Check out the prologue to "Alone In The Light" by clicking here

An excerpt from: Alone In The Light

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Achievement Unlocked - F*CK YOU, STUDENT LOANS!

Good morning, world!

Despite the dumpster fire raging across the land, I've been on a mission to find a silver lining - something that would bring me joy and make my life less... stressful. Aside from watching the news, what is the most stressful thing I can think of? - Student Loans.

It's hard to enjoy life when you're barely scraping by some months. Add to that the mandatory student loan payment every month on top of your other bills - things get uncomfortable. So you ask for lower payments and occasional forbearances to give you breathing room. The good people at Navient and the Dept. of Education don't care. They're still going to charge interest while you try to come up for air.

Long story short, this year we were expecting a large tax return that never showed up. We waited... and waited. And one day we got a letter stating, "hey, we took your money and put it towards your student loans. XOXO - The Government."

At first I was pissed... I mean, SUPER pissed. But that subsided when I realized that, yes, I owe them and so, while still grumpy, I accepted it. But that got us thinking - How can we get rid of these loans without being flat broke at the end of every month? How can we raise kids, buy groceries, and still have something leftover if we're paying these loans every month until we die?

In short -no way.

So, we decided to make some decisions... And do some math. We were being charged, yearly, more in interest on my loans than our 401K was making for our retirement. So... we cashed in the 401K. I know this will anger my in-laws, they are of the mindset that we should never have incurred debt - but they grew up in a different world than we did. And they lived in a way very different than my parents and how I was raised... When I told my mom and dad, they just laughed and said, "We did the same thing." - which made me feel better. But we made this decision as husband and wife and we've done this to increase our quality of living now so that reaching retirement age isn't a freaking uphill battle EVERY DAMN MONTH.

This was not a decision we made on a whim. We called our accountant, talked to some family members, did some research... We even set enough money aside from it to pay taxes next year since it will be considered income and throw our tax bracket WAY out of the norm.

And then we cashed that sucker in like we were the 90 year old lady at BINGO with a full card!

As of this morning - we have paid off every single student loan and credit card in our names.

Aside from our mortgage - We are living debt free.

And, oh, holy shit does it feel nice.

Granted, this is America... so if one of us gets sick, we'll be in debt again, but for this one glorious moment - we only have one debt to pay off and that is our house.

We can now focus on throwing all of those extra payments at the house payment and instead of a 30 year loan... we can probably pay it off in 15.

We adulted this week.  And it feels good.

Oh... I might also have a publishing deal in the works... :-)

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