Author Topic: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt  (Read 20702 times)

Help Me :)

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Hi...first time poster. This is a call for help. 2017 was one hell of a year. I took a job in May that I thought was great, ended up being bad. Laid off 4 weeks later and unemployed for 5 months. I live in the Silicon Valley and support myself/fiance/3 cats. My fiance works 20 hours a week and this pays some of his expenses + school loan. He is resuming school in January (his current career doesn't pay enough) - we were awarded grants for school so that's great.

I've attached a spreadsheet of my current financial situation. Remember, I'm supporting 2 people. I have no savings (gone during unemployment), no 401k, no bonds, no stock - nothing. I will have $30 left to my name (hopefully) for the next 2 weeks after I pay all of my bills (below).

I'm at a loss. My young idiotic self used my credit card too often from age 18 - 26 | I blame no one but myself (and fiance lol). Some were emergencies, car repairs, ER - a lot were living beyond my means. This year I really buckled down, got 1 large loan from SoFi to pay it all down - and all seemed well. Then I got laid off and debt accumulated $8k+ more :)...due to forabarance from 1 loan and credit cards to survive.

I just got paid today, below is my bills I have to pay. Do the calculations....

In March I will be getting a much cheaper car (and lesser car payment), going to figure out a way to get out of my Verizon phone plan, lower our internet, etc. Fiance and I have discussed all the ways we will live even MORE frugally.

I met with a bankruptcy attorney 2 weeks ago and shortly realized after that I do NOT want to live my entire 30s bankrupt, even if my debt will be gone. I am hopeful in the next 3-5 years I will have this paid off if I play my cards right.

Do you see any hope for me? I finally this year realized what a budget was. I will not be (and have not) using my credit card.

1ST - 15TH
$2392 is what I have in checking
--------------------------------------
RENT - $970
CHRYSLER - $357
XFINITY - $80
Cats - $60
GROCERIES - $240
GAS - $40 
VERIZON - $253
RENTERS INSURANCE - $12.50
LUNCH @ WORK - $54


CAR REGISTRATION - $295
------------------------
Jewlery Insurance?
WF CC?
------------------------
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 08:40:54 PM by Help Me :) »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 08:36:43 PM »
What food do you have in the house? Eating down your pantry and freezer can be a big short-term cash flow boost if yours look like mine - but you may already have been doing that.

You can't afford to have "Lunch at Work" be a separate category from groceries.

Is the Chrysler a lease? Why is that change in March?

Help Me :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 08:42:46 PM »
We grocery shop all the time and I eat the same dinner every evening (chicken or pasta sauce with whole wheat pasta).
I show lunch at work since I buy lunch at work. $6 a meal, or $3 if I'm eating a sandwich.

Yes a lease, it's due back in March. Will be getting a cheaper car with a $100+ less monthly payment.

shuffler

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 08:53:17 PM »
What is your line of work?  If you're in software (and being in SV) then I think you can expect that $95k to grow.  The overall $30k of debt won't be an issue in the long term, certainly not worth bankruptcy, but you do have to survive the short-term and start making progress against it.

Cut the Sling TV.  Save $20.
Break your phone contract, return the phone.  (I pay ~$10/mo via AirVoice.)  Save $200-ish.
Cut the gym.  Save $19.
Cut lunch @ work.  Save $50-ish.
Cut the insurance for your ring.  Save $8-ish.

That's $307-ish.  Plus more when you return the car.

See if you can reduce your levels of coverage on your car.  Remove replacement-cost for your car.  Drive a cheap car so that you can replace it yourself if needed.

Groceries are next.
Comcast after that.

Oh, also, marry your man tomorrow, and then you can be MFJ when you pay your 2017 taxes.   ;^)

lhamo

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 09:18:29 PM »
Comcast needs to drop to cheapest internet only plan.

No pre-made meals at lunch.  Bring things from home that cost $1-2/meal (PB&J and whatever fruit is on sale).

If your local foodbank doesn't verify assets by household, your partner might be able to get some stuff there -- including pet food.

The phone costs are ridiculous.

File your 2017 taxes as soon as you can -- as long as you can get a refund.

School or not, your partner needs to be doing whatever they can to bring in extra income to get you both out of this mess.   And if there are low-stress ways for you to bring in some sideline income  (I'm thinking weekend childcare -- caring for sleeping kids is pretty chill so even people who aren't into kids can do it pretty easily-- pet sitting, etc.) you should get on that too to help dig out of the hole faster.

Congrats on the low rent, BTW -- that is one thing you have going for you.

Paul der Krake

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 10:09:27 PM »
Jewelry insurance... unless you run a jewelry store, that seems totally unnecessary.

Frankies Girl

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 10:42:52 PM »
Oh my goodness.... you and fiance need to buckle down HARD and you might do just fine, but if either one of you decides that you're not willing to give up a few luxuries, you won't make much progress.

You have hair on fire debt and are not going dig out of this without sticking to a serious no-frills budget, and/or bringing in more money. You admit you were crazy about racking up charges through your younger days, so thing to realize is that you're both going to be paying for it now by denying yourself all those luxury things you've taken for granted as necessary (like lunches at work).

Every dollar you spend now on non-essentials is a dollar that digs that debt hole deeper. You really, really need to have a complete 180 on how you view spending and debt because until you get this straight, it's too easy for you to keep trickling away $5 here, $10 there and never really get out of trouble.

Fiance needs to get or keep part time job working as many hours as they can when they are not in class, doing classwork or sleeping. It's lovely that they got grants to go back to school, but you have hair on fire debt and expecting you to shoulder the lion's share of living expenses and debts accumulated while they go to school is not fair or a great way to start out life together. You are a team, so both of you need to be working together hard as possible to get this ship back on course.

You need to consider a second job if your current one doesn't allow overtime. Anything that is close to home or your 1st job, and can provide you with extra money to throw at the debt.

Track every penny of expenses ASAP. Get Mint, YNAB whatever but you are missing way too much spending that everyone forgets about (cleaning supplies? toilet paper? soap, haircuts, clothes? Do you drink? Entertainment expenses?), and without knowing where your money is going you won't ever be able to properly stop up the bleeding and funnel the money to where it needs to go.

Cut everything that is not necessary for basic living:
NO sling tv.
No gym (check out bodyweight routines, yoga and walk/jog trails for free exercise)
No eating out at all
No lunches at work
No presents
No clothes shopping
No fancy toiletries or name brand, single serve stuff
NOTHING THAT ISN'T VITAL FOR LIVING

Insurance on jewelry is weird - how could you afford a ring that is so expensive that it requires insurance? Who paid for it? Can you return it and get a simple silver band or really ANYTHING? I am flabbergasted that you would buy (or your broke fiance) a ring that cost more than a few hundred... this is madness. You can get a "nice" ring for an anniversary when you have actual money and can afford it.

No more pets. I would not tell you to get rid of your animals, but do not spend a single penny more than necessary, and do not adopt any more until you're out of debt. Right now, assess the costs involved on their food/litter/etc., and see about finding cheaper alternatives ASAP. The big thing that people seem to forget: pets are a luxury. What happens if you have an emergency vet bill? You're screwed, because you will either have to go into even deeper debt or make a very terrible decision based solely on the fact that you can't afford their upkeep. Take as good a care of your existing pets as you can, but cut costs - Aldi for instance sells large bags of dry cat food, canned food, scoopable litter and treats even. Buying larger containers when possible will save more usually (assess the cost vs weight of product - this is important with groceries as well to assess whether the price is a good deal).

Lunch at work? No more lunches out at all and that includes at work. You say it's only $6 or even $3... that's still VERY high. Sure, not as high as going to like Panera or Chipoltle or something, but if you cook at home, pack your lunch, you can get it under $1 or closer to 50Ę/lunch easily. You are (say it with me) in HAIR ON FIRE DEBT, so saving $100/week is $400 a month, $1,200 a year. This is HUGE! 

And groceries... $500 a month on groceries for 2 people. This is INSANE. It should be closer to $250. Learn to cook simple meals. Batch cook, and freeze into portions so you have a week's worth of lunch and dinner ready to go. Shop discount grocery stores and only sales - no buying fancy stuff or convience packages. Bulk rice and beans with a bit of spice/oil could be the basis for a great meal. Then add in a bit of cheap veggies for variety. Frozen veggies are cheap, but can buy fresh veggies that are on sale if it's a great deal, but NO NON-SALE ITEMS EVER. Check out the clearance sections too - dented cans still have good food in them, meats due to go out in the next day or so for half price or better are still good and can be frozen if you can't eat it all within a few days of purchase.

Organics are a luxury. Meat as the main part of a meal is a luxury. Prepared foods are luxury. Boxed or bagged or fancy meal plans are luxury. None of this should be on your shopping list until you are out of debt and have a healthy emergency fund built up. Check out budgetbytes.com for great, easy recipes for pennies.

Definitely get out of that phone contract ASAP. I don't know what is available where you live, but many MVMOs now offer payback for breaking a contract. Get the cheapest phone you can find, and the cheapest phone plan you can find. I can't even imagine buying a phone for over $500, and I'm assuming your fiance is also on the same plan with an expensive phone. You should be able to get that bill down below $50 after phones (which should be under $100 for both). No one needs unlimited data, text and voice. Treat your phones as emergency contact only and not as entertainment - texts and short calls only and no data unless it's an emergency. You can't afford entertainment like this.

