For the amount of student loan debt I currently have, I could have gotten a mortgage on a pretty nice house. One of the problems with having a house-worth of student loan debt is that the lenders seem keenly interested in you paying those loans back. This leads to weird things like “monthly payments” and “ramen”.
Or I guess I should say that those are what it should lead to. Unfortunately, I have a serious problem with the second half of that equation. I’m no Joe Mihalic. Still, I make some efforts. I’d really like to not still be paying off my law degree when I start drawing retirement.
One such effort is simply making myself more aware of my spending patters. Enter, Mint. Mint is an awesome personal finance tracking app. You give it account details and it gives you tons of pretty graphs. That’s what’s great about it. It is also terrible.
You see, Mint routinely tells me things like “quit spending so much money drinking!” and “quit going out to eat!” It tells me those things by showing me how much I spent on those different activities last month and it’s kind of embarrassing.
It never seems like I’m spending hundreds of dollars eating out or going out. It’s $10 here and $20 there. No big deal. Except that it sure does add up and then at the end of the month I look at one of Mint’s pretty graphs and realize that I did it again. I need to start cooking again. I need to spend less money at bars. I need to do lots of things like that if I want to pay off my loans before the end of the century.
…and I’m going to start doing those things really soon. Next month. I swear.