It seems a little like a Monday to me. So here are my random thoughts for the day:
  • Reason #267 why I could never be a nurse? The 12 hour shifts. I worked a full 12 today which means I was gone from our duplex for 13. NOT COOL. I would probably bang my head against a wall [even more than I do now] if I had to work that long regularly.
  • One reason why I had to work so late? Because I'm a push over. I took on one too many projects at work including being in charge of the weekend schedule. It goes without saying that this job totally sucks. Nobody wants to work weekends and it's a total PITA. But I get to organize information and make pretty charts so I'm all over it:)
  • Did anyone else forget that it was Earth Day today? I'm a bad person I guess.
  • Just as a reminder, my birthday is Sunday. And Nate just said he might make me pancakes for breakfast that morning! A man after my own heart!
  • If I had to give up carbs I would probably die. No joke. I'd actually cease to live.
  • One time in college [when I convinced myself that I was gaining the freshman 15] I tried the Atkins Diet. Let's just say I was quite unpleasant during that time in my life. I even gave up caffeine which was an unfortunate mistake----caffeine withdrawl headaches most definitely rival heroin withdrawl. Not that I'd know first hand but seriously. It was bad news.
  • How do you guys feel about the following situation?: Nate informed me on the ride home yesterday that he NEEDS golf lessons. Why, you may ask? Because then he can fix his swing and will enjoy the game even more. I didn't realize it was possible to like golf anymore than my husband and the last time I bought him a lesson, he swore it ruined his swing forever. Thoughts? Should I condone this purchase again?
  • Did I mention that I get to visit Keri [and Allison] in less than 2 weeks? So freaking excited. And in case you aren't reading her website, she starts chemotherapy the day before we arrive.
  • Speaking of Keri, last week [when I had some free time] I did some research online because I'm Type A like that. And I found a diagram of her breast cancer which I find fascinating. She has invasive ductal in situ carcinoma. Which looks like this:

The purple dots are the cancer cells that have spread beyond their nice little capsule. I have no idea why I find this type of factual research comforting, but I like getting real information. And that is the only picture you will get in this post.
  • Last question: it has to do with the green stuff, which my fabulous financial advisor [ahem, Lindsey] prefers to stay off my blog. But seriously, I need some feedback. Should we take out school loans for Nate's three years of schooling? That would mean we can save more for our 'down payment/baby/emergency fund' and once we have two incomes [I might pass out] we could pay off his loans much faster. It would get us into a house sooner and allow us to pay off loan debt once we have more money to do so.
  • Or should we avoid any loans and just pay for the tuition straight up? It will probably be around 36K for his degree, which we can afford in the next three years, but it will take a major chunk out of our hard earned savings. We'd have to wait much longer on a house.
  • My personal thought is this: maybe we can take out SOME loans while paying for some on our own. Kind of like Miley Cyrus, the best of both worlds. But what do you guys suggest?


  1. The school loans thing is tricky. It used to be that school loans were the cheapest money you could ever borrow so it was always a good idea to take out loans and put the money you WERE going to use toward school into some kind of investment. I don't know if that's the case anymore or not. Maybe it depends on what kind of investing you do.

    BTW: the cancer picture is great. I love pictures, I'm a total visual learner.

  2. Hi Julia, you don't know me, but I found your blog on Christie's blog. I thought i'd offer an opinion. I've always heard that school loans were good debt (if there is such a thing) and they are also a great tax deduction. This past year we didn't have a house or kids yet, so it helped us out a bit on our taxes. Having money to put down on a house is mucho importante these days, so I would take the loans. Just my humble 2 cents. I'm also keeping up with your friend Keri and praying all goes well, especially with her egg freezing.

  3. Hello, ladies. I should mention that I have some hefty school loans myself but have consolidated them with a fabulous interest rate. I'm really not in a hurry to pay them off, but yes---it did help us on our taxes this year. It's the only debt we have and my dad has always said "school loans are a good debt." I mean, without them I wouldn't have my degree and wouldn't make a living.

    I guess I would need to compare interest rates between a school loan and a home loan? Because if we don't save enough for a 20% down payment, we'd have to take out that extra loan for a PMI. Of course, I really have no clue what I'm talking about. Which is why I need help:)

  4. I think if you can pay for some or all of it, I would do that.

    I also have loans from college and its at like 2%, so the minimum payment is about $60 a month. Its almost an afterthought every month.

    Jon just graduated in August with the same amount in loans that I ended up with and we figured he'd be in a similar situation. His rate is at 7% and his monthly payment is $240...for the next 30 years! Needless to say, we both freaked out a little bit knowing that we would have that payment until we are 60.

    Had he known that, I bet he would have tried to pay some of it while he was going.

