Hi, so I'm Julie and I live in Austin, TX and am looking for any way to alleviate my expenses and save money. I'm doing Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and following Mr Money and Mad Fientist and just trying to figure this stuff out. I guess I don't get how Mr Money just says you can save 50% of your expenses just like that, like it's that easy. I do have a car payment, but i only have about $1800 left on it for a ten year old car. I've never bought new cars, never had cable, and until I was 25, I never even had TV or a computer at home. I actually didn't even have a phone til I was 23, I used a payphone on the corner next to a Walgreens. I cook almost all my meals at home and I stock up on rice, beans, oats, apples, eggs, etc. I have a smartphone, but I get half off because I work for the company, and my internet through my own company is $5. I can't figure out how to live any cheaper.
In Austin, it's very difficult to find rent for less than 1k. After my roommate wanted to jack up my rent to $700 for a place that was rat and roach infested, I was managing to find studios for $800-900 that I was pretty comfortable with. I will admit this is where my mom kicked in and basically demanded I buy a condo, and paid for the down payment. I got a 1BR condo for $115k 3 miles from downtown Austin last year (also walking/biking distance to work but Austin's bike paths don't go over highways so the bike commute is a bit terrifying). Mortgage and HOA is $1100. Problem is, this is almost half of my income right there.
Now, in a perfect world maybe I could save a third of my income instead? But this is where things get complicated. I have COPD, Endometriosis, Adenomyosis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I've had three surgeries just this year, finally ending with a hysterectomy. My health insurance is very high deductible and I use up the max out of pocket almost yearly. Additionally, things just keep happening. The reason I got into debt in the first place was my Aunt went to the ICU for an emergency. When the people she was living with bothered to call me, her only living relative, she'd been in the ICU for 4 days and they were reading last rites. I jumped on a plane ($1200 to Cincinnati same day), rented a car ($700) and spent a week in a motel, because she had died while I was mid-flight and I had five days til the funeral ($1000... Ohio has some ridiculous $100 per night motel fee). I also miss a week of work because my company pays for almost any time out for a funeral but not if they're an aunt or uncle.. Right after that, my mom decides to put the down payment on a condo for me, and I find black mold that the inspector missed ($8000 for a new shower).. now as of last week, my mom was in the ICU for a subdural hematoma. Now I'm saying fuck savings and racking up my credit card in the idea I might need another expensive flight in case she needs surgery to relieve the pressure in her brain. I was the only living relative on my dad's sisters side before she died and I'm the only living relative on my mom's side as well. If she dies, I have zero family and I haven't been in a romantic relationship in ten years.
I listen to these Dave Ramsey calls and it's literally all couples, all healthy, throwing two sets of incomes at one set of expenses and patting themselves on the back for it. I don't hear anyone like me, single, with elderly ailing family members, no money, and dealing with chronic medical conditions herself, with no one to help. I even stopped dating because it was costing me too much money to go out for beers twice a week and not having a partner is just plain hard. So I sign on here and I see a bunch of crap about 'oh just save half your money it's super easy' along with some tips on things I'm already doing that aren't going very far for me. The Dave Ramsey class is the same thing, I go in and talk about clipping coupons and taking market research studies and donating plasma and working second jobs and everyone else is just talking about selling things like F150s and jetskis and unplugging cable... changing lifestyle habits I was always too poor to develop in the first place. I'm out of ideas. Anyone?