Wednesday, 16 July 2008

For Richer and For Poorer, In Sickness and In Health

One of my arbitrary, totally unlikely goals for the year was to finally have saved enough money to pay off my student loans in their entirety - to do it while I'm still in deferment and not accruing interest, so as not to be fighting a losing battle if I decide to do more school (and accrue more debt) after finishing at Oxford.

And weirdly, I realized that my bouts of monasticism over the past year have put me within spitting distance of pulling it off and being debt-free. (I do owe my parents money for paying for school, but they're not going to send anyone to break my legs, so I'm going to concentrate on the rest of my loans.) I was on track, too - I just needed to spend as little as possible this month so that I'd still have a particular balance in the bank at the end of July, when I could pay off my loans before getting another chunk of my stipend in August to pay for everything in the Philippines. If I could do it, this would be possibly one of the most adult things I've done in my life.

Unfortunately, my rabies vaccinations are going to cost an unexpected 90 pounds, which leaves me with exactly 100 pounds to cover the next two weeks. Normally, I could do it - it'd just be a hardcore two weeks of hitting the books - but then I started factoring in groceries, laundry, promises to go see Mamma Mia!, bus tickets to the airport at the end of the month, buying boxes and tape for storage, drinks and lunches with various people before I leave, and I realized that this will take at least a little bit of conscious planning.

And then I realized that any single person who doesn't have to pay for housing, breakfast, and dinner should easily be able to suck it up and survive two weeks on 100 pounds, and that I'm sort of a jerk for stressing out about it. (Also, that my goal is totally arbitrary, and it wouldn't really make a difference if I paid off all but a couple hundred dollars of my loans instead, seeing as I've deferred them until like 2009.) But because I'm sort of miserly, I'm still trying to make myself do it anyway. The upside is that I'm keeping way better track of my expenses and spending a ton less. The downside is that low-fat muffins at Starbucks have become a frivolous indulgence, and trips into London are basically out of the question at (at least) twenty pounds a pop. I'll (hopefully) emerge fiscally responsible, rabies-free, and possibly anemic, so cross your fingers.

No comments: