Author Topic: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement  (Read 11368 times)

Villanelle

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #50 on: December 31, 2017, 05:00:14 PM »
Thanks to everyone for all the advice and support.

One question I didn't follow up on yet but wanted to ask - many have suggested a second job.  What types of things do people do for this?  My full time job keeps me busy 7-6 most days, but I could spend a few hours at night or time on the weekends.  Are we talking like fast food, or something maybe a bit more lucrative?  Any suggestions?  Kind of an open question and depends on my location and skills I know, but where even to start?

You might consider bartending if you think you'd be any good at it.  (Spend some time memorizing common drink recipes and practicing a once ounce pour--with water and a shot glass.)  Even something like a department store would probably pay slightly more than fast food.  Delivering pizzas, perhaps?  (Not sure how that pays compared to fast food, especially when you take in to account wear and tear on your car.)  Uber or Lyft, maybe, but only if you are smart about it, have an efficient car, and live in an area that has a solid market for it. And your insurance is sufficient. Proceed with caution. 

diapasoun

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2018, 02:16:27 PM »
Thanks to everyone for all the advice and support.

One question I didn't follow up on yet but wanted to ask - many have suggested a second job.  What types of things do people do for this?  My full time job keeps me busy 7-6 most days, but I could spend a few hours at night or time on the weekends.  Are we talking like fast food, or something maybe a bit more lucrative?  Any suggestions?  Kind of an open question and depends on my location and skills I know, but where even to start?

You might consider bartending if you think you'd be any good at it.  (Spend some time memorizing common drink recipes and practicing a once ounce pour--with water and a shot glass.)  Even something like a department store would probably pay slightly more than fast food.  Delivering pizzas, perhaps?  (Not sure how that pays compared to fast food, especially when you take in to account wear and tear on your car.)  Uber or Lyft, maybe, but only if you are smart about it, have an efficient car, and live in an area that has a solid market for it. And your insurance is sufficient. Proceed with caution.

Also, what's your skill set? If you have saleable skills, you could look at work beyond standard unskilled labor. There's numerous side hustle threads in these forums, and a number of folks with specialized skills have lucrative side hustles -- I always goggle at what the AutoCAD/drafting folks make and wish I'd taken that AutoCAD course in high school! ;)

Similarly, if you have a hobby that results in saleable objects (crafting, woodworking, art, etc), you might sell said objects and get back your materials cost, at the very least. I've been thinking about doing this with my knitting and crochet once I finish a few projects for family members.

CU Tiger

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #52 on: January 25, 2018, 06:52:03 AM »
Have you read the blog No More Harvard Debt?

https://nomoreharvarddebt.com/

He went full out, hair on fire intense to get rid of a lot of school debt. Read it and see.
There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. - G.K. Chesterton

blinx7

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2018, 01:45:25 PM »

Just tell your friends you have a ton of student debt and are trying to pay it off.

If you tell them you are trying to become a secret retired millionaire they may be a little off-put or think you are weird but everyone gets wanting debt to be gone.

Invite them to your place where you cook them a meal. 

Bad_With_Money

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2018, 06:22:26 PM »
Hey all, just wanted to check in.  Thanks again for all the advice and support.  I'm still working to make a lot of changes, but have taken some steps towards my goals.  I had some more questions I wanted to see if anyone had feedback on:

1.  I've cut back on grocery spending, and wasteful spending in general.  I know many suggested a budgeting app - which one would be best here?  Right now I am saving receipts and tracking everything in a literal notebook. 

2.  So I am going to have to move in the next 4-6 weeks.  Probably going to get an apartment, unless I can find a cheap house to rent.  In general, any suggestions how to minimize my moving expenses, and good sites for deals on apartments (reduced security deposit or discount on rent?)

3.  I've looked at a few different spots to refinance my loan.  I've upped my payments to 3k/month on it.  What site is the best?  I  tried Sofi and one other one, but are there more?

4.  This is probably the main reason I wanted to check in - taxes (and 401k etc relation to it).  I used the HR Block free estimator - it seems like if I max 18k into my 401k, (therefore reducing my income by tha much), my return jumps by like 5000.  That seems like free money (well, free money I already paid in).  Am I correct in this thinking (I know, consult a professional etc).  If so, would this be a better use of part of my savings, then use the rest to pay down the loan?  Likewise, should I start maxing my 401k for this year? 

