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Leviathan,

Thank you SO much for your feedback and explanations. I'd never considered the self-interested lenders aspect of things, and your bringing it up and your story about your friend helped immensely. I really feel a load off my shoulders. Thank you! :)

As for the better job thing...I work low-end tech, and in this economy jobs for my level are not easy to come by. Too many overqualified people are being forced to take them! As a result, I can't really think about looking for a new job..and there's the not-inconsiderable fact that I like my current job. (I didn't tell you that before, but trust me, it's a great crew and a stable position and wonderful bennies! :) )

The vacation thing is a possibility, but it's one of those things that keeps me from blowing a lot of money now so I can enjoy myself later. It keeps me from crashnig and burning. I know I'm oversaving for it, because when I save $100 a month it means I could go by myself without anyone helping me...and there will be other people helping to pay for car rental, hotel fare, and so on. I'm trying to give myself a cushion there.

Mom has data entryish stuff I can do and maybe make more than an additional $200 a month. She says she'd rather pay me than someone else! I know if that happens, I'm putting all that money in savings. The drawback is that I'm not sure how long I can count on that extra, so I guess that should all go into the emergency fund.

I have a consultation with AmEx that I got free for joining here. ;) Maybe I should talk to them about a plan! Anyone else have experience with that?

Thanks again!
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