Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Three years.
That's how long I've been at my current job (as of last Thursday, although I had no time to mention it then).

Three years ago, I wasn't a complete financial wreck, but there were decided strains.

I had depleted all my savings. (The job offer I received right before getting my master's was contingent on a long security screening, and by the time they finally offered me the position, I'd already accepted another job. But it meant that my "keep me going until March" fund ended up stretching through June.) I needed to borrow over $2000 from my parents just to cover moving expenses and pay my first month's rent.

I'd pretty much only been paying interest on my unsubsidized loans, so my balances had not shrunk at all between starting grad school and finishing. My private loans were variable, and my full repayment started just as monetary policy tightened (and rates increased).

And I'd been so burned on lousy roommates that I refused to share housing even in a really expensive rental market.

But things have really improved.

I paid my parents back within two years.

My student loan balances have dropped 20% (despite a private loan consolidation that added a big origination fee in exchange for a whole two months of lower interest rates [now replaced with my credit union loan]), and every loan is fixed at below 6% (with the largest balances at 2.75%). Thanks largely to my dad, my PLUS-style loan will be paid off within the month. I'm hoping to knock out the Perkins within two years (four ahead of schedule).

Automatic and increasing contributions to my 401(k) style plan have led me to balances that now equal 35% of my gross salary.

My $500 "overdraft account" is more than fully funded, my downpayment fund is growing steadily, and my proper emergency fund should have a full two months of expenses (including money for COBRA payments) by the end of the year.

I'm still not where I need to be. I don't have a Roth for tax diversification, I have no dedicated funds for repairing/replacing my aging car, and trying to take a third trip in a year sends my forced budget into a tailspin. And I still need to scrape up lots more for a downpayment.

But I'm glad to see where I've been from the perspective of where I am.

Oh, and the other thing about getting to three years? I start getting six hours of annual leave per pay period. Whee!

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Dennis said...

I'm pretty much where you were at three years ago. Do you plan on staying with your current company for very long?

Blogger HC said...

Dennis--

I will probably stay at least one more year; there are some training opportunities that I'd like to take advantage of this fall.

After that, we will see where I am in my career.

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