Thanks again

CU Tiger

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2018, 06:53:57 AM »
You should max your 401k.
There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. - G.K. Chesterton

diapasoun

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2018, 09:44:05 AM »
The investment order sticky should be helpful in deciding whether to put money in your 401k or your loans. Generally, unless your loan rates are VERY high, you should max your 401k.

For the budgeting app, it'll depend at least in part on your psychology. I like Mint. It's free (supported by ads for financial products). Its budget component is very flexible (you can set up individual budgets to be monthly, to only pay once every so many months, to rollover to the next month, whatever). It's also pretty simple -- just "what have you spent on X." That's all I need. Other people here use YNAB, which afaict has a "spend last month's money" philosophy. It also costs $, so I've never tried it.

For moving... do it yourself. Find a few other friends who will help you lift stuff. If you have a medical reason to not lift crap, find a few more friends to help, or canvas on a site like Nextdoor for neighbors who will help. Find free moving boxes on Craigslist or Nextdoor or your local grocery store. Bubble wrap anything that's highly breakable (expensive stemware or a porcelain vase). Rent a U-Haul. I've never spent even $100 on the costs for a local move, and I've done it quite a few times. With respect to other moving expenses -- if your utility wants you to pay a "too low credit score fee", see if they'll wave it if you do direct deposit. That sinks one cost out of the way. Otherwise, my biggest costs have always been around furniture, especially bookshelves or dressers. Get creative with what you've got (feel free to post here if you have sticky spots that you're trying to figure out).

I know zilch about loan refinancing -- sorry. :(

zoe2dot

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2018, 12:43:08 PM »
I second the suggestion to start collecting boxes now.

If you're moving things yourself I've found liquor stores a great place for boxes that anyone can carry.  I personally cannot carry a lot of large, heavy boxes.  But I can carry a lot of medium, easy to carry boxes.  Your strength/help may vary!

And check Craigslist -- lots of ppl who have moved will post free boxes and moving supplies once they've moved. 

Either way, snap but boxes now and start packing.


diapasoun

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2018, 01:00:01 PM »
If you're moving things yourself I've found liquor stores a great place for boxes that anyone can carry.  I personally cannot carry a lot of large, heavy boxes.  But I can carry a lot of medium, easy to carry boxes.  Your strength/help may vary!

Ohhh yes this! Wine boxes are the BEST book boxes -- they're meant to hold heavy things, so they're sturdy and appropriately sized so that most folks can carry them.

Wine boxes are also much easier to arrange than big boxes in tight spaces, so can be a lot easier to deal with in U-Hauls around furniture.

Rubic

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2018, 05:28:08 PM »
1. In terms of lowering the grocery bill, are there any particular weight loss diets that are cheaper than others?  I am trying to lose some weight but ideally it would be done without buying fancy diet foods or anything.  Also to some extent weight loss will help in some small way with my feet/shoes issues which could be more savings in the long term.

If you'll stop eating out and commit to preparing all of your meals,
you'll probably lose weight on that basis alone.  You don't need to follow
a diet plan, just eat healthy food (no processed snacks!) in moderate
portions.

NaN

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2018, 08:47:36 AM »
I just have to say your attitude is awesome. You put yourself out there. Carefully listened to people's advice. And even checked back in! Keep up the great work!

A couple things:
Quote
2.  So I am going to have to move in the next 4-6 weeks.  Probably going to get an apartment, unless I can find a cheap house to rent.  In general, any suggestions how to minimize my moving expenses, and good sites for deals on apartments (reduced security deposit or discount on rent?)

Move as close to work as you can possibly move. Decreasing your mileage every week decreases your gas expenses and potentially insurance. In addition, you give time back to your life. This can be used to cook yourself dinner, or work out. If you can move such that you can walk or bike to work, even better! But I know how much the Midwest makes that difficult, but if you can do it, do it!

