Author Topic: CASE STUDY - punching welcome  (Read 7547 times)

Pell mell

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CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« on: February 09, 2014, 09:07:00 AM »
Hi I am kind of f-ing up my finances these day.  I used to be Mustachian, now involved with an Anti-Christ, I mean, Anti-Mustachian. (J/k. Sometimes I get those mixed up).  We have no kids and will not, god help us.

We are NOT in a good place financially. He says it'll be fine. Shrug.

(Future/New refers to when we're in the new house that we just bought).

INCOME:
Current Monthly Income:   $5140.14
Future Monthly Income Est: 6488.14
My bf makes 100K.  I--cough--quit my job in Nov/13 because I was doing difficult factory shift work that was taking a toll. Not to be a girl about it, but I'm a girl and I'm not the sturdiest girl to begin with... I was waiting til we bought a house to get a job, so that it wouldn't be over an hour to get to work dep. where we bought. Yes, now I can get one. I've been using my savings to pay my way. >See, not such a princess.
I will probably make about 16,000 after taxes in a new job, since I have no skills.

CURRENT MONTHLY EXPENSES:
Current (Old) Expenses: $5478.83/mo
Future (New) Expenses:   6408.83/mo
FIXED:
Old Mortgage: 1,550
New Mortgage: 2300*
Property Tax: 230 (oddly similar to new)
Property Insurance:
Old: 22
New: 125? (Old damn house)
Car Insurance: 145
CAA: 6
Internet: 50
Medications: 15
VARIABLE:
Utilities
Old: 60
New: 335?
Groceries: 610.12
His Lunches: 182.97
Restaurants: 42.76
Personal Care: 336.98
(^most of this is him. He likes expensive hair products & food treats.)
His Mother's Spending Fund
Old: 400
New: 200
A Trip For Him (He offered to take me, but I didn't feel like it and I didn't think we could afford it)
Old: 0
New: 200
Storage
Old: 168
New: 0
Transit: 125
Gas 80
Home Maintenance: 457
Cell phones (both): 134
iPad data: 20
Clothing, him: 70
Clothing, me: 20
Pet Expenses: 76
Retirement Fund: 100
Savings: 0
ENTERTAINMENT: 578
(Entertainment Breakdown:
Cable w/ Netfix: 68
His pocket money & shows: 200
His Hobbies: 100
His Cigars: 150
His Movies/DVDs/CDs/Games: 60)


TOTAL ASSETS: $568,300
House: 525,000 (expensive damn city)
my Retirement fund: 31,000
his Retirement fund:   7,000
my old 2007 car: 4500? (wild guess)
my savings (left): 800
his savings: 0

TOTAL LIABILITIES: 441,050
Mortgage: 420,000
(the old one was 270,000. He made a good penny on the sale.)
Possible House Repairs: 21,050 (Estimate, some info unavailable i.e. attic situation)

The house repairs will likely come out of my retirement fund as we have no other savings.

He also wants to equip a space for his hobbies.  He estimates $10,000. I don't know where this money is coming from.
He also plans to take a trip in the spring for $2000. Part of the money is coming from money he has started to set aside, but he is 700 short for the actual trip, and 500 short for the hobby stuff (incl cigars) he plans to bring back.

QUESTION: How can we get our finances under control? Our cash flow and our savings suck.

*Our new mortgage was blended with the old one. So we will have one that lasts 21 months @ 3.25%.  The old one was 3.54 and blended with 2.74.  I have asked mortgage guy how much one would be for 5 years.  Not sure whether we could break remaining one without penalty and get a 5 yr mortgage from them, our regular bank. 










« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 09:11:09 AM by Pell mell »

LDoon

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 09:15:58 AM »
Is this a question about suggestions to reduce spending or a question of how to persuade your boyfriend to be more mustachian?

The answers to both questions are the same.  Just a matter of whether this is going to be a mental / emotional approach or a numbers based approach.

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 09:20:04 AM »
Good question! 

