What's Worth > $$$ ? | Dec '13 Update

What's Worth More than Money?


There are 168 hours in a week. If you work for 50 hours, and sleep for 56, then you still have 62 hours left. Awesome! That's working 10 hour week days, and sleeping a full 8 hours each night. When you look at it that way -- which author Lauren Vanderkam's book about this inspired me to do -- you have to ask, WTF am I doing with the other 62 hours?!

So, I sought out to get to the bottom of this like any good Millennial would do, I downloaded an app. It's a bunch of mini stopwatches. Each one has a category (ie. a mini work stopwatch, a mini sleep stopwatch, a mini drinking stopwatch, yes drinking) and you start and stop them based on what you're doing. The trick is to always have at least one going. I've only done it for about 2 days, so I don't know exactly where the 62 are going yet, but the pie chart shows how I carpe diem-ed yesterday: Worked for almost 10 hours, slept only about 6, was at a concert for about 3hrs, and was in transit for almost 3 hours too, mostly because I biked to and from that concert (because now, paying back loans > buying a car)...

As I was biking to the concert there was a line of traffic that rivaled the Macy's parade, which made me feel smart for biking (biking > car again!), but then a drawbridge went up and everyone had to immediately stop. And, all of a sudden, as if I've known her forever, a women who was also biking turned to me and just blurted out nasty complaints in my direction about how awful it was that the bridge was going up, how she didn't see a boat, how this was the worst thing ever ever ever, etc. I think she thought I was going to reciprocate and help her spew nasty complaints all over the Macy's parade traffic. But I was just startled and told her that it's not a big deal, and it'd only be like 10 mins. She stopped talking and started spewing in someone else's direction. 

While waiting for the bridge I enjoyed the water and whether
(only 78 in December in Florida!) and took pictures. 
That little 30 second encounter stuck with me. If there were a mini stopwatch on the app for 'reflecting on your life' this would be on my pie chart... Maybe I'll put it under drinking next time. But I digress... There was a time when I was so stressed and felt so entitled that I would've done the same as that woman did; complain. And maybe even now, when I'm at my very very worst I can get there. And maybe she was in a rush, got some bad news, who knows. But the point is that I realize that I have grown, and learned to cherish each moment, and turned that seemingly negative situation into a time of reverie. Just as can be done with debt.

You can always make more money, but never more time. Spend it wisely. It is not important to spend it quickly, that goes for both money and time, but just that you're on the path you feel is right. Imagine, if the Earth rushed its rotation from 24 hours to 4 hours. Not only would my pie chart be crazy, but everything would be too. The Earth does not rush, you have 24 hours today, and more importantly you have this moment. What matters is that you're on the path/orbit you feel is right. 

Yesterday, I could've stayed home and made $60 in 3 hours from a side gig, or paid $50 to go to a 3 hour concert for a band I've been trying to see for almost 3 years (and still be in my budget this month). Ya, that was an easy one...

Bottom line, make a goal (and a budget), pick a path that's right for you, stick to it, don't let guilt rush you, be in the moment - even the ones that seem bad, and you'll get there...

Making the decision to go after something with all of your might (and write about it for all for all of the internet to see! eep!) is scary (even when it's not unfolding on the internet), and especially when it deals with something so personal as your own financial health. And, what I've learned is that it will be scary, at first, but it will be SO worth it, especially when you meet your goal on your own time and your own terms. Do it!

Aaaaaannndd....speaking of goals, time, and your own terms... the new year is coming up! I am pretty much the queen of new year's resolutions. Nov 2009, made a resolution to loose weight and lost 20lbs even before the clock struck midnight on Dec 31st.1998, become a vegetarian, been meat free 15 years and counting. 

This year, I'm making a financial resolution to focus on abundance more while checking off my financial to-dos before the new year. So, you'll see more posts that try to not only discuss student loan woes, but also student loans and opportunities, with topics like:

"Pay Loans and Save for Retirement? Ha! You're kidding, right?"
"Having a business is more fun than paying student loans! Do it!" 
"To buy house or not to buy house...or to pay of loans first - grrrr...that is the question(s?)"

In the mean time, If you want to start on your own student loan pay off goal, I recommend starting with this simple and unintimidating checklist:  I Want to Pay Off My Student Loans

Also, in national student loan news...

Yesterday Income-Based Repayment Info, a nonprofit. release a report 
(Student Debt & the Class of 2012stating that average student debt climbed from about $25,000 to 
$29,400 for the class of 2012. More crazy facts from the report: "We found that college graduates who 
borrowed for bachelor’s degrees granted in 2012 had an average student loan debt of $29,400. Seven in 
10 college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt. One-fifth of their debt was in 
private loans, which are typically more costly and provide fewer consumer protections and repayment 
options than safer federal loans. These national figures are based on new federal data that are only 
available every four years (including 2012), and they include graduates of public, nonprofit, and 
for-profit colleges. "

No matter what your debt burden is, you still have today, spend it wisely, and everything will be just fine.


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