Author Topic: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)  (Read 30339 times)

Kevin S.

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BACKGROUND:

33 years old
Divorced
Working full time
Salary: roughly 42k yr
Debts: 16k car loan, 10k personal loan, 10k credit card debt
Assests: 0


Monthly expenses:
Rent $ 200
Bills $ 1200
Groceries 300


Need help all! Any and all suggestions will be much appreciative

Thanks in advance,
                         Kevin.

MDM

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See http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-write-a-%27case-study%27-topic/ for added details needed from you to help responses be more useful.

Kevin S.

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Life Situation: Single, 33 yrs old, 0 dependents, live in Denver, Co

Gross Salary/Wages: 42k gross per yer

Pre-tax deductions: zero - currently not contributing to any 401k

Other Ordinary Income: 0

Qualified Dividends & Long Term Capital Gains: 0

Rental Income, Actual Expenses, and Depreciation: 0

Adjusted Gross Income: 42k

Taxes: not sure what you are asking? I pay state and federal taxes like everyone else, I have no dependent sand claim 1 on my taxes.

Current expenses: Car payment $ 300 month, 48 months 8 % interest, owe 16.5k  / Motorcycle Payment $ 250 (200 is paid by my ex wife, long story but it's her bike in my name, owe 14k, originally 17.5k, 60 month term) / Personal Loan Payment $ 300 month, 11 % interest, 56 month term originally 15k owe 10k remaining /cc  debt (paying minimum only) $ 220 cc debt highest card 4500 with 8 % interest, 2900 card with 10 % interest, other amounts are small and under 1k / Cell phone $ 100, Cable & internet $ 80 ,


Expected ER expenses:  0

Assets: 0


Specific Question(s): I am looking at trying to make the most of the money - specifically I would like be debt free in 1 yrs time.

What can I do with my money as far as investing - what should I look into ?

My credit score is currently 650 - was a 710 about 1 yr ago but I have been an idiot lately and racked up some credit card debt and took out a cpo used car loan.

What recommendations do you have?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 05:40:37 PM by Kevin S. »

MDM

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Taxes: I file 1 or 0
Eh???

Quote
Current expenses: Car payment $ 300 month / Motorcycle Payment $ 50, Personal Loan Payment $ 300, CC debt (paying minimum only) $ 220
Original balance, interest rate, term, current balance?

Quote
Expected ER expenses: 0 - pretty healthy
That's Early Retirement, not Emergency Room. ;)  Presumably >$0.  "Same as current non-work expenses" is a common default.


The other parts were good - just picking on the ones above.

greenmimama

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Is your cell phone just for you? how can you pay $220/mo?

Kevin S.

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Is your cell phone just for you? how can you pay $220/mo?

That is credit card debt, my phone is 100 month! Just went up about a month ago as well! Wish I would have know about republic, looking at switching now!


Kevin S.

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Taxes: I file 1 or 0
Eh???

Quote
Current expenses: Car payment $ 300 month / Motorcycle Payment $ 50, Personal Loan Payment $ 300, CC debt (paying minimum only) $ 220
Original balance, interest rate, term, current balance?

Quote
Expected ER expenses: 0 - pretty healthy
That's Early Retirement, not Emergency Room. ;)  Presumably >$0.  "Same as current non-work expenses" is a common default.


Think I fixed it all! Lol

Let me know!

Thanks!


The other parts were good - just picking on the ones above.

NoraLenderbee

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Hi Kevin,
Welcome!
This is what we call a hair-on-fire situation. Your debt is more than your salary, and the interest rates are high. And it's not clear where your money is going.

Your total liabilities:
Car 16,500
Moto 14,000 (partly paid by wife)
Personal loan 10,000
CC 1 4500
CC 2 2900
CC3 <1,000

Total: 48,900.

How much is your take-home pay? You make 42K gross, subtract taxes and any other paycheck deductions (like insurance premiums), the rest is what you have to work with.

Before you can invest, you need to know how much money you have left over after all expenses. If the amount is zero (or less), then you're in a hole and still digging.  Either way, it looks like you are going to have to cut back spending to get out from under the debts. A second job might be needed, too.

Do you have any savings?