Any help of the emotional or mental variety would be appreciated.

ausername

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 09:40:00 AM »
If I was you I would think long and hard about using your retirement savings to fund repairs to the house - assuming that the house is his and not jointly owned & you two are not married*.  If your expected annual salary is approximately 16k, this must be a lot of money for you.  You are clearly bright and sensible enough to have saved so much for retirement on such low pay. 

I know this isn't what you are asking about here, but I'm sure you are more than capable of gaining skills which would make working in an easier environment a possibility for you.  An office would probably be an easier work environment than a factory.

I would personally find it very difficult (if not impossible) if my other half behaved like you have described with money.  We could all criticize the spending you have described and suggest improvements (i.e. spending reductions), but if he doesn't have any interest in making improvements/reducing spending it is not clear how much benefit that would be.  It seems like maybe you have different values from each other, but obviously I'm only guessing from internet-land where there is not much information available!

Best of luck with it all.

*Edit:On re-reading I see you say "we bought".  If your name is on the deeds, this might be different.  I'm not sure on the law in the US regarding such purchases, but I'm sure others will have more information.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 09:43:57 AM by ausername »

LDoon

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 09:53:52 AM »
Your approach will need to depend on your bf's personality.  Some people like a challenge, others like things in the background. 
First, I'd suggest leading by example.  Sounds like maybe you have already started this.  Consider pointing out the changes you've made and how your life is the same or improved.

Perhaps you can take over an aspect of the budget (groceries, personal products).  If bf is resistant to change, then say you want to try it your way for a month or two, and then discuss how big a change it really was.  Often the fear of how a change will decrease quality of life is way out of proportion to the actual affect.  For theatrics, at the end of the time period, sit down and get feedback on the changes (good, bad, not noticeable, etc.).  A response that life is less enjoyable (not favorite expensive foods or gel product) brings about the question: "would you rather have expensive foods and hair gel, or the $X that was saved?"


Also, read this posting.  If your building a life together, it's important it turns into the life you want.  Focusing on long term goals that are important to both of you should provide the motivation to make changes.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/25/having-the-talk-with-a-current-or-potential-mate/




Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 09:57:44 AM »
Thank you ausername. I appreciate what you're saying.  Yes, the house is in both of our names.  As for his spending, I think he is finally seeing from looking at my spreadsheet that cash flow will be a problem when we move into the house.  I think in time he will be able to see the big picture.

I think an analysis of spending habits could be quite fruitful.  I would be reluctant to spend my  RRSP on the house repairs unless there are changes in the monthly expenses.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 10:01:14 AM by Pell mell »

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 10:08:20 AM »
I do pretty much try to provide an example for him. I suspect that he might find my behaviour to be a result of my low salary. 

But I think objective opinions will help us to look at our expenses in a fresh way.

I will definitely re-read that article for tips. Thanks.

ausername

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 10:11:24 AM »
That sounds like a good idea Pell mell (waiting to see monthly expenses reducing before agreeing to spend your savings on the repairs). 

Recognizing the cash flow problems coming up is an important first step for him, and maybe that can be used to help get him on board with cutting expenses in general.  I would imagine that where you would like to get to is the expenses being reduced enough that you will have a good emergency fund and then maybe start looking at saving more for retirement.  It does seem like you need to discuss your long-term goals.  As most of the income is his, it seems likely that he will be making most of the spending decisions.  This is the tricky bit.

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2014, 10:35:38 AM »
Yes, exactly. I'd feel a lot more comfortable with an emergency fund and more retirement savings.  And that part about him earning most of the income does indeed feel a bit tricky to me, because I've been reluctant to say, Smarten the hell up, bub, and spend right.

I've encouraged him to read books, watch shows, learn... had soft conversations, intense conversations, but he finds the subject of money boring.  We've talked long-term goals, but he just can't seem to stop himself from spending. But it looks like now is the time that I need to get tougher.  We had talked of getting married in the spring/summer.