Cheapest beater car you can find that is mechanically sound as soon as you can get rid of the stupid lease. NEVER GET A LEASE AGAIN. And get basic required insurance coverage and drop the full as soon as the lease is gone.

As far as the debt - every penny you can scrounge should go towards paying down the CC debt first. I would also start paying back the relatives (track this carefully) at $10 each/month just to show you're serious about paying them back. But the bulk of the money you save should go towards the high interest debts. Pay the minimums on the other debts until the high one is gone, and then switch to the next highest (the sofi?) with everything you have (maybe increasing the friend/relative paybacks to $25/month after the highest one is gone).

You can turn this around in a relatively short period of time - honestly if you and the fiance worked hard at cutting costs and cooking at home - you likely could be debt free in 2-3 years even with him working part time. But it would require you both to really work at it and sacrifice a bit so hopefully you're both strong and determined enough to go forward on this. Good luck!!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 11:53:32 PM by Frankies Girl »

Help Me :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2017, 11:50:15 PM »
What is your line of work?  If you're in software (and being in SV) then I think you can expect that $95k to grow.  The overall $30k of debt won't be an issue in the long term, certainly not worth bankruptcy, but you do have to survive the short-term and start making progress against it.

Cut the Sling TV.  Save $20.
Break your phone contract, return the phone.  (I pay ~$10/mo via AirVoice.)  Save $200-ish.
Cut the gym.  Save $19.
Cut lunch @ work.  Save $50-ish.
Cut the insurance for your ring.  Save $8-ish.

That's $307-ish.  Plus more when you return the car.

See if you can reduce your levels of coverage on your car.  Remove replacement-cost for your car.  Drive a cheap car so that you can replace it yourself if needed.

Groceries are next.
Comcast after that.

Oh, also, marry your man tomorrow, and then you can be MFJ when you pay your 2017 taxes.   ;^)

I'm an Executive Assistant. No college education, worked my way up in the corporate world. I support an officer of the company, so I'm hopeful down the road I'll get a raise, bonus, or possibly more RSU's (just joined 2 months ago). Thank you friend - that is definitely why I said no to bankruptcy, I'm hopeful my future will be debt free and I think I can do it without bankruptcy :).
I think if I cut my phone contract, I'll owe a fee as well as what is owed on the phones themselves ($1000+). There has to be a way out of the contract so that I can go to a cheap service provider?? I just don't know it. I asked my friend who works at Verizon to look into it.

Insurance is a 1 time annual payment, covers my fiance's $4k engagement ring. So I will just pay the $89 when I get my tax return. Agree on cutting all other parts.

Yeah I've told my fiance we need to marry so that we can both be better financially off!

Help Me :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2017, 11:51:02 PM »
Jewelry insurance... unless you run a jewelry store, that seems totally unnecessary.

Insurance for my fiances ring ($4k). A one time annual payment. Just on my list of todo's I haven't been able to afford yet. Avoiding using the CC.

Help Me :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 11:54:56 PM »
Comcast needs to drop to cheapest internet only plan.

No pre-made meals at lunch.  Bring things from home that cost $1-2/meal (PB&J and whatever fruit is on sale).

If your local foodbank doesn't verify assets by household, your partner might be able to get some stuff there -- including pet food.

The phone costs are ridiculous.

File your 2017 taxes as soon as you can -- as long as you can get a refund.

School or not, your partner needs to be doing whatever they can to bring in extra income to get you both out of this mess.   And if there are low-stress ways for you to bring in some sideline income  (I'm thinking weekend childcare -- caring for sleeping kids is pretty chill so even people who aren't into kids can do it pretty easily-- pet sitting, etc.) you should get on that too to help dig out of the hole faster.

Congrats on the low rent, BTW -- that is one thing you have going for you.

Thank you. I currently do have internet only, just the cost for what I'm currently at. Already reached out about lowering the cost and it is quite high in the Silicon Valley. I am able to cut it down $20 a month if I get in a 2 year contract.

The phone costs ARE ridiculous, I fricking have hated them since day 1. Decided to do it when I found out I had a 20% corporate discount Verizon and Tmobile (previous) was shit service. Well, Verizon is still a ridiculous cost. I'm trying to find a way to get over to Tmobile or Metro, save $100+ a month.

Yes I plan on doing taxes ASAP, not sure what it will mean with being unemployed 5 months this year, but anything I get back will go into savings.

My monthly rent is $1921 a month (the price you see in the post is the 1/2 cost). BUT still cheap in this valley. Most people I know are paying $2500 - $3500 for a 1bedrm.

I need to find a good side hustle...def not Uber or Lyft. I read one of mustache's blogs on how shitty the income is.


MaaS

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2017, 12:10:11 AM »
Comcast needs to drop to cheapest internet only plan.

No pre-made meals at lunch.  Bring things from home that cost $1-2/meal (PB&J and whatever fruit is on sale).

If your local foodbank doesn't verify assets by household, your partner might be able to get some stuff there -- including pet food.

The phone costs are ridiculous.

File your 2017 taxes as soon as you can -- as long as you can get a refund.

School or not, your partner needs to be doing whatever they can to bring in extra income to get you both out of this mess.   And if there are low-stress ways for you to bring in some sideline income  (I'm thinking weekend childcare -- caring for sleeping kids is pretty chill so even people who aren't into kids can do it pretty easily-- pet sitting, etc.) you should get on that too to help dig out of the hole faster.

Congrats on the low rent, BTW -- that is one thing you have going for you.

Thank you. I currently do have internet only, just the cost for what I'm currently at. Already reached out about lowering the cost and it is quite high in the Silicon Valley. I am able to cut it down $20 a month if I get in a 2 year contract.

The phone costs ARE ridiculous, I fricking have hated them since day 1. Decided to do it when I found out I had a 20% corporate discount Verizon and Tmobile (previous) was shit service. Well, Verizon is still a ridiculous cost. I'm trying to find a way to get over to Tmobile or Metro, save $100+ a month.

Yes I plan on doing taxes ASAP, not sure what it will mean with being unemployed 5 months this year, but anything I get back will go into savings.

My monthly rent is $1921 a month (the price you see in the post is the 1/2 cost). BUT still cheap in this valley. Most people I know are paying $2500 - $3500 for a 1bedrm.

I need to find a good side hustle...def not Uber or Lyft. I read one of mustache's blogs on how shitty the income is.

I have a Republic Wireless plan for $20/month, and am in the Bay area all the time for work. It works great. Something to consider!

Help Me :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 12:13:19 AM »
Oh my goodness.... you and fiance need to buckle down HARD and you might do just fine, but if either one of you decides that you're not willing to give up a few luxuries, you won't make much progress.

You have hair on fire debt and are not going dig out of this without sticking to a serious no-frills budget, and/or bringing in more money. You admit you were crazy about racking up charges through your younger days, so thing to realize is that you're both going to be paying for it now by denying yourself all those luxury things you've taken for granted as necessary (like lunches at work).

Every dollar you spend now on non-essentials is a dollar that digs that debt hole deeper. You really, really need to have a complete 180 on how you view spending and debt because until you get this straight, it's too easy for you to keep trickling away $5 here, $10 there and never really get out of trouble.

Fiance needs to get or keep part time job working as many hours as they can when they are not in class, doing classwork or sleeping. It's lovely that they got grants to go back to school, but you have hair on fire debt and expecting you to shoulder the lion's share of living expenses and debts accumulated while they go to school is not fair or a great way to start out life together. You are a team, so both of you need to be working together hard as possible to get this ship back on course.

You need to consider a second job if your current one doesn't allow overtime. Anything that is close to home or your 1st job, and can provide you with extra money to throw at the debt.

Track every penny of expenses ASAP. Get Mint, YNAB whatever but you are missing way too much spending that everyone forgets about (cleaning supplies? toilet paper? soap, haircuts, clothes? Do you drink? Entertainment expenses?), and without knowing where your money is going you won't ever be able to properly stop up the bleeding and funnel the money to where it needs to go.

Cut everything that is not necessary for basic living:
NO sling tv.
No gym (check out bodyweight routines, yoga and walk/jog trails for free exercise)
No eating out at all
No lunches at work
No presents
No clothes shopping
No fancy toiletries or name brand, single serve stuff
NOTHING THAT ISN'T VITAL FOR LIVING

Insurance on jewelry is weird - how could you afford a ring that is so expensive that it requires insurance? Who paid for it? Can you return it and get a simple silver band or really ANYTHING? I am flabbergasted that you would buy (or your broke fiance) a ring that cost more than a few hundred... this is madness. You can get a "nice" ring for an anniversary when you have actual money and can afford it.

No more pets. I would not tell you to get rid of your animals, but do not spend a single penny more than necessary, and do not adopt any more until you're out of debt. Right now, assess the costs involved on their food/litter/etc., and see about finding cheaper alternatives ASAP. The big thing that people seem to forget: pets are a luxury. What happens if you have an emergency vet bill? You're screwed, because you will either have to go into even deeper debt or make a very terrible decision based solely on the fact that you can't afford their upkeep. Take as good a care of your existing pets as you can, but cut costs - Aldi for instance sells large bags of dry cat food, canned food, scoopable litter and treats even. Buying larger containers when possible will save more usually (assess the cost vs weight of product - this is important with groceries as well to assess whether the price is a good deal).