Are there other ways money flows out? What do you spend on gas, eating out, going out with friends? If you carry cash, what does it get spent on?


firewalker

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Hi
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 06:49:19 PM »
Hi Kevin S. Don't let the request for detail discourage you. It's a tried and true method to lay one's finances out and prepare for a plan of attack. It also helps mentally to feel in control of the money part of life and the future.

frugalconfederate

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The investing that you need to be doing is paying down your debt.  Build up an emergency fund so that you aren't forced to charge an expected expense and then attack those debts.  Every expense that you can cut will give you more money to pay on debt.  Good luck to you.  You aren't in as bad shape as you think.  You have  a decent income and no dependents .  You can do this.

okits

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$200/month for rent is spectacular unless you're living in a ditch.  $300/month for groceries for one seems a little high.  $180/month for phone+cable+internet also seems high.  Have you looked at Daley's superguide?

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-discussion-thread-1/

(If the guide helps you save money leave a donation when you are able.)

If you want to be debt free in a year you need a second source of income.  Lots of choices for that, many discussed here on the forums.  Watch the video at the end of this post for inspiration (that dude owed way more than you):

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/

kpd905

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Specific Question(s): I am looking at trying to make the most of the money - specifically I would like be debt free in 1 yrs time.


Unfortunately your debt is more than you make in a year.  You can try to boost your income to have more to throw at the debt, or cut your expenses (cell phone is way too high, do you need a car worth that much?).  I think if you worked on boosting income and cutting expenses, a good goal would be zero debt in 2 years.
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superone!

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Are you underwater on the car? If not I'd try to get rid of it and get something cheaper, maybe around 5k. Is there anyway to get the motorcycle into your ex's name? That might at least make you feel more in control of the debt on top of you.

justajane

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The rate on that personal loan is pretty high. How did that come about? Is it a family member?

To start with, I would do a one month grocery challenge for yourself. Throw down the gauntlet and try to eat for $100 less. That's still $200. Say it's a disaster and you are miserable. It's only one month. But maybe you will find that it isn't that bad. Then you have $100 extra to throw at debt and a stronger sense that you can do this. I think that's one of the big problems with debt is that it controls you. If you switch the power dynamic, you can slay this.

Also, drop the cable. I don't care if it's a bundle and you "only" save $10 a month. You're in debt. Cable is a luxury. With all your newfound time, go through some of your things and try to sell them on Craigslist. If you don't find you have more time post-cable, well, it was a good decision to cancel it, since you didn't really use it.

With $200 rent, you are perfectly primed to pay this debt off in a few years, but you have to find the leaks in your budget. You have to really know where your money is going.

Moonwaves

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Is there anyway to get the motorcycle into your ex's name? That might at least make you feel more in control of the debt on top of you.
This seems sensible. I'm not quite sure why you're paying part of that debt either, if she's the one who has the bike. I know you said it's a long story but that doesn't seem quite fair. You didn't mention alimony or any kind of support payments so I assume there are none? Have no idea how all that kind of thing works.

One of the main things you need to do is get rid of the credit cards - cut them up or freeze them in water, whatever. I say this partially because of this:
Quote
My credit score is currently 650 - was a 710 about 1 yr ago but I have been an idiot lately and racked up some credit card debt and took out a cpo used car loan.
If you don't have the cards available to use, you should find it more difficult to be an idiot again and rack up even more credit card debt.
I'd also be inclined to say forget about worrying about your credit score for now. I'm not from the USA so perhaps I don't quite fully understand the nuances of your credit scoring systems but I have read blogs before where people are so focused on trying to improve their credit score they try and trick themselves into thinking all sorts of things for the sake of improving their score and somehow it always seems to involve more credit cards. That might not be you but I'd say focus on clearing your debt and let your credit score take care of itself for a while.

Sibley

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Make sure you're tracking your expenses. Excel, quicken, Mint, whatever works for you. Knowledge is power. With detailed knowledge of your spending, you can tell what's wasteful. Every penny needs to be accounted for.

Regarding the ex-wife's bike - it's her bike, she needs to pay for it 100%. Insurance, registration, loan payments, repairs, gas, etc. Ideally, she takes out a loan to buy it from you so it's completely in her name. Less ideally, she pays every penny while it stays in your name, and she pays it on time. If she's not willing to pay 100% (or can't), sell it.

