Author Topic: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?  (Read 14873 times)

PMG

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #50 on: November 07, 2017, 06:10:56 AM »
Posting to follow.  Haven't read through quite everything yet, but also from a poverty background, paid my way through school and changing my mindset. 

Two thoughts that might have been covered in the comments I skipped.

1) Up to date versions of YNAB used to be free for students.  Might check into that.  Of course that might just mean you get hooked on the program and half to pay for it after graduation.

2) I always heard the marshmallow experiment presented as a study of kids cognitive development.  Children at that age are still learning cause and effect, action and consequence.  I can't cite sources, but doesn't that part of the brain only reach maturity around 26 or 27?  (Or, right about now for OP.)

Growing up in scarcity sure influences choices and the rewards system in the brain, but recognizing that is a huge step to working around it, or perhaps working with it in a healthy way.

I'm looking forward to seeing the progress you make, OP.  You've handled the facepunches, now I hope you are moving forward.

Laura33

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #51 on: November 07, 2017, 07:20:59 AM »
Congrats on the income boost and on tackling the CC!  That's great news and a really good choice.  Don't beat yourself up too much for going over on the drinking; yes, it was a mistake, but now you know that you are much more susceptible to impulses and bad choices when problems hit, so you can work on ways to plan ahead and avoid those kinds of choices next time.

Re:  the house flip:  Maybe, but not yet.  Long-term, yes, buying a cheap house and fixing it up can be a good way to build equity.  It is also a great way to get in so far over your head that you can't ever catch up.  But beyond that:  it requires more debt + a good chunk of cash on-hand to cover the reno and unexpected costs.  You have too much debt already, and need to take on more to finish school; be patient and clear the books before you jump back on the debt train.  There will still be houses to flip in a few years if you want to.*

Serious question for you:  you have specifically rejected the idea of going to school full-time, even though the payoff is a $100K/yr job every year for the rest of your career, because it would require you to take on more debt.  And yet now you are excited about flipping a house, which would require you to take on even more debt to get a one-time profit.  Why?  Why is an investment in your education not worth it, even though it will pay dividends for the rest of your life, but a house flip is for a one-time cash infusion?

For your consideration: I think your desire to chase newer/better/different sources of income is your impulsivity manifesting itself another way.  This is likely to hurt your attempts to get into the black just as much as your many fun activities were.  Most people get ahead by focusing their energies in one or two areas that give them the best return on their time.  You seem to have a ridiculous amount of energy and considerable aptitude; imagine how well you could do if you focused all of that energy and effort in one area instead of chasing every new idea that comes your way (squirrel!).  Look at how well you did at your day job, just taking advantage of one guy leaving!  That is a huge, huge potential long-term income increase if you worked some OT to get more commissions.  Instead, you had multiple other side businesses, you've just started yet another one, and now you are considering taking even more time and energy to manage a flip!  You really need to consider whether you are focusing your considerable resources on growing the businesses that are bringing you the best return on your time and money  This is what real businesses do all the time, btw; they have many, many opportunities to develop more products or increase existing product lines, but they only have so much capital and so many employee-hours available, so they spend a lot of time figuring out which products are most profitable and throw their resources at that.  And then they ruthlessly cut other ideas -- and even existing products that aren't as profitable -- to maximize their returns. 

I do feel like a broken record here, but your many businesses would benefit from the same tough scrutiny.  There is only one you, and that you gets only 24hrs in each day and has zero capital to throw at anything.  So how can you spend those hours maximizing your lifetime income?  Take a hard look at the numbers for each of your side businesses, and choose the one that will give you the biggest income boost AND still allow you to focus on finishing your education.  And don't forget to include in that analysis the $100K in income you will not be getting until you get your degree -- every year you elect to extend your studies, you are losing the difference between that future salary and what you make at your day job (although if you can get that day job up to the $70-80K level sustainably, then that's clearly much less of a loss than if you are still stuck around $30K).

Then throw all of the extra cash you are pulling in at your debts.  If those debts are tying you to your day job and preventing you from getting your degree and moving on to bigger and better things, then kill those fuckers as fast as humanly possible.  Or if you are seeing that school isn't the long-term plan for you, stop throwing money at it!  It's the "everything, all the time" that is keeping you treading water.

*Also don't forget that your boss isn't exactly unbiased here -- I'm sure he'd be happy for you to lock yourself in to a big mortgage for a flip, because the mortgage will mean he has you by the balls because you need his job, and the extra night/weekend work on the flip means you'll take even longer to finish your degree and move on to bigger and better things.

cchrissyy

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #52 on: November 07, 2017, 11:35:43 AM »
if your job doesn't offer a 401k, the thing to do is open an IRA on your own. 
but NOT while you still have 25% interest to pay off.
that's a true emergency and deserves your full attention.  Good luck!

JLE1990

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2017, 01:18:21 PM »
jlee
Yeah I did know that *facepalm* I was wondering if I should open an IRA. chrissy Ok the consensus aligns with what I was thinking: pay off car and cc and then start an IRA.

marty998 I think I'm making myself seem cooler than I am, I'll just be doing work and the side biz, which is in the same field. I WISH I could have a time-turner, preferably with Emma Watson attached! We could go everywhere in the world together in just my two weeks of vacation... *sigh*.