Lunch at work? No more lunches out at all and that includes at work. You say it's only $6 or even $3... that's still VERY high. Sure, not as high as going to like Panera or Chipoltle or something, but if you cook at home, pack your lunch, you can get it under $1 or closer to 50Ę/lunch easily. You are (say it with me) in HAIR ON FIRE DEBT, so saving $100/week is $400 a month, $1,200 a year. This is HUGE! 

And groceries... $500 a month on groceries for 2 people. This is INSANE. It should be closer to $250. Learn to cook simple meals. Batch cook, and freeze into portions so you have a week's worth of lunch and dinner ready to go. Shop discount grocery stores and only sales - no buying fancy stuff or convience packages. Bulk rice and beans with a bit of spice/oil could be the basis for a great meal. Then add in a bit of cheap veggies for variety. Frozen veggies are cheap, but can buy fresh veggies that are on sale if it's a great deal, but NO NON-SALE ITEMS EVER. Check out the clearance sections too - dented cans still have good food in them, meats due to go out in the next day or so for half price or better are still good and can be frozen if you can't eat it all within a few days of purchase.

Organics are a luxury. Meat as the main part of a meal is a luxury. Prepared foods are luxury. Boxed or bagged or fancy meal plans are luxury. None of this should be on your shopping list until you are out of debt and have a healthy emergency fund built up. Check out budgetbytes.com for great, easy recipes for pennies.

Definitely get out of that phone contract ASAP. I don't know what is available where you live, but many MVMOs now offer payback for breaking a contract. Get the cheapest phone you can find, and the cheapest phone plan you can find. I can't even imagine buying a phone for over $500, and I'm assuming your fiance is also on the same plan with an expensive phone. You should be able to get that bill down below $50 after phones (which should be under $100 for both). No one needs unlimited data, text and voice. Treat your phones as emergency contact only and not as entertainment - texts and short calls only and no data unless it's an emergency. You can't afford entertainment like this.

Cheapest beater car you can find that is mechanically sound as soon as you can get rid of the stupid lease. NEVER GET A LEASE AGAIN. And get basic required insurance coverage and drop the full as soon as the lease is gone.

As far as the debt - every penny you can scrounge should go towards paying down the CC debt first. I would also start paying back the relatives (track this carefully) at $10 each/month just to show you're serious about paying them back. But the bulk of the money you save should go towards the high interest debts. Pay the minimums on the other debts until the high one is gone, and then switch to the next highest (the sofi?) with everything you have (maybe increasing the friend/relative paybacks to $25/month after the highest one is gone).

You can turn this around in a relatively short period of time - honestly if you and the fiance worked hard at cutting costs and cooking at home - you likely could be debt free in 2-3 years even with him working part time. But it would require you both to really work at it and sacrifice a bit so hopefully you're both strong and determined enough to go forward on this. Good luck!!

Thank you for your message! You are too kind - I am going to take a lot of the advice you provided and incorporate it.

The $500 a month in groceries include the aforementioned toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. That isn't just food, but ALL home items. Yeah we have no budget for fun or eating out, which we don't do anyways. We are both not drinkers :).
Actually this entire year what I've done is on Sunday I cook 8 days worth of chicken (in one oven batch) and freeze it into meals, I then cook pasta sauce split into 3 meals. Every night for dinner I have the same meal. Whole Wheat pasta, English muffin garlic bread, and chicken or spaghetti sauce. Definitely has saved me money. Drink water only, no juice or soda. I've also downloaded the coupon app for my grocery store and search around through best deals on certain items with my coupon. I always look at the best/discounted deals at the store and don't buy otherwise. I've had to educate my fiance on this one too, because he used to just grab whatever!

Through unemployment I learned how to track every dollar, every penny - where it goes before it goes. It definitely taught me some very useful lessons I hadn't had before (I was surviving on unemployment checks).

Luckily fiance is a hair stylist so I haven't paid for a haircut in over 6 years.

Our 3 cats are rescues, have had them from 3-5 years combined. One of them is on a diet food due to him getting crystals in his bladder that put him in the ER earlier this year (for 3 days) - luckily I had pet insurance that covered bulk of the stay. We have to feed him, and the other cats - that food. It is what it is. Definitely no more pets!

Totally agree on the phones. I really hope I can get out of this damn contract, I HATE Verizon - they are damn crooks. I am unhappy that I ever switched over to them.

I personally won't get a beat up piece of shit car ever again. I've had 2 of them, and dropped thousands of dollars into them - broke down on the freeway once. Thousands I didn't have and added to that previous credit card debt. I will be getting another lease, but it will be a cheap car ($15K or under) with $0 down payment and payments $200 or under a month. This will save me $150+ a month. It's the one thing I won't budge on - even though I'm sure Dave Ramsey would scream at me. I just feel better driving a car that is full of warranty and covered for any mechanical reason. I live in the valley, good condition cars are a necessity, especially in my profession where I have to run errands for my manage/company often, and some times have to drive around customers/clients in my car. Can't have a POS for that purpose.

What I will be doing is rolling my CC debt accrued from unemployment, into my large SoFi loan - that way I have it all under one big loan with a much lower interest rate. Probably a 7 year loan, payments will be around $500 a month. I'm hoping as I receive more money over time, and save money from cutting bills down - I can pay off bigger chunks. As it stand, I'm barely scraping by! Unemployment truly screwed me. But I am hopeful, I will have 5 stock units vest at the end of the year that should help too. Fingers crossed NO MORE EMERGENCIES!

Help Me :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2017, 12:18:45 AM »
Comcast needs to drop to cheapest internet only plan.

No pre-made meals at lunch.  Bring things from home that cost $1-2/meal (PB&J and whatever fruit is on sale).

If your local foodbank doesn't verify assets by household, your partner might be able to get some stuff there -- including pet food.

The phone costs are ridiculous.

File your 2017 taxes as soon as you can -- as long as you can get a refund.

School or not, your partner needs to be doing whatever they can to bring in extra income to get you both out of this mess.   And if there are low-stress ways for you to bring in some sideline income  (I'm thinking weekend childcare -- caring for sleeping kids is pretty chill so even people who aren't into kids can do it pretty easily-- pet sitting, etc.) you should get on that too to help dig out of the hole faster.

Congrats on the low rent, BTW -- that is one thing you have going for you.

Thank you. I currently do have internet only, just the cost for what I'm currently at. Already reached out about lowering the cost and it is quite high in the Silicon Valley. I am able to cut it down $20 a month if I get in a 2 year contract.

The phone costs ARE ridiculous, I fricking have hated them since day 1. Decided to do it when I found out I had a 20% corporate discount Verizon and Tmobile (previous) was shit service. Well, Verizon is still a ridiculous cost. I'm trying to find a way to get over to Tmobile or Metro, save $100+ a month.

Yes I plan on doing taxes ASAP, not sure what it will mean with being unemployed 5 months this year, but anything I get back will go into savings.

My monthly rent is $1921 a month (the price you see in the post is the 1/2 cost). BUT still cheap in this valley. Most people I know are paying $2500 - $3500 for a 1bedrm.

I need to find a good side hustle...def not Uber or Lyft. I read one of mustache's blogs on how shitty the income is.

I have a Republic Wireless plan for $20/month, and am in the Bay area all the time for work. It works great. Something to consider!

Is there an unlimited plan? I would love to switch to them! Also, any tips on how to get the hell out of my Verizon contract....owe on the Droid and Iphone 8 (fiance loves apple) - yeah, he knows we no longer live beyond our means. If we don't have the cash, we ain't getting it!

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2017, 01:05:04 AM »
I just have a question. How do you and your fiance plan to share expenses? 50:50 or proportional to your incomes?

We have always done 50:50. This is hard when one is a student and one isn't, but it helps to avoid lifestyle creep if you both live on a student budget.
 
We have done 50:50 through school, unemployment, parental leave, starting own business etc.
 
In hindsight proportional may have been better, but I think it would have worked out about even over our 15+ years together.

Just a talk you two need to have.


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2017, 01:19:48 AM »
I just have a question. How do you and your fiance plan to share expenses? 50:50 or proportional to your incomes?

We have always done 50:50. This is hard when one is a student and one isn't, but it helps to avoid lifestyle creep if you both live on a student budget.
 
We have done 50:50 through school, unemployment, parental leave, starting own business etc.
 
In hindsight proportional may have been better, but I think it would have worked out about even over our 15+ years together.

Just a talk you two need to have.

Proportional to our incomes. He makes $12 an hour, I make $46 an hour. He's in the beauty industry I'm in tech. He is going back to school for video game design/language - currently on grants, while continuing to work part time to cover his expenses. I've always been the main source of income.

If we were 50/50, I'd be sooooooooooooo much better off. This wouldn't even be an issue, but that's why he's going to school, so he can make more money.


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2017, 02:55:11 AM »
You've got some good advice, and I think you've made the right decision to pay the bills rather than go bankrupt: a debt of $32k on income of $95k should be manageable once the salary starts coming in.  You've just got to manage the "hump" of the next few months.  Your spreadsheets and the advice above about cutting costs is the way to go.

I do find it slightly odd that with a gross income that high and no deductibles you list your monthly income as only $4.4k.  Do you really pay tax at over 50%?  I mean, I know California is expensive on taxes, but that seems high.  Do your taxes immediately for 2017 to see if you get a refund, and make sure your withholdings for 2018 are no more than they need be.

On the Verizon contract: you need to buckle down and read your terms and conditions for yourself, not just rely on your friend.  Make a list of the costs of keeping it or breaking it and find the point at which the numbers make sense in terms of having the money on hand to reduce future costs.