Ditto on everyone else's suggestions.

Kevin S.

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Thanks for all the info and help! You guys/gals are awesome!

So currently I'm looking at the following to reduce my expenses and increase my income

Get rid of my cell phone plan and get Republic wireless, I have heard nothing but good here

Get rid of my cable tv and keep only the cable internet. Nothing good on cable tv anyway!

Get rid of my vehicle and get something cheaper and keep the same reliability ! - need to figure this one out as it's a good chunk of money I could be using for debt repayment, saving, etc - Anyone have any recommendations besides posting it on craigslist and autotrader? Anyone have experience with selling a car to CarMax? I'm sure i'm going to lose some money but hopefully no more than $500-600.

The motorcycle situation - well that is a whole another  ball of wax. Ex-wife and I agreed at the time of our divorce that I would keep the bike in my name (she has really bad credit) and she would pay for the cost - including insurance and registration. She has so far held up her end of the bargain.

The personal loan - that was a tough situation, also due to my divorce / ex-wife. I originally took it out to pay down medical bills - she has had medical issues off and on related to her fibromyalgia, PICOS, IBS, etc. I also used the remainder of the personal loan to pay for the divorce lawyer...ugh! Not fun! Oh well I wouldn't change anything. I'm with a  wonderful woman now...anway to get back on topic.

Food bill ! Is extremely high because I am a lazy shiftless bastard! lol I eat out a lot and take my girlfriend out to eat and treat her well - this also needs to be addressed - I need to find the happy medium and lower my food bill. I don't grocery shop hardly ever! It's pretty lame on my part and leading to a weight gain! Bleh...

Let's see what else, I also need to make more money! Looking at either getting a part time job somewhere or maybe starting to sell some of my art (airbrush / automotive type stuff).

Now I know I'm probably going to get at least 1 punch in the face for even suggesting this but what about the dreaded B word, b is for Bankruptcy! Should I even consider this option? Will they garner my wages if I do ? My car needs to go - this is one way to get rid of it, ex wife and I would be off the hook for the moto (i'm sure she would be mad but hey it's still in my name). I could potentially buy a cheap vehicle right now for 3-4k and start saving massive amounts of my salary and live super cheap, possibly go into the early retirement plan that all you guys talk about as well....

hmmm...lots to think about!


justajane

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I personally wouldn't go the bankruptcy route. Your debt isn't that dire. Besides, hunkering down and paying it off will give you the self-discipline and control needed to actually pursue ER. If you declare bankruptcy, erase your debts instantaneously, what makes you think you have the muscles to be able to save 50-70% of your income? Just my opinion, and you'll find people on here have lots of different opinions on bankruptcy. But there's no magic bullet here unfortunately.

Regarding eating out and your girlfriend, I personally find my husband who cooks a meal for me at home pretty darned sexy....

Sibley

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You're not in that bad of shape financially. Bankruptcy isn't necessary.

Motorcycle - She's not paying 100%. You're paying part of the bill. Either she pays all of it, or sell it and she can get over it. Either way, that helps your budget.

Food - facepunch. You know what you need to do. Stop eating out, start cooking. Learn to cook good food for your GF. Or with her!

Yes, try to sell stuff. Art, random stuff you don't need. Declutter and make a few dollars.

Once you get a handle on the stuff you know about, you should have good expense data (from the tracking you're going to start, remember?) and will know what else to look at.

Good luck!

Kevin S.

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I personally wouldn't go the bankruptcy route. Your debt isn't that dire. Besides, hunkering down and paying it off will give you the self-discipline and control needed to actually pursue ER. If you declare bankruptcy, erase your debts instantaneously, what makes you think you have the muscles to be able to save 50-70% of your income? Just my opinion, and you'll find people on here have lots of different opinions on bankruptcy. But there's no magic bullet here unfortunately.

Regarding eating out and your girlfriend, I personally find my husband who cooks a meal for me at home pretty darned sexy....


Thank you. I need to just hunker down and get this debt paid off and change my lifestyle. I also need to talk to my ex-wife and either have the bike completely in her name (she won't get financed but it's worth a try) or sell the bike outright.