I'm really starting to like LDoon's idea to say, Hey let's try my way for a month or two and see how it goes.  Because then it'll have an end date in his eyes... until he hopefully gets kind of used to it.  It's better than losing me, I'm sure... she says in all modesty. ;)

ausername

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2014, 11:14:50 AM »
Yes, it is certainly worth a try.  I really hope it makes a difference for you. Let us know how you get on.

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2014, 11:46:43 AM »
Thanks. Will do.

And anyone please feel free to point out anything or all that could be pared down. It would be helpful, I think, for my bf to hear a different opinion of expenses.

MsSindy

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2014, 12:10:24 PM »
This is a tricky situation.  But at the end of the day, you need to determine what kind of life do you want....and is this the kind of guy that you want.  Think long and hard before you get married.

That aside, the biggest areas are food and entertainment.  You guys spend an awful lot on food, 'personal care', and entertainment.  Honestly, hair gel doesn't cost that much!  Can you approach the food and eating out from a health perspective?  Is he in shape, does he care about his appearance?  I'm guessing if he's eating out that much, he may have a few extra pounds he wants to lose, maybe?  Usually guys who care about their hair, also care about keeping their bodies in good shape.  Can you volunteer to make his lunches so that he doesn't eat out?

Also, under no circumstances should you guys be draining your Retirement account for repairs.  Put your foot down!  You have so much fat in your expenses to pull from first.  Do not budge on this one.  It requires your signature to pull that money out, so you do have control here.  Be strong.

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 01:02:24 PM »
I hear you... I agree we have a crazy amount in our 'personal care'! I don't know if that's code for hookers or what.  And yeah the entertainment and the lunches.
I will start making lunches for him a couple days a week. He prefers eating out but he's not crazy about the food selection at work these days. So I'm excited about that.

shuffler

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2014, 01:11:25 PM »
Yes, exactly. I'd feel a lot more comfortable with an emergency fund and more retirement savings.  And that part about him earning most of the income does indeed feel a bit tricky to me, because I've been reluctant to say, Smarten the hell up, bub, and spend right.

I've encouraged him to read books, watch shows, learn... had soft conversations, intense conversations, but he finds the subject of money boring.  We've talked long-term goals, but he just can't seem to stop himself from spending. But it looks like now is the time that I need to get tougher.  We had talked of getting married in the spring/summer.
I think you have an opportunity to set yourself up in the role of the financial planner of the couple.

Scare him a bit with your coming cash-flow problems.  (Sounds like you're doing this already.)  Show him how a $2k car repair bill will break your finances.

Flatter him a bit.  Tell him he makes most of the money, and he shouldn't have to be (too) burdened with planning all the finances, and that since you earn less you'll do all the work/planning as part of your contribution to the couple/marriage.

Reassure him a bit.  Tell him you can make it all work out, the cash-flow will work, you'll develop an emergency-fund first and then some retirement savings, and that he'll still have (some) spending money.

Then take control, and use your power with benevolence.  ;^)

Open a separate account for him, and deposit a regular amount into it that is for him to do with as he pleases.  Do this automatically from the paycheck so that it'll be the same cadence he's used to.  From this account, he should cover his costs for "personal care", clothes, hobbies, cigars, pocket-money, shows, movies, dvds, etc.  That's $800/mo from your current budget, so give him $300/mo at most to start, with the aim of lowering it more in the future.  (Ideally he'd also fund his $200/mo trip out of this money.)

Do the same for yourself @ $100/mo.  He should feel shamed that he's spending 3x your amount.  From your account, cover your clothing @ $20 and the $restaurants @ $40 per month.  He should feel humbled that out of your share you are covering your needs and still taking him out to dinner.

This should reduce $800 of expenses down to $400, and still leave you personally $40/mo of your own personal money.

Yes, this is treating him like a child.  But in my opinion, that is how he is behaving, so it's appropriate.  He needs the training wheels for now, and he needs to see you leading by example.

Additionally:
It seems like you need an emergency-fund right now more than you need retirement savings.
Cut the ipad data.
Your utilities increased 5x at the new house.  What's up with that?
Weddings are expensive.  Do it meaningfully, but simply and cheaply.  And put your foot down to pay for it in cash rather than credit.  You can't afford any more credit.

