Friday, January 18, 2013

Let's Talk About Student Loans

I'm a pretty responsible person. I don't carry balances on my credit cards. I never pay anything late. I avoid financing fees when I pay my car insurance. I rarely ever buy anything new. I work. I don't overextend myself.

But I experienced a serious disconnect when I took out my student loans. The first time I needed money, I accepted only the subsidized amount. But later on I thought, how much interest can there be on these little student loans? And I took as much money as they would give me. When I wasn't working, I used it for living expenses.

The answer to my question above is: a lot!


That's higher than a mortgage rate.

So when I checked all this out I panicked a little.

And then I found out how much my monthly payment would be.

And I panicked a little more.

But I came up with a plan. It's not going to accomplish any miracles, but at least it's a plan and I can sleep at night knowing it's in place.

I want to save up six months of living expenses. When that's done, I will put every extra penny I have on the biggest unsubsidized loan I have. I've done my research. I know where my loans are and the percentage rates on each one. Now I have at least a modicum of control.

It might be twenty dollars a month. Some months it might not be anything. But I do have a plan. Now when I sell something on Ebay or in a consignment shop I can apply the money to a loan and feel a sense of accomplishment. Hopefully it won't take the typical ten years to pay them all off.

Also, if I get a chance to take a job as a school nurse, I will jump on it! If you work for a government entity, your payments are cancelled. Yes, CANCELLED.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Finally, a Sewing Day

Yesterday I cut and, with this project, it was really kind of fun. Today I sewed. I challenged myself to get all the pieces sewn together. I can do the hem and elastic another day. The idea that hit me while looking through the men's tee shirts at my favorite place, The Clothes Closet, was to buy tee shirts with words or slogans and piece them into a skirt. I had the perfect pattern with lots of pieces. I've almost finished the skirt and it's pretty cute. It's not as busy as I thought it would be because it's hard to get all the words and pictures and still keep the grain the right direction. But I think it turned out cool and the next one will be even better. Two extra large tee shirts were enough for all the pieces of my pattern. My shirts were different shades of white and I used the two colors at random. Love it. I will show you when I get my camera fixed (or a new phone). The next idea I had is even better! I usually ignore the ladies' shirt section because outdated shirts are too short. They are useful only for fabric and there's not that much fabric in a ladies' top. But then I realized that an extra large ladies' blouse will be long enough. I can alter these blouses to fit! I found a nice, white linen blouse with tons of pin tucks. I can't wait to cut it down and do something cute with it! Tomorrow I work. As in earn money. And that, my friends, is a blessing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Random Acts of Thrift

I am in love with glass jars. I love to empty out a nice pickle jar and wash it and remove the label and see that I have nice, new, free jar. I have started using jars to put my silverware in. One for spoons, etc. I keep them in my tiny pantry. I have almost no storage in my kitchen.

My favorite jar right now is a Marie Callendars's Cole Slaw Dressing jar. It's thick and substantial and has a neat shape. I put coffee in it. I like the way it feels in my hand in the morning when I make coffee.

I put flour in another jar and keep it in the refrigerator. Jars just seem like free canisters to me. I don't know why anyone wouldn't keep a good jar and find something to put in it. Everything looks nicer in a glass jar.

One time I bought a huge jar of pickles just because I liked the huge jar they were in. Of course, with number 3 son, I had no trouble emptying it. I keep tea bags in it next to a pretty little teapot. It's another little thing that makes me happy whenever I see it.

I found a turkey in the "almost gone bad" bargain section of the grocery store and cooked it for New Year's Day. I cooked down the carcass and saved the broth in an empty ice cream bucket. I love buckets! They are also free and very handy, and large enough to save a lot of broth. I keep these buckets of broth in the extra freezer. I don't buy a lot of ice cream, but my son does. We have a lot of buckets!

I picked the meat off the turkey bones and made a pot pie!

Today I made my son turkey quesadillas and I still have more meat. I put it in an empty tortilla bag and closed it with a clothes pin. I guess it's time for soup.

This turkey cost nine dollars and I got several meals from it. The only thing is, I get kind of tired of the taste of turkey after a while. There's always the freezer!