I also need to get my car sold and buy something outright super cheap or take a loan out on a cheap vehicle (i'm thinking no more than 7-8k). I do use my car a lot, commuting and running errands and me and the lady do love to go for rides.

2ndTimer

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Glad to hear you have found someone who suits you.  Are you sure you are letting her goodness expand as fully as you could?  Specifically, if she likes you a lot she will be enchanted to spend an evening roasting hotdogs on sticks just for the pleasure of being with you.  Tell her your situation.  You might be surprised at how enthusiastically she embraces economical dating.  She may be politely putting up with "event" type dating when what she really wants is to take a long walk, stare into your eyes and spread a blanket under a tree. 

Kevin S.

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Glad to hear you have found someone who suits you.  Are you sure you are letting her goodness expand as fully as you could?  Specifically, if she likes you a lot she will be enchanted to spend an evening roasting hotdogs on sticks just for the pleasure of being with you.  Tell her your situation.  You might be surprised at how enthusiastically she embraces economical dating.  She may be politely putting up with "event" type dating when what she really wants is to take a long walk, stare into your eyes and spread a blanket under a tree.

Awesomne comment is awesome! Pretty sure she would be up for it I just feel like sometimes I have to take her out and wine and dine her. She has a six figure income, she is a structural engineer and makes me feel dumb all the time with the MATH lol

I'm a lowly claims adjuster and make peanuts but that is ok...

I wonder how it would blow over if I said to her this saturday "lets go for a nice walk in the park, I made lunch" instead of "lets go downtown and I will be blowing a bunch of money on us that I don't have" lol


Kris

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I wonder how it would blow over if I said to her this saturday "lets go for a nice walk in the park, I made lunch" instead of "lets go downtown and I will be blowing a bunch of money on us that I don't have" lol

Well, two thoughts:

One, nice walk in the park with you making lunch = super romantic, and much more interesting than just one more restaurant date.

Two, guy taking control of his finances and getting a handle on himself = much more marriageable/long term relationship material than guy who sticks his head in the sand and spends money he doesn't have.

The right woman for you will have these mentalities (actually, #1 is a gimme for most women).  Personally, I would a million times rather be with a guy who made less money than me but wasn't irresponsible with what he did have, than a guy who made twice as much as I did but spent like a blind fool. 
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

lindsayk

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We have similar situations regarding age, recently divorced, income, and amount of debt, lazy about food spending....so i just wanted to give some encouragement and say WE CAN DO THIS!! Also, I had a car loan on a 2010 Jeep of about $7,000 that was costing me $205 month...i on a whim threw it on Craigslist to see what would happen and sold it in a week....found a 1999 Saturn also on Craigslist with 145,000 miles on it....paid off my Jeep and paid cash for a car all in 1 week! My insurance also dropped dramatically! Most people thought I was crazy because the car I bought was a manual and i had no idea how to drive a manual...a friend took me around in hers one night and now i love it...so happy I sold it! So....selling your car could really make a huge difference for you! Also, I agree with the older ladies....im sure your gf would love her man cooking some home cooked meals for her :) Good luck!

ChicagoGirl

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You don't need bankruptcy...just a lifestyle change that's all. Once you get rid of the debts that are weighing you down from your past, you won't even notice they are gone.  Besides who wants a bankruptcy that will follow you for years, when you are having a nice fresh start with a new ladyfriend. :)   

I would make a different arrangement with the ex-wife's motorcycle...that kind of arrangement just keeps you tethered to the past! Is the insurance in your name also? What if ex gets in an accident with it and the accident is her fault, wouldn't that open you up to all kinds of financial liability?

In an earlier post you asked about selling a car to Carmax.  I have done it, the process is easy.  You won't get as much for it though, it's more of a low-hassle route. I would try Craigslisting it first.  I think Carmax gives you a quote that lasts a few days so you don't have to make a decision on the spot.

Look for creative ways to increase your income, there are few threads on the MMM forum about how people make extra money.

