Author Topic: Case Study: New married couple finances  (Read 9478 times)

Mrkineticz

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Case Study: New married couple finances
« on: June 12, 2015, 01:23:16 AM »
Life Situation: I am currently 32 my wife is 30 no children but have a dog named wrinkles. We areboth registered nurses currently living in Houston tx. Our main goal is to retire in 10-15  and continue our savings plan or increase it. Get out of our 2 large debts and be debt free. Prior to getting married we had a simple overview of our finances and this is the first time we got in depth with our financials. We both like to go on vacations and we have 2 vacations planned for next year that we need to save for. We would like to max out our roth iras as well.

Gross Salary/Wages: these wages are always fluctuating give or take +- 300 per pay period
Mine $3567.72+$3010.20 =$6577.92
Wife $2931 + $2826.31 =$5757.67
 = $12,335.59 per month $148,027.08 per year

Taxes:  No state taxes in texas!
Me $851.11 ytd $7253.06
Wife $933.02 ytd $6951.69

Adjusted Gross Income:
Me $1997.74 +$1440.23 =3473.97
Wife $1717.19 + $1691.22 = $3408.41
=$6882.38


Pre-tax deductions: 4 weeks 2 pay periods. I am currently trying to max out my 401k this year and wasn’t able to contribute earlier this year but am currently projected to max out my 401k by the end of the year. My wife as well is currently on track to max out her 403b

me
401k $2076.94 (currently has 4445.98 this year)
dental $34.76
medical $177.14
=$2288.84

wife
403b $1210.16  (currently has $7792.22 + 2286.42 emp match this year)
vision $8
dental $28.70
medical $103.70
=$1350.56


Other Ordinary Income: I have a real estate business with my brother and my parents but for simplicity sake I will keep it out of this case study.

Current expenses: all these expenses are monthly recurring. My electric is high due to high heat in texas but we are working to lower that down. My gas cost per month is expensive due to the nature of my job commuting and driving around town all day long ( I get reimbursed for it) I will not cancel my verizon cellphone plan since we are currently in a family plan with her parents. In the future we will discuss our options to get cheaper carriers. I want to pay off my wifes student loan and my car loan so we can start saving that money.

Mortgage $ 1254.55
Hoa $195.00
Cable $50.02
Electric $131.89
Sirius xm $18.99
Car insurance $220.46
Gas for 2 cars $218
Dog food $50
Gym memberships $70
Verizon 2 cellphones $150
Natural gas $21.04
Car payment $400
Student loan payment $661
Food $500
Monthly investments with family $500
My allowance $300
Wife allowance $300
=5040.95

Assets: the 20k in my wifes account is for a down payment for a future house. We are currently looking for a house at this time. I know people will tell me to use that amount to pay down my debts but this money I will not be touching as per my wife!!!
wifes checking $20,062.29
Joint account checking $1914.68
My checking $1050
Retirement accounts
Me
401k $4445.98
roth ira $500
wife
403b $72,045


Liabilities: My wife and I use our cards for points and pay off the balance at the end of each statement.
Me
car loan $16,554.59 @7.33%
Wife
Student loan $11,898 (loan from wifes parents)

Specific Question(s):
should I put money in an ira or a money market account with vanguard?
What do I do with the excess money we have?
What else can we do to tighten our budget ?
Any help would be appreciated!

« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 06:14:58 PM by Mrkineticz »

MDM

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2015, 01:32:57 AM »
Gross Salary/Wages: = $12,335.59 per month $148,027.08 per year

Joint account checking $9030.00
My checking $1050

Liabilities:
Chase sapphire $3477.40 @15.99%
car loan $16,554.59 @7.33%
Chase united $3414.75
Student loan $11,898 (loan from wifes parents)

Specific Question(s):
should I put money in an ira or a money market account with vanguard?

No more investing until all loans are paid in full, for starters.

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2015, 01:35:05 AM »
my credit cards get paid in full every statement balance.  I should just focus on paying the student loan and the car loan first? I can wait to put money into the roth iras up to next april anyways?

