I am new to the community and am an aspiring Mustachian who has been failing up to this point. I could really use some of your advice!
About me: About to start a physician career (salary to be $210k) and moving to a rural area in Pennslyvania and have essentially <5k in savings, 105k in med school debt (3.2%), no investments, excellent credit.
I recently met a wonderful woman and got quickly married about 1 1/2 years ago. While wonderful in many ways, she has some financial issues. She has not made a whole lot of money as an esthetician for a variety of reasons including health issues. She likely will not be working as we are planning on starting a family (and moving to a rural area where her esthetician career for her may not be realistic). She has about $16k in a higher interest bank loan (9.75%), and about $30k of student loans (~3%). Also, because of lack of health insurance and health issues, she has about $20-30k of hospital debt so that her credit is obviously nil.
We are planning on staying long-term in this rural area as this particular job is essentially my dream job.
So, clearly there are a multitude of things to consider and I have been trying to figure out the best way to address debt, but also become a home-owner as soon as possible. While I am interested in adopting a more Mustachian lifestyle, I think this is just something that my wife and I can strive for at this point but not achieve. (Moving to a rural area, not taking vacations, or getting married and having a honeymoon like last year will certainly help)
My strategy was to rent a place for a year, try to save $8k/month this year (I think this is a realistic goal for us) to build up enough for a downpayment in a year while paying minimal amounts on all the loans for now. I figure that we can meet these goals, and then pay off the high-interest loans quickly afterwards, and hopefully continue to strive to save more...I have been ignoring her hospital debt for now. We want to buy a house that we will want to settle in for many years and are thinking in the 350-450k range. And of course, all this in the context of starting a family soon...Clearly, I need a lot of help!
Questions that I have that I could use sage advice and opinions:
1) Should I not worry about her hospital debt for now?
2) Should she file for bankruptcy?
3) Is it better to try to save up quickly for a downpayment on a house or should we rent for a couple of years and pay off some of our debt and build up a savings cushion?
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!