G is for Gratitude

G is for Gratitude

Micah and I had our plan. I may have mentioned it before. It was to pay off my student loans as quickly and painlessly as possible using Micah’s bonus check and the raise he would be getting after his first year as a salaried employee. We thought it was a good plan and that we could pay off the loans long before Simon entered kindergarten. Within a year or two even. And then September happened and we knew there would be no bonus and no raise at the end of his first year. And I began to grumble and worry and be anxious about how long it would take us to dig ourselves out of this little debt-hole and get to higher ground. And then we read Elder Bednar’s talk about prayer and decided one night to take his suggestion to give a “thanks only” prayer.

And then I felt a little silly because: we have a place to live. We are not in danger of losing that place to live. We have a fairly secure income. We both have the ability to freelance if that income becomes less secure. We have good health. We have a healthy child who is smart and fun and handsome (at least when he doesn’t have crusty snot around his nose). We like each other. A lot. We come from good families. We both graduated from college. We know how to drive (but we don’t need a car — thankfully). We come from good families who support us in our crazy endeavors. We lived in Hawaii for a few years. We live in Brooklyn. We have clothes and shoes in our closet and food in our cupboards and fridge (and Simon’s closet). We can be a family forever. We have peace. And so on and so forth.

I still find myself getting anxious and sad when I think about how things are going to take longer than we had originally planned, but then I remember that we are actually doing really well and I am grateful.

5 thoughts on “G is for Gratitude

  1. You are so awesome! As we have learned, when we set a righteous goal, even when things come up that seem to mess it up, Heavenly Father steps in and makes it possible to reach the goal anyway. Yes, it might take a bit longer, but then it is in His timeframe, which is ALWAYS better than ours. Good Luck!!! We love you.

  2. Unwarranted advice: We’ve got some student loans too. They are annoying to have hanging over your head. The interest rate is ~2% for one loan, and ~7% for the other. We were going to pay them down very quickly, until I did the math.

    Usually it is smart to pay down a loan as quickly as possible. You avoid paying lots of extra money in interest. Federal student loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) are different. Each year, you should receive a 1098-E the shows how much money you paid in interest. All of this money is deductible. Since you’re just starting to pay back the loans, a large percentage of it is interest. We got lots of money back this year that we had paid in student loan interest.

    It takes longer to pay the loan back this way, but in the end, you will pay the same amount as your original balance. In the meantime, you can stick the money you get back into your ING account and at least make 2-3% on it. You’ll take longer to pay back the loan, but you’ll have an emergency fund.

    Sorry to distract from the real message of your post. We do really have a lot to be grateful for. Even though we are all dirt poor. :)

  3. Good job seeing the brighter side of things. I’m sure things (ie the economy, etc.) will get better soon and bonuses will come back into fashion. :0)

  4. I feel the same way a lot. I get discouraged thinking about waiting for the things we have planned for, but I really do have so much to be grateful for. I just need to be reminded now and then.

  5. Brad, thanks for your comment. I did not know that about federal loans. We will have to do some more homework and look into the best plan for us. Do you have any good resources that you would recommend?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *