Hobbies and student loans don’t always mix! The story of my wife, me, and our relationship between loans and “passions”

So I will start this story out with several disclaimers.  First my wife is a wonderful person who is amazing with money.  Second she gave me permission to print this; infact it was her idea.  Third I am still probably a horrible person for printing it despite fact number two.

All logic be damned here we go.  While I am a student loan counselor without student loans, the same cannot be said for my wife.  After four years of her amazing college experience she ended up with 60k in student loan debt.  As a result she pays loans to AES, Great Lakes, and Wells Fargo in the amounts of $18.00, $250.00, and $82.00, respectively (we pay more than this monthly but that is the amount due.)  Why is this important?  You will see in a moment.

My wife also has what she calls passions.  Most people may call them hobbies however I believe the difference is she has no follow through and she basically decides she wants to do something, goes out and buys the materials necessary to do it (though usually at a discount!), and usually decides afterwards it was not a good idea.

Now we work hard and budget extremely well but these decisions still affect us (again not to pick on her as I spend my money stupidly on food, its my kryptonite!).  But how do these decisions affect us?  Let us take a look.

One of my wife’s passions was bike riding.  She decided to help stay in shape she was going to ride around the town several laps.  So she went to a thrift store and bought a bike.  She road it down a hill, attempted to ride it back up the hill, got half way up, began to push the bike, gave up on that, let it lay on the side of the road, walked home, got the truck and drove the bike home.

The cost of this bike ride–$40.00 or more than two AES payments.

Also we wanted to buy a plug in phone so when the power went out we wouldn’t be without phone.  Naturally we did not buy the $10.00 Wal-Mart special but rather went to an antique store found a vintage Mickey Mouse rotary and bought it since we are huge Disney nuts and she always wanted a rotary.  Turns out it did not work.  When the power goes out we still do not have a phone.  In good news, our phone looks awesome.

The cost of this phone-$80.00 or just under one Wells Fargo payment.

Next on the list is her desire to quilt.  So we bought the supplies and a sewing machine.  The result?  She took one tshirt, filled it with fluff, and made a pillow.  The next project?  There was none.

The cost of this passion?  $90.00 or more than one Wells Fargo payment.

The one passion we escaped was kayaking.   Because she is a logical person and could not find one on sale, my wife did not spending $250.00 on a kayak.  She decided to rent one first to get it out of her system.  As a result she did not spend one Great Lakes payment on this passion but the rent fee was 1.5 AES loans.  Still one of our better decisions!

We as a family decided we wanted a Wii.  We went on a yardsale site, found a great deal and bought said Wii. We then downloaded Mario Bros 3, played it for 4 days, beat it (which was awesome) and put the Wii away, never to be seen again.

Total amount spent on both items?  Around $70.00 or a little less than a Wells Fargo payment.

So for those of your scoring at home we spent roughly $325.00 dollars overall on things that were hoping to be hobbies but never came to fruition.  Obviously we can overcome this stuff, but when you do the math, here is what it is costing us:

-One Great Lakes Payment plus one Wells Fargo

-Just shy of 5 Wells Fargo Payments

-Almost two years of payments on AES

And this doesn’t even account for the interest that accrues as a result!

Which in turn is the take home lesson here.  Every time you buy something you don’t need or have that Panera Bread cookie and lemonade as a snack, the unnecessary adds up.  As much as there is a push for Student Loan Reform, we need to have people reform as well since even those of us are the most budget conscious make poor decisions that can negatively affect our lives.