It seemed impossible. Paying off over $55,000 in student loan debt $409 a month at a time. But then something happened. My student loans got tossed around from CFS to Chase and then back to ACS, my original loan company.
I realized then that I could either suffer and stress out over the next twenty years, or I could go on a crash financial diet and lose the weight of my ACS student loan off my shoulders once and for all.
I started this crash financial diet a little over three years ago. Here’s what I did:
- Closed my credit cards down, except for my AMEX.
- Extreme couponing. I got my binder, clipped my coupons, and studied blogs like hip2save.com, southernsavers.com, and wesusecoupons.com I got so good, I was getting tons of stuff for free or making money from buying certain items and I grew my own stockpile.
- I stopped buying clothes for almost a year. And I stopped going to malls.
- I cancelled our Costco membership.
- I worked my ass off. I networked on LinkedIn and made sure my profile was updated regularly. I’m a freelance copywriter, so I took every gig I was offered and worked hard. I put 100% into every job. And agencies kept calling me back. I worked morning, afternoon, and late into the night. Sometimes well past midnight.
- I socked away 30% for taxes. And then I saved and saved and saved. Two years ago, I slapped down $27,000 in a single payment to ACS. The instant I did that, the coolest thing happened. The amount towards my principal changed. Before when I sent a $409 payment, $300 would go towards interest. Now $300 for every payment was going towards principal. Every time I made additional money, I sent additional payments. Sometimes, it was just an extra $100. And sometimes, it was an extra $2,000. I basically let go of the money before I had the chance to enjoy it. I knew it was meant to do more than buy the latest purse.
- I continued to work like crazy. And just sent my final payment 10 minutes ago!
Doing this crash financial diet was hard. You have no idea how hard it was not to go buy a car or go on a fancy trip or go shopping for purses and new pretty shoes. But the end result is worth all of it. I saved about $60,000 in interest and shaved off 15 years off of my student loans.
So what next? I figured if I could conquer my student loans, why not conquer my house? My goal: pay my house off in less than 10 years. We’ll see.
My five-year-old loves this video. He has watched it at least ten times. His favorite part is, “…And it hurt man!” It makes him crack up every time.
I really love this Kid President, too. Great delivery.
Jamin Hoyle, my art director friend spent six months constructed what can only be described as a badass haunted Halloween castle costume. This Scottish castle is complete with multiple doors that open up to intricately beautiful storybook scenes. I cannot wait to share this with my kids.
Growing up, what I loved about the princess movie classics is that they taught me we’re all beautiful and we all deserve happiness. And of course, life isn’t always fair. The more current ones taught me that just because you don’t fit in doesn’t mean you don’t fit in. And that we’re all capable if we believe.
So now that I have a daughter, who is now two, I am curious how she will feel about princesses. In the last couple weeks she has expressed an interest in Disney Princesses, particularly Rapunzel from Tangled. Because she doesn’t talk quite well, I am unsure what is drawing her in. I think it may be the pretty dresses. She is really into fashion. But I am unsure if it something beyond it.
After watching the spot, I think it is cool to redefine princess through a modern Kate Middleton lense, but I don’t quite understand why we need to call all girls princesses and why they need to believe they are.
I feel like the values in this spot are important. And just because one has these values doesn’t make her a princess. It makes her a good person. My daughter is not a princess, but she exhibits some nice values sometimes. Like her compassionate moments where she snuggles with her baby sister. Her passion for exploring when she tries something new without being afraid. Her clapping and support when she sees her big brother do something great. She is not a princess. I will not call her that. Her name is Stella.
I just stumbled onto the artwork of Yulia Brodskaya, a talented Russian-born artist who lives in the UK. Her work has been featured everywhere from ads for Hermes to a feature in “O” magazine. Her work is seriously amazing.
I also discovered Canadian artist Elly MacKay in this month’s “O” magazine. Her work is so stunning and breathtaking. She creates these gorgeous small scale paper scenes that are absolutely dreamlike and filled with delight and wonder. She also sells prints of her work on Etsy.
Everything about this PSY “Gangnam Style” music video is incredibly awesome. The catchy beat, the cool aging singer, the bright clothes, the girls with their super dyed hair, the kid with the I’m-dancing-my-ass-off face, the synchronized horse dance moves, all the perfectly Korean scenes. Well done.
When Volkswagen launched their industry-changing campaign, they stumbled on something big. White space. While it may have been shocking back then, it’s still incredibly relevant today.
People these days crave white space–not just in ads, but in our own personal lives. Because our lives have become so busy and cluttered. We have no time. We have no peace of mind. We’re constantly distracted and occupied. It’s no wonder when you look at the all design trends, you realize how much we all just really love and appreciate white space.