I am rooting for you! :)

okits

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Glad to hear you have found someone who suits you.  Are you sure you are letting her goodness expand as fully as you could?  Specifically, if she likes you a lot she will be enchanted to spend an evening roasting hotdogs on sticks just for the pleasure of being with you.  Tell her your situation.  You might be surprised at how enthusiastically she embraces economical dating.  She may be politely putting up with "event" type dating when what she really wants is to take a long walk, stare into your eyes and spread a blanket under a tree.

Awesomne comment is awesome! Pretty sure she would be up for it I just feel like sometimes I have to take her out and wine and dine her. She has a six figure income, she is a structural engineer and makes me feel dumb all the time with the MATH lol

I'm a lowly claims adjuster and make peanuts but that is ok...

I wonder how it would blow over if I said to her this saturday "lets go for a nice walk in the park, I made lunch" instead of "lets go downtown and I will be blowing a bunch of money on us that I don't have" lol

Hmm...  Your words make me wonder a little.

No partner in a relationship is obligated to "keep up" income-wise with the higher earner, nor lavish luxury on the other because the other earns more and may be used to it or expecting it. 

Unless you're just dating casually and see no future in it, I recommend seeing how she handles the reality of what $42k-a-year salary really buys and what hard work you need to do to get out of the red.  Find out if she supports and respects your decision to get your financial house in order. Find out if she's happy just to be with you and have a picnic lunch.  Find out if she'd love you more if you made $200k or love you less if you made $20k.  You don't mention her wining and dining you - does she, or is that stuff all on you?

Part of your future financial fitness is ensuring healthy attitudes toward money - yours and your partner's. 

Josiecat

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Your motorcycle payment is $250, and the Ex pays $200??  The Ex needs to find a way to pay it off or you need to sell it.  Either way, it is HER problem not yours.  You cannot afford to give an extra $50/month for HER motorcycle.

AJ

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Your motorcycle payment is $250, and the Ex pays $200??  The Ex needs to find a way to pay it off or you need to sell it.  Either way, it is HER problem not yours.  You cannot afford to give an extra $50/month for HER motorcycle.

Honestly, if it were me I would worry about this last. It's $50 a month difference, and while that's not nothing, if the ex is paying every month it could be worse. There's plenty else to work on in the meantime - things that are more directly under your control.

You seem to have made a bunch of great steps already, great job! Are you able to take on any overtime? Or work a side gig?

Kevin S.

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Thanks AJ! So my ex wife has agreed to pay the bike payments completely now! She is having trouble getting financed but I told her as long as payments and all other fees are done by her I have no problem with keeping the bike in my name.


Now on to my crap...

I currently have comcrap for cable tv/internet - i pay roughly $ 90 a month. It sucks and I want out! I just called them to see what my options are - if I cancel I have to pay a $ 90 fee ! so freaking lame! Oh well it needs to be done.

NOw my question is what ISP are going to be available in my area - i'm in denver, co and from what I have seen my pickings are slim.

I don't need tv but I do need internet for work at my home office.

Thanks all!


ChicagoGirl

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Is your package with Comcast just for basic cable and the internet? Do you have any special channels added like HBO?
Right now I pay $59/mo with Comcast in Chicago which is for high speed internet and basic cable.  We don't even use the cable box and leave it unplugged, it was the only way to get the internet price down.

Comcast wasn't willing to negotiate with you? If you decide to call them again, ask them for the "solutions department" I got more progress when I talked to them...who knows, it's always a crapshoot with them anyway and I think it depends who takes the call.

I.P. Daily has a thread on MMM dedicated to all things technology, might give you an idea of what you need.  I think he has a website, too. 

Here is the forum link if you haven't read it yet...
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-the-isp-voip-and-cellphone-superguide/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

Kevin S.

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It's just basic cable - no hd channels, no hbo, etc.

Basic internet as well!

Really sick of Comcast and all the bs tricks they play. I unfortunately can't find anyone else local to me in my zipcode 80014 that has a broadband internet service besides century link that I have heard nothing but bad things about. I was looking at just saying screw it all and tell my work I live out in the sticks or something where I can't get service lol


astvilla

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I actually want to hear other Mustachian thoughts on this, but do some people use free wifi in libraries, cafes to save on internet costs and don't have it installed at home? Wondering if people actually do this, or if it's even feasible?

