It has been more than a year since my last post. Lately, I’ve been thinking about my site and ready to blog. I decided to cancel my premium in WordPress and change my site address to Embrace Hearing Loss. This will not affect my blog. From now on, I will write new blogs and talk about the positive things that has happened in my life.
A lot happened in one year. When my father died of a heart attack, I met Carlos, my boyfriend. I wasn’t ready to date but he insisted to help me with the mourning process. Instead of dating, he provided me a workout plan and introduced me to weight training: bench press, barbell squat, and interval training. Despite the 2.5 hour commute to work, I continued to workout no matter how tired my body felt when I arrived home. I began to feel good about myself. I lost weight, gained muscles and got leaner. A year later, the commute took an effect on my legs and experienced leg cramps. Both of my knees hurt from the commute and my workout routine was no longer consistency. I gained weight. The pain on my knees pushed me to job search at least closer to home. I loved my job but the commute was killing me. Whenever I applied, I didn’t know where I was going to go. Then I saw a job announcement posted by NASA. I applied and got hired.
Two months ago, I started my new job at NASA and relocated. I live on a 2-bedroom apartment. None of this was planned. It just happened. Life works that way. Good things happen when you set your priorities right and take action. Don’t think about it, just do it.
Having 2 degrees, a bachelor and a master’s degree was not easy and comes with a cost. I borrowed $48K, a total of 11 loans. After being unemployed for a year, the loan debt increased to 54K. Since I earned 2 degrees in 6 years, borrowing 48K is really not that much. I submitted my first payment for the school loan debt in November 2014. It was my first paycheck that I earned working at the Department of Veterans Affairs and I used it all to pay off the interest rate. It took four paychecks just to pay the interest rate before paying the principal balance. It sounds crazy, but I did it for a purpose. To pay off the interest rate and be debt free in less than 3 years.
I disciplined myself and Carlos convinced me to sign up for a credit card to earn points while paying off the student loan debt. Every month, I call My Great Lakes to submit a credit card payment. A week later, I pay the credit card. If I’m going to pay 54K, I might as well earn points for a free vacation. The more I submit my payments, the faster my debt decreases.
Today I owe 21k. This required a lot of sacrifices and I became an expert in couponing. I stockpiled toilet paper, laundry detergent, shampoos, and dish soap for up to 3 years. Whenever I need something, I search through my stockpile storage. I needed to find a way how to stretch my money, spend less and add more to my loan debt. It wasn’t easy but with time and organization, I learned to coupon and buy stuff for free. I will further discuss this in another post.
For a whole year, I did not buy clothes for myself, said no to birthday parties or eat at restaurants. I lost a lot of friends. Believe me, it was hard but I am very proud of myself for paying off 33K in 1.5 years. My goal is to be debt free by next year.
Listen, I know that I’m writing different topics in this post but I only write what comes to my mind. I will provide more details in future posts. If you have any question, please ask me and I will do my best to provide an answer.