Monday, December 3, 2012

The Debt Wall

Not long ago I listed all my debts, sat down and calculated how long or what it would take to pay them off, and what would be reasonable within my current income. I do that a lot; make lists, do calculations, plan and budget, etc. What I don't do very much of is making money . . .haha. I'm a teacher so it's public knowledge we don't exactly get rich.

So, to make this planning session a little more colorful and fun I made a motivational poster. I titled it "the Debt Wall." It has a list of current debts, the interest rates, payoff amounts, monthly minimums, etc. I also set a goal to have the smaller debts (non-college debts) paid off. The magic date is June 2014. About 20 months from the day. The poster also has a list of the months until then and an image to represent my reward (I would get to travel after June 2014).

Another neat thing is that if I teach for five years, the government will write off 5,000 dollars of my college debt. The government does that as an incentive for teachers to stick it out, and its funny I do remember a college professor saying something like 50% of teachers don't make it five years. I don't know if that's true or why he would have said that. Regardless, my fifth year of teaching would end just before June 2014 as well :)

So, the plan requires no travel until 6/14 and also an extra source of income. I need to sell some artwork or get a part time job on the side to meet the goal. And of course teach another year :) wish me luck because meeting a goal like that would be very hard, and I already have ideas in mind that would sidetrack me or force this plan to change.

I will share an image of "the Debt Wall" with you readers. I have seen a couple bloggers that subscribe to "financial transparency." It's interesting they choose to reveal all their debts as a form of accountability. I guess I am kind of ambivalent but maybe someone will think its neat.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Caffeine anyone?

I recently read a blog post by Steve Kamb of about the benefits of caffeine. He was talking about how helpful it can be if used in the right quantity and limited in sugar. I called bull $hi/. Life is better when we are free of any substances and high on healthy nutrition as well as adrenaline from physical fitness.

Then three days later I got a "White Christmas" white chocolate, chai tea, and coffee blend from the local coffee shop. I was feeling the Christmas spirit and planning to spend a day in the basement art studio. I was productive for a few hours then must have had a sugar crash that evening and went to bed no later than 7:30 pm.

Well today, I got hit by the Christmas coffee spirit again. This time, however, I must have found the perfect balance of caffeine and sugar because I am on an endless run of creativity! I just brainstormed no less than 10 future blog posts. I cleaned the art studio, set up piles of supplies for future art projects, wrote and wrote some more. Maybe Steve was right? This energy kick has been perfectly productive and just what I needed. Hopefully next time I kick off my art session with a jog instead of coffee though. My immune system needs the boost.