Being on this forum and staying here is a great way to get started on improving your financial health. Making your own meals will also make you healthier, fitter, feel cleaner, and save money. It's a win-win.

waffle

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I'm also in Denver and get Comcast internet for 29/month. Comcast is contract free so there shouldn't be any cancellation fees. You should double check to make sure that a fee they were talking about and not just your bill for the last month of service.

A quick look on the Comcast site shows they have several decent promotional deals on internet. Those prices are advertised for people who aren't current customers and go up after one year, but I have had good luck in the past calling Comcast at the end of the promotional period and having them lower the price back down. It helps if you suggest that you are planning to go to a competitor.

Kevin S.

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I guess I will just have to call them again and threaten to cancel and jump ship. See if that lowers my cost and they will let me cancel with a nominal or zero fee for cancellation.


Kevin S.

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I'm also in Denver and get Comcast internet for 29/month. Comcast is contract free so there shouldn't be any cancellation fees. You should double check to make sure that a fee they were talking about and not just your bill for the last month of service.

A quick look on the Comcast site shows they have several decent promotional deals on internet. Those prices are advertised for people who aren't current customers and go up after one year, but I have had good luck in the past calling Comcast at the end of the promotional period and having them lower the price back down. It helps if you suggest that you are planning to go to a competitor.

It was a cancellation fee for a contract! They have contracts just like every other cable company.

Also your price of 29.99 is for 6 mbps (sad when my cell phone is faster than that lol) and that is only for 12 months after that it goes up to $ 49.95 - fuck Comcast!!!!


Kevin S.

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I actually want to hear other Mustachian thoughts on this, but do some people use free wifi in libraries, cafes to save on internet costs and don't have it installed at home? Wondering if people actually do this, or if it's even feasible?
Before I moved in with my now husband, I didn't have internet at home (or a smart phone).  I used free WiFi at school (was a graduate student) and that was enough.  I actually liked unplugging from my e-mail. 

Think about why you use your home internet.  Could it be replaced with a little bit of effort?  Right now, we watch streaming TV, surf the web and check e-mail.  Work e-mails are the only must-have, which could easily be done on my smartphone.

I'm thinking of doing this! No cable or broadband internet at all. I will use only my phone at home if I need to check emails or write a document I have a tablet with a word document app that should work out ok (hopefully).

 

4alpacas

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I actually want to hear other Mustachian thoughts on this, but do some people use free wifi in libraries, cafes to save on internet costs and don't have it installed at home? Wondering if people actually do this, or if it's even feasible?
Before I moved in with my now husband, I didn't have internet at home (or a smart phone).  I used free WiFi at school (was a graduate student) and that was enough.  I actually liked unplugging from my e-mail. 

Think about why you use your home internet.  Could it be replaced with a little bit of effort?  Right now, we watch streaming TV, surf the web and check e-mail.  Work e-mails are the only must-have, which could easily be done on my smartphone.

I'm thinking of doing this! No cable or broadband internet at all. I will use only my phone at home if I need to check emails or write a document I have a tablet with a word document app that should work out ok (hopefully).
Remember it can be a trial.  I really enjoyed not being so connected.  I read a lot more books and checked out DVDs from the library.  A lot of my friends gave me DVDs (from their collections) when they upgraded to BluRay players. 

waffle

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I'm also in Denver and get Comcast internet for 29/month. Comcast is contract free so there shouldn't be any cancellation fees. You should double check to make sure that a fee they were talking about and not just your bill for the last month of service.

A quick look on the Comcast site shows they have several decent promotional deals on internet. Those prices are advertised for people who aren't current customers and go up after one year, but I have had good luck in the past calling Comcast at the end of the promotional period and having them lower the price back down. It helps if you suggest that you are planning to go to a competitor.

It was a cancellation fee for a contract! They have contracts just like every other cable company.

Also your price of 29.99 is for 6 mbps (sad when my cell phone is faster than that lol) and that is only for 12 months after that it goes up to $ 49.95 - fuck Comcast!!!!

I have started and cancelled Comcast service several times all over the country as I move around and have never once been charged a cancellation fee. It's possible that you were suckered into something, but the main reason I've usually chosen Comcast is because there was no contract and no cancellation fees.