MDM

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 02:13:45 AM »
my credit cards get paid in full every statement balance.  I should just focus on paying the student loan and the car loan first? I can wait to put money into the roth iras up to next april anyways?

Don't bother listing as liabilities credit lines you pay in full with no interest each month.  You are effectively paying cash for those things and the spending should simply appear in line items such as groceries, gas, etc.  Checking account balances will go up and down all month - don't worry about listing them either, as long as they hold only enough to avoid bouncing checks as spending fluctuates.

Yes, pay the car loan because the interest rate is ridiculously high - or sell the car and buy a less expensive used one, but we'll chalk up this one to "everyone has to be young and foolish at least once." ;)

Pay the student loan because it's time to show mom & dad that you are a big boy & girl and can cut the apron strings.

You have ~$2,400/mo cash flow after taxes and your listed expenses (not counting the $500 for "investment w/ family", correct?  That should allow you to pay all non-mortgage loans in < 1 year.

Do you already have a $250K house?  That's about the principal corresponding to 4.5%, 30 year mortgage payment of $1255/mo.  If so, why do you need a new one?

Having "miscellaneous" be ~27% of your non-loan spending indicates you need a better handle on where your money is going.

You have a great income.  Restrain your spending and you can be extremely well positioned for FI in well under 10 years - good luck!

surfhb

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2015, 02:43:55 AM »
I suspect your spending is too high if you plan to retire in 10 years?

Another home?   2 vacations coming up?  :)


Monkey Uncle

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2015, 04:40:38 AM »
If you've run through all the classic MMM blog articles, you already know what you need to do:

Get rid of the expensive cars and replace them with high gas mileage Toyotas or Hondas in the 5-10 year old range.

Check your car insurance coverage.  Your premium seems high for two vehicles (though downsizing your vehicles as per above should help).

When you move, look for a less expensive house in a neighborhood that doesn't have HOA fees.  A standard 3 bed/2 bath should be plenty big enough for you, your spouse, and a future kid.  And while you're at it, look for a location that minimizes commute distance for both of you (or consider changing your place of employment - you're both RN's, which is one of the most marketable skills in the US).

Get rid of the satellite radio.

Yes, you do need to get a cheaper phone plan.

Track your spending for at least 6 months.  Where is that $600 monthly allowance going?  How much of it is necessary?

Think about how much vacationing you really need to do.  Two per year?  How much is this costing you?

With your income, you could easily be saving $100k a year or more.

marty998

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2015, 04:41:03 AM »
I suspect your spending is too high if you plan to retire in 10 years?

Another home?   2 vacations coming up?  :)

At this rate the student loan will be paid off in a little over 18 months, so that is $7500 a year no longer going to be spent.

I don't think you can keep the Family Real Estate business out of the case study for simplicity sake.

I can see this becoming the single source of most drama if anyone within the business decides for whatever reason they would like out.

Alternatively it could also be the single best thing likely to help you reach FI quickly?


ltt

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2015, 04:53:43 AM »
You net around $7,000 per month, and monthly expenses are around $5,000 per month.  There's an almost $2,000 extra each month.  In four months you can pay off the credit cards without touching what you have built up in checking--I'd keep the checking, at this point, as an emergency fund.  Pay the credit card balances first, then the car, then start chipping away at the student loans.  Skip the gym membership, unless it's absolutely too hot to exercise outside in Texas.

I'm thinking that your home loan was somewhere around $250,000 based upon your monthly payment?  I thought property in Texas was cheap.  Are you looking to buy a more inexpensive property to live in?  If so, can you find one without HOA fees?

ltt

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2015, 04:56:16 AM »
I have Sirius also---wouldn't let anyone talk me into getting rid of it--LOL...

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2015, 07:17:23 AM »
Can your family real estate business get you a good deal on housing?

