Before I launch into my silly blog stuff, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the school shooting in Texas a couple of days ago. Not that I know what to say at this point. If little kids getting massacred in what should be one of the safest places in their lives doesn't inspire a complete overhaul of our gun laws, I don't know what will. To say it's depressing is a massive understatement.
Social media is full of action steps we can take (donate! sign a petition! reach out to representatives!), and that's helpful, but at the end of the day what we need is for Congress (specifically the Senate, specifically Republicans in the Senate) to take action. We shouldn't have to beg; it's their job.
But they refuse to do it because money and power rule their lives and because as much as they claim to be pro-life, they're really just pro-their own interests.
So sure, I can sign a petition. Sure, I can make a call: "Hi, it's me, begging you to *checks notes* pass legislation that reduces gun-related deaths. I know that's a REALLY tough decision because *checks notes again* you are beholden to the NRA, but pretty please won't you consider it?"
Mostly I feel helpless, which in turn makes me feel angry. Angrier than I already was, and I thought I'd reached peak angry.
Given everything actually important going on in the world, it sometimes seems a bit pointless to be writing about personal finance. But it's one of the few things we can manage and improve and control, at least somewhat, and that kind of empowerment is exactly what I need at the moment. Maybe you feel the same.
So anyway, my big news today is that we paid another $13K towards our student loan.
On one hand, YAY!: that brings our remaining loan balance to approximately $10K:
On the other hand, hey!, let's deplete our savings just as financial experts are starting to talk about the possibility of an impending recession!
So is this a good idea? I hope so. For once, we both have stable jobs that pay decent salaries, and we both have some wiggle room in terms of disposable income. It's unlikely that our finances are going to improve significantly over the next few years. Now seems like the time to wrap it up and put a bow on it.
That said, this last chunk may take some time to pay off. I think we might -- might -- be able to do it by the end of the year, but we'll need to wait until the end of the summer to see what our bank account looks like by then. We've got a vacation coming up in a few weeks and still need to pay the balance on our accommodations, and like everyone else, we're feeling the pinch (more like the punch) at the grocery store. We could reduce our 401K contributions, but we also want to take advantage of the current market dip, so I'm reluctant to take that step unless we have to.
Five years and counting. One step closer.