Personal Finance Intentions 2021

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Although I’ve seem to never to get myself to blog on the regular except for in 2011-2012 , I’ve been a regular writer. This past year as I’ve been crawling out of the mental black abyss that was 2019, writing has given my life a renewed dimension that I had not seen in a long time. And while 2020 has been nothing but chaotic for a vast majority of people, I’m extremely grateful that I was already in a mental place where I needed to rebuild myself after finally hitting rock bottom.

I’ve also had one of my best financial years in a half decade of me trying to navigate self-inflicted austerity while trying to get a masters. Part of it was coronavirus related situations cutting my expenses and being able to keep my employment so my money went farther.

Another part of it that in my one of my moments of reflection in 2019, I wrote out my intentions. And those intentions manifested into reality. It’s something I did even in my journals as a teenager, I just never really understood the connection until this past fall. So now to continue this momentum, I would like to publish my personal finance intentions here.

6 months of living expenses in savings

Although I was aiming to get my savings to the equivalent of close to 5 months worth late last year, I’m ending the year at closer to 3 months because I lost some work this year due to COVID + shopping budget exceeded by 150 euros + cleared out credit card debt. Now that I’m finishing my masters with a paid internship and my other work, I’ll be able to get to 5 months of worth of living expenses by this summer if all things work out. Hopefully with full time work in the fall, I can get to 6 months savings by the end of next year.

Build a skill-set that can let me do side gigs that is NOT teaching

If I really marketed myself, my teaching rate could be high (35 euros+) given all the years of experience and the recommendations I can pull out under my belt. However, I found a mentor in a friend of a friend earlier this year and he talked about the feasibility of me marrying my interest in finance with tech skills such as coding. I’ve started to do research to see how feasible it is and it’s something I can realistically work towards once classes are done this spring and I sign an internship offer. The ideal is to be side gig ready with a skill-set that reinforces my desired field by the end of the internship if I still need to job search. So that would put my timeline to beginning of October.

Kill 100% of my remaining student debt by the end of next year

I’m currently at a place where my remaining debt is the equivalent of a third of this year’s income.It’s admittedly not that high but when you have only been allowed to work 60% of the time as dictated by French student visa laws, my salary is not that high either despite having a really great rate because I teach. If projections go the way that I want them to go and I have an internship salary that is higher than my conservative figure that I’m aiming for, I’ll be putting most of the extra money towards that debt. Also part of my student debt (the French portion) is on automatic pay that ends October 2021 and is already factored into the budget which takes out at least 25-30% of the current debt load . So that leaves increasing the money I throw at the American debt past the minimum I want to throw at it. If everything meets my ideal expectation i.e I meet my internship salary requirements AND I get a job offer that hits my salary target. I could get rid of it by the end of this year but I’ll be happy if I get rid of it all by the beginning of 2022. EDIT:In the original draft of this post, the second stimulus bill hadn’t been passed so when that 600 dollar kicks in, it will put me at least 5-520 euros ahead on this financial goal.

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