Quote
1. In terms of lowering the grocery bill, are there any particular weight loss diets that are cheaper than others?  I am trying to lose some weight but ideally it would be done without buying fancy diet foods or anything.  Also to some extent weight loss will help in some small way with my feet/shoes issues which could be more savings in the long term.

You do not need anything fancy. And in truth, cutting your food budget is probably proportional to cutting calories. It is simple conservation of energy. You need to burn more than you eat. I have several go to staples that are very useful for me and you can see if any of these can work for you:

  • Oatmeal every morning for breakfast. Find a good bulk store and buy 10, 20, or even 50 lbs of oatmeal. It costs nothing. I pay $0.50 a pound and 50 lbs feeds two people for 7 months. Obviously, oatmeal by itself is bland. I add a little cocoa powder, cinnamon, granola, and almond milk. Also, walnuts when I can find them on sale for about $5/lb. I have friends that add bananas, peanut butter, dried fruit, and seeds. Fresh fruit is a treat when it is on sale. I would say it is less than a $1 for breakfast. And it is healthy!
  • Peanut butter sandwich, an apple (orange, pear), granola bar, some yogurt (bought in 32 oz containers and put in a tupperware), trail mix ($5-7/lb, maybe quarter a bag each day). Yes, the peanut butter sandwich is bland at times. However, there is some aspect of a routine and the same thing that is mentally challenging for the MMM lifestyle. It focuses you to think, 'how much does lunch really matter'. It turns out if you do it every day for years you can look back at those times you ate fast food and say, 'wow, I have totally survived without the serotonin burst from the greasy salty food'. You can make substitutes but consistency for work lunches would be tremendous for your finances and your diet. This probably costs $2-3 for lunch depending on the trail mix.
  • Dinner ideas:
    • Pasta with vegetables (onion, garlic, and bell pepper, or green/yellow squash). Occasionally when spicy sausage is on sale for $3/lb we'll splurge.
    • Burritos with eggs and vegetables. Simple, saute some onions, garlic, bell pepper (and maybe a spicy one), add a cooked potato (microwave for 2-3 minutes), some cumin, salt, and black pepper. Add some black beans, too, or refried beans added on the sid. Then add a couple eggs, scrambling them in, and adding some cheese ($3/lb). Heat up a tortilla, put mix on, add some salsa and maybe an avocado.
    • Stir fry with the same vegetables as the burrito. Saute onions, garlic, bell pepper, with ginger, add a cooked potato (microwave), broccoli, and tofu. Add some teriyaki sauce (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup), or add chicken (when less than $2/lb). Cook white rice (bought in bulk in 7 lb bags at local international market) and combine on plate or in bowl.
    • Egg sandwiches with fried egg and caramelized red onion and bell peppers on a bagel.
    • Hummus. Find some tahini at local international market and pita chips. With the garbanzo beans, add garlic, lemon juice, and any other spices and vegetables to taste. Requires blender (immersion blender is perfect for this)
    • Black bean burgers. Plenty of recipes online, but requires a blender as well.
    • Vegetable lasagna - plenty of recipes online
    • Chili in a slow cooker (super easy to make and great for cold weather)

That is just a small list of dinners we make. Obviously having a partner makes the cooking easier. But, if you give your life more time by moving closer to work you then you will have time to spend an hour or so preparing and eating dinner. It is okay to enjoy yourself with a good meal out ($12/plates) at a favorite restaurant once or twice a month. And when you start making your own food, going out to eat means either enjoying something you won't make for yourself or it gives you an idea of something to add to your rotation!


FINate

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #61 on: February 24, 2018, 09:25:14 AM »
1. In terms of lowering the grocery bill, are there any particular weight loss diets that are cheaper than others?  I am trying to lose some weight but ideally it would be done without buying fancy diet foods or anything.  Also to some extent weight loss will help in some small way with my feet/shoes issues which could be more savings in the long term.

You can easily cut the grocery bill and lose weight simply by eating real food prepared at home. Read (or watch on Netflix) "In Defense of Food" - IMO it's the most sensible advice for eating, a lifestyle/mindset rather than a temporary diet (doesn't work). His approach is summarized as simply "eat food, not too much, mostly plants." It's a little more complicated that it may seem, since 'food' is specifically real food rather than processed food-like products. I gained muscle and still lost 40 lbs (still off 5 years later) while simultaneously cutting the grocery bill using this general approach (did most, not all recommendations).