My 29.99 is actually for their 25mbps service. Their prices and promotions tend to jump around a lot, and they really are a terrible company as far as customer service goes so it might take some pressure. I once had to go up the line a bit to get them to remove a charge for installation that I was told would be no charge. A bit of firm patience goes a long way.

Kevin S.

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so to add another thing here to my reducing financial obligations - putting into FI, debt payment, etc

My vehicle needs to go! I owe 17k currently

Autonation just offered me 14k ! Which seems a bit low to be honest.

I'm going to CarMax tonight after work and see what they offer me as well

What do you guys think? Should I just pay the 3k difference and get out of the car loan plus all the other expenses?

I can ride my motorcycle every day all the way until the late fall here if I so desire. Not sure I want to risk that though - possible motorcycle mechanical failures, possible super cold weather here in Colorado - especially on my way to work, possible rider error failures = expensive hospital bills, and missing work!

If I do this I can save up a good chunk of change and pay off my debts way earlier than expected and then buy a cheap 3-5k auto come this fall.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 03:35:33 PM by Kevin S. »

okits

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I actually want to hear other Mustachian thoughts on this, but do some people use free wifi in libraries, cafes to save on internet costs and don't have it installed at home? Wondering if people actually do this, or if it's even feasible?

Being on this forum and staying here is a great way to get started on improving your financial health. Making your own meals will also make you healthier, fitter, feel cleaner, and save money. It's a win-win.

Funny thing about being smashed in like sardines in the city...  Where you work or live you often pick up several wifi networks from nearby businesses.  I figure if I am actually a(n occasional, paying) customer of said establishment it's okay for me to use their free wifi (they give you the password when you're there buying stuff.) I don't replace home internet that way but know people who do.  I figure I save a few hundred a year by purchasing zero data on my phone.

Roses

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Wow, you are making good progress and I love your attitude!  You're right on about the dating, grocery bill, cell phone, cable (Comcast is the worst!) etc.  As for the car, try to sell it on Craigslist for the full amount first before you settle for less.  Just give it a couple of weeks and see if there are any takers.  Sounds like you are well on your way to being debt free and then you can start investing.  Any way you can increase you salary?  In any case, you're young and have some time ahead to build a nice stash.

Stashing Swiss-style

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You can become debt-free. You have the right ideas and you've come to the right place to get advice.  Learning to shop and cook real food will be a life-changer - your girlfriend will be much happier to have you in financial and physical good health (the two combined lead to much stronger mental health also).  And if she's not happy about not being wined and dined, you have a different problem !

Do this step by step.  One year to be debt free is too aggressive, but 2 years is possible.  Sell that car !!

Good luck and keep posting.  I'll be supporting you all the way.

Kevin S.

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Thanks everyone ! This is an awesome forum with some very helpful and well informed people!

Didn't make it to CarMax last night before they closed. I posted it on craigslist though. Hopefully it sells quick!


MsSindy

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Let's see what else, I also need to make more money! Looking at either getting a part time job somewhere or maybe starting to sell some of my art (airbrush / automotive type stuff).


Instead of selling the airbrush/auto stuff can you make some money with it?  Are you any good?  Can you hire out your services to either individuals or to autobody paint shops....or whatever it is you do with your art stuff.

Also, I agree with folks about coming clean with your gf on your situation - need to build a relationship on honesty.  If you're wining and dining her, she may think you're better off than you are, and that's not being honest.  Or, who knows, maybe she's on another forum saying something like, "my bf is great and keeps taking me out to fancy places, but I know he doesn't have a lot of money, but I don't want to hurt his feelings by suggesting something else....blah, blah, blah"

Your attitude > your debt!   Keep up the great progress.

Kevin S.

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Let's see what else, I also need to make more money! Looking at either getting a part time job somewhere or maybe starting to sell some of my art (airbrush / automotive type stuff).


Instead of selling the airbrush/auto stuff can you make some money with it?  Are you any good?  Can you hire out your services to either individuals or to autobody paint shops....or whatever it is you do with your art stuff.

Also, I agree with folks about coming clean with your gf on your situation - need to build a relationship on honesty.  If you're wining and dining her, she may think you're better off than you are, and that's not being honest.  Or, who knows, maybe she's on another forum saying something like, "my bf is great and keeps taking me out to fancy places, but I know he doesn't have a lot of money, but I don't want to hurt his feelings by suggesting something else....blah, blah, blah"

Your attitude > your debt!   Keep up the great progress.


