Author Topic: Case Study: Want to be debt free and financially independent (11 years or less)  (Read 8939 times)

Mesmoiselle

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updated with changes 11/25/2014
Income: I am a 27 yr old with highly irregular part time hours at $30.90/hour. My gross income averaged out to 48k last two years. My husband, 28, has part-time work currently at $10-$20 an hour. Don't worry, he is actively looking for a much more lucrative job and we recently opened up to the idea that this may mean selling our house and moving.

We earn $398/month from in laws living with us. An increase to $489 occurs in January with the addition of my MIL moving in, which covers our mortgage + $74. Massive Repairs and renovations on the house have me not concerned about the income if Tax man comes calling.

Monthly income has high variability. A minimum income of $2700 to a maximum of $3900/Month + $398 from in laws either way.

Current expenses: $1743+886 ish minimum to debt = $2629
$420 Mortgage (includes taxes and home insurance)
$200 food for 2 adults ($100 for pantry month)
$45 personal spending money, $25 to me, $20 to husband.
$107 Cell: Still 2 contracts w/AT&T. When they end, we will be switching to Republic Wireless.
$50/month bus pass for husband in one car household
$32/month charitable contributions w/ occasional one offs
$80/month household expenses (Minor repairs like an oven burner/TP/toothpaste/tupperware)
$260/month Car expenses ( Full coverage Insurance,fuel, upkeep, taxes/registration, repairs)
$50/month on holiday things at the moment, usually $0
$50/month average on on non insured dental upkeep
$37/month average on job required licence upkeep
$22/month life insurance until mortgage paid off
$4/month to Costco membership ($55/12)
$317/month Gas/Electric/water/trash/recycling/phone/internet
$100/month Dogs: this is food, flea meds, dog insurance, and vet visits averaged out for 2 old dogs

Debt payments:
$361 Husband Student Loans:
$325/month to aggressive CC payment
$200/month to personal loan repayment

Health expenses:
I am not legally required to have health insurance due to my native American heritage. I focus on prevention and diligent self evaluation. I just hit a grocery store clinic for a total in $115 cost for a one time visit, lab work, and a prescription. More my style.  I figured the most likely place for me to become injured is a car wreck, therefore, I have good car insurance. For those who think this is so so awful, my husband and I can create a "life event" simply from filing for divorce. Within one month of anything horrible, I can get covered thanks to Obama getting rid of the pre existing condition issue. I just researched and found out this sweet deal: Federally recognized tribal citizens who wish to sign up for health insurance can do so at any time and do not have to adhere to the open enrollment period.Our savings, credit cards, and available medical loans can and will get us through that just fine. We are taking an informed gamble and we're still decent hardworking people despite our lack of health insurance.

http://www.cherokee.org/News/Stories/102113CherokeeNationonAffordableCareAct.aspx

Assets:
My work only matches up to 5% on my 403B. I contribute that much, so does husband to his employer, but he doesn't get matching.

403B = $2180
401k= $100

And we have been trying to stay one month ahead of bills which gives us a $2000-$3000 account balance.

Currently, family members owe use $2300 interest free. (Once this is paid off, it will not be repeated.)

Liabilities:

$325/month on $3800 on 0% CC  to be paid off in 12. 
$200/month on $12,000 0% interest personal loan
$0/month on $7500 in 6.8% school loans of my own (currently deferred)
$361/month on $28,500 in 6.8% school loans of my husband's
$415/month to $39,000 remaining mortgage @ 3.5% interest 15 year term

Cancelled/ended/changes due to this thread
$55/month Gym membership:
$200/mon for ill dog now dead:
Reduced fun money from $200 to $45
Pantry month in December followed by $100/per person maximum

Specific Question(s):

I want to be financially independent like MMM,  similar to his post about two school teachers grossing 70k with a net worth of zero; despite having my own net worth be a negative (nearly) 80k when not taking my supposed Assets into account. He gave them 13 years to do it, I want to give myself 10. Not doable on current income, my income will double in six years, and my husband should be making 40k in 2016 with possible rapid growth from there. NEVERTHELESS, I don't want to wait until firehouse of income to do my best, when I could get my expenses lower in the meantime.

I'm gaining another tenant next year that will net me another $300/month in reduced expenses, bringing me to 2-3 in laws plus my boyfriend next year in my 1800/ square foot house. The moment we do get health insurance I will dump full coverage car insurance to liability only.

Regarding spending money, mine covers things for the pups that aren't needed and social dining out for volunteer groups I'm apart of. And regarding husband's, his are totally frivolous, but I highly value his not feeling poor even though he only temporarilynets $700-1200/month. I live where he can use the bus, BUT my job requires me to show up in the building inside an hour with no notice until I get the phone call. (On call medical professional to hospital) For example, a specific Friday comes to mind: I went to work 4 times, 7am, 7pm, 9pm, and midnight. This is not something you can do on a bus or a bike and I can get fired if complaints about my smelling of sweat are made; it's a 20 minute morning car ride, 10 minute middle of the night car ride.

Other than food, which I am working on slowly but inevitably being brought in check to a $220/month for three people amount, I don't see much give despite the total monthly expenses just seeming ridiculous!

I've thought about biking I am getting a bike for non work related travel . We're already a one car couple and the car is paid off. Even finally buying a bike, my method of car use has been very low, with it sitting for days when I'm not working.  So I don't expect to see the huge gains others have. Maybe I'll be surprised. I'm just hoping I break even after the bike and the safety/carrying accessories.

AS my husband keeps applying for a big boost in income, I've been side hustling of a sort. I've taken up CC churning, Bank account churning, and pushing as much as I can through Rewards CCs. In the last 2-3 months, this has earned me about $300. I plan to "earn" another $450-$650 before the end of the year.

I'm a part time student an US technician. I want to become an R.R.A. which would double my income, and the only route to it is a degree so unfortunately, I can't skip the college.

If everything works out as planned, the eFIREsim Calculator said 2025 as our FI date.

Input appreciated.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 11:02:16 AM by Mesmoiselle »

Gimesalot

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First, it would really help if you could list your average monthly income.  That way it would be easier to determine if you have any "leaks".