PMG Thanks, I'll definitely check that out! I was just about to pay for it too. It started when I was 23 with the first season of firefighting. Having strangers come up to us and thank us made me want to actually earn that respect. I'm definitely making better decisions as I've gotten older though.

Laura33
You're answers are always so great and in-depth and facepunchey!

So I've maybe exaggerated how much I'm doing. I just do firefighting a couple weeks a year and the streaming on Twitch when I can now. My new side hustle will take over the streaming as it is in the same time slot. This one is actually part of mid to endgame. So I will be creating my own client base and as I do so I will get residual income semi-annually from each client. Right now I get an initial commission, but my boss is getting all the residuals. So the plan is to do my own marketing, client growth etc. and build my business on the side(I have pretty several years experience in this field and as well as xp making my own schedule etc.). Once I've gotten residual income that is half of my current income I will go part-time. This will give me a more flexible schedule to take more classes and do more marketing/selling. Eventually I will completely replace work and have an entire client base and be able to work from anywhere in the world! The usual time it takes for most other people is about 2 years from starting. The problem is that period when usually costs would vastly outweigh income. Almost all of the customer service is done by the companies I'd be selling for so there there will be little of my time spent on that. I could go further in depth with it but its a pretty sweet setup for something that will generate 40k in a couple years.

Quote
Re:  the house flip:  Maybe, but not yet.  Long-term, yes, buying a cheap house and fixing it up can be a good way to build equity.  It is also a great way to get in so far over your head that you can't ever catch up.  But beyond that:  it requires more debt + a good chunk of cash on-hand to cover the reno and unexpected costs.  You have too much debt already, and need to take on more to finish school; be patient and clear the books before you jump back on the debt train.  There will still be houses to flip in a few years if you want to.*

Ok that makes sense, I'm definitely going to wait at least 1 1/2-2 years until the debts are done and I'll need to transfer to a different campus to finish school anyway. I'm terrified of doing that exact thing because my brother was foreclosed on during the 08 recession because he had an adjustable interest loan. My parents also lost their house(contractor fraud) so I'm definitely not going to jump in until I feel very secure about signing up for something like that. I was considering it because of the 650/mon in rent is my largest expense. That money is just going into the void. I'm just trying to think of ways to turn that into something that generates income.

Quote
For your consideration: I think your desire to chase newer/better/different sources of income is your impulsivity manifesting itself another way.  This is likely to hurt your attempts to get into the black just as much as your many fun activities were.  Most people get ahead by focusing their energies in one or two areas that give them the best return on their time.

I am TRYING to focus on this type of work but I'm also having trouble letting things like firefighting go. It still has benefit and it's hard for me to know when/where that point of maximizing time and efficiency is. It is definitely connected to the impulsive spending.

Quote
Serious question for you:  you have specifically rejected the idea of going to school full-time, even though the payoff is a $100K/yr job every year for the rest of your career, because it would require you to take on more debt.  And yet now you are excited about flipping a house, which would require you to take on even more debt to get a one-time profit.  Why?  Why is an investment in your education not worth it, even though it will pay dividends for the rest of your life, but a house flip is for a one-time cash infusion?

I think school needs more clarification as well. I'm definitely not giving up on school but even with max loans I can't quit work completely and still pay for tuition, COI etc. So my plan is to go to school full-time (12c) for the next couple terms and then transition to 16 credits as work goes part-time. I'll be super busy but I know a couple people doing that in engineering and I'll have flexibility for peak times like finals. Also I looked up the type of engineering I'll be doing and the median income is 100k a year, but the starting wage is usually around 65k. Right now I am making more take home then a single flier at 65k and if I make around a 1000/mon(from side biz) I could be making the equivalent of 80k a year. Sure there is pre-tax deductions etc., but I can deduct sooo many of my monthly expenses including: Internet $40, Car payment $293, and part of rent possibly. (I actually need to post in the "Ask a Mustachian" about how they max self-employed deductions) Another thing is that as I am working I can be doing some studying as well. What do you think of all of that? I tend to be optimistic so I have really tried to plan while keeping in mind the worst case scenario. (I totally fail at marketing my own clientele, flunk out of school, and end up just working for my boss. I feel pretty secure in my work because even if I did overwork myself and completely collapse, I'm still much better at sales then most people who are willing to do this kind of work. And also there are constantly owners looking for people to do the sales because that's the hardest part.)



« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 02:10:11 PM by JLE1990 »

RidetheRain

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #54 on: November 10, 2017, 09:51:05 AM »
Few questions here.

1. Is your boss going to like that you are off finding your own clients for your own business? I'd add to your worst-case scenario that your boss finds out and is pissed off. You could get marked as a flight risk and be passed over for raises, promotions, opportunities, etc. Watch out for non-competes and all that.

2. You say that the side gig will start earning 40k after a few years, but your education could open higher earnings. I think 100k was proposed by someone? If that is the case, why keep at the side gig at all? By the time you start earning decent money you'll have much better options available to you. You'll do better in school without all the time constraints and probably graduate faster which would minimize the student debt you plan to carry. You've given us the worst case scenario, let's hear the best case now.

