Tuesday, October 30, 2007

totally random unorganized thoughts

i have to make four b's before one c won't get me a warning/probation. (maybe i'm freaking out unnecessarily since i only made one C in college, but still).

that would be easier if i were taking more than one or two classes at a time.

i could be done in a year if i quit work and got loans.

i don't want to be in debt. and i'm not sure i could get enough loans just to pay for my living (read: CAR PAYMENT, INSURANCE) costs.

they (tech) don't offer summer classes for grad school. which means my timeline is now more like four years if i keep doing it this way.

i don't even know if i want to be an engineer that badly. maybe i should have gotten an architecture masters (even though that would take three and a half to four years FULL TIME).

ugh. i hate not knowing. or in this case, being indecisive. i think i'm going to e-mail the loan person at tech.

other, non-school related thoughts:

in the fall, i always feel restless, like i want to pack up and move across the country; on the way home from work sometimes i want to keep driving for hours and hours and end up in a new city for a few days; like i'm trapped by my life. school, especially, is making me feel that way. what if i don't want to be in atlanta for the FOUR YEARS it will take me to finish this? (i know i said these weren't school related, but whatever).

i've been reading "the existential pleasures of engineering" and i find that i do still want to be an engineer, i think, but probably not in the traditional sense of the word, at least not forever. the book made the point that engineers should be more involved in political decision-making processes, because public opinion is generally not informed enough to support responsible change until there's a crisis (i.e. the air pollution in london for thousands of years--nothing done about it till one year it killed 4000 people. but the engineers had been trying to get something done about it for hundreds--from the background. also, the I-35 bridge collapse. engineers have been reporting (privately, to whoever requested the study) that many bridges are in dire condition, but fear of losing their jobs or inability to single-handedly inform enough of the public prevented anything from actually happening).

that was worded badly. but you get the point.

also, i'm having a bad-financial-outlook-month. i have to get new tires SOON, i have to pay car insurance in february, and i have to pay tuition in january. i was planning on taking two classes, but that's almost twice as much as one class due to the fact that with more than one class i then have to pay the athletic fee, the transportation fee, the exercise facility fee, whatever. all those damned fees for stuff I WON'T USE. (i'll probably use the exercise facility. but not as often as i should). so the tires are somewhere between $400 and $800 depending on how "autocross-y" i can afford them; insurance is either $450 for the initial of four payments or about $1200 for all six months; and tuition (for two classes) will be roughly $1600. i DO NOT have that much in savings, and while i will try to squirrel it away, it pretty much boils down to choosing between not paying off any of my credit card debt between now and then, and using my tuition reimbursement to basically pay it all off at the end of next semester (which is possible b/c my year of no interest doesn't run out till august) and hoping i can save enough in three months; or using my credit card (another one with no balance right now, but that will carry interest) for tires and tuition and racking up interest charges; or taking the loan i know i can get, just enough for tires and tuition plus a little and not having to pay it back for a while.

i'm actually thinking i may take out the max loan that i can for this semester (about $4000) and sticking the extra in my HSBC account just for peace of mind. i won't have to pay it back till i'm done with grad school (i think, have to check), and even though the interest on the loan is slightly higher than the interest i'll get from the savings account, the peace of mind might be worth it. because right now i'm about a paycheck away from disaster (without using credit cards, at least).

gonna e-mail the financial aid lady now to figure out how this loan thing works.

1 comment:

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I think you need a financial plan, Stan. Something you just stick to, that helps keep you on track. Something specifically about getting your finances in order, not just your life in order like the S.C. is for.

If I hadn't had a solid plan (first I do this, then I do this, etc.) for my finances, I would have just been adrift. Chris and I basically follow the Dave Ramsey plan, and you're welcome to borrow my book about that if you want. But there are other viable plans, too.

You make enough money, I think, that you should not need to take out student loans for a cushion. I'm not sure how much you make, but I'm guessing. The student loans might be worthwhile if they have a lower interest rate than your car and help you pay off that more quickly, though. Or if they help you knock out your cc debt--but ONLY if you then immediately save your emergency fund and put those cards away.

My 2 cents, for what it's worth. . . .