A couple of things:
Cell phone- you should see if you can reduce this by using Ting or Republic, or one of the other countless cheap providers.
Bus pass- Can your husband by this through his work to use pre-tax money? 
Household expenses- Work to reduce this.  Use less disposables (paper towels, trash bags, ziplocks, fly strips, etc).
Car expenses- Can you change your own oil and do your own repairs?
Dental Upkeep- Have you looked to see if you can go to a dental school in your area?  They charge less and the work is supervised by dentists.
Utilities- Can you use a password protected programmable thermostat?  Change bulbs to CFLs.  Try a time of use plan if available.
Dogs- make sure you find your food and meds for as cheap as possible.  For example, I order flea medication online for 1/2 the price.  Food can be cheaper on Amazon.
Student loans- Have you tried to consolidate these loans at a lower rate?  6.5% to 4.5% could make a difference in total interest paid and cash flow
Biking- I get that you can't commute on a bike, but what about going shopping or getting around on your days off? You can get a bike for cheap on craigslist.

kpd905

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I'd drop your husband's 401k contribution down to zero for now and put that extra money toward his student loans.

Household expenses seem really high per month.

Going with good car insurance as a substitute for health insurance doesn't seem like a good idea.  I wouldn't be too happy if my spouse could bankrupt me whenever a broken bone or appendicitis came along.

so.mpls

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The obvious cuts at first glance are:

Cell phone - republic wireless, $10/month per line

Personal spending money - depending on what this is going to, it might be high

Groceries - you should be able to get down to the $200-250 range

Household expenses - seems high

Utilities - again, seems high.  Does this include cable?  How much are you paying for internet?

And on health insurance, I would strongly recommend getting some kind of coverage even if it's a high deductible/low premium plan.  You never think anything will happen until it does.  I'm 26 years old and in good shape, with no medications or history of illness.  Earlier this year I had a condition develop that required surgery and a week in the hospital.  If I didn't have any insurance, it most certainly would have bankrupt us.

Mesmoiselle

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First, it would really help if you could list your average monthly income.  That way it would be easier to determine if you have any "leaks".

A couple of things:
Cell phone- you should see if you can reduce this by using Ting or Republic, or one of the other countless cheap providers.
Bus pass- Can your husband by this through his work to use pre-tax money? 
Household expenses- Work to reduce this.  Use less disposables (paper towels, trash bags, ziplocks, fly strips, etc).
Car expenses- Can you change your own oil and do your own repairs?
Dental Upkeep- Have you looked to see if you can go to a dental school in your area?  They charge less and the work is supervised by dentists.
Utilities- Can you use a password protected programmable thermostat?  Change bulbs to CFLs.  Try a time of use plan if available.
Dogs- make sure you find your food and meds for as cheap as possible.  For example, I order flea medication online for 1/2 the price.  Food can be cheaper on Amazon.
Student loans- Have you tried to consolidate these loans at a lower rate?  6.5% to 4.5% could make a difference in total interest paid and cash flow
Biking- I get that you can't commute on a bike, but what about going shopping or getting around on your days off? You can get a bike for cheap on craigslist.

Edited OP to add income by month.

My renters are in laws, we take turns buying toilet paper. That is literally the only paper good in the house. socks with holes in them are turned into kitchen rags so I have an endless supply of rags. I don't even use paper for my lady related messes, instead use reusable cloth rags and and a reusable silicone cup.

During the summer months, fly strips are cheapest and least poisonous way of dealing with bugs that come indoors. Regarding programmable password protected thermostats; there is a point where the in laws are not willing to put up with such a control freak way of doing things. I would need my husband to discuss with them such an idea and receive neutral to positive approval before doing something like that. I can't control how much trash they make, one in particular is not anywhere close to frugal and lives on convenience food and all it's packaging. I bought a Costco thing of foil, plastic wrap, and buggies. I expect those single purchases to last me 2+ years as I hardly use them and lean heavily on Pyrex or Tupperware.

I only recently started buying flew medication regularly and have no idea what a good cost for such a thing would be. Can you enlighten me? We feed our dogs pinto beans and rice plus a few dog specific and bulk purchased supplements that should make their food cost $15/month which was an improvement over the $35/month kibble I was purchasing.

I will bring up the bus pass through work thing. UPS is pretty cool, they might be that cool. I will look into local dental school, don't even know if we have one. But I get a 3% discount for paying in cash at dentist after asking for a discount of some kind for being loyal, not adding to their insurance dealings, and the cash idea.

I bought a house with old light bulbs and have been switching to CFL as they died. Should I get rid of old free light bulbs sooner before they die? Also been updating fire hazard 50+ yr old electrical wiring throughout house. Surely that helps a penny here and there.

I hate changing my own oil so much that I would use my personal spending money to avoid it. Interesting idea; do that, so I realize that it's a luxury and not a need and spend even less on volunteer dine outs. I can't do any major car repair work due to lack of knowledge but in law is mechanic and he gives me discounts and car advice on my Toyota matrix.

Huh. Consolidating student loans to a 4.5% sounds interesting. We'd have to run the numbers regarding consolidation fees vs expected time of pay off and see if we come out ahead on that idea.

Will start shopping cragslist for a bike. Recommendations?

Mesmoiselle

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The obvious cuts at first glance are:

Cell phone - republic wireless, $10/month per line

Personal spending money - depending on what this is going to, it might be high

Groceries - you should be able to get down to the $200-250 range

Household expenses - seems high

Utilities - again, seems high.  Does this include cable?  How much are you paying for internet?

And on health insurance, I would strongly recommend getting some kind of coverage even if it's a high deductible/low premium plan.  You never think anything will happen until it does.  I'm 26 years old and in good shape, with no medications or history of illness.  Earlier this year I had a condition develop that required surgery and a week in the hospital.  If I didn't have any insurance, it most certainly would have bankrupt us.

Cell phones: this is kind of renter/family territory. My younger brother requires a smart phone as he doesn't have a computer. He lives in another state and his Iphone is under contract. I can discuss with him some options but for now he probably doesn't have the contract cancellation fee and he pays his share of the bill with school loans twice a year. The 4th phone on this plan is already a $10/month add on for my disabled Mother in law, no data. I'm under contract on my phone, my husband is not. I've discussed various plans with my AT&T provider, but at this time, I seem to be getting the best bang for my buck for 4 phones, three of them smart phones, that doesn't get my younger charged overage fees (which he did a few times till I got him more data, saving HIM money but nuetral impact for the rest of us). I'd actually rather get rid of my house internet than adjust the phones, but my in laws have computers and wouldn't put up with less than the already recently decreased plan I put them on.

I think the household expenses are high at the moment as I slowly add more Tupperware to my situation. Every time I prep a weeks worth of meals, I run out of things to store them in. Since meal planning has already saved me $200 the first month I've done it, this a good direction with a little up front start up cost. I hope in the future that household will be 20-50$ or less in the future just to maintain current purchases of Costco bulk, a membership I only recently got.