You are your fiancť are young, in good health, and working hard on your careers.  With an MMM attitude to money you will be fine.  Best of luck.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2017, 04:35:07 AM »
You've got some good advice, and I think you've made the right decision to pay the bills rather than go bankrupt: a debt of $32k on income of $95k should be manageable once the salary starts coming in.  You've just got to manage the "hump" of the next few months.  Your spreadsheets and the advice above about cutting costs is the way to go.

I do find it slightly odd that with a gross income that high and no deductibles you list your monthly income as only $4.4k.  Do you really pay tax at over 50%?  I mean, I know California is expensive on taxes, but that seems high.  Do your taxes immediately for 2017 to see if you get a refund, and make sure your withholdings for 2018 are no more than they need be.

On the Verizon contract: you need to buckle down and read your terms and conditions for yourself, not just rely on your friend.  Make a list of the costs of keeping it or breaking it and find the point at which the numbers make sense in terms of having the money on hand to reduce future costs.

You are your fiancť are young, in good health, and working hard on your careers.  With an MMM attitude to money you will be fine.  Best of luck.

Thank you, it has taken me awhile to get back on my feet after starting 2 months ago. I had 2 times where my bank account went negative, had to postpone 2 bills - but finally in a normal positive cash flow.

Yes I am not sure why the taxes are that high but they are. Included in the deductions are $86 pre tax per check for medical benefits (dental/vision included in the price). Otherwise, that's it. I'm claiming 0.

How do I find out what is the max I can claim without having to owe on taxes? Is there a website?

Thanks for your kind words :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2017, 05:16:55 AM »
Since you have an immediate cash flow problem, can you terminate the lease early and roll it in to something incredibly cheap to buy and operate? I'm thinking a used Leaf, 500e, or smart electric. Since you're in California I'm hoping you can charge at work, and the limited range won't be a problem because you can't afford a road trip.

Or do you not need the car for work? In that case, don't get another car.

You absolutely cannot afford to pay $6 for a lunch at work. Make yourself a sandwich and brown-bag it.
(A substantial sandwich so you don't hit the vending machine, with a banana or two.)

Do the math on the cost of your daily sandwich too. I don't have to do that but you are in a crisis and you need to.

But this is recoverable! If you take it seriously and keep your job you will be done soon.

(You would be done sooner if that $4k ring went back. You should be able to have a serious conversation about that with your fiancť.)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2017, 05:39:32 AM »
How do I find out what is the max I can claim without having to owe on taxes? Is there a website?

This thread has some suggestions -

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/taxes/best-paycheckwithholding-calculator(s)/


I ran your figures for 2017 through the ADP calculator and it came about at about what you are currently paying.  Hopefully that means a decent refund on the couple of paychecks you got from last year.  It may be a bit soon to work out how the recent changes will affect you - the single withholding goes up but the limits on state taxes may be against you.

I ran the same figures through our UK Inland Revenue tax calculator.  You would pay less tax in the UK (although about the same when you include local property taxes) and have free health care thrown in.  Not what I would have expected!

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2017, 08:38:40 AM »

Is your fiance going back to school because he doesn't like being a hairstylist or because he's not making enough money?  A six figure income is very attainable for a hairstylist, especially in the Bay Area.  My wife is a hairstylist, and she's going to make around $90k this year averaging less than 40 hours a week behind the chair.  Is there any way to move upward at the current place he is at?  Maybe he should find a place that would help him grow?   

Video game design is a very different field, where you sit behind a desk verses standing and talking to people all day.  If he's a social type of person he may hate it.



Proportional to our incomes. He makes $12 an hour, I make $46 an hour. He's in the beauty industry I'm in tech. He is going back to school for video game design/language - currently on grants, while continuing to work part time to cover his expenses. I've always been the main source of income.

If we were 50/50, I'd be sooooooooooooo much better off. This wouldn't even be an issue, but that's why he's going to school, so he can make more money.



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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2017, 10:53:49 AM »
Wait a second, I had the genders wrong.

What kind of ring for men costs 4k?!?!

Also, yeah, $500 groceries for two is nuts, even if it includes household goods. You should be able to trim it down to $300 without too much effort.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2017, 03:43:05 PM »
Since you have an immediate cash flow problem, can you terminate the lease early and roll it in to something incredibly cheap to buy and operate? I'm thinking a used Leaf, 500e, or smart electric. Since you're in California I'm hoping you can charge at work, and the limited range won't be a problem because you can't afford a road trip.

Or do you not need the car for work? In that case, don't get another car.

You absolutely cannot afford to pay $6 for a lunch at work. Make yourself a sandwich and brown-bag it.
(A substantial sandwich so you don't hit the vending machine, with a banana or two.)

Do the math on the cost of your daily sandwich too. I don't have to do that but you are in a crisis and you need to.

But this is recoverable! If you take it seriously and keep your job you will be done soon.

(You would be done sooner if that $4k ring went back. You should be able to have a serious conversation about that with your fiancť.)

I looked into that, but I'd be charged over $700 plus the $375 disposition fee. It's financially better to wait to turn in my lease on March 1st. Right in March I will be searching for a very cheap $0 down payment/$0 due at signing lease! A charging port car is a good idea. We sometimes drive to Paso Robles to visit my fiances family (staying at their house) - so it would need to be something that could get there and back.

Yes I do need a car for work.

Ring wouldn't go back - we chose it together. He is literally in love with it - it was a stupid purchase over a year ago, and made at a time that I could afford it better, a bad purchase - but one I have to live with (it's already getting paid off).


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2017, 03:44:49 PM »
How do I find out what is the max I can claim without having to owe on taxes? Is there a website?

This thread has some suggestions -

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/taxes/best-paycheckwithholding-calculator(s)/


I ran your figures for 2017 through the ADP calculator and it came about at about what you are currently paying.  Hopefully that means a decent refund on the couple of paychecks you got from last year.  It may be a bit soon to work out how the recent changes will affect you - the single withholding goes up but the limits on state taxes may be against you.

I ran the same figures through our UK Inland Revenue tax calculator.  You would pay less tax in the UK (although about the same when you include local property taxes) and have free health care thrown in.  Not what I would have expected!

I'll try out these calculators :). I heard through Trumps new tax law that we will all be taking more money home...not sure though (FYI I didn't vote for either candidate just so people know ha)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2017, 03:46:34 PM »
Wait a second, I had the genders wrong.

What kind of ring for men costs 4k?!?!

Also, yeah, $500 groceries for two is nuts, even if it includes household goods. You should be able to trim it down to $300 without too much effort.

He's a man, but he's essentially a woman - lol. Think a feminine gay guy. His ring is a woman's ring.

Hargrove

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2017, 08:24:34 PM »
You actually look like you can get into great shape and kill off your debt in 1-2 years if you make it a priority.

You're paying way too much for your car, and you could probably trade in those fancy phones for less fancy, paid-off phones with another carrier. You're buying into salesman jargon with your "0 down, 0 first month" lease nonsense. Those structures don't save you money, they just trick you into thinking your budget is better and spread your bills out so you can't see the hit to your net worth.

I got a Hyundai Accent with 10k miles at 1.49% for 13.2k and I probably slightly overpaid. 264/month and I'll own it when I'm done. Needed wiper fluid and oil changes over 75k miles driven in just two years. Now I might need a battery. The facepunch of this presentation is asking yourself whether your fancy car and supercomputer phone is worth a 10-year bankruptcy sentence.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2017, 08:36:32 PM »
You actually look like you can get into great shape and kill off your debt in 1-2 years if you make it a priority.

You're paying way too much for your car, and you could probably trade in those fancy phones for less fancy, paid-off phones with another carrier. You're buying into salesman jargon with your "0 down, 0 first month" lease nonsense. Those structures don't save you money, they just trick you into thinking your budget is better and spread your bills out so you can't see the hit to your net worth.

I got a Hyundai Accent with 10k miles at 1.49% for 13.2k and I probably slightly overpaid. 264/month and I'll own it when I'm done. Needed wiper fluid and oil changes over 75k miles driven in just two years. Now I might need a battery. The facepunch of this presentation is asking yourself whether your fancy car and supercomputer phone is worth a 10-year bankruptcy sentence.

Yes I feel the same way, that I can get my debt paid off with hard work and determination (cutting a lot of my unecessary expenses). I hate our phones, hate Verizon, hate that I am stuck in a contract! I owe $400 on my phone and he $400. If we walk away we owe all of that plus a contract cancellation fee.
Trust me, once we get out - we will be going to metro or something cheap. I'll also never finance a phone in the future.

My next car will be $250 or under, irregardless of how I get it. All I know is I don't have thousands on me for a downpayment, so that's why I may have to go to the $0, $0 deal. If you pay $1500 down for $210 a month at 36 months - you just negotiate it to where you say $0 down but you will pay $251 a month for 36 months (it comes out to being the same amount).

Yes this year is living WAY more frugal, that's why we decided against bankruptcy - it will just be an extremely tight year (and hope no emergencies pop up till I can get my emergency savings again). I have already taken advantage of coupons! Saved an extra $5 on a 5 item purchase at the store tonight. Going to look into cash back cards too.

Hargrove

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2017, 08:39:38 PM »
I'm suggesting 264/month to own the car, though. You won't drive anywhere near what I did, I'm guessing, and you'll have a car for 8-10 years for half the price of the leases.

