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If you ain’t in it for the love, then you’re in it for the money

June 28, 2011

I know I joke around a lot about being a “poor Oklahoma teacher”. And while it’s true that Oklahoma teacher’s are some of the most underpaid in the country, it is also true that I have never been the best at managing my money.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a bargain shopper. I used coupons. I shop sales. But I also like to go out and have fun and I like to shop. I will often spend the money that I have just because I have it.

And sometimes use my credit cards when I don’t have it.

I have a little bit of credit card debt. Not a ridiculous amount, but enough that I really would like to get the weight of it off of my shoulders.

I also have student loans. I was lucky enough (and poor enough) to get a lot of grants and scholarships throughout my undergrad, but I did have to take a few loans out. My work paid for a large part of my first two years of my Master’s degree coursework, but I opted to not take their assistance the third year because I was hoping to find a job somewhere else and I didn’t want to be indebted to them. That led to me taking quite a few loans that final year of grad school.

And I have a car payment, and rent, and bills.

Because of all of this, I live paycheck to paycheck. That is something I never wanted to have to do. And I have basically nothing in my savings account.

That is why I opted to get a part time job this summer. That is a large part of why I am hoping to find a new job that has a bigger salary. I am hoping with my paycheck from my part time job, I can put that money towards my savings account and my credit card bills.

After talking with some friends this past week and reading my roommate’s resolution to conquer his finances, I am determined to do the same thing.

My first plan is to put all of my financial information onto Quicken (I guess my first plan is to use my Target discount and buy Quicken) and to create some kind of budget.

Wish me luck!

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