We pay $58 for internet and a work house phone(house phone is complicated but non negotiable). No cable, roommate has his we watch for free occasionally. I currently have free Amazon prime, and then reduced student discount prime after next summer. Utilities are $60 per month water and we got locked into a winter plan of $195/month electric gas. This is an old house, insulation in the attic is currently under discussion, gas/electric bills last winter ran us $200-$240.

Regarding health insurance!

We're young, we're vegan, and have 10k in empty credit cards available. I also know for a fact there are semi affordable medical loans one can take out with monthly payment plans. Cancer will bankrupt you pretty much no matter what, and I've discussed health insurance at length with husband.

Bankruptcy is not the worst thing that can happen to a person although it really really sucks. The only insurance, outside of car insurance I would consider is life, so my husband doesn't get screwed if I were to die and accident?disability insurance to cover income loss while healing. In his case, his income hardly makes a dent so I would be okay if anything happened to him but not vice versa regarding my income.

Thing is, I'm not willing to replace car insurance with $300-$500/month health insurance on a chance. Health insurance is a modern commodity we only recently invented in what, last 40 years? Any who. Not for everyone, but we are taking a very informed gamble.

so.mpls

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The obvious cuts at first glance are:

Cell phone - republic wireless, $10/month per line

Personal spending money - depending on what this is going to, it might be high

Groceries - you should be able to get down to the $200-250 range

Household expenses - seems high

Utilities - again, seems high.  Does this include cable?  How much are you paying for internet?

And on health insurance, I would strongly recommend getting some kind of coverage even if it's a high deductible/low premium plan.  You never think anything will happen until it does.  I'm 26 years old and in good shape, with no medications or history of illness.  Earlier this year I had a condition develop that required surgery and a week in the hospital.  If I didn't have any insurance, it most certainly would have bankrupt us.

Cell phones: this is kind of renter/family territory. My younger brother requires a smart phone as he doesn't have a computer. He lives in another state and his Iphone is under contract. I can discuss with him some options but for now he probably doesn't have the contract cancellation fee and he pays his share of the bill with school loans twice a year. The 4th phone on this plan is already a $10/month add on for my disabled Mother in law, no data. I'm under contract on my phone, my husband is not. I've discussed various plans with my AT&T provider, but at this time, I seem to be getting the best bang for my buck for 4 phones, three of them smart phones, that doesn't get my younger charged overage fees (which he did a few times till I got him more data, saving HIM money but nuetral impact for the rest of us). I'd actually rather get rid of my house internet than adjust the phones, but my in laws have computers and wouldn't put up with less than the already recently decreased plan I put them on.

I think the household expenses are high at the moment as I slowly add more Tupperware to my situation. Every time I prep a weeks worth of meals, I run out of things to store them in. Since meal planning has already saved me $200 the first month I've done it, this a good direction with a little up front start up cost. I hope in the future that household will be 20-50$ or less in the future just to maintain current purchases of Costco bulk, a membership I only recently got.

We pay $58 for internet and a work house phone(house phone is complicated but non negotiable). No cable, roommate has his we watch for free occasionally. I currently have free Amazon prime, and then reduced student discount prime after next summer. Utilities are $60 per month water and we got locked into a winter plan of $195/month electric gas. This is an old house, insulation in the attic is currently under discussion, gas/electric bills last winter ran us $200-$240.

Regarding health insurance!

We're young, we're vegan, and have 10k in empty credit cards available. I also know for a fact there are semi affordable medical loans one can take out with monthly payment plans. Cancer will bankrupt you pretty much no matter what, and I've discussed health insurance at length with husband.

Bankruptcy is not the worst thing that can happen to a person although it really really sucks. The only insurance, outside of car insurance I would consider is life, so my husband doesn't get screwed if I were to die and accident?disability insurance to cover income loss while healing. In his case, his income hardly makes a dent so I would be okay if anything happened to him but not vice versa regarding my income.

Thing is, I'm not willing to replace car insurance with $300-$500/month health insurance on a chance. Health insurance is a modern commodity we only recently invented in what, last 40 years? Any who. Not for everyone, but we are taking a very informed gamble.

Thanks for the additional info.  I'm a little confused on the phones - are you paying for all 4?  If not, you should only be counting what you pay in your expenses.  $100/month for 2 lines would be bad, for 4 lines pretty good.

One more comment on health insurance, then I'll stop :)

I've worked in the health care industry so I know a fair amount about how these things work. First of all, a very basic plan would cost you $60-80 a month given your age and health, NOT anywhere close to $300 or $500. The payment plans you're referring to may help in the short term, but if you get a sizable bill onto one it'll pretty much ensure that you'll never be financially independent. Plus, there's no guarantee that you'll qualify for one.
 
Cancer will NOT bankrupt you no matter what.  That may have been the case at one point but not any more.  And there are thousands of other diseases things that can happen, even to young & healthy people that will ensure bankruptcy if you don't have insurance.  You could spend a decade digging yourself out of your debt and building a small nest egg, and all it would take is an awkward stumble or a cooking accident or any of a thousand other stupid things to happen and you're 100k back in the hole. You're not immune to these things no matter your lifestyle.   

Mesmoiselle

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For all of you pushing me to get health insurance, I just faked a preliminary quote from Ehealthinsurance.

The catastrophic plan is $211.08 and the bronze plan $277.47 for my husband and I. Unless a phone call to fine tune the quote would shave off some serious dollars, it is not "just $80-$90". Unless you were just talking about short term disability and some "accident" from Alfac?

No idea what liability only car insurance would cost for me, but let's say it knocks it down to $30/month. I free up $100/month to turn around and buy a $211-$277 monthly product I won't use because it's taken me three years of dental visits and two clinic visits to total $2000 of costs. A number that will be quickly superseded in a mere 10 months for "just in case" while I pay interest on debt and don't make any headway on retirement.

But I have had wind damage and a car wreck twice in the last three years, totalling about $8,000 in repair work that my out of pocket outside my monthly was $250.

I'm not seeing the desirability for full blown health insurance.

Mesmoiselle

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Okay, so so far what I've gleaned from this thread.

  • Attempt bike riding for non work. I'm considering a cheapie and a book bag to do this to start off with. And any perceived savings aside to save up for a better bike and trailer.
  • Consider breaking from the AT&T fold; I will test the waters with my husband's non contract phone with some of the local options. As my cell phone is how my job reaches me, I can't accept poor service
  • Comparison shop flea meds?
  • Switch light bulbs and add insulation to attic
  • Seek out loan consolidation
  • seek out dental school
  • Continue cutting back on food.

