It feels amazing to see that number! And to see the Total Balance on my student loan account shrink (even if it’s just a little). I’m down to $33,952.23. If you recall from my post on Jan 1, I was right around $37K owed – this is good progress.
Overall, I stuck to the Fa$t pretty darn well in March. I still haven’t bought any clothes or had any breakdowns and made a Target run. No pedicures, no manicures, nothing.
Thankfully, the second half of the month was especially busy for me as I did some work at trade shows for my stepdad’s business. I worked with my mom in Chicago one weekend, and the next, I was with Novio in Jacksonville, FL.
It was great to get away – and a great distraction to not spending -- even if it included working 20+ hours each weekend.
My mom and I were (mostly) all business in Chicago, not extending our trip any extra to do sightseeing or anything. BUT one of the perks of working with her is all meals are paid for – when you’re the CEO’s wife, you have certain privileges. It was nice to be ‘treated’!
The second weekend turned into sort of a ‘workation’ as my roommate from my freshman year of college and her hubby reside in Jacksonville. Novio and I saved my stepdad a bunch of money by bunking up with them, and stayed 2 extra nights (1.5 days) and spent some time kayaking and at the beach. It was a double-win! And they were excellent hosts! We felt right at home. They know about my Fa$t, and had delicious meals and extra food for us at their place. I gave them 5 stars on TripAdvisor.com ;).
Of course, extra work meant extra income! Unfortunately, I ran into some snafus with my taxes this year, and a majority of what I earned went toward paying State and Federal taxes :’-(. The biggest hurt was a retirement check I had from my previous job that I used toward a down payment on the house – I was taxed twice on that check. I knew there was going to be some additional taxing, but I thought all my student loan repayment efforts would help counter it…not so much.
Bottom line: No real harm done. Without the extra money from working the trade shows, I would’ve had to skip a whole month of debt dumping payments!
Taxes will be better (I hope) next year.
On a far happier and more interesting note: Novio surprised the heck out of me and PROPOSED while we were in Jacksonville! He seized the opportunity of a “free trip” and worked with my friend and her hubby to pull off a lovely and memorable proposal.
We were out kayaking on Pottsberg Creek on Sunday, March 29 and as I was paddling along – Novio just up ahead of me – I noticed something yellow floating in the water. I paddled closer and said, “Oh no, someone lost their boat key!” I quickly used my paddle to retrieve it.
As I lifted it out of the water, I read its message: Will you marry me? The most gorgeous ring was attached to the chain (yes! He put the ring in the river!)
Novio paddled back to my side and asked, “What does it say?”
I read it, aloud this time. He took the keychain and ring, asked me to remove my sunglasses and said some of the sweetest things ever.
I, of course, accepted! And then tried to stay in my kayak as I attempted to hug and smooch my new fiancé.
So this really makes things interesting! We’re thinking to wait until 2016 for the wedding, but of course, I’m already wondering what to do about expenses and financing our Big Day. We will have help from family, but will likely need to contribute, too.
It has crossed my mind to continue Fa$ting, but start putting a chunk ($500ish a month?) aside in a Wedding Fund.
We have yet to make solid plans (date, venue, large, small, etc.), so no need to make changes as of right now. It’s all very exciting and we're enjoying all the love and support from friends and family.
I will leave you with one of the most adorable things Novio said to me shortly after he proposed, “Want to know what the best part about the ring? … It’s allll paid for!”
That guy knows me so well!