All day, every day I read personal finance blogs. Sometimes it helps me get excited about paying my next student loan payment, or saving instead of spending, but lately these blogs have given me a bad case of jealousy. These bloggers write about maxing out their employer's matching 401K contribution, or which index funds to invest in, or whether it's smart to prepay your mortgage. Suffice to say, I cannot relate.
There are two financial goals competing for my money right now. The first is to the urge to make my money doing standup and writing. The second is to not pay any more interest than I absolutely have to on my student loans. It burns me up to know I'll be paying student loans until I'm 34. But the idea that I'll be spending 40 hours a week for the next 9 years sighing and resentfully drafting motions also burns me up.
I make $25,000 a year at my job. I would be enormously pleased with myself if I could make $25,000 a year doing comedy. That works out to $481 a week before taxes.
At the moment, my average earnings from comedy over this year would probably be around 5 bucks a week. Some weeks, like last week, I'll make 20, but then I'll go without performing for awhile. I've chosen not to perform very much for the past couple of months.
So I have to come up with a strategy to increase my average weekly comedy earnings from $5 to $481. Which is just a 96 fold increase. No biggie.
As for my student loans- lots of money pundits will tell you student loan debt is 'good' debt, as opposed to credit card debt, which we all know is evil and destroys your marriage and soul. As someone who owes $16,000 on a B.A. in comparative studies and then $10,000 on an aborted attempt at law school, it is my opinion that spending on education is only good debt if you really want the future you're going to school for. Yes, student loan debt is better than credit card debt, or car debt, or god forbid hospital bill debt, but debt sucks, period. I have a monthly payment of $330 on my back for the next nine years. Ugh, that kills me. Thinking about that makes me seriously consider putting comedy on hold for two years and putting all of time into earning money to get rid of that debt. But then what if I die next year, and I never get to do comedy full time?
Point is, money is awful and not having money is worse. Yay for the market.
UPDATE: This is a really good example of why I need to stop reading so many of these blogs. What did this kid major in to earn $47,000 right out of college? Where did he find a student loan with an only 3.75% interest rate? All of my loans have a variable interest rate, currently at 7.14%. I feel like I skipped the day in high school where they explained how to not be poor.