Well. Even $10 is important, but other than food, I see no magical place to save hundreds of dollars a month although the above added to hundreds of dollars a year. :)

wtjbatman

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One dog has cost you almost $10,000 in medical bills?? I'm a dog lover and even I would call it quits with that dog. I mean, what's his quality of life? Are you being selfish (and also financially irresponsible) by spending so much to keep him alive?

Mesmoiselle

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One dog has cost you almost $10,000 in medical bills?? I'm a dog lover and even I would call it quits with that dog. I mean, what's his quality of life? Are you being selfish (and also financially irresponsible) by spending so much to keep him alive?

His quality of life is quite high. He goes on walks, wags his tail, enjoys his food. He is not in any pain, in spite of his four diagnoses. If he were in pain, then it would have been a selfish move to keep him going.

I find it interesting the highly different standards people have regarding a variety of choices entirely based on one trait: species.

If grandpa Bob were a blind mute diabetic retired man who had a bad couple of months that were pricey after a lifetime of health, most people wouldn't be gunning to pull the plug just to keep their bank account happy.

I followed my ethics on the decision and will continue to do so. Thanks.

Mesmoiselle

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It is perhaps due to my 25% work discount, but Ting says I will merely save $330 over two years; understanding their graph, the savings wouldn't kick in until month 17 of 24. The rate phones go, this would be about the time I'd be concerned about replacement phones, making all savings reduced by another $160. I think waiting to the end of my contract and buying Go phone SIMs for hopefully still working phones would be cheaper.

I will check Republic Wireless as well, but I'm not seeing the savings here  that would make a difference in the next year.

MWM1220

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Mesmoiselle,

I completely understand how you feel about your pets. I have a cat and a dog, and one time the cat cost me a TON of cash (I was 22, and my folks were nice enough to help me out). From that day forward, I have had pet insurance on both of them. I see that pet insurance is one of your pet expenses. I know some might scoff at this, but I, myself, decided I never again wanted to be put in the situation where the vet bill was so high that I contemplated putting one of them down. Was your $10,000 bill before the insurance? If not - I would definitely consider shopping around. I use Petplan and get really affordable rates and everything besides annual shots is covered with only a $50 deductible per incident. Might be worth considering?

It's also possible you did what I did - saw the giant bill and then decided to get the insurance. But just thought I'd check!

Also - I know this seems to be something you're putting your foot down on, and I can respect that, but I also don't think I would be able to give you advice without reiterating the health care nod that others have given. When I was 8 my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. We were NOT bankrupted by this. In fact, our health insurance during that time is the only thing that made it possible for me to one day go to college with help from my parents (as well as my brothers), play extracurriculars at school, do normal kid things not to mention safeguarding things like our home and my parents' retirement. I'm so thankful that my loved ones had insurance to keep from putting that bankruptcy burden on me and my siblings and on themselves. I know you don't have kids, but maybe you can count that one as just a gift you're giving to your husband in the event of something extreme. No one plans on disaster - in fact my mother had never been sick a day in her life, non smoker, non drinker, non drug user and was only 34 years old when she was diagnosed. Not exactly a "high risk" patient. Obviously I can't control your decisions, but I also have to manage my own conscience and I don't think I could respond to this post without adding my two cents there. Like I said - I definitely respect your decision, but would encourage you to shop around a bit further or even call a broker to see what kind of rates you could get.

Mesmoiselle

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@mwm1220

I have three schnauzers. Two of the three are brothers. They are all about 13, so 60-80% through their life span. D the Dog was the healthiest of the three, to be honest, until I started noticing his losing weight and frequent urination. I waited a little two long to make the appointment(a month) before I took him in and at that point he was acutely dehydrated with super high sugar. The Vet talked me into an ICU stay saying it'd be about $1500 final bill. I think it ended up being $2200. At the point, we thought we had his diagnoses, we went about the $130 of medical supplies (insulin and needles) and settled in to life with a diabetic dog. But it wasn't just diabetes; he goes blind and walks into walls due to cataracts (a $1500 surgery I've chosen not to do.) That took a specialist visit to determine and resulted in roughly $100 of eye drops every month. The Vet visits are $90/appt and we were going every other week for a while. Then another diagnosis, also treatable, led to side effects from the meds which led to, you guessed it, another ICU visit for internal bleeding and a blood transfusion.

He's been tired, he's been skinny, he hasn't liked being poked with needles I'm sure, but he's not lying around rotting; he has actually been having a great month since about three months of health scares finished and we figured out the right kinds and amounts of meds. I have frivolous spent 10k on a wedding and reception I didn't even end up liking; that's irresponsibility. People get dogs and literally abandon them the minute anything goes wrong. Dogs have been given to the pound because they had a flea problem! Taking care of my dogs, even to their possibly expensive end, is NOT irresponsibility. It's finishing the job I signed up for by bringing them into my life. If I don't like the costs, then I shouldn't have a dog.

And yes. After spending that much, I got pet insurance for his biological brother and my other Female pet. D the Dog can't have coverage for any already diagnosed conditions so it'd be something I can't use with him. But I absolutely don't want finances to torture me on another health scare with the pups.

Look, I'm not anti health insurance- I'm not "never going to get it". It's not offered to me in an affordable way at my work. My husband simply has to work at the union a full year before they cover the two of us for free. I have a very short window of non coverage (9 months) with a long history for good health and preventative habits. But statistically, it is very unlikely for a 20 something to get seriously ill. That's why it used to be cheap for young people to get health insurance, but now they can't consider age as closely as they did before. Thanks for reaching out though.

Gimesalot

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Here is my example:

Revolution 12 pack for cats at vet: $238
1800petmeds.com: $190
petshed.com: $124
signpet.com: $147
I have used singpet.com before.  Their customer service is spotty, but I have always received my shipments.  I have not used petshed.com.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 10:47:01 PM by Gimesalot »

NICE!

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Everyone else tried to be diplomatic, so I'll try a different tactic.

You have the temerity to question someone else's point on a 10k pet bill because of your ethics, yet you're fully ready to foist the possible costs of a serious health issue on the rest of society? Where's the ethics there? Where's the personal responsibility? Is it ok for you to be a free rider in the system, whistling while you hope nothing bad happens but if it does you'll hit the ER and we'll foot the bill for you? Health insurance is a new invention, you're right, but it is ethically one of the deals you sign up for by living in our modern society. Did you have a choice in the matter? No, but you can advocate for political change if you have a problem with it.