3. Is the firefighting a job you would be willing to table until you're out of school? I'm with Laura33 that you're doing a little too much stuff all at once. Even for a few weeks out of the year, it can be a strain when you are trying to launch your own business, keep your day job, and go to school with a full-load credit schedule.

If your worst case scenario is you bomb out of everything then you should change the scenario.

JLE1990

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #55 on: November 10, 2017, 11:51:42 AM »
1. Well we both are marketing the whole state so it's not like I would realistically be taking any of his new business. I'll avoid anyone who is a client of his and keep the two entirely separate. I have thought about his reaction to it and have decided just to not tell anyone in the office about it. He is a pretty good boss but I don't have any specific loyalty to him and I checked my employee papers and there are no non-competes in it. He doesn't very little community marketing and while I have brought the types that I plan to do, they have all been shut down so far. Essentially I would just working from home for a couple hours more a day, and just getting those sales for myself. As far as the job, there are no promotions, and I'm the only salesman(only 3 employees). It's definitely not an endgame job.

2. So I would love to go to school and just work part-time, but I don't think it makes the most sense. So lets say I simply cut my job in half and take 16 credits. I would make about 1000-1400/mon. This would just cover monthly expenses on good months and be too low on bad ones, but I wouldn't be able to save anything. With grants I would be about 2500/year short so I would need to take that out in loans. Lets say I max out credits and get done in three years. So I would basically be in the same spot I am now, but with 10k+(including slow sales months) in loans, all total around 45k in debt. The median income is 100k but the starting is 65k, which when you look at take home, is about what I make now. However if I take 12c it might take one year longer, but I'll graduate with no debt and already have the faintest whisper of a stache going. Also I'll feel so much less anxious about school if I don't have to worry about finances. Just the thought of watching my loans increase makes me anxious, and if something goes wrong, I have ZERO safety nets. It's definitely possible I'm not making the most logical choice, but I'm looking at it from what I feel most confident about. That definitely is not jumping in full-time where the margin of error is really small. Am I just being crazy?

Let's talk about the best case scenario! So that would be: I start making over a 1000/mon in commissions and watching my debts melt away. I slow it down in the spring and suspend the monthly costs right as I go into finals and ace all of them. Starting up again in june or july when my work typically picks up speed, I make so much per month that between that and residual commissions, I drop down to part-time at work so my boss can hire someone else and I start taking 16c. By the following July, debts are all paid off and I'm ready to move to the new campus and buy a small house because the bubble in that area has burst(It is in line with past trends)! I quit my job, move, buy the house, fix it up when I'm not doing school/my biz the last two years. I graduate with no debts and my own house that I can sell or rent in an area that is exploding in growth(this is already happening). Back to reality, I'm hoping some of those things happen like that, although I doubt it will line up perfectly.

3. I think I will have to table the firefighting until I quit my main job. It makes quite a lot for the time I spend on it, but I feel very disoriented for months afterward even after just a couple weeks. My past probably exaggerates this but it's actually very common among wildland guys. The shock of coming back after spending so much time living in the forest essentially is palpable. You're entire schedule gets flipped upside down and you completely lose control of your environment. Then it gets flipped back and you have to immediately continue on. I feel mental health is so vastly under-discussed it's... insane(lol).

Laura33

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2017, 07:22:58 AM »
Thanks for the follow-up ó if you are talking about 12 credits vs 16, and you can still work full-time with 12 credits, that is a different story. Also glad to hear the live-streaming and firefighting are gone (at least for now).  I also didnít realize that your new line of business is basically an offshoot of your day job, just with you being able to keep the profits for yourself.  Sounds like a decent plan.

Also, you are 100% correct:  if you can sell well, you will always be able to find a job to support yourself.  Just knock out that debt, because the lower your necessary expenses, the more freedom you will have in the future to follow the job and interests you want.

Ben Kurtz

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #57 on: November 23, 2017, 12:46:03 PM »
You need to go to ground until you get the absolute basics right.

No snowboarding, no fancy hiking gear, no new e-bike, no unreasonably long drives to hiking destinations, no starter homes to flip -- and good heavens no fast food! -- until your absurd Hair On Fire debts are gone and you have a small emergency fund saved up in cash.

On the positive side, you'll have things completely turned around within a year if you get serious.

You report $8,335 in high-interest debt. You also report at least $845 per month in frivolous spending (250 fast food, 80 excess gas, 40 of Crossfit, 25 of your brewpub budget, 300 of "other" and 150 of your Amazon Prime spending -- assuming a little of the last two actually went to basic necessities). Others have pointed out that you might have more spending hidden in unreported areas.

Your Hair-on-Fire debts are 10x those frivolous monthly expenses. And as you pay down those high interest debts, your interest expense will go down quickly, giving you even more monthly cashflow to pay down the debts. By December 31, 2018 you should have no high interest debt and a few thousand in an emergency fund. Of course, you have no free cash or sinking fund for car repairs and the like, meaning there is some chance you'll spend down that emergency fund even before you earn it. But chances are you'll be doing much better by then.

