90s, Education, Make It Rain, Money, Student Loans

Struggling to pay your student loans? Find the “extra”.

Let’s be honest. At times we complain about wanting things to change, but secretly want the change without the effort. Whether it’s weight loss, saving money, or paying off debt, sometimes we just want the issue to resolve itself without any sacrifice on our end.

Sometimes we’re simply too tired to keep trying. Too tired to keep giving up what we want now for what’s better for us in the long run.

make it rain on navient mmderosier

I understand. I’ve had those moments. And had one recently that I had to push through.

While I celebrated that we were able to find the “extra” last month to make it rain $203 on Navient,

make it rain on navient mmderosier

it was frustrating that we did so in part by reducing our personal ‘fun money’ (discretionary fund).

And with less money, comes less fun. At least in NYC.

make it rain on navient mmderosier

I admit to stomping my feet and crying about life not being fair. But then came to my adult senses and snapped out of it.

Not having enough to do everything, I had to be strategic about how to use what I had left when it came time to hanging out with friends.

First, I couldn’t accept every invitation, unfortunately. Second, I had to schedule meetups after the start of a new budget. And third, I had to be straightforward about needing to work around limited funds.

making it rain on navient mmderosier

Thankfully, my friends are Waldo-Geraldo-Faldo laid-back and just said “cool” and kept it moving.

make it rain on navient mmderosier

It’s good to be surrounded by people who support instead of derail your goals.*

make it rain on navient mmderosier

Student debt repayment is a commitment. Unless a rich eccentric aunt comes out of the woodwork to offer us a windfall, most of us won’t be rid of it overnight.

It’s okay if we get tired. To say it’s not worth doing more than the minimum. It’s okay to be frustrated in the moment. To walk away to clear our heads. Go for a run. Have a good cry. Play music. Read a book. Watch a silly movie.

And when we’ve done so, we can come back renewed and refocused on why this goal matters to us. And then we can keep going.

Make it rain on Navient mmderosier

I’d love to hear your updates. What changes have you made recently to make it rain on your goals? Where are you finding the “extra”? How are you handling the too-tired days?

* 😦 Brittany Murphy. And I miss pre-Fox News Stacey Dash.

Education, Make It Rain, Money, Student Loans

Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!!

When you make your security deposit rain on Sallie Mae Navient instead of buying lovely living room furniture.

responsible adult Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

living room grey Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

When you pay off a $2,400 student loan!

excited Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

PAID Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

When your mind whispers *loudly* that you still have $126k to go!

scared Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

loan balance Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

When you take a breath to stop freaking out. Just remember to tackle this in bite-size chunks.

stop freaking out Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

Rain forecast Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

When you exhale ready to start over again. Bring it on!

Paid!!! Paid!!! Paid!!! One Student Loan Paid!!! mmderosier

Education, Make It Rain, Money, Student Loans

Make It Rain On Sallie Mae

In August I shared that my husband and I decided to take control of our combined $128k student loans by breaking the debt into bite-size chunks.

This month kicks off our official goal:

Make It Rain On Sallie Mae Navient!

Aziz rain LARGE

Follow along as I provide weekly, bi-weekly (more like it), or monthly updates on how we’re “making it rain” on Sallie Mae with every spare penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and bill that we can find.

Statistics report the U.S. student loan debt at $1.2 TRILLION, so I assume a few of you are on this Titanic with us. Fortunately, we’ve watched the movie and know to prepare to avoid the iceberg.

*A quick pause to ponder life’s random thoughts: Rose didn’t have to hoard the wood. She could have moved a couple of inches to save Jack’s life. Just selfish.*


*End pause* While it’s too late to bring the ship back to shore, we can still be thoughtful and aggressive in avoiding the iceberg.

Some days it will drizzle more than rain, but I don’t care.

fo drizzle

Whatever we send above the minimum is going to be celebrated with champagne (aka tap water). A toast to November’s $75.56 worth of showers!

