Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Immigration and Debt Update

First, let's talk immigration....

I never did post an update regarding our immigration success. In honesty, October was such a whirlwind this year I'm not really surprised I overlooked this update.

In short, my visa was approved and is now in my passport awaiting "activation." I liked Quebec better than Montreal but preferred Vermont more than either.

Autumn in Vermont

Parliament in Quebec City

Eating frozen maple syrup in Quebec City

Our favourite day in Vermont

We also ended up in Manhattan/ New York City/ Newark for an evening (read: hours only!) due to a serious flight delay, which was exciting. The New York City Library stole my heart -- those lions! I suppose we'll have to go back one day, but for me it really was the perfect trip. All the highlights with none of the fuss.

The New York City Library Lion

Inside the Empire State Building

Gabe pokes fun at King Kong

And then, of course, we went to New Orleans for Halloween.

A heron we saw on the Honey Island Swamp Tour

Gabe enjoys a beignet

Scandalous bar tour stop

Beignets are messy, but delightful

Captain America and Wonder Woman

 And then the month of October, the most brilliant month of the entire year, was gone.

With regards to the move...

My move date is set and a truck (complete with movers on the Seattle side to help us unpack and tackle the steps!) is booked for March 17, 2011. I'll be returning to Canada to complete a contract position and then will be living in Seattle full-time.

Let me send this out to the universe (my mom says I should do this): I want to work for AMAZON!

As for the budget...

When last I posted about my debt on September 7,2011, I owed $40,201.61

As of this moment, as of this date, I owe $39,293.50.

By the end of this month I will have thrown another $979 (if I toss my overtime pay onto the pile, which I intend to do) at the Debt Beast. That means I'll be in the $38,000 range next month, and the $37,000 range the month after that.

I get excited when I look at debt calculators. I like to spend my free time going over my budget and pinching my pennies. If I maintain my current payments, my debt from my first degree will be gone four years, three months. This makes me want to scream FML and GET IT DONE at the same time.

Last time I did that calculator it told me four years, two months...and that was two months ago. Since that time, the principal on my National Student Loan has increased. This makes me want to cry. I do and don't understand how that's even possible when I've been making my payments like clock work.Which is to say I do understand but it sucks anyway.

Back to the obsessive budget board...

In four years, three months I will be 33 years old. This seems too old to me for this to be the age at which I reach this goal.

And I will probably be older still because I will not be able to maintain those payments if I am unemployed in Seattle for any length of time.

Not to mention my debt calculator added months to my debt repayment plan as my National Student Loan increased.

Grr and argh.

So, what can I do?

I can plan for the worst and make sure I can pay the minimums. I can educate myself on better budgeting and get another (read: second) job when I move to Seattle. I can take on tutoring here and put my tutoring money towards my debt repayment. I can minimize the number of books I buy, or at least curb the impulse buys that happen when I've run out of stories and haven't a library or other back up books nearby. I can shop at cheaper places for my groceries and cut out the more unnecessary items.

I can give myself credit where it is due:
1) My monster is losing weight.
2) Progress is an awesome, awesome thing to witness.

Baby Pants

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