Author Topic: *UPDATE* New to the workforce, thinking about FIRE, where to go next?  (Read 1262 times)

24andfrugal

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Hey y'all!

I posted this a few months ago: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/new-to-the-workforce-thinking-about-fire-where-to-go-next/

This is me, I no longer have access to the email for my 23andfrugal account so now I'm 24andfrugal - which I will be in a few months anyway. I wanted to update you all that my (now!) fiance and I both got new jobs and moved back to the Land of High Taxes (HCOL area I'm from). Through some divine providence, we are both working in enjoyable jobs in the fields/industries we've wanted to go into.

Some highlights of our updated numbers are:
My salary: $69k (was $55k)
Him: $37.5k (was $30k)

Rent: $1400 (was $500 through my friend)
Commute: me 37 miles (was 25), him 25 miles (was 22)

We've only been here a week so haven't figured out hard numbers on electric, fuel, groceries etc.

I'm liking the job so far, but the commute is killing me (highways/traffic) and I find I would prefer to live closer to the shore, where I grew up. Doing that would add another 20 miles/20 minutes each way to my commute, though there's a possibility I could carpool with a coworker. I desperately wish I could take public transport, but it doesn't go where I live and would cost $200+ per month. If we moved, I would put more miles on the car, but would reduce the rent by about $300/month between the two of us and halve his commute as well.

Thoughts on how we're doing so far?
Should we move?
What can we do better?

Goldielocks

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A goal is to save $100k by age thirty  ..  Each, if you can.

That is a huge goal, but if you get there, then you have 35 years for it to grow and generate a basic pension at age 65.  Once you ge this goal, you can use your income / money to top it up, or spend it, or even target FIRE.  Nothing else you save for has as long of a term to grow, nor is as important as knowing that you will feed and house yourself, no matter what, when you are 70+ years old.

Also, in your middle 30's trying to agressively save for retirement just sucks because other financial commitments come along (kids or house or a medical issue).

doggyfizzle

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So in three months since you last posted, your salary has jumped 30% and SOís has increased 20%?  Youíre doing AWESOME!  If your savings rates are still holding up from the last post I think FIRE is attainable by 30, or at least FI.  As someone who did a gnarly clown commute for several years out of college (50 miles each way by car, Iíd recommend against it unless you can work a compressed schedule (9/80 or telework).  Spending at least an hour by car each way, 5 days a week is brutal, and even though I was making really good money and traveling a lot for work, I dreaded the weeks when I was in the office.  If you want to live closer to the beach, which I donít blame you for, Iíd suggest trying to find work closer so you donít waste so much of your life in your 20s commuting.

24andfrugal

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I wrote this post a week ago and completely forgot about it. Whoops!

@Goldielocks I have $100k put aside now; hoping to at least double that by the time we move back to the South. $45k is put aside for a deposit on a house; I'd like to get that to $50-55k which I estimate will work out to about 20% based on prices where we want to live and the size of house we want. SO had some unemployment earlier this year, so he's at around $15k I believe.

@doggyfizzle Yes, and that's a win! Unfortunately a lot of that gain is being eaten up by higher COL, esp the rent + gas. I've come to despise the place we live so it's frustrating that the money is just disappearing into a place that makes me so unhappy. The commute is taking a toll on me as well, however, I do like where I work and (importantly) it sets me up well for the move back to the South (same industry/sister company down there). My work is rewarding and the benefits are really good - my health insurance choices are $10 and $20/paycheck.

I've made friends with a coworker who lives where we want to and she's willing to carpool, so as soon as we can, I plan to take advantage of that. I'd rather not have an hour commute but if I'm not driving, the suck factor goes way down. Telework may be an option, but I think I'll need to establish some seniority here first.

We're not spending much discretionary, so we'll see how the month shakes out. I think that will give me a better picture of what to expect going forward.

zolotiyeruki

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You make the commute 5x/week.  How often do you go to the beach?  It seems to me that moving closer to the beach and further from work would be a step in the wrong direction, given your likely frequency of travel to each.

Adding 20 minutes to your commute each way is like taking a 10% pay cut--you'd be making your workday 10% longer by doing so, without any extra pay.

24andfrugal

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May's numbers are in! Savings rate for this month was 63.18%.

The big draws (keep in mind, this is just my portion) were:
$840 rent ($1400 x 60%)
$130 groceries
$172 gas
$140 car registration (nothing to be done about this one).

Those numbers make me cringe, but overall, not terrible. We're still thinking about moving as we've been looking at a couple of places that would be good deals if we can get them (save ~$400 on rent per month).

From a $ perspective, wealth growth overall is about where it was before, maybe a few hundred $ more. That'll go up when my 401(k) kicks in next paycheck, though.

So with the dust settled a bit...there's the move. Still figuring out how I feel about it.