Month & Year Rain Method Rain Amount
November 2015 Budget Leftover $63
November 2015 Ebates $10.03
November 2015 Purse Find $2.53

Comment and let me know how you plan to make it rain on your loans.

Career, Economic Equality, Economic Inequality, Education, Family, Levo League, Make It Rain, Money, Student Loans

Helpful Hints for Taking Control of Your Student Loans

Last year Gisele made in one day what my husband and I owe in student loans for one undergraduate and two graduate degrees. If I lived on a diet of sunflower seeds and divided my waking hours between Pilates and CrossFit for the next year, my chances of commanding Gisele’s daily rate would still be laughable. It would be as likely as throwing a rock and hitting the moon. Depressing. I know.

When you owe more money than you’ve ever written a check for, it can seem overwhelming and beyond your control to get a handle on repayment. However, as with most things in life, debt is considerably less intimidating when broken down into bite-size chunks.

Contrary to Navient’s prediction, we refuse to be shackled to this resource-suck for the next 22 years. Don’t get me wrong, the amount is substantial and will take time to pay off. But it seems considerably more manageable now that we understand the loans that make up the total (a process we completed using the spreadsheet at the end of this post).

Once everything was outlined, we devised a repayment plan that includes tackling the loans under $3k (7 in total) to keep us motivated towards the ultimate goal. Of the seven, we’re zeroing in on the one with the highest interest rate and working backwards. For each one paid off, the minimum payment (plus extra) will be re-rerouted to the one with the next highest interest rate. We’ll follow the same principle as Dave Ramsey’s snowball method because that makes sense for us.

You must, of course, do what works best for you and your family, but outlined below are some tips to help you take hold of your student debt.

  • Accept it. You owe the money. Stressing about it will only cause you sleepless nights. No sense being saddled with debt and dark circles under your eyes.
  • Know your debt. Who do you owe? How much exactly? What are the terms? All that information can likely be found by logging into your debt provider’s website. All you need is a little patience to copy and paste.
  • Start a budget. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as a couple of columns on a spreadsheet to keep track of what you’re bringing in and how you’re spending it. See spreadsheet below.
  • Find the “extra”. Now that you understand what you’re bringing in, how you’re spending it, and directing where it should go, keep your eyes open for the leftover dollars in your budget. Better yet, be proactive and cut back on a couple of line items to generate the “extra”. Nothing too drastic. Make it manageable. As an example, you’ll notice in tab 2, column G2 of the spreadsheet that we sent $63 extra dollars to our loans this month. This was cobbled together by taking excess money from last month ($34) and shaving a few dollars off several flexible items on our budget this month: $15 from the food allotment, $4 from the Christmas club account, and $10 from the weekly lunch. The amount isn’t important, the shift in mindset is. Make it a habit to critically analyze your spending for areas to cut back and be disciplined about using the savings to pay more than the minimum on your loans.
  • Appreciate the dollar. Every dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, and penny over your minimum snips away at the number of years, months, weeks, days, and hours you’re held hostage by debt.
  • Celebrate to stay encouraged. Laugh if you must, but I’m not above high-fiving myself for a job well done. Don’t wait until you’ve paid off huge chunks to celebrate. Take pride in every smart decision made to bring you closer to your debt-free goal.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Some months you’re going to hate having to be so responsible. You’ll cry, “Why can’t I spend that $100 on nosebleed tickets to see Beyonce?” Trust me, I understand. It sucks. Acknowledge that it sucks, but stay on course. And if you do fall off course, do as the late Aaliyah said, “Dust yourself off and try again.”

Share your thoughts. How are you handling your student loans? Do you feel in control of them, or are they controlling you?


MMDerosier Student Loans Helpful Hints

MMDerosier Student Loans Helpful Hints

Student Loans Tracking Spreadsheet: mmderosier_student_loans_and_budget_spreadsheet_8_2015_Jan_2016_Update