There are way too many temptations right now. A laptop for my online class, blogging, and reading online books. A Kindle eReader for reading and when I travel to China to work for a year. A cruise to Alaska. Traveling to Vancouver. Eek!
I need to get my priorities straight. Right now, my goal is to save the $3,000 I need to start a Vanguard Target Date retirement account. I'm only about halfway there---living on $1,000 a month while making loan payments and paying rent is hard. Maybe I'm trying to meet too many financial goals at once---I want to start saving for retirement, but I also want to pay down my student loans. At the end of this year, I'll receive nearly $5,000 to pay back part of my Stafford Loans, and AmeriCorps will pay the accumulated interest on that loan. I'll still owe $20,000.
Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about my loans---I'm still planning on taking another AmeriCorps position after this year, and that will pay back another $5,000. After that, I'll just have the $3,000 loan the Dept. of Treasury took over, and $1,000 in Stafford Loans with a private lender. Oh, and the $10,000 Firstmark loan that the AmeriCorps Education Voucher can't touch. At least it has a low interest rate---4.3%.
I hate being in debt. I'm trying really hard to focus on paying back my student loans and setting up an account for retirement. Combine that with building up a healthy emergency fund, and I feel spread really thin. I should put my money towards the retirement account and get that set up, and worry less about the loan that's in deferment. Retirement funds need time to build up, and it has more earning potential over the forty plus years before retirement than any other investment. Now I just need to forget about all of the temptations.