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.

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.

2021 Year-End Review

I started writing year-end review posts last year. Click here to read my post from 2020.

1. I got into crafts, and I credit the pandemic as the main reason. I’ve been into art since I was a kid, but I didn’t do much of it. Since I stayed home all of last year and the beginning of 2021, I had to do something with all my free time. I attended a virtual workshop for clay, and I became interested in learning how to make a bunch of different crafts. I mostly learned how to do everything by myself, and I’ve made a lot more than what you see here. I still do all of these things.

2. I got a boyfriend. In early 2020, I started writing letters to a guy I knew but was not close with. Becoming penpals was random and spontaneous, but it brought joy to my mundane life. Again, I stayed at home for all of 2020. The guy lives in the same province, so he sometimes brought me bubble tea to my door, socially distanced-style. For this reason, he was the person I saw the most in 2020. And I guess one thing led to another.

Moya knows him as the four-leaf clover guy because my boyfriend surprised me with four-leaf clovers before we started dating. He knew that I like four-leaf clovers, and it was his first time finding them.

3. Blogging and cosplaying were hit negatively. I’m not sure if these were because I have other interests now or because of other reasons. I haven’t been to a convention in a long time, but at least I’m still posting every once in a while. Oh, and you will find me most active on my Instagram or Twitter.

I’ve been thinking about the future directions of my blog and social media accounts. Stay tuned for a post about that in the near future.

4. I am still enjoying the little things in life. This was one of the points I made in last year’s post. The people around me have told me that they’ve noticed this about me, and I’m grateful for what I have and who I am today.

Please let me know how 2021 has been for you. Send me a link if you make a post like this!

Dinner with Moya (Again)

I met up with Moya not too long ago (Click here for the post), and I recently saw her again. We had dinner, and I went to her place afterward for a nice chat.

I only know Moya because of blogging. We went to the same university, but we majored in different fields. I saw Moya on the bus to school a few times, but that was it. If not for blogging, we would have just been strangers on the bus. Interesting, right?

In Case You Missed It: My Favourite Posts of 2020

Click to read:

In Case You Missed It: My Favourite Posts of 2018

In Case You Missed It: My Favourite Posts of 2019

Here are my favourite posts of 2020.

My Thoughts on Weathering With You – Makoto Shinkai 2020 Film

I wrote this review after I watched it in the theatres. I think Weathering With You was the last movie I watched with friends, so I’m really glad I went that day.

Travel Diary: Bowen Island

I went to Bowen Island with my friends for healing because I was super stressed at the time. I don’t think any of us really expected a pandemic to happen back then, so I feel lucky that I was able to spend quality time with my friends.

A positive post

In this post, I wrote about the good things that happened to me during quarantine. I found it helpful to look at the good moments.

Part 2 here.

Chuang 2020: My Thoughts on the Final Ranking

This is one of my best posts in terms of views. I was super passionate about this Chinese survival show.

Revisiting The Untamed with Elle – Blogger Collab! Part 1

I had a ton of fun collaborating with Elle. It was super cool chatting with her about something we both love: The Untamed. & I think the post reflects that.

Click here for Part 2.

Authenticity?

Rather than the actual content, I want to highlight the post’s comment section. There are wonderful conversations and I was happy that so many of you guys engaged with the post. Thank you.

#Controversed Week 4

This is a post I wrote in response to Moya’s #Controversed Week 4 prompts on managing blogging criticism.

Going Back to My Roots

This is a personal post I wrote about my motivations for blogging, and I want to share it again.

2020 Year-End Review

Many people told me that they were able to relate my post. Reflection is good, especially for 2020.

Anime X-Change: Time of Eve

Anime X-Change was an event hosted by Jon Spencer Reviews. I was recommended Time of Eve; here’s my review.

2020 Year-End Review

2020 has been an unexpected, life-changing year for most of us, if not all of us.

1. Time seems to have slowed down for me. Pre-Covid, I was busy. I had school, practicum, three part-time jobs, and was an exec for my university’s anime club. On top of that, I watched anime, updated my blog, and cosplayed.

I recently wrote about my day-to-day life (Click here for the post). I am now at home all the time and my work is flexible. I have completed practicum, graduated, and am no longer an exec for anime club. I feel like I’m on an island, removed from the busy city.

2. I am enjoying the little things in life. Pre-Covid, I always felt like I didn’t have enough gratitude. I didn’t know how to change. Looking back, I was so busy that I didn’t have the time to process things in the moment.

Now, I’m always finding small things to appreciate. Trying out a new recipe, for example, or receiving a package. Pre-Covid, I bought things I liked and tossed them aside.

A positive post

Good things that have happened to me since quarantine PartΒ 2

3. My social media habits have changed. Pre-Covid and several months during Covid, I posted on social media for other people to see. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing because I still had fun.

I’ve changed, I think. I still think that posting on social media is fun, but my intentions are different. Lately, I’ve been looking at my old photos with friends. Photos of daily life serve as reminders of what happiness means to me. To me, photos are precious.

There’s still a lot that I can improve on, but that’s life. I’ve felt all sorts of emotions this year but I think I’ve been holding up well given the circumstances. I think that out of everything, my attitude and mindset have changed the most.

To my blogger friends and readers, I encourage all of you to reflect on what this year means for you. If you write a year-end review post, please let me know. I would love to read it. πŸ™‚

Another Question

You can read my other Question post HERE.

A question for bloggers: Do you ever feel like some of your posts fade into irrelevancy as you keep putting out new posts? That they get buried deep in the archives? I guess this question applies for bloggers that frequently post.

I have over 550 posts. Maybe you can think of a few of my posts on the top of your head, but I’m guessing they’re the more recent ones. I won’t blog any less because of this, though.

Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts.

Authenticity?

What does authenticity mean to you?

I can’t help but think that I only present a certain side of me on this blog and my social media. My secret blog is quite different from this one.

I value authenticity. I strive to be an authentic person and I’ve been told that I am one. I haven’t been feeling like one lately.

I don’t think I’m fake, though. I just don’t show everything – There’s no good reason to, either. Isn’t everyone the same?

Thoughts?

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#Killstagram Chapter 34