At that point, log into to the Vanguard mutual funds website and open a deductible IRA. I'm guessing you'll be in the 15% federal tax bracket at that point, and you have state income tax, so the deduction will probably be worth 20% to 25% in cash back on your taxes. You can contribute $5,500 per year. Your goal for 2019 is to max that out. Also, in 2019, you can consider loosening the purse strings... a bit. Think about all the things you did without during 2018 -- more frequent trips to brewpubs with friends? More Crossfit? More varied outdoors trips? Pick the one or two things that are most important to you, and throw $50 or $100 per month at them. The following year you can take stock again and perhaps add one or two more. Once the hair on fire debts are gone, you need to make at least the minimums on your student loans when they enter repayment, but you can come up for air and allow yourself to feel human again.

An annual income in the $35,000 range is more than enough to live a comfortable and interesting life as a young single man. To someone from a modest background and with no larger responsibilities, it may seem like an abundant bounty of money. But it actually doesn't leave a lot of room for error when you start to play with "big boy" big ticket items, like cars and houses. It also isn't a whole lot when you start to think about putting together a big nest egg or raising a family.

Keep pushing on with your schooling -- if it is in a useful engineering discipline, as you indicate, the ability to add tens of thousands to your yearly income will really allow you to grow up. Spending a few years working in a high paying job for an established employer will allow to to open a 401(k) retirement account and take much bigger steps towards financial independence.

The car debacle cost you a year of leisure: find out if your college, or an area community college, offers some kind of auto repair course at night. Take it. Next time you have a car problem you'll be in a better position to fix it yourself; or if you need to replace the car again, it will help you pick out a good one for cheap. In terms of sheer value, I recommend 7-9 year old Honda Civics, or ancient Volvos from the 1990s. The last two cars I bought were old Volvos bought for less than $1,000 each, and they didn't require too much in the way of maintenance or repairs, either.

Overall, your posts give off the sense of someone feverishly moving to the next exciting thing, and to the next exciting thing after that. Plans that make sense if all the rosy projections and assumptions work out as stated... but since when did everything always line up just right each and every time? Perhaps this is just your personality, and it is pissing in the wind to urge you to change things, but I urge you to spend the next year slowing down, keeping focus, and working on the basics: Your full time job. Your 12 credits at school. Your after-hours gig. Lifting at the gym. Cooking and cleaning and minding you own home. Getting your finances right-side-up. Just listing everything out makes me bit tired. I bet you're spending $3,000 on fast food a year because you don't have a free moment each weekend to plan your meals and prepare basic foods in your own kitchen. Set aside your obsession with the next blockbuster move and just focus on execution in your core areas. When December 31, 2018 rolls around, take stock and then start dreaming about the blue skies again.

JLE1990

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2017, 11:38:44 PM »
Ok I really appreciate the advice and that is pretty much exactly what I plan to do except the ebike. I've been thinking about it a lot and it just doesn't make sense for me to not make my own ebike. I know that a lot of people think it is a bad idea and that you should bike everywhere to help train yourself to be more frugal. I think that in my specific situation, an ebike is much more cost effective than a regular bike. I've been comparing them and here is what I've come up with:

Bike:
Just to bike to work and back, without including going to classes, the store, or any other location would burn 1500 calories(using an online bike calorie calculator that factors in weight and speed) and take 105min(google maps 10mi speed) per workday. I also would have to shower before work every morning, which is an additional approx. 25min to bike to the gym, shower and then bike to work on days I am not working out. I could not go to work sweaty and gross and just towel off. I sweat a lot and I also do face-to-face sales and customer service. Not to mention the health effects of being sweat drenched for hours.

As far as the calories, even with a 30/30/30 split I would need to spend an extra $10(5lb) on chicken per week. It would be at least $10/week for an additional 1000 calories of carbs/fats and I would need to eat all of those on top of the 10lb of chicken I already eat. This really important because if I forget food before I leave home I would essentially have to call the entire day trashed. I cannot operate without food(hypoglycemic) and I'm already struggling to not go out to eat to cut down on that spending.
While some cardio would be good, that much cardio is unnecessary for the goals I am trying to accomplish right now and would actually hinder my progress.
So thats an additional $80/mon in food which I would need to consume or get lightheaded etc. Then there is the lost time, an additional 8-9hrs per week that I would be losing. That's basically an entire day of wasted time on my side business because it would cut into the time I could market and call clients. Even if we only include the ride home cutting an extra 30min from my sidebiz work time we are looking at 2 1/2hrs per week lost. Even if I only make $5/hr during that time thats a $50/mon loss(if we include the lost of renewals, this will increase by $50 every six months). If I use public transit it would take 2-3hrs each way because of where I live in(moving into town would cost more in rent). It also effectively eliminates any margin for error in terms of planning. If I forget lunch I have to either go hungry or get fast food. If I forget a textbook I can't study for that entire day. I would still need to use the car for groceries and leisure.


So we're looking at $130/mon minimum to bike around, not to mention more then double the exposure to rain and crazy people driving then the ebike.