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2015, 07:54:49 AM »
You net around $7,000 per month, and monthly expenses are around $5,000 per month.  There's an almost $2,000 extra each month.  In four months you can pay off the credit cards without touching what you have built up in checking--I'd keep the checking, at this point, as an emergency fund.  Pay the credit card balances first, then the car, then start chipping away at the student loans.  Skip the gym membership, unless it's absolutely too hot to exercise outside in Texas.

I'm thinking that your home loan was somewhere around $250,000 based upon your monthly payment?  I thought property in Texas was cheap.  Are you looking to buy a more inexpensive property to live in?  If so, can you find one without HOA fees?

I'm actually going to disagree with keeping the checking as an emergency fund and NOT paying off CC balances until 4 months. At 16% interest, I think this is insane! Pay off the CC's, and use the line of credit as an emergency fund. The money sitting in your checking account "just in case" is more expensive than it paying your balance and your credit card sitting there "just in case".

The low hanging fruit-
  • Yes, pay the 16% interest CC off ASAP.
  • Kill the Sirius and the cable bills ($70/mo). Listen to the radio, go to the library and check out CDs, replace with Netflix and Spotify/Google Play if you must have on-demand service - AFTER you've paid off the car loan @7.33%.
  • Speaking of car loans, pay off the car loan OR sell the car and look for a good, used car in the $5-$10K range (Are you driving a lot for work?)
  • If your wife's student loan is interest-free through the Bank of Mom and Dad, I wouldn't worry about paying that down as aggressively as the other debts.
  • Cut your spending on food. $500/mo for two people is a LOT. We do groceries anywhere between $175-$225/mo and eat very well (meat and veggies) and are at a $100/mo eating out which I still feel is too high. Until your 7.33% car loan is paid or wiped out by trading your car - don't eat out more than MMM himself, about once/mo. You can cut your food spending in half with some effort.
  • Cancel the gym service @$70/mo. Find some used weights on CL if you have space in the house for a workout area. This is $70/mo that you could be throwing at that $16K car loan. Even in Houston, it's possible to stay fit w/o gym service.
Savings: $390/mo...without even picking on your phone bill or the exorbitant $600/mo allowances.

If you know you want FI, then cut back on all the unnecessary stuff and work on getting out of your debt emergency (I call it an emergency bc 7.33% is just about breakeven with overall market rates...) by the end of the year. Seriously examine why you're looking at buying another house and what your space needs are.

Changing your mindset can be a slow process, BUT it's also one of the biggest returns because you simply need less.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2015, 09:13:52 AM »
Food cost for two is quite high.

$300 per person allowance? What on earth are you spending with that? I would think $100/month is much more reasonable. Anything else should be agreed upon couples spending.

What is the $500 family investment? For real estate business? Then that damn well needs to be in the case study. Being in business with family can be great. It can also be utter hell.

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2015, 06:29:08 PM »
my credit cards get paid in full every statement balance.  I should just focus on paying the student loan and the car loan first? I can wait to put money into the roth iras up to next april anyways?

Don't bother listing as liabilities credit lines you pay in full with no interest each month.  You are effectively paying cash for those things and the spending should simply appear in line items such as groceries, gas, etc.  Checking account balances will go up and down all month - don't worry about listing them either, as long as they hold only enough to avoid bouncing checks as spending fluctuates.

Yes, pay the car loan because the interest rate is ridiculously high - or sell the car and buy a less expensive used one, but we'll chalk up this one to "everyone has to be young and foolish at least once." ;)

Pay the student loan because it's time to show mom & dad that you are a big boy & girl and can cut the apron strings.

You have ~$2,400/mo cash flow after taxes and your listed expenses (not counting the $500 for "investment w/ family", correct?  That should allow you to pay all non-mortgage loans in < 1 year.

Do you already have a $250K house?  That's about the principal corresponding to 4.5%, 30 year mortgage payment of $1255/mo.  If so, why do you need a new one?

Having "miscellaneous" be ~27% of your non-loan spending indicates you need a better handle on where your money is going.

