Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All is not lost

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer yesterday. Yes, car repair and scrambling for alternate means of transportation sucks, but I could be far, far worse off. Some good things have happened recently, mostly as a result of this setback reminding me, yet again, that I have nothing real to complain about.

1. Due my frustration after getting the phone call from the mechanic telling me that I wouldn't have my car back for a few days and he would be taking nearly $600 in the process, I slipped into that eerie "Circumstances are beyond my control, I need to take charge of something now!" mode, which means I finally called Direct Loans to ask about my repayment options. I've been putting this off for about six weeks because I was convinced that they wouldn't tell me anything I wanted to hear, but actually the opposite happened.
It turns out that I qualify for the Income-Based Repayment Plan, which is designed to reduce the hardship of educational loans for people who opt to work in low-paying fields. Because I am so, so poor, my monthly required payment is miniscule AND the girl I spoke to told me that if I regularly send in the amount of money I told her that I could afford, I would actually be able to reduce the principal amount owed rather than just throwing my money towards the interest for the next 25 years! I could potentially pay these loans off!

2. I was reminded, yet again, that I have some wonderful friends who are willing to lend me their cars and pick me up at my job at 10pm.

3. Since I had to take the bus in early and was basically trapped on campus, my boss let me punch in two hours early. That's a little bit of extra money, and in between teaching and then officially beginning work, I sat down and read for about an hour and a half and treated myself to a coffee and a bagel, which was lovely.

4. I actually made a dollar by riding the bus because a girl only had a five and I only had four singles to trade with her. Of course, then I paid two dollars for the bus, so net loss of $1, but seriously, if we factor in the cost of gas.... nope, not going there.

5. I was reminded that I like taking the bus (even if I get a little bus-sick), and now if my schedule allows it ever, I might actually remember that.

6. I got a small scholarship to help defray the cost of attending this conference I'm going to in June. It won't cover all of it, but every extra penny helps.

Hopefully my car will be finished this morning--fingers crossed, and I can pick it up and make it to the theatre tonight. If not, I have a ride arranged, and the theatre tickets were free, so no huge loss.

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