Ebike:
So I am building my own and the cost will be: 200/motor, 350/battery, 125/special frame and wheels.
I can activate pedal assist to go faster if I want to do cardio but I don't have to if I'm going to meet people, going to work, or don't have a change of clothes.
There is no continuous cost for using it as I can plug it in at work or in the garage. I can completely eliminate the car by using the ebike for groceries, spend just $6.50 to go to the nearby large city where I will travel as fast or faster with an ebike then car. I can realistically park the car and only need it for things like camping and long drives that I shouldn't do anyway.

So we're looking at currently about $300/mon for the car(not including payments), $130/mon for the bike, or an initial $650 for ebike and then essentially the same minimal cost a regular bike would have. I'm sure for most people the smart choice is a bike but for me an ebike would be way smarter.

One thing that MMM and others have wrote about is the mental strength gained from biking. I have biked and even walked to work before, when I had no choice. I have plenty of experience doing things the hard way and I feel I was also doing it the dumb way also and that's why I haven't progressed. I've gotten up at 5am, made food, walked a mile to the bus stop, taken the bus to get to work at 7am and then started work at 8:30am. Then left work at 4:30pm and did it all in reverse, all for a min. wage job. When you look at the total time I was putting into the job, I was getting close to $5/hr. A lot of my success right now depends on how well I perform: at work, in the sidebiz, and at school. The ebike will still put stress on my body going through the winter, but the physical stress of biking and the mental stress of the extra time to do so will only make me worse at all the other things I'm trying to do. Hopefully I've dodged a lot of the worst facepunches but it really seems like an ebike can replace a car almost entirely where as, in my situation, a bike is just taking steps backwards.

Quote
Ben Kurtz
Overall, your posts give off the sense of someone feverishly moving to the next exciting thing, and to the next exciting thing after that. Plans that make sense if all the rosy projections and assumptions work out as stated... but since when did everything always line up just right each and every time? Perhaps this is just your personality, and it is pissing in the wind to urge you to change things, but I urge you to spend the next year slowing down, keeping focus, and working on the basics: Your full time job. Your 12 credits at school. Your after-hours gig. Lifting at the gym. Cooking and cleaning and minding you own home. Getting your finances right-side-up. Just listing everything out makes me bit tired. I bet you're spending $3,000 on fast food a year because you don't have a free moment each weekend to plan your meals and prepare basic foods in your own kitchen. Set aside your obsession with the next blockbuster move and just focus on execution in your core areas. When December 31, 2018 rolls around, take stock and then start dreaming about the blue skies again.

Yeah I really hope to pay things down faster than that but there is definitely some hunt for the "next big thing" going on. When I stop and think I can plan out very well but I also get excited and blow the plan out of the water and that's my biggest problem. If I can just stay relaxed and consistent, I'll do very well!
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 12:47:55 AM by JLE1990 »

CSuzette

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2017, 10:45:38 AM »
Not sure where you live but when I was in Seattle area I belonged to The Mountaineers.  Climbing classes and gear swaps. A low cost way to learn safe climbing skills. Lots of free group outings in hiking, climbing and scrambling. You can also car pool to the trailheads for gas money. Look around your area for similar opportunities!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 10:47:23 AM by CSuzette »

snowball

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #60 on: December 29, 2017, 08:46:29 AM »
Do you still need a car, especially if you're getting an ebike?

Yes, a car is convenient in many ways, but it's not always actually a time-saver.  An example to illustrate this: If I spend $500/month on all car-related expenses, drive 20 hours/month, and make $20/hour post-tax income...then I am working 25 hours/month to pay for the car.  So the driving I'm doing actually requires 45 hours of my time to get where I'm going - more than twice the amount of time most people would think I'm spending on transportation.

I don't own a car, and I walk and take transit a lot.  On a superficial level, it appears to take me longer to get places, but I'm actually spending less time on transportation than many people with cars, if you take into account the hours they must work to pay for their vehicle expenses.  And I don't have the hassle of car maintenance or unexpected repair bills.

JLE1990

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2017, 11:08:31 AM »
Thanks CSuzette ! I actually found a group and we hiked Mt. St. Helens over Christmas. It was gorgeous!(how do you post pics from your comp?lol)

Snowball I was just thinking about that. I do want a car for long distance roadtrips and emergencies. I probably will just pay off this one and then replace it with a more reliable one before the warranty expires in June or a couple more thousand miles. I can't believe a 2009 matrix with <100,00mi is only like 5k. I feel sooo dumb for getting this one. Either way I'll only use on weekends to visit the lady friend who lives about 1hr away. Unfortunately public transit here is about the same as gas.

snowball

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #62 on: December 30, 2017, 05:51:05 AM »
Well, at least if you're not commuting in it, you should be able to pay less for car insurance.  :)

This approach might not work if you need a car every weekend, but I will note that renting one occasionally can also be a cost-effective alternative to owning one - for the last couple of years I lived in Canada, I didn't own a car and I just rented one every month or two.  I really liked doing that.  It was so nice to never have to worry about repairs or maintenance, or storing winter tires!  And I averaged only $100/month or so on transportation costs.  (I moved close to work and walked almost everywhere.)

snowball

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #63 on: December 30, 2017, 06:21:16 AM »
I can't believe a 2009 matrix with <100,00mi is only like 5k. I feel sooo dumb for getting this one.

