, anyway!

  25. femmefrugality September 13, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    That’s a great August! I think it’s good that you’re being realistic about what’s coming up in the next few months. I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes people can make when budgeting: being unrealistic.

    1. E.M. September 14, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      It’s not a fun fact to face all the upcoming expenses, but it would be silly to pretend like they weren’t going to come up. It will just have to be a frugal fall and winter!

  26. Brent October 7, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    $100 for an entire vacation is a bargain trip if I’ve ever heard of one, even it’s it to the parents place. Great job!

    Best of luck getting down to $3500 on loan #1 by December. You can do it!

    1. E.M. October 7, 2013 at 6:48 AM

      Thanks Brent, I am certainly going to try!

  27. Even Steven May 1, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    My goal is to pay off half of my current student loan debt. It’s a big goal, but i’m really going to push my side business to make it happen.


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