Finances are hard… and goodbye

I’m off the Appalachian Trail unfortunately.

Fortunately, I got off it for the right reason. I had seriously needed a change of scenery from Montana and now I’m now north of Philadelphia, PA with my highest paying job I’ve ever had. And it’s a challenging job. The reason for PA is because I’ve developed a relationship with someone I’ve known for a long time who happened to live in PA. I needed a place to crash for a few nights and she had guest rooms I could use. Ended up convincing me…

I do miss the Appalachian Trail but the new job have been keeping me very busy. I’m now finally feeling secure enough with my income to really start figuring shit out with my debts, student loans, and other goals that are expensive. I do have a fairly large student loan that I want to pay down asap. But I’m currently concentrating on all of my smaller debts. This may change as I learn more and more about interests on some of my debts though. Currently my largest challenge is trying to figure out what I actually do owes. So far, the total seems to be closer to $45k or so. $30k+ is the student loans. The rest are various minor debts from medical stuff, two credit cards, and a couple personal loans. I am also finally completely off welfare (except for some last use of medicare I think).

My biggest concern is the higher cost of living here near Philly. I am extremely flexible about where I could live if I’m single, but I’m not. Nothing wrong with that, I just can’t expect others to live the same way I can. So it is currently a challenge trying to balance everything. Living expenses is about double what I had back in Montana. But my incomes is more than double too. So That little margin is making all the differences. I’ve tried and tried to make it work in Montana but I was just simply not earning enough to really make any headway on my debts. And that job did not have any ‘ladder’ for me to climb. There was simply no overtime I could apply for beside the occasional few school events per year. The only way I could get higher pay was to go back to college and accrue even more debts to become a teacher or something similar, which was not something I really wanted to do. My new job, I can climb the ladder and there are tons of overtimes I can take advantage of once we have a second vehicle set up soon.

My number one goal with my current income is to lock down my expenses (including emergency fund) and redirect all of the extra incomes to just debts payment. This way, even if I gets promoted, do a lot of overtimes, or anything that gets me more money, that only mean paying down debts faster rather than inflating lifestyle.  My lifestyle inflation have been creeping up a little lately so I’m keeping an eye on limiting that as much as feasible.

This means that the next few years are going to be very challenging and hard on me. I will be pushing very hard to pay off all of my debts as soon as possible. Once I have paid off all debts other than my student loans, I’ll feel so much better. I hope to still be able to take time off and go on trips to destress and keep up my outdoor activities. But I will have to essentially shut down this site and not bother blogging for quite a while (even though I had been a very unreliable blogger the whole time). I’ll still use my Instagram and other social media to share my trips and adventures. But that’ll be the limit of the effort I’ll put in that sort of thing. I MAY choose to make another post or two at a later time detailing some of my finances, if only so I could refer to the post for advice from other places online like reddit’s r/personalfinances.

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