Also, I think almost everyone on the path to FIRE has at least one financial mistake in their past, so don't beat yourself up about that one.  It's not going to ruin your life, and now you know better and will do better!  It's all a learning curve.

I was an idiot and bought a condo in Alberta when I lived there, which I am stilllll trying to sell in a down market for (sigh) $35K less than the price I paid for it.  I mean, in fairness to me, it wouldn't have been such a bad decision if I'd stayed there several years, which I was planning to do...but then I didn't.  :)  I could be so much further ahead now If Only.  But I'm still on a good trajectory to FIRE, and no use regretting what can't be changed.  Eyes on the present and the future!

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #64 on: January 07, 2018, 05:32:07 AM »
@JLE - when I was young and broke, I didn't ski.  ;-)  Except when friends took me for my birthday or something.  My first ski trip (I was 23) I wore a leftover waterproof biking gear (shell/pants) over top of sweats, because I couldn't afford "real" ski gear -- damn that was cold!!!

If it makes you feel any better, though, it's a long life.  I ski every year now, am in better shape than I've ever been thanks to Crossfit (I sure couldn't deadlift 200+ lbs back then, you know?), and plan to retire part-time to a ski area.  You really don't have to do everything right now or miss out forever.  Take your time and enjoy the free hiking and camping now*, and trust that you still have decades to enjoy more spendy hobbies once you have your finances straight.

*Because I may be in better shape at 50 than I was at 25, but I'm damned if I'm sleeping on the ground ever again.  Now THAT is for you young whippersnappers.  ;-)

Wow, you just unexpectedly took me back to memory lane.  I wore jeans over some extra shorts for warmth and an old jacket.  I also went as a group day trip (at almost no cost).  Lesson: jeans don't repel water.

Thank God I was a decent skier from day one, due to other experiences. 

But I *still* can't afford it as a realistic hobby (and that's being far ahead of where you are, op, for what it's worth), although I will get there eventually.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #65 on: January 07, 2018, 05:47:46 AM »
Thanks CSuzette ! I actually found a group and we hiked Mt. St. Helens over Christmas. It was gorgeous!(how do you post pics from your comp?lol)

Snowball I was just thinking about that. I do want a car for long distance roadtrips and emergencies. I probably will just pay off this one and then replace it with a more reliable one before the warranty expires in June or a couple more thousand miles. I can't believe a 2009 matrix with <100,00mi is only like 5k. I feel sooo dumb for getting this one. Either way I'll only use on weekends to visit the lady friend who lives about 1hr away. Unfortunately public transit here is about the same as gas.

Just a thought, since this post was specific to one thing: you're on debt in big, hair-on-fire ways.  You say you want a car for a few trips.  So why not rent one then?  That's a containable cost: what, maybe 1k/year, max?  Versus the thousands per year you're dumping on something you don't even trust.

And say not to all trips for a year that aren't absolutely required.  You're paying 25% interest on them.  I can't begin to tell you how fast the compounding kills you at 25%.  It doubles every three years.  In ten years, it's almost 10x what you paid. 

You need out of those debts immediately.  It goes against how you grew up, so I get that it'll be extremely hard, but make that your #1 goal.  Then, come back and reevaluate all these other things that involve spending.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #66 on: January 07, 2018, 07:38:23 AM »
I sent you a PM; check that message. 

But I'm going to say the most important thing here anyway: You have made the best step you possibly can at this stage by realizing you have a problem (with finances), in part due to your past.  Youíre way ahead of where most people are at in that, let alone at your age.  That alone will be a huge asset to you over the long term. 

You even keep coming back when I know what folks are telling you is hard to hear and even harder to listen to or implement sometimes.  So my hat is off to you before I even begin to respond fully to everything you've asked about.  And that, by far, is the most important thing. 

brooklynmoney

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #67 on: January 07, 2018, 10:15:05 AM »
I make a lot more than you (I am old) and love weight lifting but refuse to pay for CrossFit. I go to the cheap ass regular gym. Drop CrossFit. How do you have time anyway with everything else you have going on? GNC ó do you make $ off your body ie compete in bodybuilding or powerlifting? No? Then you donít need supplements and protein powder. Just eat healthy. Boom you just saved almost $200 a month. Stay in school that should be your main focus. Start a Journal to keep you accountable.

JLE1990

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2018, 12:52:33 PM »
brooklynmoney

Yeah I definitely wouldn't pay for Crossfit beyond the trial pass for a loongg time, while studies show there are benefits from working out in groups and from supplements, I definitely don't have the extra $100+/mon to join a box. Plus if anyone at my gym saw me at Crossfit(when running for Crossfit, you go by my gym) I would never hear the end of it lol.

I was planning on starting a journal! It's so hard some months(like this one) to not go and waste money on fancy things. Posting everything in a journal will help me stay accountable so I can avoid the deserved facepunches and really track what I'm doing.

This will probably be the last post before I start a journal. Just wanted to an update and ask some more questions.