Actually that is what i'm planning to do! Not sell my art supplies but actually sell my art that I have made (and really do like) but also make some new stuff to sell(need to get the creativity flowing - any suggestions on that front?)!

I have been told I'm pretty good but I have that artist mentality so basically "everything I do sucks and i'm a terrible person" attitude lol

I need to get my art studio setup and start cranking out some new stuff to generate some new business(hopefuly). I really would like to make something of my art...always was my dream when I was younger !


I really hope my lady is not on another forum saying the same or similar thing lol

I need to just break it to here exactly as is  in regards to my financial situation. She knows most of it but not all of it!


« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 02:30:37 PM by Kevin S. »

Evgenia

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    • Evgenia Got FI
Just wanted to add some encouragement and a resource to the chorus. Good job! You're thinking about all the right things.

I was in a similar situation back in mid 2006: end of a major relationship (with co-owned property involved in the run-up to the housing bust), debt, etc. I found the book All Your Worth, by none other than Elizabeth Warren, very helpful and straightforward for getting back on track. I liked that her budget method is proportional, the 50/30/20 method: 50% for must-haves, 30% wants, 20% savings. I've never enjoyed tracking every penny spent, so this worked well for me and also just helped me assess the severity of my situation.

The budget ratios vary/adjust depending on your circumstances and preferences -- not surprisingly, Mustachians may choose to save far more, but when times were really tight the 50/30/20 set me on the right path without losing my mind. It also led to small victories that made me want to save more, more aggressively, rather than give up or feel resentful about "deprivation."
FIRE since June 2015. Chronicling the post-FIRE transition at: https://evgeniagotfi.wordpress.com/

1967mama

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My vehicle needs to go! I owe 17k currently....

....and get out of the car loan plus all the other expenses?

I can ride my motorcycle every day all the way until the late fall here if I so desire. Not sure I want to risk that though - possible motorcycle mechanical failures, possible super cold weather here in Colorado - especially on my way to work, possible rider error failures = expensive hospital bills, and missing work!

So, wait. Maybe I missed something, but you own and insure your own motorcycle?? Assuming this is a different motorcycle than your ex's? How much extra is that insurance? Do you really need 2 vehicles for 1 person?

I really think you're doing a GREAT job of uncovering all these hidden expenses and just wanted to point one out that might have been overlooked. Be relentless in your pursuit of the leaks in your financial boat!




Kevin S.

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My vehicle needs to go! I owe 17k currently....

....and get out of the car loan plus all the other expenses?

I can ride my motorcycle every day all the way until the late fall here if I so desire. Not sure I want to risk that though - possible motorcycle mechanical failures, possible super cold weather here in Colorado - especially on my way to work, possible rider error failures = expensive hospital bills, and missing work!

So, wait. Maybe I missed something, but you own and insure your own motorcycle?? Assuming this is a different motorcycle than your ex's? How much extra is that insurance? Do you really need 2 vehicles for 1 person?

I really think you're doing a GREAT job of uncovering all these hidden expenses and just wanted to point one out that might have been overlooked. Be relentless in your pursuit of the leaks in your financial boat!

Yes I own and insure my own vehicle. I own the motorcycle outright. Insurance is really stinking cheap ! $250 for the year!

Unfortunately I can not drive the motorcycle year round here in Colorado - I would say at least 80% of the time I can though.




Blonde Lawyer

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Before anyone advises him to do anything different with the ex's motorcycle he needs to look at his divorce decree.  If part of a settlement he agreed to make the payments but she keeps possession then he is stuck with it unless he gets the court to change it.  In some states, property division is not modifiable.  If you are paying it to just be nice, that is a different story.  If it is part of a court order, you don't get to unilaterally change that.

I have the same problem with Comcast and have complained on other threads.  What they charge varies from city to city and when they have a monopoly and know it, they charge extortionist rates.

Kevin S.

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I have the agreement with my ex wife to have her make payments. Nothing was done with the motorcycle during my divorce with lawyers or anything like that.