Shut it down

This one is also about money.

Today one must celebrate life’s little victories. And this particular one isn’t even that little. It’s pretty substantial. This month I will finally have cleared my Singapore based undergraduate loans. It will have been almost 6 years since the loans went into play. Now I am sure that you don’t think that is particularly impressive because most of my compatriots have probably already done the same thing. But I think it is a big deal. Let me tell you that this loan has not been cleared with even monthly payments no siree.

For the first three years after graduation, I made monthly installments that were designed such that the loans would be paid out in 6 years time. I could have paid more, I certainly could afford to pay more but I decided not to. I wanted to have it all – interest payments, shoes, a really spacious apartment that was shared with only one other girl (when everyone said that was wasteful) and everything in between. In doing so, I paid down half of my loan amount…

While I was at business school and subsequently unemployed, I changed the installments to the minimum amount required to cover just the interest. As you can imagine, this is a huge waste of resources but it’s not like I had a choice. My savings (coming from not paying the loan down too much) helped pick up the rent checks in those months.

When I moved to New York, I was ready to resume the payments, guns fucking blazing. But it wasn’t necessary because the government suspended interests on all student loans for a whole year! God bless Singapore! So I diligently saved up to repay the principal instead for when the interest would resume (April 2010).

Today I made the final payment closing out the entire outstanding amount (the remaining 50%)in one clean shot. Hell to the yeah. For what it’s worth, it’s certainly hell to watch a 5 figure amount disappear instantly.

So yes, what this means is that strictly from a legal standpoint, I longer have any liabilities. I am asset-zero because shoes, bags and dresses don’t count, nor do the experiences those things represent – the walks you took in the shoes, the dates the dresses remind you of or the bags that intimidate your coworkers…

I am asset-zero and I cannot begin to tell you just how thrilled I am about that. Yes I still have my b-school loans to pay off but those are of a more informal nature and I take comfort in that.

Speaking of assets that are more fun and easier to acquire than say, an apartment, I have been making substantial acquisitions in the closet area (where else?). I had heard of Anthropologie way back but I only really “discovered” it this winter and boy what a thrill this store is. Beautiful, colourful and youthful clothes – yes they are not afraid of colour even during the numbing winter days when other stores tout their clothes in shades of gray, gray and more gray (yes, I misspelt that on purpose), while Anthropologie’s store windows and outfits make my heart sing.

In just the last few weeks, I have managed to hoard two skirts (one flouncey linen skirt with galloping horses printed across, whimsical much? and one printed like what I call psychedelic baloons from the 80s), two tops, one jacket and one scarf and I am not stopping at that. Their spring collection is spectacular and I am stopping by one of these days during lunch to hoard more of their basic tops. I also went to an Escada sample sale last week and that was also quite a successful trip. I bought an exquisite cotton silk skirt for a fraction of its retail price and likewise also, two very pretty dresses – one a tulip skirted floral dress and the other a simple cotton summer dress. In all fairness, they were exhorbitantly priced and there is no way anyone would pay that much and they simply had to go on sale. One of them is a simple cotton printed shirt dress – the tag says that it (and the other dress) retailed at 1690 dollars. What the fuck? It’s one thing that an Escada suit sets you back 3-4 grand (they are exquisite and and for me the whole purpose of going to that sale was to snag a suit for less, unfortunately, I couldn’t even find one top-bottom pair in the right size combination) but it’s quite another to buy a cotton summer dress that’s half a month’s rent!

So anyway, some very pretty spring-summer clothes to look forward to wearing. Now if only it stopped fucking raining. That’s the gruesome, morbid, unfunny thing about seasons in the western world – Spring is really monsoon minus the warmth. Cold showers piss people off and I am certainly no exception to that rule; And lord knows I love the rains but not these cold, bone-chilling rains that literally fly into your face, turn out your umbrella and drench you sideways. So for now I am still wearing the lined rainproof leather boots, the socks, the tights and the jeans. I want to wear a dress that isn’t grey (because colourful dresses look dreadful with black tights!). And open-toed shoes. Please God, make the rain stop.


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