In order of priority, I would:
  • Cut out all sugary drinks. Energy drinks, soda, juice, sugary coffee drinks, etc.
  • Cut out all fast food.
  • Stop buying packaged snack foods. Drink some water (often you're dehydrated, not hungry), then choose fruit, veggies, and plain (unflavored) nuts. If those aren't appetising then you probably aren't actually hungry :)
  • Cut out alcohol. Expensive, and unnecessary calories.
  • Start preparing more meals at home from real ingredients (not frozen meals/canned food) instead of eating out. Not only are restaurants more expensive, they also serve huge portions.

Do that for 6 months before considering specific diets. The important thing is to move in the right direction, lose weight slowly, consistently and sustainably.

Yes, I'm commenting on my own post :) This was in my news feed this week. IMO it's a solid, well designed study:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/well/eat/counting-calories-weight-loss-diet-dieting-low-carb-low-fat.html

Quote
“We really need to focus on that foundational diet, which is more vegetables, more whole foods, less added sugar and less refined grains.”

Note also that both low-carb and low-fat plans worked. You don't need to go on a super specific diet (Keto, whatever). What matters most is quality of diet: whole foods, fruits, veggies, minimally processed.

NaN

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #62 on: February 24, 2018, 07:13:11 PM »

Yes, I'm commenting on my own post :) This was in my news feed this week. IMO it's a solid, well designed study:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/well/eat/counting-calories-weight-loss-diet-dieting-low-carb-low-fat.html

Quote
“We really need to focus on that foundational diet, which is more vegetables, more whole foods, less added sugar and less refined grains.”

Note also that both low-carb and low-fat plans worked. You don't need to go on a super specific diet (Keto, whatever). What matters most is quality of diet: whole foods, fruits, veggies, minimally processed.

I'll quote the article again so we don't get confused about the first law of thermodynamics. A diet is a diet :)

Quote
Dr. Gardner said it is not that calories don’t matter. After all, both groups
ultimately ended up consuming fewer calories on average by the end of the study,
even though they were not conscious of it. The point is that they did this by focusing
on nutritious whole foods that satisfied their hunger.

Now, nutritious whole foods does not mean only a grocery cart from Whole Foods, where one can have a $800 grocery bill per month for one person. My suggestion to the OP is to buy the whole foods that are on sale (don't buy $4 per lb strawberries). Know your price point, and if you don't know it, develop a list of what is a good price for lettuce, eggs, bell peppers, potatoes, cheese, etc. It will take time as sales and prices cycle through the seasons of the year (and with policy changes - darn egg prices in California a couple years ago!)

Bottom line, if one wants to stay under $200 a month processed foods, sodas, and packaged foods are by default out of the question for 99% of your food intake.

FINate

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #63 on: February 24, 2018, 07:24:55 PM »

Yes, I'm commenting on my own post :) This was in my news feed this week. IMO it's a solid, well designed study:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/well/eat/counting-calories-weight-loss-diet-dieting-low-carb-low-fat.html

Quote
“We really need to focus on that foundational diet, which is more vegetables, more whole foods, less added sugar and less refined grains.”

Note also that both low-carb and low-fat plans worked. You don't need to go on a super specific diet (Keto, whatever). What matters most is quality of diet: whole foods, fruits, veggies, minimally processed.

I'll quote the article again so we don't get confused about the first law of thermodynamics. A diet is a diet :)

Quote
Dr. Gardner said it is not that calories don’t matter. After all, both groups
ultimately ended up consuming fewer calories on average by the end of the study,
even though they were not conscious of it. The point is that they did this by focusing
on nutritious whole foods that satisfied their hunger.

Yes, but the point of the article is that a high quality diet of whole foods can result in weight loss without counting calories or doing anything extreme. Either because you get all the nutrients and micronutrients your need and/or the higher fiber makes you feel satiated sooner and for longer, or some other mechanism we don't fully understand. Whatever the case, no need to think in terms of a specific diet program (low-carb or low-fat, keto, paleo, etc.). Just eat real food.