  5. When we were both in law school, Collin had a scholarship but decided to take out loans anyway to help pay for the wedding because like everyone has said, it's the best kind of debt you can have. I know they changed the rule on consolidation so that you can't consolidate until after you're done with school. So while the interest rate might be great now, it might not be as good when he graduates. That's all that I know!

  6. You might want to meet with a financial planner, who can take all of your money interests into account. They can be pricey, but can help you decide what the right decision is for you.

    Giving up carbs is insane. I would die if I couldn't have cheese goldfish.

  7. I agree with Mary I would definitely consult with a financial planner to map out your next few years and help you understand how to best reach your goals.

    I too would die without carbs. The thought of not eating carbs is what drove me away from diets like Atkins and South Beach. No pasta are you kidding me? I have no idea how anyone could live like that.

  8. I don't know anything about student loans except the thought of paying for school for most of the rest of my life sounds scary.

    The low-carb diet is not for everyone. But trust me, when you are so sick of carrying around an extra 30, 40, 50 pounds like I am, you'll give up a lot of things if it works! I'm still amazed I can do it, though, considering my favorite food is CAKE!

  9. I say take out the loans. If you can swing it at a very low interest rate, it would be worth it to me to have the extra money in savings. I wouldn't necessarily call it "good debt" (I really don't believe there is such a thing) but it's not like you're taking out a loan for new furniture. It really is an investment into your future. And once you are both making money, you can make it a priority to pay off.

    Also, FWIW, Chad and I didn't put 20% down on our house, yet we have no PMI. There are ways around it. Well, there WERE ways around it. But now with the market all crazy, some types of mortgages are no longer available...so who knows.

  10. Out of pocket I think is best. We had to make this same decision this year as I'm going back to grad school and this is the way to go. If you can swing it, I think paying right away is better. If you put it towards your house down payment, then you will have a mortgage to pay still AND have to pay off student loans.

    I agree - there is no "good debt." If that's the case, credit cards are "good debt" too because they build up your credit (if you pay them off and on time, of course).

  11. I know nothing about school loans so I can't give adivce on that.

    I can totally relate to the golf thing with Nate though. Bryan "NEEDS" lessons a few times a year. I don't really get it.

    So do you have any other fun plans for your bday other than yummy pancake breakfast?

  12. I am by no means an advocate for debt of any kind, hence my inner tight wad. It's to the extreme you guys.

    However, I still hold true to the idea that student loans are not a bad thing. They enable you to get a degree and thus and income. I personally had no choice for my loans, but since I got my Masters with those loans I can make a living and support my family now. And yes, I'm on the 30 year plan for mine, too. It used to freak me out but now I have come to accept it. Maybe someday we can pay those puppies down quickly but right now it's not a priority. I have come a long way to admit that.

    I have a financial planner and her name is Lindsey. She is fabulous and I highly recommend her for anyone in the STL area....not pricey at all. Contact me if you want her info. Problem for me is that we can no longer pop by her STL office anymore so these types of things get pushed to the way side.

    Also, as far as the house thing....it is definitely harder to have no PMI if you don't put down %20. As Kristal said things have changed a lot in the last few years with the market. And I don't want to bank on getting away with no PMI. Also, I see a mortgage as an investment and not a bad thing, either.

    In a perfect world we'd have no loans EVER [school or house] but that isn't the case. Instead, we can only control so much which is why we don't have any credit card debt.

    Whew that was long. Money matters get me all riled up I suppose:)

  13. And if I'm completely honest I'm only freaking out about this because I'm trying to convince myself that loans won't kill me. Inner tight wad is being a real biyatch with this one.

    Because let's get real...I'm not even okay with spending money on groceries. Let alone tuition or a house or anything BIG like that:)

    Which is why I'm perfectly happy without a mortgage payment, car payment, CC payment, and an additional student loan payment. Because then I don't freak out as much. Is there a help group for this kind of disease?

  14. I would take out some student loans so that you can continue to save for your house, baby, etc. The rates are always going to be low for student loans and it is not bad debt to have.

    This way you have some money saved in case you run into a "rainy day".


  15. school loans are very tricky- i am graduating next december and am very nervous about my debt- i wasn't able to pay any of my tuition- so what my grants and scholarships didn't cover i let loans take care of- i would say what you can pay for, pay for- but don't be afraid to take out some loans. that way you can save for a house still as well as your baby fund and other things! education is super important- i'm a big believer- obviously!

    golf lessons hey? interesting... hubby never wanted to play golf- but he does love his old car- he has a pacer, so while your hubby wants golf lessons my hubby wants more old cars- oh married life!

  16. I'm on the half-and-half train. I think it'd be good to pay for some of them if you can afford to, but I certainly would want to save and have a cusion and then just deal with school loans when he's done. I agree with you that school loans aren't a bad thing.

    As for golf lessons, eh, you only live once, right? ;)


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