Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hallelujah, debt salvation has come!

I'm doing an inner victory dance right now. I can't do an actual victory dance because it's too damn hot right now. But that's o.k. because the 401k check finally came and I now have enough money to pay off the balance of my credit card! The check couldn't have come more last minute. Today was literally the last mail day before my flight for Thailand and I have been sweating bullets (literally and figuratively) hoping that check would arrive before I leave the country.

I'm not sad to say that I'll be closing a chapter of my life. It's been about 5 years since I got myself into this mess and I've spent the last 2 years toiling to pay off the approximately $30,000 in debt I had accumulated while I was in college. All the sacrifices were worth it. The bad haircuts. The scant wardrobe. The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The terrible job. I never want to do that again!

This whole experience has made me appreciate everything so much more. I was trying to think of exactly what it is that I appreciate more but I really think it is EVERYTHING. I appreciate not having to worry about money and all the things that I learned you can enjoy without money. I appreciate how I learned who my true friends are and how you can pretty accurately judge a person based on how they treat people who don't wear fancy clothes or flash their money around. I appreciate the freedom that comes when you don't have to struggle paycheck to paycheck to survive. I truly appreciate all the things that you can buy with money because I lived so long without having much.

Tomorrow before I go to the airport I'm going to go to the bank to deposit the check. It's strange how the timing worked. Depositing the check will be one of the last things I do in the States and then I'm off to start a new life thousands of miles away. It's the rebirth of me. Weeee!

Don't forget you can check out my new blog, Living in Thailand, to follow up on my progress.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

New blog is up!

In case you were interested in following my adventures of living in Thailand, the new blog is up. I'll be leaving next week and hopefully I'll be able to start posting soon after I arrive (depending upon the availability of the internet).

I'm still not debt free. I've been waiting to receive my check for the 401k distribution for a week now. I called them today to see if they had sent it and found out they had sent it to the wrong address (they put the wrong apartment number on it). After arguing with them for a while that I would not get it if they sent it to the wrong address (they thought it would magically be forwarded to the correct address) they cancelled the check and said they would send another one. Unfortunatly, by the time they get around to sending me the check I'll be out of the country anyways so I'll have to get someone else to deposit it for me. I guess no one said moving out of the country would be easy.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support and ideas and suggestions. I might keep posting here from time to time but it will most likely be to talk about travel and related expenses and ways to save money while living abroad. If you are in the same boat as I was two years ago, you might want to check through the archives for ideas and inspiration to pay off your own debt.

Happy debt defying!

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Friday, July 07, 2006


My life is in limbo right now, just waiting to leave for Thailand. I'm not working right now so I have loads of free time. Some people might complain of boredom but I have to say that I could really get used to this whole not having to work thing. I feel like I actually have time to do stuff like read and go to the gym. That stuff is normally neglected when I have a job because I'd rather veg out and relax after working all day.

I must say though that moving to another country is a job in itself. There are so many things that you have to do before you leave because you can't do them once you are gone. For example, yesterday I had to go and get my immunizations at the health clinic. Luckily, my friend's mom told me where to go to get them for cheap because it could have cost a lot of money. For her, even with insurance her doctor was going to charge her $800 for all the shots she needed. The clinic only charged $90. Although its not required to get the shots before you go, I think the $90 is worth reducing my chances of getting some crazy disease.

I also had to set up a new bank account with Citibank because they are the only bank I know of that has branches and ATMs in Thailand. It would suck to have to pay the ATM fee everytime I had to take out money. And now I can sign up for their savings account which pays 5% APY. Not only does it pay a higher interest rate than ING Direct, but your checking and savings accounts are linked so you can instantly the money you don't need immediate access to so it is earning interest for you. Luckily, I had no problems signing up with them (unlike all the drama I experienced signing up with HSBC).

I'm struggling with the decision to sell my car. Part of me wants to sell it because I would have extra cash and I would be able to pay off my student loans. But the other part of me is telling me not to sell it because if things don't work out in Thailand I would have to come back and buy another car and pay taxes and license and all that good stuff again. Having the car would give me a sense of security while I'm in Thailand that if things don't work out, I can always come back home and start over again without much hassle. The extra money would be nice though.

I'm so excited to get going. My 401k check should be in the mail on Monday so I'll have the money to either pay off my debt or buy my plane ticket (depending on what I decide to do with my car). Until then, I'll just have to keep waiting!

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