Free From My Student Loans!

A little while ago, I tweeted that I paid off my student loans. I don’t know if this post will be useful to anyone, but here’s how I did it.

I have two university degrees (one was 4 years and the second was 2 years) and graduated with a debt of $31,827.00. My parents contributed a portion of it through RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan). Otherwise, my debt probably would have been around 50k.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I commuted four hours each school day (2 hours each way) because I live far from the university. I chose not to live on campus because I didn’t want to increase my debt.

I paid off almost 32k in 15 months.

Right before I entered the repayment period, I paid off $10,000 from my savings. I’ve worked part-time jobs since graduating grade 12. In my final year of university, I had three part-time jobs so I had saved up some money. I paid off 10k right off the bat because it would make interest payments a lot easier.

However, I wish that I had started to pay off my student loans when I was still a student. If I had started budgeting really early on, I probably have would have paid off a significant portion of my loans before my graduation date.

I graduated in 2020, back when COVID was still relatively new. After five months of making repayments, the Government of Canada canceled interest payments because of COVID. However, this is temporary so my goal was to finish paying my loans before interest payments returned. Instead of making the minimum payment of $250-350, I made bigger payments like $1000, 2000, or 3000 a month whenever I could.

The biggest thing that helped with repaying my loan was living with my parents. I still live with them. Rent is really expensive in Vancouver, and I have a good relationship with my family so there was just no big reason to move out.

Another thing that helped was that I was super, super serious about paying my student loan debt as soon as I could. It was probably my main focus and goal at the time. That being said, I made sure not to splurge. Well, it’s not in my personality to spend a lot of money in the first place. That’s just not who I am. However, knowing that I had debt made me feel even more so because I felt really poor. “The money in my bank account does not belong is me” is how I felt the entire time. I think that this attitude helped a lot.

My debt wasn’t too large, though I think the average student loan debt for a Bachelor’s degree is 30k. It was manageable, and I feel lucky that I can live with my family. Although living in a pandemic sucks, I didn’t have to pay interest for almost a year which was really beneficial to me.

Present day

Now that I am debt-free, I am planning to open a TFSA but that’s another story (Probably should have done this earlier, to be honest). What I want to say is that my spending habits haven’t changed at all. I record everything I spend in a notebook and calculate how much I spend every week and month. I prefer writing it out but Excel spreadsheets are probably more efficient, haha.

I don’t have a budget, and I don’t really limit myself from spending. I will buy a bubble tea if I want it. However, I just don’t spend that much money so I don’t really see a need to budget right now. If my spending over a certain period was higher than an amount I’m comfortable with, then yes I would absolutely budget. Keeping track of my spending is more about knowing how much I’m spending and where that money is going.

This was kind of a personal post but I don’t mind sharing. I think I’m pretty open in general so I hope that at least one person finds this helpful.

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Thanks to my boyfriend for the congratulatory gift.

Tomodachi Game: Season 1, Season 2, & Movie Thoughts

I binge-watched Tomodachi Game, also known as Friends Game. It’s a Japanese drama based on a manga. There is an upcoming anime adaptation, and I’m pretty excited about it.

Plot: High schooler Katagiri Yuichi is knocked unconscious and wakes up in a mysterious room with four of his friends and a creepy mascot. One of them has an enormous debt and has paid the participation fee to enter the Friends Game. If this group of friends wins the games, the person will go debt-free. However, if they lose, all of them will have to take on a portion of the debt.

Season 1 Thoughts:

I love Katagiri Yuichi. This drama has a really good-looking cast. The games are quite simple, like the games in Squid Game or the beginning of Kaiji. No one is physically harmed or dies, and a big theme is their friendship. Yuichi wants to trust his friends but finds it increasingly challenging to…

The show is as long as a movie. I thought that Season 1 ended so quickly that I had to watch Season 2 right away. At this point, I couldn’t form too many thoughts because there were still too many questions left unanswered.

Who has the debt? Who is/are the traitor(s)? What’s Katagiri Yuichi’s backstory?

Season 2 Thoughts:

Season 2 is a continuation of Season 1. It is another game. Again, it’s a simple children’s game with a twist. I liked this season more than the first because a lot of secrets are revealed. The tricks are clever. It was a little predictable but I didn’t figure out everything, so that’s a plus.

Movie Thoughts:

The movie is a continuation of Season 2. It’s another game. I liked this one the least, partially because the tricks didn’t seem as clever. The climax fell short.

