Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guess who's debt free?

I am no longer financially chained to the US Department of Education! Yes, it's true - in December, I made the final payment on my student loans. This is an amazing, liberating feeling, and I hope that one day, all social workers with heinous amounts of debt can experience it. Now, to be fair, I really didn't have heinous amounts of debt because I scored some pretty awesome scholarships for grad school. However, when you are only making $12/hour at your first post-MSW job, the idea of paying off any amount of debt can be pretty daunting. My strategy was this - Instead of paying the minimum payment every month, I paid 25% extra. Additionally, when I received my income tax refund each year, I applied it toward the loans. And ta-da! In just under six years, the loans have been paid off.

To celebrate, I invited my friends and family to Happy Hour at the The Prado. Of course, upon arriving at The Prado, I had my car valet parked. You see, now that I have no loans, I can really enjoy a luxury lifestyle. (Okay, actually, I was running really late and didn't have time to find an open spot in Balboa Park, so I decided to splurge a little with the valet so as not to be rude and show up late for my own party.) The Prado's Happy Hour is especially fabulous because it is from 8-10pm, which is not your typical Happy Hour timeslot. Additionally, appetizers and drink specials are all under less than $5. That's an amazing deal at such a swanky spot. Granted, pretty much everything on the appetizer menu is fried, and will therefore negates any calories burned in your 7AM Pilates session. But really, Happy Hour isn't intended to be uber-healthy. Here are some photos from the celebration:
In this final photo, Rose is indicating that she has a little school debt and I am indicating that I have zero school debt. (I thought that an interpretation of the photo may would be helpful.)