You could also look into one more refi with Lightspeed if you have excellent credit. Your income is high enough.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2017, 08:52:21 PM »
Most people have already said everything useful already, but I really think that you and your fiancť need to be on the same page.

Also, I donít get the insurance on the ring...what for? In case itís lost or stolen?
That really canít be your priority right now. Put the ring away somewhere safe if you are worried about it being lost or stolen, donít pay a yearly premium for something that isnít necessary. The ring itself isnít necessary, so why prioritize insurance to replace it. Just donít lose it.
You are paying a premium for your fiancť to wear a ring and not worry about losing it. You are literally paying for nothing.

I have easily 30K worth of jewelry and I donít bother insuring it. I wonít lose it and on the off chance that itís stolen, I wonít be replacing it because I donít *need* a string of antique pearls. This is not a critical thing to insure. My life will go on without my grandmothers pearls.
Likewise with my engagement ring, I love it, but I wouldnít replace it if I lost it. Itís not a necessity. I also donít wear it all the time and never bring it traveling.

And $500 a month for groceries for two people when one is buying lunch every day is kind of nuts, even if it does involve all house supplies. Check out websites like Budget Bytes for cheaper ways to bulk cook. It takes me 3 hours to cook all of our meals for an entire week, plus maybe you can vary your eating a bit. If you always cook the same thing, you are obviously going to want to buy lunches. If you start learning how to make delicious meals at home, you wonít want to buy lunch because what youíve made will be better.

I enjoy the challenge of bringing my grocery bill down while making gourmet level meals. DHís coworkers are always jealous of the meals he brings for lunch (which are all vegetarian btw because meat is stupid expensive), and theyíre even more envious of our grocery budget.

As for those house supplies driving up your monthly costs, well, what are they? Are they necessary?
Body wash, shampoo/conditioner, hair products, facial cleansers, house cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap, etc...you realize that you are mostly paying for water, right?
Try solid shampoo, concentrated cleaning supplies that you dilute yourself, cleaning with diluted vinegar, etc etc. There are countless resources here and online for how to cut monthly spending at the grocery store, and a lot of these alternatives are actually better and more effective.

I tried a $2 solid shampoo bar for travel purposes and I love it. It rinses better and doesnít need conditioner, doesnít strip my hair colour, and leaves a light waxy residue that works like a styling product so my hair is less frizzy and air dries nicer. Overall, itís cut my hair effort and costs by 80% and my hair looks and feels nicer.

Remember, the benefit of the Mustachian lifestyle is that you can find ways to live BETTER on less, not live worse on less until you have enough money to live better again. This isnít about denying yourself the things you enjoy, itís about learning how to enjoy life to its fullest while minimizing spending.
A frugal life is actually a more fun life, start building a happier and healthier life through wasting less and you will find you probably really enjoy it.

DH and I make plenty of money. We donít live this way due to cash flow restrictions, we live this way because itís more fun. I think you and your fiancť need to sit down and plan your future marriage and what you want it to look like and not define that happiness as something that will happen in the future ďwhen the debt is goneĒ. DH and I often take very long walks and just toss ideas back and forth about our spending, our future, our goals, the value of things, etc. We have no money conflicts because we have basically an ongoing stream on consciousness dialogue that we both contribute to.

Learn how to be happy *now*, together, on less and you will build a very strong foundation moving forward. If you make this all about putting off happiness, then you are setting the stage for resentment from the start when now is a critical time for setting the tone of your marriage.

Trust me, this can be very fun and exciting (and romantic) if you let it, or it can be miserable and erode your marriage.

Yes it's a one time annual payment in case it's lost stolen or damaged, as we couldn't afford a new one if it happened. He wears it every single day 24/7. Do you wear your wedding ring?

Thank you for budget bytes! I will check out their website now. I only buy what we need & don't eat out. That $500 ensures we don't eat out, but I will definitely research the website you gave me. I will look into it for lunches at work too - love the idea of not spending $6 a day! Honestly what angers me is that my company doesn't offer it for free (I know it's a luxury), but my last job did! Oh well.

I like the idea of making my own cleaning products....kitchen counter cleaner, dish soap, dishwasher soap, body wash, shampoo, tooth paste, mouth wash - do you have any pointers? There's also things like trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels that bring up the price. Everything seems to be more expensive in the Silicon Valley (and I don't shop at Whole Foods of course).

Yes I'm learning about mr money mustache and the community. I've been reading blogs a bit today, this is honestly my 2nd day here...ha!

Money seems to be a sensitive topic. Our entire 6 years together I have been the main financial support, but he has ALWAYS worked and paid for his school, car, etc. He is NOT good with money, whatsoever - just today he spent $40 on his credit card at a japanese market...I made him return a previous jacket he purchased at Hollister (he realized it was a dumb idea). Previously I used to not care either and just thought as using my credit card like "building memories". I regret it all. He's stubborn as hell, but we talked about money a week or two ago and he wants us to not go bankrupt. He said himself we should cut internet, cut sling & netflix, live more frugal etc. So I think he's on board. It's just very new to us, you know?

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2017, 08:55:10 PM »
I'm suggesting 264/month to own the car, though. You won't drive anywhere near what I did, I'm guessing, and you'll have a car for 8-10 years for half the price of the leases.

You could also look into one more refi with Lightspeed if you have excellent credit. Your income is high enough.

I'll definitely consider it. I used to own a Chevy Corsica and a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo for 5 years prior to leasing. I dropped what feels like nearly $10k in repairs (broke down on the freeway) that's ultimately why I leased, and why I was worried to finance.

I am happy I didn't finance my car now! It is a piece of shit that was discontinued this year, and has lost SO much value. I'd still be paying $16k more on it (I've only paid $12k and lease is due) and the car is already having issues! See, in my case I made a smart move. I am so worried about getting screwed again.

Hargrove

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2017, 09:03:06 PM »
Oh, if it's just not knowing what brand, in that case...

just get a Civic.

Civics are mentioned often here because they're consistently rated most-reliable and they're cheap for the quality. Hyundais are under-rated and very reliable today, too (I guess they rate crash-tests a little worse). Toyotas are generally fine, also.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2017, 09:33:08 PM »
Oh, if it's just not knowing what brand, in that case...

just get a Civic.

Civics are mentioned often here because they're consistently rated most-reliable and they're cheap for the quality. Hyundais are under-rated and very reliable today, too (I guess they rate crash-tests a little worse). Toyotas are generally fine, also.

I was actually looking at the 2018 Hyundai Kona - comes out Spring 2018 when my lease is due back. It's supposed to be a very affordable (under $18k) vehicle. But I will look at the others you mentioned :)
I want a hatchback

former player

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2017, 04:00:26 AM »
Money seems to be a sensitive topic. Our entire 6 years together I have been the main financial support, but he has ALWAYS worked and paid for his school, car, etc. He is NOT good with money, whatsoever - just today he spent $40 on his credit card at a japanese market...I made him return a previous jacket he purchased at Hollister (he realized it was a dumb idea). Previously I used to not care either and just thought as using my credit card like "building memories". I regret it all. He's stubborn as hell, but we talked about money a week or two ago and he wants us to not go bankrupt. He said himself we should cut internet, cut sling & netflix, live more frugal etc. So I think he's on board. It's just very new to us, you know?

Getting your fiancť on board will be key, and it sounds to me as though he's on the way there, you just need to communicate positively with each other for you both to settle into these new ways of thinking.  You might like to check out lifejoy's excellent thread on converting your SO to the ways of the Mustache -

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2017, 04:49:22 AM »
Would your fiancť be on board with putting the cards in ice? (A literal block of ice in the freezer.) It sounds like impulse purchases are hard for him to resist.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2017, 08:46:23 AM »
He is going back to school for video game design/language - currently on grants, while continuing to work part time to cover his expenses. I've always been the main source of income.
Back in the late 90s I was fairly into 3D CAD modeling, and spent way too much time on it. Perhaps things have changed since then, but it seemed that most of the video game schools were for-profit schools that targeted people who liked to play video games rather than those who wanted to code. While it's great that your fiancť is getting grants, before spending a lot of time (and money if the grants stop) on a video game school be sure to talk to some of the school's graduates to see if it's worthwhile.

rubybeth

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2017, 09:05:47 AM »
Oh, if it's just not knowing what brand, in that case...

just get a Civic.

Civics are mentioned often here because they're consistently rated most-reliable and they're cheap for the quality. Hyundais are under-rated and very reliable today, too (I guess they rate crash-tests a little worse). Toyotas are generally fine, also.

I was actually looking at the 2018 Hyundai Kona - comes out Spring 2018 when my lease is due back. It's supposed to be a very affordable (under $18k) vehicle. But I will look at the others you mentioned :)
I want a hatchback

Lesson: only buy used cars. You can still finance them, if needed, but you lose tons of money buying new cars. My sister just replaced her 2007 Honda Civic which was totaled in an accident with a 2014 Honda Civic for total price of slightly under $14,000, including taxes, etc. Hondas are incredibly reliable. So are Toyotas. A Corolla or Camry might be another good option.

Another tip for living frugally: use the HECK out of your local public library for entertainment--books, downloadable eBooks/eAudiobooks, DVDs (even television shows), and some even offer free streaming services for music and things to watch (Hoopla). This could help you drop Netflix or whatever, too. It's small, but it adds up.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2017, 09:26:07 AM »
Where do you do your grocery shopping? Different stores have different prices. Do not go to Whole Foods - there's a reason they're called Whole Paycheck. Look at prices overall, and make sure you're shopping at the cheaper store. Generics won't hurt you and will save you money. If you have an Aldi's, check them out. Also, if you're overeating, stop. You'll be healthier in the long run, and save money on food.