Bad_With_Money

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #64 on: June 15, 2018, 10:01:19 PM »
hey all,

its been 6 months or so, and I wanted to check in. 

I wish I was coming in with better news, but long story short, I have made a little bit of small progress, but still this whole thing just seems hopeless. 

The good:
- eating out a lot less; preparing more meals; buying in bulk/being more frugal
- staying current on payments
- small raise at work
- put a little bit into 401k

The bad:
- had to move, rent is much more expensive. 
- putting money in 401k left me with too little take-home pay, so had to reduce contributions
- shopped around for some loan refinancing options, but have not yet refinanced
- this one is more of a psychological one, but reading stories here, well they used to be inspiring, but now they are all kind of disappointing, as it seems I am worse off than many.  For every story I read seeing success, i'm older, have more debt, or lower pay (in many instances, 2 if not all 3 of these are true).  In general, I guess I am becoming resentful about others I work with getting basically the same pay but without schooling and the accompanying debt. 

sorry to rant folks, I appreciate all of your help, the goal just seems so far away right now

Paul der Krake

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #65 on: June 15, 2018, 10:19:11 PM »
Drop. Your. Emergency. Fund. Into. The. Loans.





Yesterday!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #66 on: June 15, 2018, 10:21:12 PM »
If you ate like a reasonable person, you'd be saving $500 a month, which almost all of your interest.

What is wrong with you?
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 12:21:39 PM by Paul der Krake »

MDM

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #67 on: June 15, 2018, 11:17:36 PM »
- shopped around for some loan refinancing options, but have not yet refinanced
Under what conditions would you refinance?

If you can't/won't reduce the 7% interest rate, one can make a good case for "investing" in nothing other than paying off that debt.

Reducing the interest rate would make other (e.g., 401k) investment options more attractive.

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #68 on: June 16, 2018, 06:30:58 AM »
- shopped around for some loan refinancing options, but have not yet refinanced
Under what conditions would you refinance?

If you can't/won't reduce the 7% interest rate, one can make a good case for "investing" in nothing other than paying off that debt.

Reducing the interest rate would make other (e.g., 401k) investment options more attractive.

This student loan is really the major issue and he’s deliberately sabotaging his finances. He should drop $40,000 into the loans and refinance with Earnest or SoFi.  Shopping student loan refinancing takes the better part of a single morning.  Anything else is analysis paralysis or old fashioned procrastination.
http://upwardlymobile.life

Refinance Student loans with Earnest.  They’ll pay you $200 and their rates are cheaper than SoFi.

Lady SA

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #69 on: June 16, 2018, 12:48:15 PM »
What stopped you from following through with the refinancing? If anyone offers you lower than 7%, take it now! You can also re-refinance in a few years if you want. Just find something a little bit better for now, follow through, and then every 6 months or year or whatever, you can check to see if you might qualify for better rates by jumping ship again.

Are you still tracking your spending? I recommend Mint as it hooks up with all your accounts and credit cards and automatically tracks your spending.

Use your frustration as energy to make a positive change! You will feel better after making some productive steps in the right direction and getting momentum going.

https://www.earnest.com/invite/lillian2 --> Use this referral to refinance your student loans with Earnest and get a $200 bonus!

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #70 on: June 16, 2018, 02:54:31 PM »
hey all,

its been 6 months or so, and I wanted to check in. 

I wish I was coming in with better news, but long story short, I have made a little bit of small progress, but still this whole thing just seems hopeless. 

The good:
- eating out a lot less; preparing more meals; buying in bulk/being more frugal
- staying current on payments
- small raise at work
- put a little bit into 401k

The bad:
- had to move, rent is much more expensive. 
- putting money in 401k left me with too little take-home pay, so had to reduce contributions
- shopped around for some loan refinancing options, but have not yet refinanced
- this one is more of a psychological one, but reading stories here, well they used to be inspiring, but now they are all kind of disappointing, as it seems I am worse off than many.  For every story I read seeing success, i'm older, have more debt, or lower pay (in many instances, 2 if not all 3 of these are true).  In general, I guess I am becoming resentful about others I work with getting basically the same pay but without schooling and the accompanying debt. 

sorry to rant folks, I appreciate all of your help, the goal just seems so far away right now

BadwithMoney, I think you need a reframe.  You’re not really bad with money, you’re not great at decision making. You’ve saved $52k, maybe more at this point, and you’re paying $3k a month to pay down your loans. That’s pretty remarkable I would think. Pat yourself for that.