Also, you can probably get a plan for cheaper than what you're saying. I have a feeling you just searched for a quote super fast to disprove people's numbers, rather than doing an in-depth search. Maybe I'm wrong, but that is what it looks like.

bacchi

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Pets - yeah, I'm a firm believer in the "Le Petit Prince" concept of pet ownership. Money has many uses and one of them is to help friends and family when they need you most.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the short-term plans on ehealthinsurance start at $48 for my zip. You're making a reasonable choice as it is, statistically, but personally I'd go to the dentist once/year if your teeth are healthy and then use the savings for the short-term plan.

Your utilities are crazy high. Is that water, electricity, or gas? And, yes, replace any incandescent bulbs with CFLs immediately.

Your inlaws seem to be costing more than they're contributing. Can their "rent" go up? Can you charge them the cost of the CFLs because they're the electricity hogs? Or they can pay for part of the attic insulation? (You can do this yourself. Laying out cotton batts is easy-peasy and Home Depot/Lowe's will rent a blower for the loose fill.)

waltworks

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$10k would save multiple human lives even in the developed world. In a poorer country it could easily save hundreds. That's not to say you have any moral or ethical obligation to use it that way, but defending using it on a dog is silly. You just have to sit down and say "I value a few months of my dogs life over *everything else* I could have used that money for." If you're happy with that, you're good.

But hey, it's your money. You obviously don't want to really change your life, so congratulations - you will never, ever be financially independent, let alone in 15 years.

-W

Spondulix

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Have you looked for quotes on a temp health insurance plan? Premiums tend to be lower. Or getting your own disability coverage? It might only be $5 a month but it's at least some sort of protection/income if something were to happen in the interim.

I was one of those people who in my 20s said, "We're smart. It won't happen to us!" Then my husband fell off a bicycle - 3 blocks from our house going like 5 mph - and broke BOTH of his arms. He was in horrible pain overnight cause we were scared of the costs of the ER (there's being Mustacian and then there's being stupid - and that was a poor decision). Even for a handful of doctor visits, we got bills for 6 months. We had the most minimal crappy insurance just in case of an emergency (and negotiated some expenses down), but the debt from that would have been ridiculous if we didn't have insurance. The immediate debt isn't necessarily from the medical costs, but the total cost of the injury (What I hadn't considered). My husband couldn't eat with a fork or put on a shirt himself for weeks, was out of work for a month, couldn't drive for 6 weeks (which meant me having to take days off from work sometimes) - and it wasn't even that bad of an injury! You don't have to break both arms to be in that situation - I've got a coworker who had a foot injury and couldn't drive, and found himself in the same boat. His wife had to drop to part time just to drive him to and from work (cause he was the higher earner). So these things definitely happen - it's a total gamble (and not an educated risk).

Prairie Stash

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I would tackle utilities. LED bulbs are nicer than CFL, last 2.5 times as long, use half the electricity and don't flicker. Drying racks or lines also reduce wear on clothes. Insulation, weather stripping, and low flow shower heads are also on my list of quick pay offs. Some products have dramatic reductions in water like low flow toilets, they don't save money where I live if you already have a toilet (the cost of replacing outweighs the savings even as a DIY project).

Next I try some minor projects like gardening. Grow some lettuce if you can, it's fun and saves money. Other options include small herb pots, your cooking will appreciate fresh herbs :)

One of my coworkers delivers papers on her morning walk. Since she's already walking a dog she gets paid too. Could this work for you? It's funny you ever had a gym membership, I think 3 dogs is a lot of exercise!

I admire your thinking with tenants. For the sake of peace and harmony it's important to remember they expect a certain level of service for their rent, I think you very cognizant of that. It's pretty cool you get along with the in laws.

Mesmoiselle

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Your utilities are crazy high. Is that water, electricity, or gas? And, yes, replace any incandescent bulbs with CFLs immediately.

Your inlaws seem to be costing more than they're contributing. Can their "rent" go up? Can you charge them the cost of the CFLs because they're the electricity hogs? Or they can pay for part of the attic insulation? (You can do this yourself. Laying out cotton batts is easy-peasy and Home Depot/Lowe's will rent a blower for the loose fill.)


Regarding all the people who were rather negative about my ill dog: he's dead now.  He was worth every dollar. I had no regrets about the expense, I truly believe that. Unlike my wedding expense in 2013 from which I regretted every dollar spent halfway through the reception. So kindly STFU about him.

The utilities included:
$51.5 internet
$10.5 house phone because my on-call job said my cell phone doesn't work sometimes,
$195 combined Electric/Gas
$60 water/trash/recycling

We get $49/month for the latter two utilities from our two roommates (Person A and B) because we essentially all pay 25% per person and my husband and I are 2/4 people. We just finished negotiations in August for a Standardized monthly AVERAGE charge with one year history to guide it just to get the $49. They were making us tally out their exact share monthly. ugh.

Then each family-roommate pays $150 as rent, with $199 total coming from each. Conversations with Person B about what's fair has led to some high resentment on my part. For example, we exchange access to internet for access to cable with person A. But person B isn't making an exchange or paying for access, so he's essentially getting internet access for free.  I'm glad he's moving out in 6 months. I'm riding it out the annoyance (I'm still coming out with $150/month for a room I'm not using) and my husband doesn't want to fight with him about it either. Point is that number isn't going to change again till next year when the bill goes up from inflation. I'm never going to charge less than the $49 so if the insulation makes a drastic difference, I'll see the savings in my pocket.

Insulation is being purchased in two weeks. Hoorah. Replaced all the bulbs.

MKinVA

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I don't want to be critical, but I guess I'm going to be critical. These people are sponging off of you. Get rid of them. And the only way you can become financially free is to dramatically increase your income. Saving on light bulbs is not going to do it. Your husband needs to get a real job now. He's a grown up, not a college student. Take on renters that are not family members. All this conversation about what is fair, husband doesn't want to confront his family member, etc, is all crap. Don't take it from them or from him.

BPA

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I don't want to be critical, but I guess I'm going to be critical. These people are sponging off of you. Get rid of them. And the only way you can become financially free is to dramatically increase your income. Saving on light bulbs is not going to do it. Your husband needs to get a real job now. He's a grown up, not a college student. Take on renters that are not family members. All this conversation about what is fair, husband doesn't want to confront his family member, etc, is all crap. Don't take it from them or from him.