You have a great income.  Restrain your spending and you can be extremely well positioned for FI in well under 10 years - good luck!

thanks for the advice heres my answers to your questions

I am not willing to part with my car since its a 2010 prius and I drive alot of miles for my job 500+ a week. I get 50 mpg and the balance is ridiculously high because I was upside down on my previous vehicle and that was before I found out about MMM. Basically I got bit and I have to pay for my actions and pay it off.

the investment with my family which is $500 is a revolving monthly contribution we put into our business to buy property each year. I didnt include that in our cash flow that we can use to repay our debts with.we currently have 12,000 in the business bank account and almost ready to buy another property. We have one property so far that we bought for 74,000 that we are currently renting out and making 200 dollars on after mortgage/taxes and repairs per month.

I bought my house 2 years ago for $131,572 @3.375% I currently owe $125,485.21
principal & interest $581.67 my escrow is $672.88

My miscellaneous of 27% is the left over money I have thats not accounted for? we just married may 16th and prior to that we were putting in all our money for our wedding and saving for our budget. now that we are done we are ready to get our finances in order. I agree 27% is alot and thats why I wanted to know where I can start .

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2015, 06:35:06 PM »
I suspect your spending is too high if you plan to retire in 10 years?

Another home?   2 vacations coming up?  :)

At this rate the student loan will be paid off in a little over 18 months, so that is $7500 a year no longer going to be spent.

I don't think you can keep the Family Real Estate business out of the case study for simplicity sake.

I can see this becoming the single source of most drama if anyone within the business decides for whatever reason they would like out.

Alternatively it could also be the single best thing likely to help you reach FI quickly?

The student loan is definitely getting paid off before the end of the year.
So my family business is between my brother, me, my mother and father. We all decided that we will start investing in real estate since we all have good incomes as of right now we have a 74k condo we are renting out for 1000. we plan on buying a house every year for the next several years. pay off one after we hit 3 then continue buying. We all put in 500 dollars a month so we can buy a house every year .. our target price range is below 100k. to me I like renting to people and I also think its another vessel to reach FI quickly.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2015, 06:37:47 PM »
I bought my house 2 years ago for $131,572 @3.375% I currently owe $125,485.21
principal & interest $581.67 my escrow is $672.88

Hole-Lee shit!  What the eff are you paying for through the escrow account?

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2015, 06:44:07 PM »
You net around $7,000 per month, and monthly expenses are around $5,000 per month.  There's an almost $2,000 extra each month.  In four months you can pay off the credit cards without touching what you have built up in checking--I'd keep the checking, at this point, as an emergency fund.  Pay the credit card balances first, then the car, then start chipping away at the student loans.  Skip the gym membership, unless it's absolutely too hot to exercise outside in Texas.

I'm thinking that your home loan was somewhere around $250,000 based upon your monthly payment?  I thought property in Texas was cheap.  Are you looking to buy a more inexpensive property to live in?  If so, can you find one without HOA fees?

I already paid the credit cards and edited my first post to reflect on it. I cant skip the gym membership because my wife and I  are training for a triathlon and need a pool to swim in, and a treadmill to run on (houston weather is in the 90's almost everyday from may-august)

I wont be discontinuing my sirius I drive so much that I listen to it and its important to me rather than listening to the generic radio stations that play the same damn 5 songs all the time.

My wife and I are looking to buy a 300k home outside the inner loop of houston (where its most expensive) We want 3 bedrooms a backyard and a lawn. I am currently lliving in a townhome and is a very suitable future rental property. also looking for a house without hoa

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2015, 06:50:39 PM »
I bought my house 2 years ago for $131,572 @3.375% I currently owe $125,485.21
principal & interest $581.67 my escrow is $672.88

Hole-Lee shit!  What the eff are you paying for through the escrow account?

lol they just raised my taxes but i paid 4k last year in taxes. my insurance is included in my escrow and pmi. I was dumb and did an fha loan as a first time buyer.

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2015, 06:53:09 PM »
Food cost for two is quite high.

$300 per person allowance? What on earth are you spending with that? I would think $100/month is much more reasonable. Anything else should be agreed upon couples spending.