Now, you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too, you want to rapidly pay down your loans, while having money for a house or an emergency. You can have both. Either, pay the minimum on those loans and invest the rest to grow your money, or aim the firehose on the loans, use your emergency fund and commit to the refi and get rid of the loan ASAP. Pick one strategy and stick to it because you don’t seem to be able to pull off a dual strategy. If it were me, I’d do the dual strategy, refinance, pay $40k of emergency to the loans and pay double the monthly into the loan, jack the contributions to the amount that sucks up the extra you’re left with.

Now, I would imagine that if you focus, you can wipe this out in 5 years. If you do that and then put everything into investing, in 10 years time you’ll be FI. You’re still fairly young. That still has you with possibility of FIRE if you want it. Everything is achievable but nothing happens overnight. Let your envy motivate you to make better decisions now.

Also, one last thing, change your screen name Bad with Money. That is not what you want to be, stop letting that be any aspect of any identity. Be, Learning about Money, or something more positive.

Now, pull your finger out of your butt, create a plan and stick it to it for at least a year. Make the plan simple. Stop being the obstacle to your own success.

Now

civil4life

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #71 on: June 16, 2018, 04:29:36 PM »
If you use the link on the MMM website for SoFi you get a $300 bonus.  I refinanced mine with SoFi in Sept.  I went from 6.8% to 3%.  Get this done now.

Start playing Givling.  www.givling.com.  See the link in my signature.

Definitely put some portion of that savings on the loan balance.

It does not sound like you are tracking your spending yet or picked an app.  That is where I see my changes.  Each month spending less and less.

Pat yourself on the back with the progress you are making.  Putting $3k on your loans per month is awesome!!!!

Givling - Payoff up to $50k in student loan or $25k on mortgage - referral code SG229715

lhamo

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #72 on: June 16, 2018, 06:14:13 PM »
Interest rates have been rising the past few months and are likely to continue to do so. Refinance ASAP to lock in the lowest rate you can, while you can.

And you need to get a grip on your food spending.  You spend more on yourself than I do on a family of 4 (two adults, two teens).  And we eat pretty high protein/low carb, except for a couple of bottles of wine a week (also included in the food budget)
Wherever you go, there you are

Dee18

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #73 on: June 17, 2018, 10:59:28 AM »
Did you use $40,000 of your cash to pay off a chunk of student loan?  If not, why not?  That is something you could accomplish in less than an hour. (If you didn’t do that, you’ve needlessly accrued about $1400 in interest during the past 6 months.)

You can do this!  And if no one else has suggested it, read the Collins stock series on investing.
http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

Bad_With_Money

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #74 on: June 19, 2018, 07:58:59 PM »
hey all, thanks for all the advice.  reading through all of it and trying some things out, i'll follow up with some specific questions later this week.

it looks like i can lock in a fixed 5.18% rate, payment 2300 a month, 5 year plan.  this is at the 122000 number; working on re-running it with 82000 as principal. 

just playing with their sliding calculator (Laurel Road), i could kick it out to 10 years, 5.59%, 1300/month payment.  this would allow more money month to month to invest - i guess i need to decide what strategy is best. 

Thanks again all

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #75 on: June 19, 2018, 08:42:43 PM »
hey all, thanks for all the advice.  reading through all of it and trying some things out, i'll follow up with some specific questions later this week.

it looks like i can lock in a fixed 5.18% rate, payment 2300 a month, 5 year plan.  this is at the 122000 number; working on re-running it with 82000 as principal. 

just playing with their sliding calculator (Laurel Road), i could kick it out to 10 years, 5.59%, 1300/month payment.  this would allow more money month to month to invest - i guess i need to decide what strategy is best. 