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2014, 01:19:16 PM »
^my previous comment was for MsSindy of course.

As for Dmy0013, I included the first paragraph because I wanted to be totally honest and not let myself off the hook. And no, there were no other available positions in that company. If you can't do the work 'scram' is their attitude. We were looking far and wide for a house so I didn't want to get a job in one area, only to move 1 1/2 hr away.

I don't take offence because I do feel like quitting and not having a job right away to prevent spending my savings was not at all mustachian. Although I'm a little perplexed at your defence of him building a hobby facility with $10,000 that he doesn't have.

I have read the Wealthy Barber Returns ... from the library. I got it out for my bf too, but he couldn't make it through.  I enjoyed it anyway.

Argyle

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2014, 01:56:25 PM »
Something is very wrong when your retirement account is the go-to place for house maintenance.  Not only is this endangering your future -- what happens when all the money has been sucked out of your account?  Where does the house maintenance come from then?  Would you have to sell the house?  Let it fall into disrepair?  No?  Then whatever place that money would come from then, it should come from now.  Retirement accounts should be absolutely untouchable.  Only if you are in danger of actually starving from wasting away to a skeleton should you touch your retirement account.  Plus your bf is making a ton of money! 

Frankly, his spending habits are a recipe for disaster down the road.  I would think very seriously about whether you want to marry this guy when his habits are still like this.  He says he finds money "boring" -- well, we all find a lot of things boring, like brushing our teeth and showing up at work -- and yet we do them because we understand the consequences if we don't.  Your guy has a delusion that he can live consequence-free.  It sounds like you've done a lot to try to motivate him.  You're doing the thinking for two here.  He ought to be man enough to pull his own weight in the thinking and planning department.  Some face-punches are in order, but I don't know that you have a lot of leverage to be face-punching.  Nothing is at stake for him, and he will be deeper in the water before he cares.  So unless you can make something be at stake, I wonder if he's going to change.  Do you want to stay aboard this leaky ship?

As for what you could cut -- nearly everything.  Food, miscellaneous, entertainment, insurance costs, nearly all of it could be cut way down.  But I wonder if a guy who spends $1800 on cigars per year is going to see the point of living within his means.

frugaldrummer

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2014, 03:36:08 PM »
Quote
I will probably make about 16,000 after taxes in a new job, since I have no skills.

Well, first of all, this is not true.  From your posts, I can see that you are literate, can spell, have a good grasp of the English language - not things to be discounted. Not everybody has these strengths.

Second, skills can be obtained.  How old are you?  Have you thought of getting some training in some field?  Since you are interested in personal finances, have you ever thought to become a financial planner?  Or thought of starting an online business of some kind?  You seem smart enough to figure out some way to make way more than 16k per year.  Don't sell yourself short. 

As for your BF - can you take the budget above, make the kinds of cuts suggested here (cut the various food bills in half for starters) and show BF how there would be a SIGNIFICANT amount of money left over for investing and house repairs?  And unless he absolutely loves his job, perhaps show him how he could retire early if he just reined in his spending.

Now, none of this might work - some people are just so unconscious when it comes to their spending, it's ridiculous.  However, if you can show him the carrot at the end of the stick - early retirement, his $10k hobby room, a year to travel - he might start to come on board.

Maybe just ask him to try it for one month, just to see what you can save?

And meanwhile, really think about how you might make a lot more money.  If you were able to earn, say, 20k more and invest that difference, it'd go a long way towards ensuring your future.