Make sure you're not over using household products. You typically need 1/3-1/2 of the amount of laundry detergent that the container says. You need 1/2 the dishwasher detergent. You do not need fabric softener, period. Stop using paper towels and start using cloth. Buy cheaper toilet paper.

You've got 3 cats. I get it, I have 2. And one of yours has crystals. Look for discounts/coupons/aid for the food, even temporarily. Shop around to find the best price. Get the cheapest cat litter that they'll use, and stretch between box changes. I scoop boxes daily, sometimes 2x daily and change out litter every couple months (I use sand type, not clay), you'll add enough new litter over time that it cycles pretty quickly. (One of mine has kidney issues, so litter box output from my 2 is equivalent to your 3, and sometimes more.) Cut back on treats and replace with love. Don't buy new toys, and repurpose random stuff into cat toys. The best cat toy in my house? Tissue paper. Seriously. Pens are also very popular.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2017, 11:12:48 AM »
A lot of major phone carriers, like T-mobile will pay your cancellation fee/buy out your phones if you switch to them and buy a phone with them instead. But they catch you with another contract. You could still do this to cut your bill; I.e. switch to T-Mobile contract for $120/month for two lines and buy cheaper phones while they pay to get you out of Verizon. That cuts your bill in half, but you can do better with a MNVO.

My husband and I use Mint Sim which is on t-mobileís network. They have a $15/month unlimited text/talk + 2GB data or $20/month for 5GB. If you still want Verizonís network you can try Go Red Pocket, and get plans from $10/line or a unlimited text/call + 3GBof data for $30/month. I think it would be worth throwing all your extra money (after you cut other things like work meals, gym, and Sling tv) at paying off the phones early rather than paying down cc debt. Because after a few months you would then free up $200/month to pay down cc debt. Given your credit situation, I hesitate to suggest this... But you could get a new 0% Interest for first 12 moths credit card to payoff the phone and cancellation fee. Then use the savings of almost $200/month to pay off the new cc in 5 months before any interest starts. If you go this route, destroy the credit card once you pay off the phones to prevent temptation of putting anything else on it.

Do you and your fiancť both have a car? Anyway you could get by with one? Set up your commutes so one person drops the other off? Can one person bike or use public transit? Or move someplace where only one person needs a car to commute?

It sounds like your fiancť needs to contribute more, unless Iím reading your posts and spreadsheet wrong. It looks like you pay all expenses except his college, car, and personal shopping. It also looks like you continued paying for both your living expenses in ccs under your name when unemployed (rather than you both paying your halves on individual cards). I get him not wanting to take out student loans for living expenses, but with your current debt you canít afford to support him until youíre debt free. If necessary, he can take out student loans for his living expenses while you pay off cc debt. After your cc debt is gone, then you can support him and help him pay off his student loans early. There are lots of different ways to split expenses ďfairly,Ē but the 90/10 split your describing seems far from fair even with the income difference. I make 2x my husband and our expenses are split 60/40.

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28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2017, 12:01:55 PM »
I feel from what I read that you are still fixated on a monthly cost of your car and not the true cost of ownership. You really need to start thinking about the true/total cost. You think you dodged a bullet with your lease but in fact you threw $12k away with nothing to show for it in the end except maybe you avoided a $250 tow to a mechanic. You could have spent half of that on a reliable used car and have the title in hand by now. All cars will need maintenance, you won’t avoid that. You can avoid major repairs by either buying new, paying a bunch in depreciation, getting a lease and paying a ton to rent a car, or buying a used car wisely and owning something reliable.

If you went to know which used cars go get, start with Consumer Reports car issue (free from library) and then take a car you think you want to buy to a mechanic for a pre-purchase check before buying. This will week out the lemons and give you something with a good reliability track record.

I’d recommend getting married right away, as others have said, for the tax benefits. More importantly if you really are set on combining your lives, I think you will do better advancing your goals if you are a team. No his money and her money but “our money” with your joint goals and budget and agreements on what is important in life. Financial success is SO much easier with a partner who shares your vision.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2017, 12:03:32 PM »
If you haven't read this MMM post, please do.  It will put you in the right frame of mind about your debt:

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

I particularly like the point he makes in this paragraph:

"Even if you are an absolute Beginner Consumer Sucka and your goal is still to consume the maximum amount of luxury products, you are still cheating yourself out of stuff just by running a consumer debt balance. Every dollar you pay in interest to the credit card company is stealing dollars away that you could be using for more luxury purchases for yourself. Those dollars are gone forever, and youíve permanently lowered your ability to consume luxury products, for the rest of your life.

Since you need those luxury products so much, youíd better get out of debt quickly so you can afford to buy more. The credit card debts [in the example he cites] are eating up over $4000 per year of your after-tax salary just due to interest payments. Thatís hundreds of lattes, several pairs of shoes, thousands of miles worth of gasoline for your SUV, and even some massages at the spa and a couple of cross-country flights that you are foregoing every year."

It should also piss you off having to work every day to pay someone 17.49% interest on that debt.

You can do this.  Pretty much all of us here were in the same spot at one time.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 01:10:31 PM by Pizzabrewer »

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2017, 07:03:07 PM »


My monthly rent is $1921 a month (the price you see in the post is the 1/2 cost). BUT still cheap in this valley. Most people I know are paying $2500 - $3500 for a 1bedrm.

I need to find a good side hustle...def not Uber or Lyft. I read one of mustache's blogs on how shitty the income is.

As far as your rent goes, that's great!  Count your blessings.

I would steer clear of Uber/Lyft as a side hustle.  Besides that everyone does it, it increases your car expenses -- not just the obvious work miles, but preventing the downgrade that could save you a lot of money.

Depending on where you are, restaurant jobs, especially bartending, might pay very well in Silicon Valley.  The hot setup is an early-evening after-work hotspot, where there's enough time to get there after work, and the action is over with by 9pm.

Also, construction is on fire everywhere.  There are plenty of contractors doing it as a side gig, working weekends and evenings, doing finish carpentry, painting, etc.  Even if you're not ready to go into business yourself doing this, you might work for some of these people.


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2017, 11:07:35 PM »
He is going back to school for video game design/language - currently on grants, while continuing to work part time to cover his expenses. I've always been the main source of income.
Back in the late 90s I was fairly into 3D CAD modeling, and spent way too much time on it. Perhaps things have changed since then, but it seemed that most of the video game schools were for-profit schools that targeted people who liked to play video games rather than those who wanted to code. While it's great that your fiancť is getting grants, before spending a lot of time (and money if the grants stop) on a video game school be sure to talk to some of the school's graduates to see if it's worthwhile.

Definitely not a video game school or ANY trade school. He's going to normal community college right now and will transfer to a 4 year one day. He is doing creative art design, which can fall under the category of video games and cartoons (pixar, cartoon network, etc.). His eventual goal is to be a creative director.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2017, 11:20:15 PM »

Yes it's a one time annual payment in case it's lost stolen or damaged, as we couldn't afford a new one if it happened. He wears it every single day 24/7. Do you wear your wedding ring?
I canít wear my ring at work, thatís why I donít wear it often. I get that you canít afford to replace the ring, you couldnít afford it in the first place. But use this as a mental exercise in spending. Do you NEED to replace the ring if itís lost or damaged? If no, then why are you paying a premium for something you donít need?
Iím not telling you not to insure it, Iím telling you to think through it logically. You are falling into a type of spending trap where ďit doesnít cost much compared to the benefitĒ, but you need to be more diligent in truly analyzing the value of things. Not just the price tag.

Oh, and I used to be a total diamond slut, I was eyeing 2+ carat rings just a few years ago at 25K+, I wanted to take a trip to Antwerp just to buy a stone. I get where your fiancťís mind is.


Thank you for budget bytes! I will check out their website now. I only buy what we need & don't eat out. That $500 ensures we don't eat out, but I will definitely research the website you gave me. I will look into it for lunches at work too - love the idea of not spending $6 a day! Honestly what angers me is that my company doesn't offer it for free (I know it's a luxury), but my last job did! Oh well.

Leftovers dude, just bring leftovers. Itís not complicated and itís very little work to just make more of something. $6/day is insane. Plug $6/day into a compounding calculator and see how much impact that would have on your debt.

I like the idea of making my own cleaning products....kitchen counter cleaner, dish soap, dishwasher soap, body wash, shampoo, tooth paste, mouth wash - do you have any pointers? There's also things like trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels that bring up the price. Everything seems to be more expensive in the Silicon Valley (and I don't shop at Whole Foods of course).

Donít make your own toothpaste. But yeah, the rest is pretty simple. I use concentrated castile soap or diluted vinegar for most things, but thatís more for eco reasons. Just aim for concentrated products that need water added and youíre good to go. You can also bulk order disposable paper products from restaurant supply companies, which is usually a lot cheaper

Yes I'm learning about mr money mustache and the community. I've been reading blogs a bit today, this is honestly my 2nd day here...ha!
Welcome to the rabbit hole. Itís an intense fall. The more open you are to feeling stupid, the more benefit you will get...remember that 25K diamond I mentioned...yeah...Iíve come a long way

Money seems to be a sensitive topic. Our entire 6 years together I have been the main financial support, but he has ALWAYS worked and paid for his school, car, etc. He is NOT good with money, whatsoever - just today he spent $40 on his credit card at a japanese market...I made him return a previous jacket he purchased at Hollister (he realized it was a dumb idea). Previously I used to not care either and just thought as using my credit card like "building memories". I regret it all. He's stubborn as hell, but we talked about money a week or two ago and he wants us to not go bankrupt. He said himself we should cut internet, cut sling & netflix, live more frugal etc. So I think he's on board. It's just very new to us, you know?