What is the $500 family investment? For real estate business? Then that damn well needs to be in the case study. Being in business with family can be great. It can also be utter hell.

Well I know the food costs are high we usually spend about 75-100 a week on groceries but i put that number out there based on this past months groceries. My wife recently moved in and has been buying random stuff she thinks we need because I was living bachelor style for a long time at home ( no food, condiments, groceries in the fridge) i think with time that number should go down.

and yes the 500 is for real estate investments

MDM

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2015, 06:54:46 PM »
My miscellaneous of 27% is the left over money I have thats not accounted for?
27% = $600 (your two "personal" expenses) divided by all non-tax, non-loan expenses (including that $600).  See cell E91 in the case study spreadsheet.

This was also based on $1255 being your actual (i.e., Principal plus Interest) mortgage payment.  With Tax and Insurance at $673 (and continuing to ignore the family business cash flows), miscellaneous is still ~21%.

At the least, figure out where that $600/mo is going.  At the best, make it stop: cutting it to $0 would take ~three years off your time to FI.

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2015, 06:57:22 PM »
You net around $7,000 per month, and monthly expenses are around $5,000 per month.  There's an almost $2,000 extra each month.  In four months you can pay off the credit cards without touching what you have built up in checking--I'd keep the checking, at this point, as an emergency fund.  Pay the credit card balances first, then the car, then start chipping away at the student loans.  Skip the gym membership, unless it's absolutely too hot to exercise outside in Texas.

I'm thinking that your home loan was somewhere around $250,000 based upon your monthly payment?  I thought property in Texas was cheap.  Are you looking to buy a more inexpensive property to live in?  If so, can you find one without HOA fees?

I'm actually going to disagree with keeping the checking as an emergency fund and NOT paying off CC balances until 4 months. At 16% interest, I think this is insane! Pay off the CC's, and use the line of credit as an emergency fund. The money sitting in your checking account "just in case" is more expensive than it paying your balance and your credit card sitting there "just in case".

The low hanging fruit-
  • Yes, pay the 16% interest CC off ASAP.
  • Kill the Sirius and the cable bills ($70/mo). Listen to the radio, go to the library and check out CDs, replace with Netflix and Spotify/Google Play if you must have on-demand service - AFTER you've paid off the car loan @7.33%.
  • Speaking of car loans, pay off the car loan OR sell the car and look for a good, used car in the $5-$10K range (Are you driving a lot for work?)
  • If your wife's student loan is interest-free through the Bank of Mom and Dad, I wouldn't worry about paying that down as aggressively as the other debts.
  • Cut your spending on food. $500/mo for two people is a LOT. We do groceries anywhere between $175-$225/mo and eat very well (meat and veggies) and are at a $100/mo eating out which I still feel is too high. Until your 7.33% car loan is paid or wiped out by trading your car - don't eat out more than MMM himself, about once/mo. You can cut your food spending in half with some effort.
  • Cancel the gym service @$70/mo. Find some used weights on CL if you have space in the house for a workout area. This is $70/mo that you could be throwing at that $16K car loan. Even in Houston, it's possible to stay fit w/o gym service.
Savings: $390/mo...without even picking on your phone bill or the exorbitant $600/mo allowances.

If you know you want FI, then cut back on all the unnecessary stuff and work on getting out of your debt emergency (I call it an emergency bc 7.33% is just about breakeven with overall market rates...) by the end of the year. Seriously examine why you're looking at buying another house and what your space needs are.

Changing your mindset can be a slow process, BUT it's also one of the biggest returns because you simply need less.

thanks for the advice. yes you are right it is a slow process and ive only found mmm a couple months ago. Im always constantly trying to reduce cost but since we are new marrieds this is the first time we did our budget. My wife is on board and eventually we will cut stuff out . I hope to redo this case study at the end of the year or when both debts are fully paid

iamlindoro

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2015, 06:59:53 PM »
and yes the 500 is for real estate investments

Where's the income? (or at least the assets associated with this)

The main problem from my perspective is that you're not seeing the debt as a hair on fire emergency yet.  You mention starting to cut stuff out-- make sure you don't buy a house before you've come to terms with a long term budget, otherwise you may have committed to a much bigger impediment to FI than your present manageable condition.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 07:13:37 PM by iamlindoro »

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2015, 07:08:54 PM »
My miscellaneous of 27% is the left over money I have thats not accounted for?
27% = $600 (your two "personal" expenses) divided by all non-tax, non-loan expenses (including that $600).  See cell E91 in the case study spreadsheet.