Thanks again all

Earnest and SoFi offer lower rates than laurel.  Earnest offers the most flexibility in payment term.  You could set up anything between 5 and 10 years.
http://upwardlymobile.life

Refinance Student loans with Earnest.  They’ll pay you $200 and their rates are cheaper than SoFi.

zoe2dot

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #76 on: July 09, 2018, 01:41:02 PM »
I'm ready for an update, @Bad_With_Money.

Seven months ago you were pondering the same things you are now.

You had five questions:

Q1. What can I do to pay down my student loan faster? 
A1: Every single person has suggested you refinance. 

Q2. What should I be doing with my savings? 
A2: Keep emergency fund. Put significant amount toward loan.  Invest the rest.

Q3. With no company matching, should I still contribute to a 401k retirement plan, and if so, how much? 
A3: Yes; amounts varied.

Q4: Do any of you see an angle where I could still be in line for early retirement? 
A4: Yes, if you get your butt in gear.

Q5: What is the best option investment option here?  I am absolutely clueless about investing. 
A5: Read investment order sticky.  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/investment-order/

As for inspiration or comparing yourself to other, younger, richer etc posters--you are cherry picking.  There are MANY people worse off than you.  That guy who is spiraling down into bankruptcy but who won't sell his fucking truck, for one.  There are people struggling with their health on top of their debt.  People with adult children who still depend on them.  People with parents who depend on them.

You did a little bit of work on your finances.
Do a little bit more.
Chip away at it.



nkt0

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #77 on: July 09, 2018, 02:48:23 PM »
I just stumbled upon this thread today and read the entire thing. Lots of inspiration here and a very positive effort by the OP!

I am not necessarily worse off than you, but i wanted to post to help give you perspective and potentially a little inspiration. I am 10 years older and have only recently started seriously tackling student debt. I have a similar income but two mouths to feed from it (my SO is a writer with very little income at the moment). I turned my $40k in student debt to $13k in just two years and i will have the rest paid off by the end of this year. And that's with a mortgage and 4% going to 401k. I'm still 10 years away from the financial independence i seek, but there is an end in sight for the student loans.

I totally believe the OP can tackle the mountain of student debt without sacrificing everything. Discipline can be hard and daunting, but it will pay off.

Stop reading these forums if they don't make you feel good, but continue posting updates to this thread if it helps.

therethere

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Re: Bad decisions (Student loan) ruining any chance of early retirement
« Reply #78 on: July 09, 2018, 03:55:07 PM »
I would keep 1-2months of expenses + 1k to cover unexpected car repairs or insurance deductibles. The rest should go towards your loan today. You rent and have no real assets so your risk is very low. Remember you are effectively paying 7% interest on every dollar in your safety net so you want it optimized but still providing safety.


The best step you could take right now is to set the goal of refinancing this week. TODAY check the rates on credible.com, SOFI, and Earnest. Choose the best one and submit the application. Don't worry so much about the terms just pick what you can afford. 7-10 year timeline might be a good balance. You can refinance again next week or adjust your payment plan (with another company, a lower rate, a different term length) if you wanted so there is no reason not. I used to have 100k loans a 8.6% and it felt impossible to make progress at that high of a rate. In fact, you could keep refinancing with different companies every year just to get the referral $$ if you wanted.

You have a decent income and a huge start to paying down your loan with the e-fund (forget about buying a house!) You could have this paid off the sooner if you stop stalling. The longer you wait, the more you will pay and the more regret you will have. Trust me. I know you're in the dumps now. But tackling it or marrying rich is the only way to move forward. DH and I dug our way out from under 245k in student loans (almost 200k was at 8-9%). It took 10 years of dutifully paying and we did so on around 90-100k combined salary in HCOL areas. It is possible. Anytime I received unexpected money or saved money I logged on and sent the exact amount as an extra payment. Some days had multiple payments under $10. Some months had an extra payment every single day. Anything is better than nothing.

You can totally do this AND retire early. Once you're used to throwing big chunks at a loan every month you're already trained. In a few years the loan will be paid off and you get to redirect all that spare income to investments.
I refinanced my student loans with Earnest and cut 1% off my rate. PM me for a referral with $200 credit.