Progress Report: Fiscal May ’13

Day 57 | $12,058.62 paid | $60,016.96 to freedom

Some big new developments this past month.  In the teaching world, June means the end of the school year for most.  What has that meant for me?  Quite a few additional costs, crazy hours and finally summer.  As of now I am officially on “summer vacation.”  For me, it’s not what most people envision as the summer off.  Over the next two weeks I’ll be running open gyms and coaching at summer camps for our basketball team.  My summer will end in mid-August with the beginning of soccer season; the other sport I coach.  And in the 6 weeks between I will be developing two new courses for our school and revamping another.  My daily work is now much more flexible, but I’ll still be working just about every day.

This past month was the first since I started my journey that I came in over budget.  I was slightly over budget, but still below my income – so I am not extremely concerned.  The biggest cost came from miscellaneous purchases, as I anticipated would happen with the end of the school year.  A quick glance at my spending shows I spent over $30 on end of the year gifts and treats for my students and colleagues.


Gasoline and Groceries
Again, coming in slightly (more) over budget.  I was able to go an entire month without purchasing cases of pop, however my grocery budget continues to be a challenge.  I’m a little more stocked up on food than last month, however, so I am again going to leave that goal at $150 for the month of Fiscal June.  This should more easily be doable since I will be spending 5 days in Denver at the end of the month.

Gasoline was an interesting story.  Again, slightly over. However, that was thanks to a $50 gas card that was totally used.  I had a trip to the airport (60 mi), trip to Detroit (80 mi), and a long trip to Saginaw (200 mi) which pretty much accounts for that extra $50 thanks to Michigan’s huge gas spike – we trailed only Hawai’i in the most expensive gas as of last week. Now that I can work from home and don’t have to commute early in the morning, I expect all of my local commuting to be via bicycle with few exceptions (grocery shopping, softball games). I couldn’t quite cut it waking up an extra half hour early to bike to work every day, but now the “earliness” factor is gone.  I would set my gasoline lower than $60 for June, however, my tank is already nearing empty, so I’m not starting in a good spot.

Bachelor weekend came in under budget!  More impressively, I came in below either of the previous two months in social food/drinks.  That was aided by lumping all the bachelor weekend festivities into entertainment, but suffice to say I am happy with how careful I am being on frivolous expenses (read: alcohol).

Outlook – Upcoming Expenses
I thought I was now down to three big summer expenses… Make it four.

  1. Moving – This one is already on the books.  It cost me approximately $760 to move into my new apartment ($40 moving costs, $720 in security deposit, prorated rent, pet fee, etc).  It’s coming out of my “emergency fund,” which isn’t really an emergency fund I guess.  I had built it up to $2000, so it is still above my minimum of $1000.  By minimum, I mean that if it falls below, I will slow down my debt repayment.
  2. Dental Work – FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU teeth.  I’m terrible at going to the dentist.  I blame grad school then a year in a new state to me not taking the time to go to the dentist over the past 2 years.  I finally did.  I need fillings.  Right now the quote was $295.  I need to talk to them though since their quote is showing 75% of my cleaning being covered when it is supposed to be 100%.  Regardless.  FFFFFUUUUUUU teeth.  This is kinda what the emergency fund is for, so again I’ll dip into it.
  3. Denver – The trip to Denver is just a few weeks away!  I’m going to keep it within my budget by cashing in all my credit card rewards points.  That’s almost $300 worth.  Throw in my $125 entertainment budget and $120 dinner/drinks budget and I should be able to continue paying my loans at the current rate without dipping into savings for this trip.  Credit Card Win.
  4. Boston Road Trip – This trip is on Dad, however I’m sure I’ll be spending plenty of money.  Luckily, AT&T gave me $300 to stick with U-Verse cable and Internet.  I plan to save that card for this trip and try to keep my spending under $300 and thus out of the budget.

Outlook – Summer Income
My summer income is starting to become a little more concrete.

  • Softball umpiring: $1,560 (pre-tax)
  • New course design: $750
  • Course re-development: $100

Student Loan Repayment
On pace.  The big goal is keeping this $850 pace through the big summer expenses.  I have a plan in place, so I have little worries short of my car exploding.  Plus, my next paycheck in July will be the first of my new contract.  Result = an extra $250-300 a month.  $200 of that will go towards my higher rent (more on that later) and the rest gets thrown into growing the e-fund until I’m comfortable increasing the loan payment to $875 or $900

The new development is I’m switching to weekly payments.  In the first month, making this simple switch will result in an extra $1.50 coming off my student loans despite me not paying an extra cent.  Compound interest!  Not a huge deal in the short term, however, over the course of this 3.5 year journey, this tiny change will add up and could cut as many as 10 weeks off my payoff period.

Next week I’ll drop below $60,000 in debt!  Slowly, but surely, I’m inching towards freedom.

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