This was also based on $1255 being your actual (i.e., Principal plus Interest) mortgage payment.  With Tax and Insurance at $673 (and continuing to ignore the family business cash flows), miscellaneous is still ~21%.

At the least, figure out where that $600/mo is going.  At the best, make it stop: cutting it to $0 would take ~three years off your time to FI.

 the 600 is a cushion i dont necessarily spend that monthly Im sure I can decrease that number so my wife and I can pay loans faster! I hate to put a leash on my wife but I just have to be more strict with her spending

KCM5

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2015, 08:42:10 PM »
I hate to put a leash on my wife but I just have to be more strict with her spending

Uh, no.

That's a terrible way to phrase it. Also, this needs to be a mutual decision. No one should be putting a leash on anyone.

tj

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2015, 11:22:20 PM »
Refinance your auto loan.  You should be able to cut that rate in half at least if you have a decent credit score.



http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/loans/vehicle/

https://www.lightstream.com/vehicle-loans

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2015, 04:31:37 AM »
My wife and I are looking to buy a 300k home outside the inner loop of houston (where its most expensive) We want 3 bedrooms a backyard and a lawn. I am currently lliving in a townhome and is a very suitable future rental property. also looking for a house without hoa

I suggest you think about what you really need from your living situation, rather than going into it saying "we're looking to spend 300k."  Housing is usually the biggest single expense for most people.  Buying too much house is the biggest financial mistake you will ever make (and I should know; I've made that mistake twice already!).  I don't know the Houston market, but 300k seems pretty expensive for a southern US location.  Can you reconsider neighborhoods?  Are you looking at standard 3/2 houses vs. McMansions?

I ran the numbers through a mortgage calculator assuming 20% down and 4% rate.  Monthly P&I would be 1,146.  If you could get by with a 200k house (which still seems expensive to me), monthly P&I would drop to 764.  Compounded over a decade, that's over $66k of savings (see:http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/24/when-the-back-of-the-napkin-can-be-worth-millions/).  I haven't done the math to see what that would add up to over three decades, but suffice it say it would be a lot of money.  And that's not even accounting for the savings you'd realize on property taxes and insurance (both of which would be less on a less expensive house).

justajane

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2015, 05:54:10 AM »
I hate to put a leash on my wife but I just have to be more strict with her spending

Uh, no.

That's a terrible way to phrase it. Also, this needs to be a mutual decision. No one should be putting a leash on anyone.

Especially considering the fact that she has over 10x more in retirement and he brought more debt than she did to the marriage. Just because you "found MMM" and she didn't doesn't mean you can suddenly criticize her spending in such a direct way.

firewalker

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2015, 06:57:58 AM »
A few bits to add to the mix: stream free internet music on your cell and bluetooth to your car. toyota has a 0% financing deal on right now-a toy or avalon may not be your fav but sure beats throwing away 7%. maybe live elsewhere since your looking to buy, medical work is everywhere, Houston can be expensive, and you two atheletic people cant be outside for most of may, june, july and august.

expectopatronum

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2015, 07:12:54 AM »
A few bits to add to the mix: stream free internet music on your cell and bluetooth to your car. toyota has a 0% financing deal on right now-a toy or avalon may not be your fav but sure beats throwing away 7%. maybe live elsewhere since your looking to buy, medical work is everywhere, Houston can be expensive, and you two atheletic people cant be outside for most of may, june, july and august.

