There is one thing that I really like about living in South Korea: each month I am able to send literally half my pay home to go towards my various different debts, and still have way more than I need to live off of.
I have a nice little checklist in my planner that I use to make sure that I get all my payments covered in one month. When I lived in Canada, I printed out a chart, laminated it and used it every month, changing the payment dates and amounts each time. Now, I only have 4 to make, but this one time I missed an OSAP (student loan) payment by mistake so I like the checklist. The lady who called about it was super awesome – since it was my first missed payment and I always pay more than required, she just deferred that payment to the end of my payment cycle, no harm done. I promised her I would never miss another payment – although I might, my loan is for like 15 years or something ridiculous like that (which is a normal repayment plan and it’s also why I always pay more).
I have a nice little system. I get paid on the 10th every month. My Korean bills (phone, internet) automatically come out before the 23rd. I get a paper statement around the 23rd, and then another paper statement around the 1st for gas/electric. When I get the statement around the 1st, I take out money to send home. This usually leaves me with around $900 in my account in Korea (from like the 4th until the 10th), and I send about the same home to pay Canadian bills on the 15th. It’s a great little system.
Today, since I’ve been doing this for 6 months now, I decided to see how much I have paid off on various different accounts. Currently I have 2 student loans and 2 credit cards. All of which have BARELY budged since I started sending money home from Korea. *I did pay off around $2700 on one credit card with my tax refund in March, but booking my $2400 plane tickets for vacation kind of killed that awesomeness*
It’s so frustrating!! I pride myself in being (somewhat) sensible with my money and when I am making payments to credit cards, I expect the balance to go down. Unless of course the minimum payment is $150 and $100 of that is interest and balance protection and all that crap. GAHH! I feel like I’m never going to get ahead of all of this. Not only that, I was hoping that I had made some improvement in the situation so that, in returning to Canada, I didn’t have to worry about making a certain amount of money each month just to survive.
I do have a nice savings account. But right now, all that money will probably be going towards a root canal that I am fearing being told I need to get. Even though my boss cheaped out and didn’t get me national health insurance here like he was legally obligated to do and therefore I don’t have dental insurance, a root canal full price will still be MUCH cheaper here than in Canada. About the same price as my dad was quoted using his insurance. So I will have to wait and see what my Canadian dentist says about my tooth.
I’ve been thinking of consolidating my debt once I return to Canada full time. Does anyone have any experience doing this? I feel like making one large payment every month is better than 4 substantial payments to 4 different companies all deducting their own interest from each payment…..
I am feeling so very defeated right now…