Wednesday, April 20, 2011

about to get to work!

PACKING! woo! actually, my real goal for today is to clean up/pack up a room in my apartment. i know i can do it, so there. i have no excuse to leave my apartment today before the afternoon, so i'm going to get to it (after this blog post, ha).

i called one of my loan servicers and turns out the loans i had from my first first year of med school will be in "forbearance" until the rest of my loans use up their grace period in november. i guess they were smart enough to realize that i was a med student? who knows. the letter they sent me was automated, so i suppose that everyone gets a notice that says "you have to start paying soon", but when i called, it was "just insurance, you're in forbearance until the rest of your loans' grace period expires". well, in order to apply for forbearance for the rest of my loans, i just have to fill out some paperwork. the only catch is that i need my residency program official's signature, which i can't get now, obviously. so i'll do that in june once i'm there 100%, plenty of time before november. and just to explain forbearance, that means you have to pay just the interest earned on your loans...ALL of your loans, whether they are subsidized or not. i believe you also have the option of not paying the interest and just letting everything capitalize (add on) to your actual loan amount, but that would lead to just having to pay more in the long run. always better to be able to put down SOMETHING rather than nothing at all. deferment means the government picks up the interest earned on the subsidized loans, but not the unsubsidized loans. and since i didn't get my loans before 1993 or so, i don't qualify for deferment during residency because i'll be making too much money and i won't have any other hardship during that time. and please correct me if i'm saying something wrong, but i feel like at least inside my head i have the correct gist of things!

so here's my plan (at least for now) for loans: getting forbearance on all my loans and paying off at least the monthly interest every month on all of those loans. i have about $7,000 worth of institutional loans (through my school) that my school will waive all finance/interest fees if i pay that $7,000 off in full by certain dates next year. so i will pay those loans off in full, because why would i rack up more money from only $7,000 worth of loans? the rest amounts to about $115,000 with a fixed 6.8% interest. (that amount may sound like a lot to non-med school people, but trust me, i know i am VERY fortunate to have only racked up that much debt! my school is very economic, even for a state university.) i understand that will be a hefty monthly payment just paying off the interest every month, but even something will help in the long run.

i know there are various consolidation plans out there, but i don't want to draw out the process any longer than it should be. or maybe i'm naive about those plans. on the other hand, i know that i'm responsible enough to be able to check with all my different servicers (3 total, 4 if you count my school) and make sure everyone is paid on time.

at least i don't have to make any sudden decisions right now. blah! suggestions are welcome, if anyone has any. and yes, i've looked into IBR.

Monday, April 18, 2011

new apartment!

so H and i just got back from a week trip to the NE to look for a living space. after many dead ends and "omg no ways" and general suck-i-tude, we found the PERFECT place! tile floors, huge kitchen, SKYLIGHTS, and outdoor patio, OMG! it's a place that i'm going to be happy to come home to. and cook in. and read in. and lounge in. and the best part about it...we found it through one of the rising chief's (in gen surg)...his girlfriend is in the real estate field and she knew a guy who was wanting to rent his place out to good young professional types, voila! so advertising solely through word-of-mouth. much better than other ways...that way people don't know much about it in general. and the place is really new too.

something i noticed about "up north" is that restaurants have more vegetarian selections than down here. not that i'm vegetarian, but what if i don't want meat? then i want some delicious options that don't have meat! i had the best portabella mushroom sandwich...2 grilled caps, smothered in cheese, lettuce tomato and onion, omg...it was so good.

some of our friends just had a baby, and she is so precious. 1/4 filipino, 3/4 "white"...i joked that if i had a baby, that's what she'd look like. the baby is SO asian looking! i guess asian genes really dominate, but that's ok. congrats to the new parents!

but speaking of asian genes, H and i stopped at this awesome diner in virginia on our drive back south. it's on i-81, exit 180A...fancy hill korean diner! omg the BEST. and in the middle of nowhere, ha. i got the squid bulgogi, and H got the pork bulgogi, and we shared mandu dumplings. omg, so so so so so good. i think i will eat there every time i have to drive through. and the owner was asking me about my heritage (so asian), and i replied "half korean!" and he said that i looked "90% korean". hee hee! what a compliment! next time i will have to get the bibimbap, but i am such a sucker for squid, i may not be able to try anything else! (and they have "american" dishes too, so something for everyone.)

also, we stopped by the hospital and said hello to my new program director...i think i'm going to get along great with him. he gave me a copy of a book that goes along with their new curriculum, that was quite nice of him.

so now i should ramp up the packing...alas!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

moving sucks

so i hate sorting. i am a closet hoarder, apparently. i do not throw anything away, EVER. well, until now! hahaha...

today my goal is to get some damage done to some of the furniture that i'm swapping with my parents. if i'm feeling especially adventurous, i'll start packing up some clothes. i also have a bridal shower to go to today, and i'm hoping that involves traditional deep south shower fare. another goal of today is to NOT EAT A FRIED EGG. omg...i am so obsessed. maybe i'll do tofu instead.

i am adjusting well to my iphone. i can't believe i waited so long to get on the smartphone bandwagon.

i'm on chapter 3 of greenfield. nutrition. i would love to finish the whole book before i start residency, but it's kind of huge.

next week H and i are planning on driving up to residency land to scope out living situations. looking at apartments for now. excited to visit other big cities along the way too.

i've also been playing around with mint's budget webpage, just trying to feel it out. jury's still out if i'll actually keep using it, but i need to come up with SOMETHING to manage all my accounts! i have three separate loan servicers! at least everything is online so i can manage it wherever i am. but my question is what the heck should i do about repayment plans? i've been doing my research, but it seems everything out there is in "fancy speak", which means i don't quite understand it all. and i want to be financially responsible and do all the right things and live within a reasonable budget. i don't want to starve myself of any luxuries, but at the same time, i want to be responsible. i'll gladly not shop for too many clothes, etc, but if i want to eat sushi, i want to eat it. good thing i'm going to be a surgeon...i'll just wear scrubs every day anyway! and the hospital i'm going to lets its residents eat all meals in house for FREE, so i would imagine my grocery budget will be a bit smaller than here...but what's probably going to happen is that my inner-foodie will EXPLODE and i'll just get all kinds of crazy things because i'll have "more money" to spend...ha. i think my priorities will be 1) paying off loans, 2) eating, 3) exercise/health, and 4) saving for awesome vacations.

ok, enough procrastinating...packing time!

Monday, April 04, 2011

why does moving involve packing?

so far H and i have cleaned off my porch/balcony thingie of all my dead plants and plastic pots. yay! my next task is to clean off everything that will be going back to my parents' house. (we're doing a furniture swap.) i have boxes, i have a deadline, so i have to do it, right?

also, H and i got iPhones! my "splurge" for a long time. i upgraded from a fabulous ghetto flip phone, and now it's like i have the whole world at my fingertips. and then there was the drama with porting my existing number. i was so scared it wasn't going to happen, and then i never got the "text" that i was supposed to get, aak. in the end it was ok, and H gave me a couple of eye-rolls...ha. i guess i was being overly dramatic. now i just need to get a case, and maybe that will be my incentive to pack this morning.

one more month of school! and it's not even until may! and i'm going to be a surgeon!