Ok, so…I`m going to treat this as full disclosure as a way to keep myself accountable as well. This debt hanging over my head definitely influences my magick, and not in good ways, so I want it gone as soon as possible.
When I graduated college four years ago, (December 2012) I had, between student loans in my name, student loans in my dad`s name (which yes, I am responsible for paying back), and 4 credit cards, my debt was about $100,000.
Fast forward to January 2017. Between student loans in my name, student loans in my dad`s name, and 1 credit card, my debt is $102,202.69. One hundred and two thousand two hundred and two dollars and sixty nine cents. That means that in four years of working three jobs and paying off what I could, I didn`t even make a dent in my debt. I`m still in the exact. same. place.
That was a scary realization. So I hopped online and did some research. The most success stories are around a method called the snowball method. It`s where you ignore interest rates, crazy as that sounds, and pay off the smallest loan first, while paying minimums on all the others. Then, you take that payment you`d been making to the smallest loan and apply that same amount plus the minimum of the next smallest loan, and keep going from there. Since what I was already doing wasn`t working, I figured it was worth a shot.
Step 1: Make a Budget
Having never made a budget before, this was uncharted territory. I ended up going as simple as possible and only writing down my basic expenses–rent, food, water, gas, electricity, car expenses, savings, loans.
Now, I only get paid once a month. The 21st of each month, actually, so that`s when I tend to do my budgeting and loan checking. Depending on month, I generally get about ￥200,000. But that has to last me the entire month, the 21st of that month to the 20th of the next.
I`m actually really lucky that my rent is subsidized at the moment, so now more than ever is the time to try and tackle this debt, while my expenses are relatively low. (Relatively because it is winter and my electricity bill is creeping up!)
This is how I`ve written out my budget:
The columns underneath I`m going to use to subtract the money when I do spend from that category. And the whole point of a budget is that once that column hits zero, I can`t spend anymore for that particular thing that month.
This is where a little willpower comes into play. And by willpower, I mean to channel that into magick. I created a small, sort of `remind myself` spell for this purpose. For this, you will summon an angel to help you.
You will need: A candle, your budget, paper and a writing utensil
First, cast a circle. You never want to risk just anything being able to wander in while you work magick. Light a candle and be looking at your written budget. Once you`ve studied it for a minute or two, and feel committed to it, take a piece of paper. On the paper write what kind of angel you need to help guide you. In this case, an angel who is good with numbers and budgets, and can help you be slightly strict on yourself would be good. For this, I`d say that archangel Jeremial is a good choice, since he is known both for conducting life reviews and helping to make choices. Say “For mine own good these numbers are written/ with fun new objects I will not be smitten. A balanced budget is what I need/Jeremial please help me contain my greed.”
Wait a few minutes, concentrating on the fact that you want to be able to stick to your budget. Thank Jeremial, and dismiss your circle safely.
I suggest that doing this every month as you re-write your budget for the month is a good idea. Don`t forget to thank Jeremial or whatever angel you called for helping you! Always remember to thank them for their help.
A problem for me is the exchange rate. All my loans and credit cards are in dollars, but I`m getting paid in yen. And that means that in order to make a payment on those loans, I have to send money back to America. And as the current exchange rate is 1 USD = 113 JPY (at least as of when I`m writing this…recently it`s fluctuated everywhere from 112 to 117), that means that I am losing money simply by exchanging it. I`m losing 13 yen for every dollar. And while that doesn`t sound like a lot, now consider that if I wanted a hundred dollars, I would lose 13. So if I need 200, then I`m losing 26. Three hundred means losing 39. Four hundred I lose 52. But in order to pay loans each month, I need at least 600, more if I`m starting this debt snowball method. So to send back the equivalent of $600, I lose about $78. Now you can see that it`s really starting to add up. This is an example of something I probably should leave room for in my budget, but really, how can you budget for disappearing money?
Step 2: Know Your Debt Exactly
Anyway, here`s a current breakdown of my loans;
My substafford loan $2426.82
My advantage loan $8448.15
My discover loan 1 $9365.60
My discover loan 2 $990.27
My consolidation loan $37,286.97
Dad`s consolidation loan $41,550.84
My discover card $2134.04
As you can see, the second discover loan has the least amount of debt, so that`s the one I will tackle first, as an attempt to use the snowball method. I`ll give it…say…six months, and if I haven`t at least made a substantial dent in that loan by then, I`ll try something else.
And it looks like I did manage to pull magick into this. Perhaps that was what`s been missing these last four years, and will help more than I know. We shall see!
Month 1 debt = $102,202.69