+1

My brother rents from me and I charge below market value, but he contributes in other ways.  Also, I'm already FI so that makes a difference.  The way I look at it, his rent pays my property tax. 

You seem like a real go-getter that others who aren't go-getters rely on too much.  I guess you need to determine for yourself how much of your financial freedom you are willing to sacrifice for others.  Maybe it is worth it. 

Mesmoiselle

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I don't want to be critical, but I guess I'm going to be critical. These people are sponging off of you. Get rid of them. And the only way you can become financially free is to dramatically increase your income. Saving on light bulbs is not going to do it. Your husband needs to get a real job now. He's a grown up, not a college student. Take on renters that are not family members. All this conversation about what is fair, husband doesn't want to confront his family member, etc, is all crap. Don't take it from them or from him.

+1

My brother rents from me and I charge below market value, but he contributes in other ways.  Also, I'm already FI so that makes a difference.  The way I look at it, his rent pays my property tax. 

You seem like a real go-getter that others who aren't go-getters rely on too much.  I guess you need to determine for yourself how much of your financial freedom you are willing to sacrifice for others.  Maybe it is worth it. 
I don't want to be critical, but I guess I'm going to be critical. These people are sponging off of you. Get rid of them. And the only way you can become financially free is to dramatically increase your income. Saving on light bulbs is not going to do it. Your husband needs to get a real job now. He's a grown up, not a college student. Take on renters that are not family members. All this conversation about what is fair, husband doesn't want to confront his family member, etc, is all crap. Don't take it from them or from him.

I just posted the following because it seems unrelated to my case study just a tad once you get the details. I feel I am maximizing what I can get through friends/in laws for the space and nearly have my mortgage covered. Starting January, my mortgage will be covered. Starting May 2015, mortgage and a third of my utilities will be covered.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-much-*should*-i-be-charging-my-roommatesin-laws/

BPA

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I just replied there. 

Good luck! 

Mesmoiselle

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Next I try some minor projects like gardening. Grow some lettuce if you can, it's fun and saves money. Other options include small herb pots, your cooking will appreciate fresh herbs :)

One of my coworkers delivers papers on her morning walk. Since she's already walking a dog she gets paid too. Could this work for you? It's funny you ever had a gym membership, I think 3 dogs is a lot of exercise!

We did gardening this year (2014). Probably got a $100 worth of tomatoes, $20 of squash, $50 of herbs, for very little startup cost.  Gotta pick the right vegetables to grow. No way you can do a carrot or potato or cabbage cheaper than the big guys. But lettuces, herbs, tomatoes, fancy squash are sure savings.

I'm also a part time student, and I've recently gotten into bank account/credit card churning as well as using rewards cards very liberally. Since I'm already earning 50 of the 60k, I think I'll leave getting more work to the job hunting part time husband.

mozar

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Sorry about the dog.

Mesmoiselle

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Sorry about the dog.

I appreciate the sentiment, Mozar. I chose to miss some work while I grieved his loss and pick up his ashes tomorrow.

Goldielocks

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updated with changes 11/25/2014


Current expenses: $2250+886 ish debt = $3136

$50/month household expenses (Minor repairs like an oven burner/TP/toothpaste/tupperware)
$50/month on holiday things at the moment, usually $0
$50/month average on on non insured dental upkeep

$37/month average on job required licence upkeep

$22/month life insurance until mortgage paid off
$4/month to Costco membership ($55/12)  (OK, you say you save money here - but I never could on food alone!)
$317/month Gas/Electric/water/trash/recycling/phone/internet
$100/month Dogs: this is food, flea meds, dog insurance, and vet visits averaged out for 2 old dogs

Debt payments:
$361 Husband Student Loans:
$325/month to aggressive CC payment
$200/month to personal loan repayment



Liabilities:

$325/month on $3800 on 0% CC  to be paid off in 12. 
$200/month on $12,000 0% interest personal loan
$0/month on $7500 in 6.8% school loans of my own (currently deferred)
$361/month on $28,500 in 6.8% school loans of my husband's
$415/month to $39,000 remaining mortgage @ 3.5% interest 15 year term

Specific Question(s):

I'm gaining another tenant next year that will net me another $300/month in reduced expenses, bringing me to 2-3 in laws plus my boyfriend next year in my 1800/ square foot house. The moment we do get health insurance I will dump full coverage car insurance to liability only.



AS my husband keeps applying for a big boost in income, I've been side hustling of a sort. I've taken up CC churning, Bank account churning, and pushing as much as I can through Rewards CCs. In the last 2-3 months, this has earned me about $300. I plan to "earn" another $450-$650 before the end of the year.

I'm a part time student an US technician. I want to become an R.R.A. which would double my income, and the only route to it is a degree so unfortunately, I can't skip the college.

Input appreciated.

Hi - saw your post today, about not getting the type of replies you were looking for.  I did not post previously, because you are obviously doing things very carefully, in many ways better than I -- your attention shows in your post on Costco pricing per oz.  for example.  That is one of my bigger suggestions to some of the others and you are all over it already.

Above - I have removed all the awesome stuff that you are already working on, or have excelled on.  e.g.,  Using your home as an income property is an excellent choice.   Plan for college as well - excellent, just keep the loans as low as possible, try to get a job offer before you graduate, etc.


Here is the problem that you already likely know --

$37 per month for license -- can you get your employer to cover part of this (eg maybe the same % that you are working?)  Have you asked?  Made a bit of a stink about this, or asked for a pay increase based on the fact that you cover your own costs for this and other (un named) things?


You don't need life insurance - you have tennants that can cover a lot of your mortgage!  Your SO is employed!  you have so many other ways to ensure your family is taken care of, with a small monthly mortgage.

I am so sorry about your dog -- but please don't get any more pets until both you and SO are fully employed - and then you may not have enough time for a dog anyway.   $100 is a lot of money, maybe this is down to $600 per year now?  Still a LOT of money.   Can you reduce the quality of the food (kirkland brand?)  reduce vet visits?   Let dog live good enough life with you, until it is time to let him go?  (That is harsh, I know, but your other post seemed to ask us to say the obvious -- I myself just spent $700 bloomin dollars on an SPCA cat with a foot infection!  if I had any idea how much $20-$50 vet bills could add up so fast we may have made another choice.  Pets are crazy expensive when not 100% healthy)


$600 per year is a lot of dental work -- if you have a significant tooth problem, you may want to get that health insurance after all. Teeth are a leading sign of overall health they say.  But, if you have good health, this a lot to spend on your teeth -- while trying to go to school and get full time work.  This can wait a couple of years.