I still want to learn more about Yuichi’s story; I thought this part was rushed. It’s understandable because this is a movie, but I hope that the anime explains it more.

There were a lot of twists in the movie. It felt a little messy.

The ending was soooo cliche. It hurt a little to watch. I understand that they want to leave the doors open for more seasons or movies, but really, that approach? There’s no way an outcome like that would happen in real life, and I don’t think I’m being jaded about it.

Final thoughts as a whole:

The concept isn’t exactly new. You are brought to a foreign location with other people and have to win games to pay off your debt. Think Kaiji, Squid Game, and Liar Game. However, this is exactly the sort of series I’m a sucker for, so I will take anything!! Thank you!

If you like this kind of show (similar series and games include Kakegurui, Zero Escape, Danganronpa, Bloody Monday, Kurosagi, and Classroom of the Elite), then I recommend this series for you. One thing that sets this series apart is that they aren’t playing against strangers, but playing with their best friends.

It’s entertaining, and the cast is great. There are so many twists and turns. It’s kind of like being on a roller coaster.

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I haven’t read the manga yet, but I plan to! Let me know if you have any recommendations for anything similar. πŸ™‚

I Won a Giveaway!

This post is long overdue, but I won a giveaway hosted by Crimson of A Nerdy Fujo Cries. I participated in #theJCS in December, which Crimson hosted.

I got to choose an item, so I chose The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System Volume 1 (English). Here’s the letter I wrote to FujoSanta:

Here’s the book! Now I have the first volumes of all three MXTX series.

Thank you FujoSanta!!!

GUMI Megpoid Cosplay – Donut Hole

For those of you unfamiliar with this cosplay, it’s Gumi from her song, Donut Hole. See below:

Gumi is my favourite vocaloid. I’ve cosplayed as her twice before.

Click here to see the Difficult Love cosplay

Click here to see the Matryoshka cosplay

Festival of Lights @ Vandusen Park!

I went to the Festival of Lights at Vandusen Park in early December, back when the daily Covid case count wasn’t too bad. It’s a bit worrying how high the daily case count is now in British Columbia.

Some of the lights reminded me of fireflies!

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Canada Post Community Foundation Fireflies stamp (2021) to compare.

2022 Plans for Blogging, Social Media, & More

In my last post, I wrote that blogging and cosplaying were hit negatively. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it doesn’t seem like blogging is that popular anymore. Lots of people have drifted away, and I’m in the same boat, hanging by a thread.

The blog is like an echo chamber of what I’ve already posted on Instagram. Posting the same images feels redundant, and I think Instagram posts get more attention anyway.

I confess that I don’t have a lot of self-confidence in my cosplays. I get days where I look at someone’s photos and feel self-conscious of my own. Is this surprising? I’ve felt this way with my drawings, and I haven’t drawn anything in several months. I know that it’s not a competition, but I guess there’s a mental block. As a result, I severely lack motivation. There’s a couple of cosplays I haven’t posted on the blog yet (due to the redundancy reason), so stay tuned for that.

I like posting. I like taking pictures for a number of reasons, the biggest being that it’s a record. It’s fun, and it keeps me occupied. I’m not going to quit cosplaying just yet, but I just don’t think it’s the focus of my posts anymore. There’s something I’ve more interested in at the moment, and that is:

Mori Kei.

studio ghibli gifs

In simple terms, it is described as a “forest girl” style. I’ve admired this fashion style for many years now. To me, it’s not just clothing, but also a lifestyle. I think that the activities associated with mori kei align with my interests extremely well, so the goal for 2022 is to be more intentional with it. I think it’ll be fun to document my mori kei journey, and it’ll also motivate me and keep me accountable.

It’ll be a gradual process. I don’t like the idea of discarding your old clothes because they don’t fit the aesthetic, and I also don’t like the idea of spending a fortune to achieve this goal. Part of the intentionality piece is being more mindful of what I buy this year.

I won’t lie, I lost a number of followers on my Cosplay Instagram for posting non-cosplay content. Being more serious about mori kei means that I’ll need a platform to post on. I suppose the options are converting the Cosplay Instagram (which is also my main account) into a mori kei + cosplay account, or using a different account. There’s also mori kei outfits versus everyday stuff, and whether I want to separate those or keep them in the same account.

I know, this stuff shouldn’t be complicated, but I also think we need to think about how we spend our time, especially when it comes to social media and online activity.

Any thoughts?