Last month was really good for my budget, I was maybe $50 over for everything. Food was just over $200 and I kept my dining out/fun stuff too $167(For budgeting I included dining out as any time I shopped other than my weekly Winco run)!!! Luckily my family is all over the world and we're not big on Christmas.

The car is down to $6126 and I'm hoping to refi to 5-13% in the next month or so(found out it is actually 29.99% not 23.99%!!!!! It's depressing to even type) So good and bad news there.

Gas was really high ($130) but that should go down this month now that I have the ebike.

To get real for a sec I have been feeling a little down and I think it's because I've been cutting back so much that I feel the loss of ego boosting spending. We went to a popular ski resort this weekend(got discounted tickets and a stayed with her friend who is in a wheelchair but still skis!) and I felt a lot more energetic this week despite how draining the weekend was. This happens in reverse when I sleep in my car/away from my nice comfy bed for too long. I think part of it is triggering the shitty feelings of years past but I'm sure part is the broke-spendypants side. I get very motivated when I'm feeling like I'm pushing beyond the ol' shitty roots but de-motivated when I go too long without having new experiences or exciting things.

Has anyone experienced this and know of a few ways to deal with it or am I just nitpicking and it'll pass on its own?

Also does anyone know of a good debt tracker? I have looked at several apps but they don't really help you track your debts in real time and adjust them as you make payments etc. I saw my new loan balance and realized seeing debts decrease is exciting! Reading about all the insanely successful people on here just made realize how far I have to go(looking at you 'Race from 1M-2m' thread, where literal millionaires calmly discuss huge amounts of money with the humility that suggests that most of them are down to earth good people. Makes me so mad lol). This is fine but I but it's nicer to measure progress if I can look at the things from -net worth decreasing to 0 the same way people look at their net worth increase!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:18:31 PM by JLE1990 »

RidetheRain

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2018, 02:24:48 PM »
Use (and pay for) YNAB to track my debts and net worth in a budgeting setting which I really like. And I totally get where you're coming from watching the net worth grow. I hit zero in November (whoo!) so now I'm in the positive numbers. There is nothing quite as satisfying as watching your net worth cross that horizontal line.

Some people like networthify (which is free) where you can race against other people, track to retirment, etc.

brooklynmoney

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #70 on: January 12, 2018, 02:38:06 PM »
Just wanted to say that you seem very self-aware about your inner needs and how they might drive you to make decisions that arenít in your best long term interest. I donít know the answer but what works for me is setting very specific goals and then setting up little rewards I can only have when I have achieved them. Maybe trying laying this out along with a debt payoff  schedule?

civil4life

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #71 on: January 12, 2018, 03:20:59 PM »
Besides renting a vehicle for long trips you could look at uber or lyft or a zip car for an emergency trip.

In mint you can see your debt accounts.  You can add all your accounts and see spending trends and net worth.


Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #72 on: January 12, 2018, 10:33:02 PM »
brooklynmoney

Yeah I definitely wouldn't pay for Crossfit beyond the trial pass for a loongg time, while studies show there are benefits from working out in groups and from supplements, I definitely don't have the extra $100+/mon to join a box. Plus if anyone at my gym saw me at Crossfit(when running for Crossfit, you go by my gym) I would never hear the end of it lol.

I was planning on starting a journal! It's so hard some months(like this one) to not go and waste money on fancy things. Posting everything in a journal will help me stay accountable so I can avoid the deserved facepunches and really track what I'm doing.

This will probably be the last post before I start a journal. Just wanted to an update and ask some more questions.

Last month was really good for my budget, I was maybe $50 over for everything. Food was just over $200 and I kept my dining out/fun stuff too $167(For budgeting I included dining out as any time I shopped other than my weekly Winco run)!!! Luckily my family is all over the world and we're not big on Christmas.

The car is down to $6126 and I'm hoping to refi to 5-13% in the next month or so(found out it is actually 29.99% not 23.99%!!!!! It's depressing to even type) So good and bad news there.

Gas was really high ($130) but that should go down this month now that I have the ebike.

To get real for a sec I have been feeling a little down and I think it's because I've been cutting back so much that I feel the loss of ego boosting spending. We went to a popular ski resort this weekend(got discounted tickets and a stayed with her friend who is in a wheelchair but still skis!) and I felt a lot more energetic this week despite how draining the weekend was. This happens in reverse when I sleep in my car/away from my nice comfy bed for too long. I think part of it is triggering the shitty feelings of years past but I'm sure part is the broke-spendypants side. I get very motivated when I'm feeling like I'm pushing beyond the ol' shitty roots but de-motivated when I go too long without having new experiences or exciting things.

Has anyone experienced this and know of a few ways to deal with it or am I just nitpicking and it'll pass on its own?

Also does anyone know of a good debt tracker? I have looked at several apps but they don't really help you track your debts in real time and adjust them as you make payments etc. I saw my new loan balance and realized seeing debts decrease is exciting! Reading about all the insanely successful people on here just made realize how far I have to go(looking at you 'Race from 1M-2m' thread, where literal millionaires calmly discuss huge amounts of money with the humility that suggests that most of them are down to earth good people. Makes me so mad lol). This is fine but I but it's nicer to measure progress if I can look at the things from -net worth decreasing to 0 the same way people look at their net worth increase!