I'm sorry, but you CAN be outside during the summer. Houston is hot as balls, yes. My husband runs at lunch every day year round. I used to do my runs early (6am) before the heat or late (8pm). You'll still sweat, but after the first 10 minutes I found it just doesn't matter. Quite frankly this is a complainypants problem: I need $70/mo to train and can't see any way around it. There are also public pools you can pay to swim laps ($1-2 range). If you are literally swimming every single day, you might spend an equal amount. Otherwise there might genuinely be a way to slash the $70 expense.

Also, for the other commenter, $300K in Houston depends on where you're looking. In the suburbs, it can buy you a McMansion, but in the inner loop (or near) it won't go as far. I'm als curious as to why they are looking at a new house and what is causing the 500+ mile per month commuting.

For music, try replacing with Google Play or Spotify Premium for $10/mo. You can download ANYTHING you want to listen to with the subscription and listen offline. Also, try library CDs and audiobooks.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 07:22:00 AM by expectopatronum »

Mrkineticz

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2015, 01:39:18 PM »
I hate to put a leash on my wife but I just have to be more strict with her spending

Uh, no.

That's a terrible way to phrase it. Also, this needs to be a mutual decision. No one should be putting a leash on anyone.

Especially considering the fact that she has over 10x more in retirement and he brought more debt than she did to the marriage. Just because you "found MMM" and she didn't doesn't mean you can suddenly criticize her spending in such a direct way.

dont get defensive on what I said. maybe i phrased it wrong and yes she has more retirement. than me but remember its a team effort. My wife doesnt want to handle the bills but she is all for early retirement :-)

justajane

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2015, 04:51:01 PM »
I hate to put a leash on my wife but I just have to be more strict with her spending

Uh, no.

That's a terrible way to phrase it. Also, this needs to be a mutual decision. No one should be putting a leash on anyone.

Especially considering the fact that she has over 10x more in retirement and he brought more debt than she did to the marriage. Just because you "found MMM" and she didn't doesn't mean you can suddenly criticize her spending in such a direct way.

dont get defensive on what I said. maybe i phrased it wrong and yes she has more retirement. than me but remember its a team effort. My wife doesnt want to handle the bills but she is all for early retirement :-)

Nothing defensive about what I said. My point was that from the outside, looking at your assets and debts, you look like the spender. If my husband came to me and started lecturing me about what I am spending when for all intents and purposes he had a bigger problem than I did up until he found God...I mean MMM, he would certainly get a talkin to.

It came across as paternalistic, even beyond the language you used.

sangria

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2015, 10:44:09 AM »
For Sirius/XM, call them and tell them you are canceling.  I did this after I got spotify and they took my rate down to something like 24 dollars for 6 months.  If you're driving that much, I can see why you would want it. 

justajane

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2015, 11:17:31 AM »
For Sirius/XM, call them and tell them you are canceling.  I did this after I got spotify and they took my rate down to something like 24 dollars for 6 months.  If you're driving that much, I can see why you would want it.

Me too. We keep on doing this every six months with Siruis. It works.

pbkmaine

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Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2015, 11:43:13 AM »
I used to travel constantly. Instead of Sirius, here's what I did:
1) Subscribed to a bunch of podcasts from iTunes. NPR has great ones. 2) Used Overdrive (through my library) and Librivox to download audio books. 3) Went to garage sales at the end of the day and bought bags of music CDs for about ten cents each, on average. Uploaded these to iTunes and organized into playlists. My Oldies playlist is 7 hours long. Folk music is 6 hours. I also have playlists for Classical, Country, Steel Pan and Reggae. I guarantee you I have less repetition than Sirius.

In general, I want to say that where there's a will, there's a way. Don't rule anything out when cutting spending. Keep your Prius, if you want. But use the suggestions others are making here to find creative alternatives to spending money. Look at it as a challenge for your brain, the same way your physical competitions are challenges. Frugal alternatives to your current spending need not be unpleasant. They can be fun and empowering. They build spiritual muscle.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Case Study: New married couple finances
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2015, 04:25:10 AM »
The inner loop isn't a semicircle. It gets a lot cheaper east of I-45.