May 1st officially marked the end of my first financial
quarter trimester for 2020. And while 2020 has been pretty terrible overall, financially, for me, it could have been a lot worse, even if it could have been better. What follows is my 2020 Q1 first trimester financial review.
((Note: I know this isn’t true for billions of other people around the world. This blog functions as a personal diary about my personal finance and is not meant to represent the perspective or experiences of anyone other than myself. I don’t seek to offer advice or sell you anything (not that there is anything wrong with folks who do.) As I have said before, my current financial situation produces a lot of shame and anxiety for me and this blog helps me manage those feelings.))
1/1/2020 Debt Total: -$127,688.14
5/1/2020 Debt Total: -$121,891.82
Difference: $5,796.32 (Note: This is just the difference in my balances and not the total amount paid.)
Almost six thousand dollars over four months feels like a success, even more so than looking at the declining balance each month. While much of this success was due to uncommon/less predictable events, such as the COVID-19 stimulus check, tax refund, etc., it would have been even more substantial had I been able to make the debt payments on January 1st and February 1st that I am making now thanks too a stricter adherence to my budget. On January 1st, I was paying off the extravagances of December and on February 1st, I was paying off the unruliness of January, but I got it together in February which allowed me to make a $1000.00 extra student loan payment on March 1st. This pattern held for March for a $900.00 extra student loan payment on April 1st.
Thus far, it has been a serious fail. Between my “emergency fund” and my “life fund” I have a little over $1000.00 in savings (I have more in my 401K but I don’t really count that as it isn’t cash on hand). This is pitiful and I really need to beef up my savings to at least $3000.00 which would cover two months of expenses.
The biggest challenges and disappointments for the first quarter were the early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that will be more fully realized as lost opportunities in Q2. For example, I participate in an extra curricular activity for which summer and day camps are common during the summer. I had been offered a teaching role that would have resulted in me bringing in an additional $4,500.00 over a two week camp in June (this would have been addition to my monthly salary from my main employer). Unfortunately, the pandemic meant that this camp was cancelled. While this was undoubtedly the right move, I’m not gonna lie, in my mind I had already envisioned and dreamed about using that check to make a large debt payment.
I have applied to other jobs for side income but I believe I may be getting screened out due to seeming overqualified. Which kinda stinks because I love retail/customer service work but…eh. Hopefully it means someone else who needs the job a bit more than I do is getting it.
Progress on 2020 Financial Goals
On April 18th, I revised my 2020 Financial Goals to account for the pandemic and decreased opportunities for earning income; and, the loss of expected bonuses and merit based increases. My new financial adjusted financial goals for 2020 are:
1) Pay off Private Student Loan 1 ($8,600.00 remaining as of 1/1/2020) by the end of the promotional period. – As of 5/1/2020 there was $3,700.00 remaining on my PSL1 balance. This is a considerable improvement from the 1/1/2020 balance of $8,600.00 and the balance difference represents all of the additional loan payments made during Q1.
2) Pay off Private Student Loan 3 – This goal was removed/adjusted based on expected diminished earnings during the pandemic.
2) Start a small business AND generate an additional $500.00/month in income. – This will look difference based on the pandemic but is still something I hope to achieve by December 2020.
3) Save $ to purchase a vehicle outright at the end of my car lease term in December. – This won’t happen until I payoff PSL 1. However, despite my ah-ha moment, I am still waffling here a bit…I will write a post on my current car lease and the cost associated with all three lease-end options in a future post.
2020 Blogging Goal: One (1) student loan balance post a month AND one update post a month. – Success so far! (3) ADDED – Transition from Blogger to another blogging platform for a more aesthetically pleasing blog. – I have added this goal for myself and hope to have achieved it before my official blogging anniversary on July 4th.
I will admit that these goals are exceptionally modest, however, given the uncertainty of the current moment, they feel achievable given the things within my control.
Q2 Second Trimester Financial Predictions
Q2 the second trimester, I expect to achieve my first 2020 financial goal and begin to make progress towards the others. I will share one thing…there might, might be a move to another university in third trimester. But it is still in the very early stages so more on that when there is more on that.