(And no, I would NOT spend your retirement funds on the house.  What if he hooks up with some other woman in this trip he's taking without you?  And you've spent your safety net on the house?  Not dissing your choice of man, just saying that relationships are unpredictable and you need to have your own best financial interests at heart.)

frugaldrummer

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2014, 03:47:02 PM »
Just an example, with suggested new expenditures in bold on the right

CURRENT MONTHLY EXPENSES:
Current (Old) Expenses: $5478.83/mo
Future (New) Expenses:   6408.83/mo
FIXED:
Old Mortgage: 1,550
New Mortgage: 2300*
Property Tax: 230 (oddly similar to new)
Property Insurance:
Old: 22
New: 125? (Old damn house)
Car Insurance: 145
CAA: 6
Internet: 50
Medications: 15
VARIABLE:
Utilities
Old: 60
New: 335?
Groceries: 610.12  300  seriously, your food expenses are way high for two people.
His Lunches: 182.97  90  same
Restaurants: 42.76
Personal Care: 336.98  170  Can he buy in bigger (cheaper) sizes, squeeze the last bit out of tubes, use half as much product? (Most people could get by with half as much shampoo and conditioner, for example)
(^most of this is him. He likes expensive hair products & food treats.)
His Mother's Spending Fund
Old: 400
New: 200  I'm not sure how needy his mom is - if she NEEDS this help, shouldn't he reduce his hair expenditures instead???
A Trip For Him (He offered to take me, but I didn't feel like it and I didn't think we could afford it)
Old: 0
New: 200
Storage
Old: 168
New: 0
Transit: 125
Gas 80
Home Maintenance: 457
Cell phones (both): 134
iPad data: 20
Clothing, him: 70
Clothing, me: 20
Pet Expenses: 76
Retirement Fund: 100
Savings: 0
ENTERTAINMENT: 578
(Entertainment Breakdown:
Cable w/ Netfix: 68
His pocket money & shows: 200  100
His Hobbies: 100  50
His Cigars: 150   75
His Movies/DVDs/CDs/Games: 60)  30


TOTAL ASSETS: $568,300
House: 525,000 (expensive damn city)
my Retirement fund: 31,000
his Retirement fund:   7,000
my old 2007 car: 4500? (wild guess)
my savings (left): 800
his savings: 0

TOTAL LIABILITIES: 441,050
Mortgage: 420,000
(the old one was 270,000. He made a good penny on the sale.)
Possible House Repairs: 21,050 (Estimate, some info unavailable i.e. attic situation)



I come up with $828 a month saved just there, without any other changes.  I doubt he would notice any significant change in quality of life.  If you add an extra $1,000 a month income from you (above your current contribution from savings, i.e., if you currently contribute $400 a month from savings, would be $1,400 a month income from you) that would be $1800 a month to put to house repairs, so that you could pay for them within the year.

SunshineGirl

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2014, 04:21:08 PM »
I agree that you should not spend your retirement savings on the house. That should be taken off the table.

I think the absolute best thing you can do for yourself is figure out a career where you can make a LOT more money. Even some votech fields pay quite well. Be a girly plumber or electrician.

BPA

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2014, 04:34:55 PM »



I don't take offence because I do feel like quitting and not having a job right away to prevent spending my savings was not at all mustachian. Although I'm a little perplexed at your defence of him building a hobby facility with $10,000 that he doesn't have.


I think I understand.  When one person in a relationship is making all or most of the money, it's difficult and maybe even unfair to expect that person not to spend as they see fit.


frugaldrummer

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2014, 04:49:18 PM »
One way to take the tension out of that situation, would be to look at your respective incomes, look at your joint expenses (housing, food, utilities), and each pay a percent based on your relative incomes.  For instance - if house groc and utilities total, say, $4,000 a month (just throwing a number out there, haven't looked back to add it up).  He makes $100k and let's say you get a job for $20k.  Total income is $120k, you make 1/6 of the total income, so you pay 1/6 of the essential bills, or $4,000/6= $666 a month.  I bet even with your personal expenses, you could save about 6-8k per year - and I bet he won't, even with his much higher income.

Argyle

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2014, 04:51:34 PM »
Also, what is his mother's situation where she requires $400 per month?  Why is it going down to $200 per month?  Is this the person that he perhaps learned his financial skills from?  Or no offense is it that he likes women who do not believe in their own earning power?

And what kinds of house maintenance cost $4500 per year?  Does this include cleaning, or what does it include?