Utilities -- keep checking into this -- it is hard with boarders / tennents, but maybe you will find that you are not charging them enough, or your new tennant should contribute a small amount per month just for utilities?  Can you get rid of phone?  Basic internet only? Turn off all power from 10pm to 5am via a house-wide switch? 

Okay -- how does a student, with a not fully employed SO loan so much money to family --Interest free --?
This type of generous nature is partially why you are here.  I bet that you are a very kind and loving person who tremendously values family.   BUT -- there are so many non money ways to care for your family that you need to say NO to all money requests, all the time, until you are at the least fully employed and debt free.


Lastly -- you and SO already spend $200 on personal money -- why the added $100 per month for holiday and household?  I recommend that you each take $100 cash at the start of the month, and stop all spending when it is gone..  Get creative when the money is gone.   


Best of luck!  My comments above are meant to inspire you, not to face punch you, as you are already mentally there with so many things.


Mesmoiselle

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Hi - saw your post today, about not getting the type of replies you were looking for.  I did not post previously, because you are obviously doing things very carefully, in many ways better than I -- your attention shows in your post on Costco pricing per oz.  for example.  That is one of my bigger suggestions to some of the others and you are all over it already.

Above - I have removed all the awesome stuff that you are already working on, or have excelled on.  e.g.,  Using your home as an income property is an excellent choice.   Plan for college as well - excellent, just keep the loans as low as possible, try to get a job offer before you graduate, etc.


Here is the problem that you already likely know --

$37 per month for license -- can you get your employer to cover part of this (eg maybe the same % that you are working?)  Have you asked?  Made a bit of a stink about this, or asked for a pay increase based on the fact that you cover your own costs for this and other (un named) things?


You don't need life insurance - you have tennants that can cover a lot of your mortgage!  Your SO is employed!  you have so many other ways to ensure your family is taken care of, with a small monthly mortgage.

I am so sorry about your dog -- but please don't get any more pets until both you and SO are fully employed - and then you may not have enough time for a dog anyway.   $100 is a lot of money, maybe this is down to $600 per year now?  Still a LOT of money.   Can you reduce the quality of the food (kirkland brand?)  reduce vet visits?   Let dog live good enough life with you, until it is time to let him go?  (That is harsh, I know, but your other post seemed to ask us to say the obvious -- I myself just spent $700 bloomin dollars on an SPCA cat with a foot infection!  if I had any idea how much $20-$50 vet bills could add up so fast we may have made another choice.  Pets are crazy expensive when not 100% healthy)


$600 per year is a lot of dental work -- if you have a significant tooth problem, you may want to get that health insurance after all. Teeth are a leading sign of overall health they say.  But, if you have good health, this a lot to spend on your teeth -- while trying to go to school and get full time work.  This can wait a couple of years.

Utilities -- keep checking into this -- it is hard with boarders / tennents, but maybe you will find that you are not charging them enough, or your new tennant should contribute a small amount per month just for utilities?  Can you get rid of phone?  Basic internet only? Turn off all power from 10pm to 5am via a house-wide switch? 

Okay -- how does a student, with a not fully employed SO loan so much money to family --Interest free --?
This type of generous nature is partially why you are here.  I bet that you are a very kind and loving person who tremendously values family.   BUT -- there are so many non money ways to care for your family that you need to say NO to all money requests, all the time, until you are at the least fully employed and debt free.


Lastly -- you and SO already spend $200 on personal money -- why the added $100 per month for holiday and household?  I recommend that you each take $100 cash at the start of the month, and stop all spending when it is gone..  Get creative when the money is gone.   


Best of luck!  My comments above are meant to inspire you, not to face punch you, as you are already mentally there with so many things.

I really appreciate the commentary. I want you to know that I'm not trying to justify silly spending but that I am simply explaining the thoughts about them that led to those choices.

Required by law maintenance education: not covered by employer. It would be awesome if they did , but I think that would be covered under the price per hour. And they do offer free CPR classes. Honestly, I am so very negative about my job's appreciation of me that is nearly the entire reason I seek FI. I'm over qualified (and the therefore very bored), been looked over for promotion, not been given a raise for near three years and actually had my wages cut for most of 2014. I calculated that particular temporary change at a 5k loss; I think enough collective stink was raised, they reversed the decision 9 Mon later. I actually got very fired up to go ask for a raise the other day, but after investigating, found out that my employer still pays $2/hour more than their competitors. Other than my being overqualified and loyal despite crappy hours, I have nothing to stand on to make my demands. Threatening to walk is not in the picture; as sole bread winner with no other options in the city that wouldn't require a licence I don't have...ugh. The thing of it is that I am an easily replaceable PRN employee who gleans no benefits or even promised hours and new graduates would love to have even that much because that's just the job outlook in this city for US tech's unless you go the baby route.

Life insurance: it's something we just got. Husband wanted it and it sort of makes sense? If I were to die, the house would be paid off and my income partially provided. If he were to die, I would suffer my own job loss from massive grief. My dog died and I couldn't handle anything for 48 hours. Can't imagine what it would be like if he died. Also some hoop about how you can't open a grave without cash or an insurance policy number. We don't currently have the cash as we dig ourselves out of debt. They freeze all your accounts when a spouse dies, so you don't even have access to your own money even if you had the 8-12 k for burial on hand.

Pets: I said even before those recent health expense that I was not getting another dog for a long while or ever. But I'm still caring for the remaining two (I had three). I only do flea stuff in warm months, and their food is $10/month(may even be less) as I feed them scraps, pinto beans, and brown rice with a vet approved supplement. After the big crisis, I decided I didn't want to deal with money being a limiting factor for their health care and got the highest deductible pet insurance right before the age cutoff limit of 13 years applied to them.

Dental work: I floss, I brush, I gargle and and! I went and got my teeth cleaned every three months.  Every three! Still had a cavity every time I went in. The dentist says I have craggy teeth but keep up the good work. After near three years of doing this, however, I have resolved to go merely twice a year again. I guess the cavities will just be bigger. But if I go further than that, I do worry that something serious would crop up. My mother had lost all of her teeth but the 8 in front by my age. DH just goes the twice a year.

