This money story is of Beachgirl, a long-time pf blogger who is “living the American Dream” and “paying off some debts in order to do it.” Here she tells us how she did it.
I’m 27, live in the DC-metro area, and work as a consultant. I was lucky in that my mom taught me starting from a young age about money and how to be responsible with it. When I went to college and got my first credit card, I was smart and only charged what I could pay off. I’ve never had a balance on my credit card, except when it was a 0% interest rate. Even then, I make sure to pay it off fully before any interest would kick in.
When I graduated from undergrad, I only had about $9,000 in student loans. However, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after I graduated, so I went to grad school. While I don’t regret my decision to go to grad school (it helped me get where I am today), I amassed a total of $45,000 in school loans.
Most of the debt ($40,000) was federal loans and I able to consolidate them at 2.625% for 30 years. The last $5,000 was a private loan with a variable interest rate. When I started paying on it in November 2004, the rate was about 4%. When I paid it off in March 2007, it was over 8%.
My parents are having some financial difficulties due to my dad’s illness. He lost his job and is now applying for disability. Having rarely worked for anyone that provided retirement benefits, they have very little saved for retirement. They are also without medical insurance, which is too expensive for them to pay for themselves. They have borrowed money from me, which I am more than willing to do. I know they would do the same for me if the roles were reversed.
My goals are to pay off my debt and continue to save money so that I can provide a better future for myself and my parents.
Even though financial experts may advise caution in helping out family members financially, like Beachgirl, I can’t imagine NOT helping my parents if they really needed it. Beachgirl is facing what many Americans may face in the coming years as Baby Boomers become older… I guess all we can do is save & pray.
Please check out her blog at beachgirlsbudgetblog.blogspot.com for more!
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