“Better late than never,” “a spring start,” “spring is the time for plans and projects,” and all that…
So a quarter way through 2023 and I can honestly say that this year already has one up on 2022. I’m living alone in an amazing apartment (who knew dishwashers did something other than be broken and hold drying dishes), working out regularly, enjoying spending time with my colleagues, and, for the first time in my life, I really like AND respect my new boss, Boss Lady. I neither liked nor respected my boss at Organization C and while I liked my former boss at University B, his management style (where he avoided confrontation in an effort not to make anyone angry), left a lot to be desired. Boss Lady isn’t a pushover. She’s smart. She’s strategic. She handles confrontation well. And she holds people accountable…me included. She is also really comfortable with who she is. It’s impossible to overstate how much that impacts the leadership style. I feel fortunate to work for her.
For the first time, in a couple of months, my income feels stable, and so of course my mind turned back to the reason I started this blog: student loan debt repayment.
As I shared in my April 2023 – Life Update post, last week, Boss Lady made me a verbal offer for my current temporary role and I will have a full-time, permanent offer with benefits to start in late June. Yay! University B pays monthly so on April 1st, I got my first full-time paycheck in the amount of $3,380.51. This amount did not include deductions for health insurance, as I am not currently benefits eligible in my temporary role, or parking. On face, my $51,000.00 annual salary seems significantly less than the $75,000.00 I made at Organization C. And it is. However, my current role also comes with a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom apartment in a HCOL city, 21 meals per week in university dining facilities, cell phone reimbursement ($60.00/month), and, as of the last week in June, a 9% match for 2% of my salary, and excellent low-cost health insurance. Given that University B picks up the tax for employees on housing and meals, and that usually housing and meals are paid for with post-tax dollars, the total compensation for my role is easily more than I made at Organization C.
So, what does this rehash of how nice it is to be back at University B have to do with my 2023 Financial Goals? Almost everything. The compensation package at University B means that not only am I really comfortable, but my cost of living has managed to shrink even further than when I was in my $ 550.00-a-month room. I project that after taxes, health insurance, and other deductibles, I will easily be able to put $2,000.00 toward debt each month. This is outside of any additional income I might make. With that in mind, I introduce my 2023 Financial Goals.
1) Pay cash for projected upcoming expenses. – Between a full set of new tires, taxes, MCAT prep materials, and AMCAS application fees, I have a couple of not-so-cheap expenses headed my way. While the tires and prep materials don’t necessarily warrant further explanation, the taxes do. While I was employed full-time last year, I always set aside about 20% of the money I earned from gigs, contracts, and other part-time employment for when tax season arrived. However, once I was no longer employed full-time, I eventually raided this fund to prevent having to dip into my emergency fund, which I ended up doing anyway. For this reason, I am expecting to owe quite a bit when I file my taxes this weekend.
2) Pay off debt incurred while unemployed and replenish my emergency fund by June 30th. – The debt incurred here is my new phone (I upgraded from a refurbished iPhone 8) and annual Mint mobile phone plan. It is currently sitting at 0% percent on my Chase card (~$1,000.00) and its very existence makes me uncomfortable. While I managed to stay out of my emergency fund in 2022, continued unemployment at the start of this year saw me make a few withdrawals. Its current balance is $3,288.00, which means I need to put $1,712.00 back into it.
3) Return to aggressive student loan debt repayment on July 1st and get below $60,000.00 in student loan debt this year. – Yea, I know this isn’t my usual stretch goal and this feels a bit like cheating since this goal should have been achieved in December 2022. However, 1) I am open to revising this goal should the progress happen faster than I would expect, 2) given that I failed to make any of my 2022 Financial Goals, it would be nice to get back on track, and 3)…my arrival into my late 30s (and Avery’s blog) has me thinking that maybe I should consider a combination of debt repayment and savings/investing given that savings interest rates are high and my debt is fixed at less than 2.5%. Maybe. As of this post, my total student loan debt, including accrued interest, is…$67,701.57.
6 thoughts on “2023 Financial Goals”
The way you talk about Boss Lady really reminds me of my manager! I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate having a manager like that so I’m glad you’re in good hands 😊.
“1. Pay cash for projected upcoming expenses.“ – curious if you’ve considered getting a new credit card for these expenses?
If you know you have some expenses coming, you can easily meet the minimum spend and get really good sign on bonuses. They have some cash back bonus cards but I’m thinking you can even take advantage of travel credit card bonus to fly free when you have to go on your med school interviews?
I see you as being super responsible to not get into credit card debt and if you were planning to pay it in cash anyways, you can charge it to the credit card first and then pay it off right away.
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Right?!? It changes what it feels like to show up to work. I think the expression, “Employees Don’t Quit Their Jobs, They Quit Their Bosses” is definitely true for me.
Yea…so, this is definitely the best “financial” choice. IDK…I think I am always nervous about opening up a new credit card. Your credit rating takes a hit and then if you can adequately spend on the card, it’s closed. I have had several cards “Closed by Gurantor” because I just never spend on them. I currently have a rotation of about five or six that I use regularly for benefits.
I don’t think I will be able to catch up on all of these right away just because I’m having a really rough week trying to catch up on my own work, but I just want to say I’m glad you posted them all 🙂
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🙂 I appreciate you even stopping by. I hope you are taking good care of yourself.
I love these goals – they give you a place to aim while acknowledging you have other, nonfinancial goals you’ll be aiming for as well.
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Thank you 🙂 Yea, the plan was to ease back in but not to make is so central that constantly evaluated how my other priorities are trading off with it.