Itís a process, which is why itís critical to make it a fun collective thing. Brand it as Dream Building,  not as some sentence you both need to serve because youíve been bad and now the fun is over. This isnít about not being able to afford things, itís about not losing pointless amounts of money so that you can afford the things you truly want. For you that might be nice clothes and diamonds, for others itís an earlier retirement, for others itís buying property.

It really really isnít about not being able to afford what you want, itís about being able to afford what you want, but to do that, you need to be real about what you actually want from life and not just mindlessly filling your life with consumer shit because you arenít willing to take the time and energy to understand your own happiness.

Make this about happiness. Make this about identifying shared goals and understanding each other better. When DH and I talk about money, we rarely talk about money, we talk about lifestyle and ideas and things that excite us.

We are frugal because through these extensive talks, weíve learned about each other so much that weíve realized what makes us tick and we have no patience anymore for wasting money on things that donít make us happy enough to justify the cost. We donít buy crap because it seems silly, not because weíre sad sacks who canít treat ourselves. If we evaluate something as worthwhile, we donít hesitate to spend. Our bar for worthwhile is just quite high. Things have to be pretty awesome to justify spending on.

Make this about your marriage, make it about your future, make it about dreaming of the life you want to start building together. There is nothing more romantic for my DH and I than having deep and enthusiastic conversations about how we want our life to look, because you realize that you can live however you want when you take your head out of the pre-programmed routine that youíve been coasting in.

Contrary to what it seems, this really really isnít about taking things away, this is about gaining what you actually want by pruning out what you donít need. Do you even know what each otherís basic needs are? You learn A LOT about someone by figuring out what they can and canít go without. Otherwise, youíre just the penny pinching spouse who is controlling him because you make more money. See how toxic that will become??

Start from scratch.
Build a life from there.
Itís actually A LOT of fun.
You have so much more control over your lives than you realize. Start taking advantage of that.


Yes my fiances ring is valuable, it took us months to choose it - it's probably going to just be his wedding ring. It's also a Sapphire ring, the Sapphire is natural. Diamonds are worthless. I feel that insuring it for the time being, with it being such a new ring, is important. A once a year annual payment that equals less than $10 a month isn't a huge expense covering something so valuable (he's in love with it). Dumb purchase at the time - won't be making any other in the future like it. But it is what it is.

I have no leftovers. I cook all my weeks dinner in one day and freeze it into portions. But I will be researching lunch ideas.

Will be researching bulk purchases for paper towers/TP!

I totally agree, being unemployed for 5 months this year taught us A LOT about living within our means. I made good money before being unemployed, but still spent way more than I needed and charged my card on things that were unnecessary. I've realized SOO much this year, him too. No more purchasing unnecessary things, NEVER using the credit for ANYTHING - and learning to find ways to save/coupon/etc. Having goals, cutting more expenses. I think this year 2018 will be a fun learning lesson for both of us.


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2017, 11:25:41 PM »
Where do you do your grocery shopping? Different stores have different prices. Do not go to Whole Foods - there's a reason they're called Whole Paycheck. Look at prices overall, and make sure you're shopping at the cheaper store. Generics won't hurt you and will save you money. If you have an Aldi's, check them out. Also, if you're overeating, stop. You'll be healthier in the long run, and save money on food.

Make sure you're not over using household products. You typically need 1/3-1/2 of the amount of laundry detergent that the container says. You need 1/2 the dishwasher detergent. You do not need fabric softener, period. Stop using paper towels and start using cloth. Buy cheaper toilet paper.

You've got 3 cats. I get it, I have 2. And one of yours has crystals. Look for discounts/coupons/aid for the food, even temporarily. Shop around to find the best price. Get the cheapest cat litter that they'll use, and stretch between box changes. I scoop boxes daily, sometimes 2x daily and change out litter every couple months (I use sand type, not clay), you'll add enough new litter over time that it cycles pretty quickly. (One of mine has kidney issues, so litter box output from my 2 is equivalent to your 3, and sometimes more.) Cut back on treats and replace with love. Don't buy new toys, and repurpose random stuff into cat toys. The best cat toy in my house? Tissue paper. Seriously. Pens are also very popular.

I do all of my shopping at Safeway. I coupon through them (saved $6 extra yesterday on a $31 shopping trip) and if things pop up I will search my coupon app that shows all the local stores (CVS, Walgreens, etc.).

I bought cheaper toilet paper and my fiance about ripped my head off. Calls it "prison paper" lol, so I buy Charmin - but Charmin often has coupons. I don't use fabric softener. Often also use my moms house for laundry.

My cats love shoelaces!! Too funny. Also my dad for Christmas every year gets them a new cat tree that I build (lasts a year) - so that's pretty much their toys. We rotated through about 5 brands of cat litter and our 1 bedrm apartment always stunk. FINALLY found one that literally makes it to where you can't smell any pee or poo even sitting 5 feet away from the litter box. It's amazing. Sometimes we forget to clean it for 2 days...and you still smell nothing. The cat food I have is unfortunately prescription (need a letter from the vet) - but I've switched all of my cats to the 1 to save money.


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2017, 11:32:35 PM »
A lot of major phone carriers, like T-mobile will pay your cancellation fee/buy out your phones if you switch to them and buy a phone with them instead. But they catch you with another contract. You could still do this to cut your bill; I.e. switch to T-Mobile contract for $120/month for two lines and buy cheaper phones while they pay to get you out of Verizon. That cuts your bill in half, but you can do better with a MNVO.

My husband and I use Mint Sim which is on t-mobileís network. They have a $15/month unlimited text/talk + 2GB data or $20/month for 5GB. If you still want Verizonís network you can try Go Red Pocket, and get plans from $10/line or a unlimited text/call + 3GBof data for $30/month. I think it would be worth throwing all your extra money (after you cut other things like work meals, gym, and Sling tv) at paying off the phones early rather than paying down cc debt. Because after a few months you would then free up $200/month to pay down cc debt. Given your credit situation, I hesitate to suggest this... But you could get a new 0% Interest for first 12 moths credit card to payoff the phone and cancellation fee. Then use the savings of almost $200/month to pay off the new cc in 5 months before any interest starts. If you go this route, destroy the credit card once you pay off the phones to prevent temptation of putting anything else on it.

Do you and your fiancť both have a car? Anyway you could get by with one? Set up your commutes so one person drops the other off? Can one person bike or use public transit? Or move someplace where only one person needs a car to commute?

It sounds like your fiancť needs to contribute more, unless Iím reading your posts and spreadsheet wrong. It looks like you pay all expenses except his college, car, and personal shopping. It also looks like you continued paying for both your living expenses in ccs under your name when unemployed (rather than you both paying your halves on individual cards). I get him not wanting to take out student loans for living expenses, but with your current debt you canít afford to support him until youíre debt free. If necessary, he can take out student loans for his living expenses while you pay off cc debt. After your cc debt is gone, then you can support him and help him pay off his student loans early. There are lots of different ways to split expenses ďfairly,Ē but the 90/10 split your describing seems far from fair even with the income difference. I make 2x my husband and our expenses are split 60/40.

Yeah we did that from Sprint --> Tmobile then Tmobile --> Verizon. The one issue...you still owe the cancellation fees/phone fees on the previous bill while waiting for the new phone company to send you a Visa git card in the reimbursed amount (takes 2-3 months). My Tmobile bill ended up going into collections because I had to stop paying it when I became unemployed. What I'm trying to do is not be stuck in any more shitty phone contracts while paying payments on a phone. But it may be my only option to save $100+ a month.

Unfortunately we both need our own cars. I work Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm and he is starting school Mon & Wed at a much earlier time and works part time at odd retail hours.

Last year (2016) my fiance made $10k, I made $105k. He was paying his bills (dental surgery bill, school, gas, food at work, car loan) - then essentially had $0 left.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2017, 11:37:02 PM »
If you haven't read this MMM post, please do.  It will put you in the right frame of mind about your debt:

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

I particularly like the point he makes in this paragraph:

"Even if you are an absolute Beginner Consumer Sucka and your goal is still to consume the maximum amount of luxury products, you are still cheating yourself out of stuff just by running a consumer debt balance. Every dollar you pay in interest to the credit card company is stealing dollars away that you could be using for more luxury purchases for yourself. Those dollars are gone forever, and youíve permanently lowered your ability to consume luxury products, for the rest of your life.

Since you need those luxury products so much, youíd better get out of debt quickly so you can afford to buy more. The credit card debts [in the example he cites] are eating up over $4000 per year of your after-tax salary just due to interest payments. Thatís hundreds of lattes, several pairs of shoes, thousands of miles worth of gasoline for your SUV, and even some massages at the spa and a couple of cross-country flights that you are foregoing every year."

It should also piss you off having to work every day to pay someone 17.49% interest on that debt.

You can do this.  Pretty much all of us here were in the same spot at one time.