Post here the link to your new journal if you don't mind.

For debts, see this spreadsheet.  Worked wonders for me.  Works with up to 10 debts.  Has a payment tab that shows your new payments, etc.  It's a great motivator.

Tip: add a column at the end for interest per month, and interest per day.  Watch it drop. 

You're doing amazing.  As for that feeling, it may relate to how you grew up, or it could be part of who you are.  I strongly recommend this book, especially if you're still figuring out who you are.  (And you could be even at an old age - it's part of the journey.)  Anyway, if you have time, I recommend it.  Wish I had read it at your age.  And had done the exercises. 

Laura33

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #73 on: January 14, 2018, 08:25:55 AM »
Iím gonna go with ďcompletely normal.Ē  When you grow up without, it is very natural to revel in anything that reaffirms that you have escaped.  After growing up grocery shopping with a calculator to make sure we didnít exceed our Food Stamps, the happiest moment in my 20s was going shopping without even having a list - I was practically skipping through the aisles, because it showed me that I had already at 27 achieved something my mom hadnít.  It didnít even matter what I bought or how much I spent; it was that 30-60 minutes of knowing I could that made me feel happy every time I did it.

The problem is that thatís how poor people think - money is fleeting, so might as well enjoy the moment of blowing it when you have it.  And the really good news is that you have figured this out about yourself already - Iíve known people in their 30s who still hadnít figured that out, who made great salaries and watched it all slip through their fingers on things that gave them that momentary thrill, and were thus on track to go right back to poverty the minute that job went away.  So for you, the next step is to figure out how to get the power of that feeling of freedom and success, without having to spend money to do it - what else can you do, what in your life makes you feel free and not constrained, that doesnít involve spending money you donít have?  Maybe the debt tracker is actually step one there, because then it doesnít feel like you are ďgoing withoutĒ again because that is all you can afford ó you are just deciding to spend your money on your own long-term goals, like getting the debt paid off.  And that, btw, is really how rich people spend money:  not on a short-term emotional hit, but on investments that will provide long-term financial security and freedom.

This is also a good thing to mull over long-term when you are deciding the kind of life you want to live.  Right now, yes, you need to suck it up and cut back, because if you donít dig out of that debt, you are guaranteeing that you will always be tight for money and will repeat the very cycle you are trying to escape.  But once you are through the crunch - say five years from now, when you have your degree and are in your long-term career and such - you should think about how important FIRE is as compared to lifestyle.  Personally, I avoided MMM for years, because I looked at how he lived and didnít want that - it reminded me too much of exactly what I was trying to escape, never eating out, doing everything for yourself, never buying nice ďthings,Ē and the like.  It took me a long time to come around to realizing that I donít actually have to live his exact life; the point is really that chasing material stuff doesnít bring happiness, that there is tremendous power in ďneedingĒ less, and that the real point is to choose to spend on what actually makes you happy so that you are getting value for your money.  So for you, for ex, I could totally see that it might be worth it to you to budget a lot more camping trips back into your budget, because you really seem to be uplifted by them - but also realizing that that enjoyment doesnít require hundreds of dollars a month of the latest and greatest toys, because itís about the locations and the activities, not the gear.

JLE1990

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #74 on: April 04, 2018, 10:20:48 AM »
Hey I'm finally doing a journal! Am now accepting catchy phrases to put as the title...

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/i-want-to-be-able-to-set-my-clocks-to-island-time/?topicseen
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 12:54:37 PM by JLE1990 »

Easye418

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Re: Rip it off like a band-aid, right...?
« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2018, 11:32:58 AM »
I highly recommend you stay in school, if you have the potential to one day earn 6 figures.  It's a lot easier to save a lot of money when you make a lot of money!

I've struggled, like you, with the balance between saving and spending.  I work best with goals, both short-term and long-term.

What are your financial goals?  Really sit and think about this.

Is it to retire in X years?
To be debt-free in Y years?
To go on Z vacations/snowboarding trips per year?
To own a home in A years?

Goals must be specific and measurable and include a time frame.  They should also be prioritized.  Ours are simple:
a) Save $50k per kid for college (needed in 2024, 2025, and 2026).
b) Save $1.5M for retirement by age 50 (and have the house paid off by then)
c) No credit card debt ever [e.g., have an emergency fund that can handle contingencies]
d) Take a minimum of one vacation per year


The money for a and b come out of our bank account automatically after every paycheck - we're paying ourselves first.

I also have an automatic draft of $X that goes into my savings account every month and is earmarked for travel.  If I spend too much money on crap each month and don't have enough to pay off the card, that money comes out of my travel fund.  That means some years, the vacation has been a single long weekend in a place I could drive to and stay with a friend.  In some years, we all fly to CA to go to Disneyland for a week. 

Now, when you're young, is the time to make your goals and prioritize them.  When you want to buy something, ask yourself how that will fit in with your overall goals.  It makes it easier to argue with the side of your brain that tells you that you deserve something.

I really love your goals and how you laid them out right here.  I might set this up myself.  Thanks for your post.