It was a clear Christmas Eve Eve night at my parents’ house in Montana. I stepped outside to look at the stars. I could hear the clock begin chiming in the cold silence as I stood there, admiring the universe. I had been stressing about my current state of debt and needed a minute to remember what a small part of the universe my debt really was. I was concerned about my debt from the last 12 years, the new debt we started our marriage with and the possible debt that could result from starting our family. The ninth and final chime of the hour rang and was followed by a most peculiar sound, the sound of chains. I looked down and saw a delmise with a note attached to its handle.
Ace Trainer Tojo, there’s no need to fear.
If you are patient three ghosts will appear.
They’ll show you some stories, parts of your life.
We know that it’s debt that fills you with strife.
When I looked up from the note, delmise had disappeared. I went inside to show my husband. “What does this mean?” I asked. He read the note and passed it to my sister. “Sounds like you’re going to be busy tonight,” he said. “We’ll just be hanging out, so join us when you’re done,” declared my sister. “Have fun.”
After watching them play a round of cards, I moved to the couch and stared out the window at the mountains anticipating what tonight would bring. What would happen? What would I see? Would there be snacks? I would soon find out.
It’s back-to-school season again, which means tons of sales and discounts. It also means another class of high school students is making their transition into life as an adult. Some are brave birding right into the work force, which is awesome! Others need a little more training and education and are flying to college first.
I headed to college because I enjoyed learning and felt I needed more education to find my career path. College is a great time to learn about ourselves as students, trainers, and young adults.
Today, I want to share a few tips based on what I have learned since graduating college. I think they can help any college student refresh their personal finances.
Six months after I graduated my loans entered repayment. It took me a little while to really understand what was happening with my loans. The summer after I started repayment I developed a notebook system for tracking my loans' stat changes that taught me a lot about my loans. It helped me understand my loans, the changes that occur with them and how much I still owe. Although I included a picture below of April 2017’s notebook page, that is not today’s topic.
Today I wanted to finally introduce you all to my loans and my plan for paying them off. My boldore budget allocates money from my paychecks each month to keep my student loans well fed. We have developed a meal plan that it follows when determining how many payment puffs each loan servicer gets. Then each loan servicer has an individual meal plan that determines how those puffs get eaten by the individual loans they service.
A lot of people use the website/app Mint to help them manage their personal finances. Mint is a simple, one-stop shop for people to see the current status of their finances. A user connects their bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments and bills to it. Once connected, Mint can create graphs and other ways to help their users understand their money.
Mint also has a bunch of systems set up to assist their users with their money. It’s like a chikorita using aromatherapy to restore health to a person’s finances. With all of their shell bells and grass whistles, I did not find their aromatherapy helpful and canceled my future appointments.
I tried it for at least three months and did not find it useful to me. Not all of my accounts could connect, there was too much red, my own systems were better for me and I rarely checked it. I am sure it has improved in the past two years, but I think I’m fine without it for the moment.
In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, trainers were introduced to a resume feature that reminded the player of the last few things they did the last time they played the game. This feature evolved into the journal in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. What I loved about these features was how helpful they were if I picked up a game after not playing for a while. Gone were the days of being confused why my last save was on a mountain with one pokémon at level 60, three pokémon at level 16 and two of the same pokémon at level 1.
This feature did not last long, which disappointed me because I like records and notes. I mostly just like keeping open memory in my head for other information if I don’t need it there and there is someplace outside of my head almost as safe. It may play into the millennial stereotype, but I think it just makes sense. I currently use four different methods to store my personal finance information: my financial diary, my net worth spreadsheet, my student loan notebook and my bill books.
I started this blog to share my experiences with my fellow Pokèmon trainers and others. One of my experiences is receiving a monthly bill where the total amount due is $0.00. It may seem sillier than a mime jr. tickling a hydreigon, but I have been in those occasional situations. (both of them)
To clarify, I’m talking about monthly bills that I knew I would be receiving more in the future. I’m not talking about that letter saying that I finished paying something off and no longer owe money. My rule for these situations has become that I need to pay at least $1.