Thank you, yes I had read that blog post before actually posting this on here :). It's a great read. Completely agree with it. Prior to being unemployed (May 2017 and before) I was bad with $$. Then when I got laid off I am WAY more frugal. Will continue to be.

I'm hopeful my future will bt debt free with hard work and lifestyle changes.

Laura33

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2018, 12:54:05 PM »
So I think you have learned some wrong lessons ó e.g., the problem is not ďused cars are bad,Ē itís that you bought crappy used cars.  So you ďfixedĒ that by spending a lot of money to lease another crappy car, and now you want to fix that by leasing another new car?*  You have solved the wrong problem, and in doing so dug yourself a deeper hole.  You basically rented a brand spanky new car that you couldnít afford for several years, because it gave you the appearance of security; and now you are turning it in and will replace it with another brand spanky new car that you still canít afford.  Just so you can tell yourself that you will be safe from breakdowns/repairs.  Question:  how much were your repairs on those old beaters?  More than $4k/yr?  Because thatís what you have been paying for the privilege of avoiding that possible inconvenience. 

You obviously canít do anything about the past, but now itís time to learn the right lessons.  The first is that the problem was that you chose crappy cars, not that all used cars are crappy.  The second is to look at the real cost over time (e.g., the actual cost of repairs vs the cost of your replacement option), instead of focusing on your fears and the possible inconvenience.  And the third is that leasing is always a suckerís bet ó itís a way you can talk yourself into justifying a spanky new car because the monthly payments seem low, without paying attention to the fact that over the same amount of time you could have fully paid for a reliable used car and actually still have a car to drive at the end of it.  ďLow down, easy monthly paymentsĒ is the siren song of perpetual poverty.

The way you get ahead is by keeping your total cost of ownership low over time.. And you do that by buy something affordable and driving it for years and years.  I get that I am not going to be able to persuade you to try another beater.  So just go to someplace like Honda or Hyundai and buy a low-end car that is a couple of years old that is coming off lease, and drive it forever.  Youíre looking at a brand new Hyundai for $18k; I just got a used 2017 Impreza for $17k, with moonroof and crash avoidance and leather seats and all that ó 5-month-old car for thousands below original price, just for the privilege of letting someone else drive it for a few months.

Also:  look for ALDI for groceries.  No more lunches.  Forget asking about who has unlimited data plans ó you canít afford that.  You are still thinking like someone who has savings and money to spare, not like someone who is underwater and barely breaking even each month.  You have to throw all those assumptions aside about what you ďdeserveĒ or ďneedĒ and cut to the bare bones. 

Finally, your fiancť also needs to be more responsible ó he should be working his ass off to help pay down the debt, not taking off to go back to school while still shopping at Hollister and dropping $40 that you donít have at the market.  You canít cover all of that alone; if he isnít going to be sharing the load, he at least needs to not add to it.  Does he really get how deep your hole is right now, and how tight the budget is on your income?  If he wants to spend more, he is going to have to bring in more, period ó and now, not in however many years when he gets his degree.  If he canít get on board with the emergency measures, perhaps he needs to consider postponing school until the debt is paid off so he can bring in more money now to pay for those luxuries he wants.

*And for the love of Pete, never buy the first year of a new model.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2018, 01:39:41 PM »
If you are in the Bay Area, shop at Trader Joe’s instead of Safeway. Cheaper and tastier

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2018, 04:33:21 PM »
If you are in the Bay Area, shop at Trader Joeís instead of Safeway. Cheaper and tastier

Trader Joes is cheaper than Safeway? Wait seriously? If so I had no idea....I thought they were compared to Whole Foods (everything is healthier and organic)?! I'd love to shop there!

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2018, 04:41:52 PM »
So I think you have learned some wrong lessons ó e.g., the problem is not ďused cars are bad,Ē itís that you bought crappy used cars.  So you ďfixedĒ that by spending a lot of money to lease another crappy car, and now you want to fix that by leasing another new car?*  You have solved the wrong problem, and in doing so dug yourself a deeper hole.  You basically rented a brand spanky new car that you couldnít afford for several years, because it gave you the appearance of security; and now you are turning it in and will replace it with another brand spanky new car that you still canít afford.  Just so you can tell yourself that you will be safe from breakdowns/repairs.  Question:  how much were your repairs on those old beaters?  More than $4k/yr?  Because thatís what you have been paying for the privilege of avoiding that possible inconvenience. 

You obviously canít do anything about the past, but now itís time to learn the right lessons.  The first is that the problem was that you chose crappy cars, not that all used cars are crappy.  The second is to look at the real cost over time (e.g., the actual cost of repairs vs the cost of your replacement option), instead of focusing on your fears and the possible inconvenience.  And the third is that leasing is always a suckerís bet ó itís a way you can talk yourself into justifying a spanky new car because the monthly payments seem low, without paying attention to the fact that over the same amount of time you could have fully paid for a reliable used car and actually still have a car to drive at the end of it.  ďLow down, easy monthly paymentsĒ is the siren song of perpetual poverty.

The way you get ahead is by keeping your total cost of ownership low over time.. And you do that by buy something affordable and driving it for years and years.  I get that I am not going to be able to persuade you to try another beater.  So just go to someplace like Honda or Hyundai and buy a low-end car that is a couple of years old that is coming off lease, and drive it forever.  Youíre looking at a brand new Hyundai for $18k; I just got a used 2017 Impreza for $17k, with moonroof and crash avoidance and leather seats and all that ó 5-month-old car for thousands below original price, just for the privilege of letting someone else drive it for a few months.

Also:  look for ALDI for groceries.  No more lunches.  Forget asking about who has unlimited data plans ó you canít afford that.  You are still thinking like someone who has savings and money to spare, not like someone who is underwater and barely breaking even each month.  You have to throw all those assumptions aside about what you ďdeserveĒ or ďneedĒ and cut to the bare bones. 

Finally, your fiancť also needs to be more responsible ó he should be working his ass off to help pay down the debt, not taking off to go back to school while still shopping at Hollister and dropping $40 that you donít have at the market.  You canít cover all of that alone; if he isnít going to be sharing the load, he at least needs to not add to it.  Does he really get how deep your hole is right now, and how tight the budget is on your income?  If he wants to spend more, he is going to have to bring in more, period ó and now, not in however many years when he gets his degree.  If he canít get on board with the emergency measures, perhaps he needs to consider postponing school until the debt is paid off so he can bring in more money now to pay for those luxuries he wants.

*And for the love of Pete, never buy the first year of a new model.

Well remember I am 28 years old. My first ever car was a Chevy Corsica for $600 (literally bought with saved up spare change) that I had to put water in the coolant tank daily. My second car at age 18 was a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo with 74k miles on it. Lasted 6 years. I bought it for $5k with my grandpas inheritance (which was only $10k). My dad helped me find this car. It lasted awhile but then all at once problems started popping up, brand new tires, starter, spark plugs, axels, suspension, fan belt, probably over years $8k - $10k in repairs. I then leased a new shiny car (yes dumb idea I could of gone cheaper) and I was SO HAPPY. It was also 1/3 of my salary so seemed manageable. But I continue to charge my credit card like an idiot and the rest is history.

This time around, yes I will be searching for 2017 cars as well (a little bit used with a lot of $ off, sounds good to me). I'm not opposed to finance, but I do know I can NOT afford a down payment because I literally don't have the money. 5 months of unemployment this year drained my savings.

All I know is this, I will not be comfortable buying a car outside of warranty without money in my savings. Because if a repair comes up, and I can't afford it I don't want to charge it to my credit card (which I won't be able to for the next 1+ year due to me getting back on my feet and owing $ back to family) . So Finance or lease, whatever I do - this has to be #1 priority.

There's no ALDI in the bay area. Safeway, Luckys, Grocery Outlet - few others. I often search coupons for best deals.

Yes agreed that Fiance needs to be on board. He's actually the one who talked me out of bankruptcy after I met with the attorney. When he was younger he lived in Woman's shelters with his mom until she met a man (albeit abusive) who had money. I think that may have to do with his bad habits. BUT he is the one who said we will cut ''this bill or that bill if we need to'' - so I think he's definitely more so on board than before. 

Why never buy first year new model?? lol :D

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2018, 04:59:52 PM »
Trader Joe's in not cheaper than Safeway, especially if you use the specials and the "just for you" offers at Safeway.  Meat and produce are generally much more expensive at Trader Joe's, especially considering sales at grocery stores.  Milk, eggs, and some cheeses will likely be less at TJ's.  Do you have Sprouts in your area?  Best prices for really good boneless skinless chicken around and good prices on produce as well.  The sales circulars are your friends.  Use them to cut your grocery bill.

I see now you are in the Bay Area.  Grocery Outlet often has good sales on a few items if you are near one.  Too much trouble for the few good prices for me to drive to the nearest one.

Seriously, look at the Sprout's circular on line.  This week boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.88 a pound in the large pack.  Boneless pork loin roast is the same price.  Yellow onions and green cabbage are 3 pounds for a dollar.  Check it out.

I hear you on the car.  Certified used cars are almost as expensive as well negotiated deals on new cars.  Leasing?  That's a ripoff.  You should be able to get a low/no down payment deal if your credit score is high enough, which may be a problem given your recent past.  Get your credit score from a couple of sources before you do anything.  It's worth checking around with lenders to get rates before you look at any cars.  You may find it's going to be a lot more expensive than you thought.  Just don't get forced into a bad deal because you have to return the leased car and you are in a pinch.