Quantcast Finally Frugal: April 2010

The bumpy road to financial independence. . . .


Monday, April 12, 2010

Hibernation. . . .

I suppose I shouldn't title this blog post 'hibernation', as that would imply that I've been sleeping away the past six or seven months. No, I've been busy -- and that's why my hiatus has stretched as long as it has. Not that it's technically over, just yet; but I did at least want to sign back in and let anyone who's still out there (um, anyone still out there?) know that I'm alive and well! It's just that, with working almost 70 hours a week at the day job, the night job, the unpaid internship, along various attempts at socializing, life has been wacky and hectic. Two more months and I'll be calling myself a graduate school survivor -- and one without any additional school debt (let us not forget that $55K in previous student loans I'll be working on as soon as I graduate).

There has been one rather big surprise in my financial life, though. I spent at least a year padding my savings account in preparation for the year of living super-frugally. I figured out how much less money I'd be making in my last year of school, and built a savings account that almost approximated the amount of money I'd need over a nine month period. The surprise? Almost the entire savings account is still in existence!

Somehow, I managed to live on 25% less income without digging into the savings account. I had to replace my computer, and that was really my only big expense. Other than that, I pay my bills each month, on time and in full, and rarely do I think longingly of the things I could buy with the $2500 that still sits in savings -- earning a now-paltry 1.1% interest (down from the high of about 3.75% when I opened the account years ago, pre-recession). I used my credit card over the holidays for travel and gifts, and have managed to pay down the balance to a respectable $250, again without dipping into my savings accounts.

I've been puzzling over this lack of reliance on my savings account, and mentioned this to a coworker. She pointed out that I had already adjusted my spending habits when I was in 'savings mode', putting every spare penny into the bank. My spending habits have remained the same, but I'm just not saving at the same high rate I was before. That's what explains my still-healthy account balances!

In any case, I'll be moving into another financial phase in a couple of months when I graduate; as I mentioned, I'll be starting to pay down that beast of a student loan debt, I'll need to consider what (if anything) to do with my house (sell? rent? stay? move?), and looking around for jobs that pay a little better than the one I have -- which may or may not find me relocating.

Stay tuned!
p.s. hope you all have been successful in your own financial journeys during the past few months! I'm looking forward to finding the time to browse the blogs and forums again, and reconnecting with my online support group!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...