Utilities: I'm adding insulation to attic. We signed up for the saver average plan with the company. Also, we get paid utilities share from the roomies, we aren't footing the total bill for that. House phone is annoying; the hospital says they can't reach me on my cell phone "sometimes" and I was getting chided at work for this. Now that I've had it, they've used it exactly twice to get me and we otherwise use it to find a misplaced cell phone. I've told my supervisor that I may Turn it off but he doesn't seem pleased at the idea. Using DH phone seems like it may not be an option because of it's my own house blocking service, well, he has the same provider. We reduced the internet -saved us only $5/Mon Time Warner has a monopoly for the usage we need.

Loaning money: we both have younger brothers and we both have soft hearts. I did a one time charge of $50 his year of my own brother for "interest" as disincentive to borrow again but I think he has such a borrowing mentality it didn't even phase him. I tried to introduce him to YNAB, he ignores it. Bah. I think I'll be kicking him off the teat in the Spring however. When he pays me back, I'm cancelling his expensive phone plan he has with me $55/Mon AT&T. My parting and final gift will be a Republic Wireless phone and then it's no from then on out.

And after reviewing ERE we are cutting the household and fun money in half  and working towards zero. The holiday is only that high because we didn't have the cash on hand at the end. We spent $150 on the whole of it last year, books and novelty treats for 5 households of people.

[with bike, hope to reduce fuel expenses in half. Wish to reduce personal spending and household to zero or near zero. That gives us $200-300/month right there. When phone bill is reduced, that'll shave off another $50/month. And bringing groceries down to an efficient$100/Mon per person would give another $200.

goals just listed total$450-$550/month

And I would be very happy with that.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 10:10:09 PM by Mesmoiselle »

Goldielocks

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OK!
Can you go to competitor for more hours but lower rate?  Extra 10 hr a week may be worth it?

The law maintenance... I know my professional dues are paid by employer, which ius common but more for full timers?

Not to push hard, but all your explanations are choices, some pretty extravagant (brother more than the dogs in my opinion), so you need to acknowledge that you have spendy habits here, but that is your choice.. If not willing to agessively cut, then why post?

Dogs. What would happen if you stop vet visits and just banked $'s for the ' final' visit if something more than minor crops up ( i.e., more than you can treat yourself).

Teeth.. Could be genetic, lack of FL in water (maybe growing up?)  Or brushing too much, thinning enamel?  Do you use a dental college or school for less costs?  I would choose the dentist before life insurance.  You don't need it right now.  In laws may help with funeral costs, if it came to a short term need.  My point is that you have a support network, just like they have had you for the past 10? Years.  And it is not just money that you give each other.


sheepstache

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With a quick scan I don't see that anyone has mentioned that you're paying $200 on an interest free loan while you have student loan and credit card debt? Girl, your hair is on fire. Re-negotiate that. It can be tricky to ask for an adjustment of terms when someone has been so kind to provide an interest free, informal loan, but your situation calls for it. Ask if you can reduce the payment or skip regular payments entirely and pay it off in a lump sum by the final payment date.

Looked at another way, you could be paying that person back much faster if you weren't loaning so much money to other relatives! How does that make any sense. What if your brother asked for a loan from you so that he could loan money to a friend? No. Get your own house in order. You don't say how much equity you have in the house but I'm guessing you have a negative net worth. You are not some pillar of the family who should be relied upon for loans.

Yes, welcome to the MMM forum where you don't get to choose what people facepunch you for :)

I'll bring it up too, life insurance? When you don't have health insurance? I didn't look at the number, but philosophically I get the calculated gamble about health insurance. It seems inconsistent to then be overly-cautious about life insurance. As the post above points out, you have a support network, so stop buying it. If you're really worried about funeral costs if they freeze a joint account (does that actually happen?), just open up a personal, non-joint account in each of your names with some cash. Re-reading, I see life insurance is only until mortgage is paid off, but the latest update shows your mortgage payment is covered by tenants.

From what I've heard the saver average utility bill plan doesn't save any money and may actually cost more. The idea is just to average the payment each month so it's more predictable (and that they charge a slight premium for that or just over-estimate). It's for poor people who live so close to the edge that they can't afford an unexpected expense. That's not you. Plus it might make it tricky to sort out usage questions (say, if a new tenant comes in and jacks up the usage you won't see that) or see if your energy-saving efforts are working.

I can't see if anyone else has pointed out that your cancellation charges on AT&T may be worth it to get out of the plan early. If not, can you downgrade the plans you're currently on? If you have a landline people can call you on, that should reduce the number of minutes you need. Btw, if you're getting spotty reception at your house I'm not sure Republic is the right provider to go with, but I'm not an expert and I assume you've looked into this. See I.P. Daly's superthread if you need info about the other options.

What are you paying in income taxes? I'm guessing your husband's contribution to his 401k isn't worth it. If you do think the tax savings are worth it, why not do a traditional IRA where he'd get to choose likely cheaper investment options.

I'm not inclined the facepunch the personal discretionary income but you say you value your husband not feeling poor but he is poor. He has debt and is barely earning enough to cover his expenses, maybe not even that.

Baron235

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 [/i] And in case any of you missed it, MMM admitted to not having coverage himself a couple times. We are taking an informed gamble and we're still decent hardworking people despite our lack of health insurance.



Just an FYI this could be considered insurance fraud and I wouldn't want to base my health insurance plan on a potentially fraudulent plan. 

Mesmoiselle

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 [/i] And in case any of you missed it, MMM admitted to not having coverage himself a couple times. We are taking an informed gamble and we're still decent hardworking people despite our lack of health insurance.



Just an FYI this could be considered insurance fraud and I wouldn't want to base my health insurance plan on a potentially fraudulent plan.

both my husband and I are natural born U.S. citizens. We also hold dual citizenship with a federally recognized trive. I'm currently married legally within the U.S. I can file divorce for any reason. It doesn't even have to be a logical reason but purely 100% emotional "I just don't want to be married to him anymore." They don't follow up afterwards to make sure you truly hate each other and aren't benefiting from cohabitation. I would actually be divorced, properly, with the right governmental entities. My marital status would have actually changed. That is a life event. I strongly believe this is not fraud. Unless you can find some law code to back up your statement, I will disregard this warning.

A similar thought is that bank account and credit card churning is also financial fraud. No. I filed the paperwork. I met the requirements. It is absolutely legal.

EDIT ADD: This did inspire me to look even more into my Indian benefits. And found out this sweet deal: Federally recognized tribal citizens who wish to sign up for health insurance can do so at any time and do not have to adhere to the open enrollment period.

So, now that that's settled...
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 02:16:55 PM by Mesmoiselle »