It has me thinking…

Today, on the way to work, I was listening to a report on my local public radio station and it caught my attention when I heard that,

“In the coming years, a lot of people will still be paying off their student loans when it’s time for their kids to go to college,” said Mark Kantrowitz, the publisher of FinAid.org and Fastweb.com, who has compiled the estimates of student debt, including federal and private loans.

The article from the NYT/msnbc.com talks about how Student Loan Debt is now outpacing Credit Card Debt in the US economy. I can attest to this, as we currently have more SLD than we do consumer debt.

And after working for non-profits for the last 9 years, with no plans to move back into the private sector, I know that it will be a long road toward paying my loans off, even as I continue to take my classes in the evenings.

But I’m starting to think that we should be move vocal about disputing the idea that SLD is “good” debt…I think if we are honest, we can admit that it is a form of indentured servitude that keeps us striving for better paying jobs (let’s ignore the fact that adjusting for inflation there have been no increase of earnings for the lower 90% of US earners in the last 30 years) instead of working for organizations and companies that may contribute more to society and the development of culture. Sure, they say that degree earners make more money than those without, but they don’t say that they are happier and that doesn’t mean that every field that requires advanced degrees will pay more.

I’m sure there is MUCH more to say about this, but I’m still just mulling it over at the moment, so I’ll end it here…

But I’d love to hear what YOU think.

February 2011 :: Report

Debt Reduction

Our goals for February were:

Credit Card Debt      ::  $ 20,472.35
Taxes Owed            ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                 ::  $ 15,690.11
Personal Loans       ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 36,162.46

And here is where we were after 2.28.2011:

Credit Card Debt     ::  $20,467.93
Taxes Owed         ::   $       00.00
Car Loan              ::   $ 15,689.60
Personal Loans   ::   $       00.00

Total Debt*             :: $36,157.53

*does not include school loans

Budget

Since I moved over to Quicken, I’m still trying to figure out the budget reporting – it isn’t working the same way as I was used to with MSMoney. But, from what I could tell, things went really well – we will see!

Savings

Savings Goals for February:

Regular Savings  :: $     120
Family Leave       :: $    600
Emergency           :: $    717

Total Savings      :: $ 1,437

Where we landed at the end of February:

Regular Savings  :: $    26
Family Leave       :: $  520
Emergency           :: $  702

Total Savings      :: $ 1,248

Not as much as we wanted, but, still, we’ll continue to work on it.

April 2011 :: Goals

Our goal for April is to pay $2,099 toward our debt. Taking into account the interest that will be charged ($164) , the net will be $1,935.

So our totals at the end of  April should be:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 17,208.20
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 15,177.88
Personal Loans       ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 32,386.08

*does not include school loans

And now for the Savings Goals – at the end of  April, we aim to have:

Regular Savings  :: $    100
Family Leave       :: $    600
Emergency           :: $ 1,107

Total Savings      :: $ 1,807

According to Quicken, our debt-free date is :: March 24, 2013.

March 2011 :: Report

Debt Reduction

Our goals for March were:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 18,889.20
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 15,432.19
Personal Loans       ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 34,321.39

And here is where we were after 3.31.2011:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 18,889.20
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 15,432.19
Personal Loans       ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 34,321.39

*does not include school loans

Look at that! We hit our target! And, we are getting closer and closer to our goal!

Budget

I’m sad to report that I still don’t have a great handle on how I should be tracking the budget with Quicken (some things aren’t recording correctly, which is very frustrating), so I’m going to take some more time before I start to report on this section.

Savings

Savings Goals for March:

Regular Savings  :: $      35
Family Leave       :: $    520
Emergency           :: $    730

Total Savings      :: $ 1,285

Where we landed at the end of March:

Regular Savings  :: $     86
Family Leave       :: $  520
Emergency           :: $ 1,102

Total Savings      :: $ 1,708

We got a good chunk into our Emergency Savings (yay!), so we’ll be able to use that instead of credit cards when we do have emergencies!

March 2011 :: Goals

Our goal for March is to pay $2,000 toward our debt. Taking into account the interest that will be charged ($164) , the net will be $1,836.

So our totals at the end of  March should be:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 18,889.20
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 15,432.19
Personal Loans       ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 34,321.39

*does not include school loans

And now for the Savings Goals – at the end of  March, we aim to have:

Regular Savings  :: $      35
Family Leave       :: $    520
Emergency           :: $    730

Total Savings      :: $ 1,285

According to Quicken, our debt-free date is :: March 24, 2013.