Cassie

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2014, 05:33:38 PM »
Please do not use your retirement money. You make such little $ compared to your bf and there may come a time that you desperately need that $ for just yourself. Please find another way.

Josiecat

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2014, 06:28:22 PM »
I'm going to say it... with love.  You two are NOT married.  If you break up before marriage you are in big, big trouble financially.  Find a career, make some money, get married, establish healthy retirements funds (this is for both of you) and save some money. 

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2014, 07:55:04 PM »
Quote
Open a separate account for him, and deposit a regular amount into it that is for him to do with as he pleases.  Do this automatically from the paycheck so that it'll be the same cadence he's used to.  From this account, he should cover his costs for "personal care", clothes, hobbies, cigars, pocket-money, shows, movies, dvds, etc.  That's $800/mo from your current budget, so give him $300/mo at most to start, with the aim of lowering it more in the future.


Wow, Shuffler, you've included a lot of great ideas. Thanks so much. I like them a lot!

(Note: We didn't have to pay many utilities at the old place (condo), and I am basically guessing how much utilities would be at the new place.  I do agree with you that we need emergency savings and that weddings should be inexpensive and simple).

(edited to add quote...)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 09:52:48 PM by Pell mell »

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2014, 08:09:00 PM »

  I'm not sure how needy his mom is - if she NEEDS this help, shouldn't he reduce his hair expenditures instead???

I come up with $828 a month saved just there, without any other changes.  I doubt he would notice any significant change in quality of life.  If you add an extra $1,000 a month income from you (above your current contribution from savings, i.e., if you currently contribute $400 a month from savings, would be $1,400 a month income from you) that would be $1800 a month to put to house repairs, so that you could pay for them within the year.

LOL. I asked him again about the 'personal care' category and he remembered that there were lots of other items like paper towels, toilet paper, and toothpaste. 

That's awesome, frugaldrummer. It's great to see so many savings without any visible pain. Thank you for getting specific.  And thank you so much for all of your other pointers, as well! It is much appreciated.

~Edited to add more gratitude :)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 09:46:30 PM by Pell mell »

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2014, 08:18:36 PM »
Thank you so much for all of your input. So much brisk thought, so many great ideas. 
Be a girly plumber or electrician.
:)
And what kinds of house maintenance cost $4500 per year?  Does this include cleaning, or what does it include?
It refers to the condo maintenance fee, that I figured we could just keep 'paying' into a house maintenance fund.  No maid, I'm afraid. 

Pell mell

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2014, 09:40:55 PM »
I really appreciate all of your input and advice.  My bf really is a wonderful guy, despite being savings-challenged.  And now I feel like there is hope for a solution. What I was able to do right away: at dinner we made enough for his lunch tomorrow, and I packed it up.  We talked about money, and are scheduled for a more serious discussion tomorrow.  Thinking cap is on. Minds are open.  So thank you.

SunshineGirl

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2014, 08:43:19 AM »
Good job, Pell mell! Change takes time, but it's amazing to look where you are at point a and where you are at point b six months or a year down the road if you just keep plugging away making changes. Even just one at a time, and things that seem to be a sacred expense at one point become revealed as NOT sacred a few months later. Just keep being open, and track all your expenses (I love YNAB), and you'll make good progress. I am not sure how long I've been really paying attention to my expenses, probably six months, but it gives you a sense of control.

pachnik

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Re: CASE STUDY - punching welcome
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2014, 09:12:33 AM »
Good job, Pell mell! Change takes time, but it's amazing to look where you are at point a and where you are at point b six months or a year down the road if you just keep plugging away making changes. Even just one at a time, and things that seem to be a sacred expense at one point become revealed as NOT sacred a few months later. Just keep being open, and track all your expenses (I love YNAB), and you'll make good progress. I am not sure how long I've been really paying attention to my expenses, probably six months, but it gives you a sense of control.

+1 great advice - especially things that seem to be a sacred expense are not so sacred a few months later.  I am on YNAB now too.