Fewer than 1% Received Loan Forgiveness!

If you are relying on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for your federal student loans, know this. Data suggest that only 0.003% of applicants have had their loans forgiven! Here’s why many applications were denied. I also discuss my decision for paying off my loans without using a repayment program, thereby saving thousands of dollars in interest (and buying my freedom)!

Continue reading Fewer than 1% Received Loan Forgiveness!

Suicide and Debt

This blog post is part of the 3rd Annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Month blog tour. If you are having thoughts about killing yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.

Today (September 10) is World Suicide Prevention Day. As a clinical psychologist, I take suicide seriously. I was saddened to hear thatĀ “I want to kill myself because of debt” was a top search on another personal finance blog.

While many bloggers will be bringing awareness to suicide and debt, as a clinician I hope my contribution will be to discuss suicide prevention.

Continue reading Suicide and Debt

How to Make More Money

After you’ve cut back all the expenses you can (or are willing to), you may still need to make more money. Whether you’re looking to reduce debt, or just add things to your life that move you closer to your values (e.g., travel, wedding, fun activities), there comes a time when it may be helpful to switch mindsets from “what else can I cut?” to “how can I make more money?”

Continue reading How to Make More Money

Expenses from Post-Doc to Current Day

In the last post, I shared my family’s actual expenses for Q1 and Q2 of this year. For the current post, I compared some of my basic expenses from my first year of post-doc to my current expenses 8 years later. Within that time, our family grew from 3 people to 5, and we moved from a two-bed/one-bath apartment to a four-bed/two-bath house.

So how did I do at avoiding lifestyle inflation? Here are my numbers as a percent of take-home pay.

Continue reading Expenses from Post-Doc to Current Day

The Debt Shrink’s Story

Internship was a Tough Year

I just moved to a new state for internship. My husband left his job to move with me. When we arrived I found out that I was pregnant (panic!). After 5 years of graduate school, would I be able to graduate? How would I pay the medical bills? We had no family nearby – who would help with the baby? Continue reading The Debt Shrink’s Story

Budgeting for Post-Doc and Early Career

Post-doc can be one of the most financially challenging times in your life. You’ll be making more money than in grad school, but not as much as a staff position. Student loan payments start six months after graduation and you will have a number of other expenses as you start your career.

Continue reading Budgeting for Post-Doc and Early Career

Avoiding Lifestyle Inflation is Key to Getting Out of Debt

Want to know the secret to how I paid off my student loans (and car loans and medical bills)within three years of graduating while also being the sole earner in my family? The answer: I avoided lifestyle inflation and focused on one thing at a time. Continue reading Avoiding Lifestyle Inflation is Key to Getting Out of Debt