A bit of financial disappointment

I ran some numbers mentally this morning, in the shower, that are a little depressing. I'll explain, but first, here's the background.

Sometime when I was in college, probably as I was signing papers for yet another student loan, I asked my father if he thought I could be debt-free by 30. I distinctly remember his response: he said it would be difficult, but if anyone could do it, I could. And, in the spirit of all idealistic college students longing to show the world what they can do, I vowed then and there to do it. Not including a mortgage, of course.

Of course, if I was really serious about it, I wouldn't have made some of the financial decisions I have over the last couple years. I realize now, in retrospect, that I was asking that question of someone who doesn't manage money, especially credit, particularly well. And who might set forth goals, but doesn't put a lot of thought, effort, planning, and carry-through in accomplishing them.

Anyway, it's still a nice goal, and one I would love to achieve. BUT (here's where the shower part comes in) I'm just not sure it's possible.

As of this moment, my only non-mortgage debt is the home equity line of credit I just financed, to consolidate my student and car loans, to the tune of $36,000. Actually, that's not true - I have a couple personal loans, but they will be paid off by the end of next month. And since I'm really starting these calculations in May (my 27th birthday), I'm not counting them.

Here's the problem - I turn 30 in May 2008, just a little over 3 years away. At $36,000, that's $12,000 a year, or $1,000 a month. (Ignoring interest, of course). With my current budget, raises not withstanding, I just don't see how I can apply $1000 a month to this debt. There will be extra money (besides the regular monthly budgeted amount) - income from my second job, bonuses, raises at work. Still, I can't imagine it averaging out to $1000 per month.

Sigh. This is going to be a tough one, folks.

1 comment:

  1. good luck! glad to know i'm not the only one worrying about these things!


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