Author Topic: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt  (Read 20745 times)

YttriumNitrate

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #100 on: January 02, 2018, 04:13:21 PM »
While a lot of people are focusing on the car, I'd suggest taking a good look at your two biggest expenses: payroll deductions and housing. What is the impact on your taxes of switching from single to married filing jointly? Since your fiance doesn't make much, even if you don't do the party for a while, it might make a lot of sense to get married sooner rather than later. Also, how much are you paying for health insurance?

Since you are paying almost $2k a month for housing, is there any chance you could put another person in your rental? Having someone pay $600 a month for a space on your couch would put a lot of breathing room back into your budget.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #101 on: January 02, 2018, 04:49:18 PM »
@HelpMe, congratulations on 6 year stable relationship.  Finances aside, I'm sure your beau is glad you put a ring on it.  ;)

Re cars to research, +1 to the comments stating that some makes/models are more reliable than others.  Here is an article to use a starting point for general research on car makes/models to buy used:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

When you actually research individual cars, use Craigslist and that good mechanic.  Get your $ ready, and don't wait until the last week of your lease to buy.  Shop for the actual car a few weeks ahead of the lease end, and get through some of the "new" used car's shakedown period before you drop off the old one.  A good chunk of the needed repairs will appear in the first few weeks of driving.  Preparation will reduce your stress level and enable you continue your work life smoothly.

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28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #102 on: January 02, 2018, 05:04:46 PM »
For lunches, just Google “budget lunches” and you will see many recipes/websites. Or you can try this one: https://www.budgetbytes.com.

I commuted into NYC on public transit (3 hours round trip) for many years and always carried my lunch. Many times I had my breakfast and a snack as well. Since it sounds, from your dinners, that you are highly tolerant of repetitious meals (I am, too), I will tell you what I typically made:

For breakfast: hard boiled eggs or instant oatmeal. I made my own instant oatmeal “packet” with pumpkin spice and powdered stevia. I also packed a can of V-8 juice (cans from a warehouse store) or a piece of fruit.

For lunch: a salad in the summer and homemade vegetable soup in the winter. I bulk made and packed these on the weekend. During the week, it’s grab a container and go. With the soup or salad I also had a sandwich. This might be peanut butter or chicken or turkey or pot roast or ham. Meat was NOT purchased at the deli counter for $10 a pound, but was cooked by me at home and sliced and frozen in weekly increments.

Tuna salad and salad dressing went in separately in Tupperware containers. I also also kept small bottles of oil and vinegar and salt and pepper in my desk. I also had a jar of peanut butter or dry roasted peanuts for emergencies.

MayDay

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #103 on: January 02, 2018, 05:46:22 PM »
OP, I'm curious how many miles is too many for you?

Because 70k is not that many.

I say that as someone driving an older Civic that I bought new and who might buy a new Camry or Subaru in a couple years. I'm not hating on new cars.

And with that in mind, 70k is brand new.

I honestly am not sure. I got my 1999 Isuzu Rodeo at 70k miles and it lasted to a little over 100k. That is the one that had many repairs after a year or two. I just need something reliable that I won't have to worry about ANY repairs for a couple of years (oil change/normal is OK). So whatever mileage that is....

So as a PP mentioned with your Corsica, the problem is your previous car choices, not ALL cars failing at 100k miles.

Read the total cost of ownership stats for some cars. They will vary wildly. A Fit or a Corolla or whatever the Hyundai equivalents are will not be falling apart between 70-100k. Sure they may need routine maintenance like new brake pads, but that is a few hundred bucks, not a few thousand.

Hey, what 18 year old had a good first car? It was my first bought with quarters, give me a break lol. It got me from A to B. Then my 99 Isuzu (bought for $5k) lasted me 6 years.

Trust me I will be doing my research for my next car.

Very fair point!

Just try to keep in mind that your experience wasn't typical.


MayDay

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #104 on: January 02, 2018, 05:50:53 PM »
For lunches,I realize it can depend on office culture. My office is a mix of going out and bringing form home, with a few vending machine eaters thrown in (gag!).

It is totally accepted here to bring a loaf of bread, lunch meat or peanut butter, etc, and leave it for the week. Or leave your salad dressing, and just bring the salad every day. Things like that can make it easier.

If you batch cook for the whole week, can you double that to cover lunches? Maybe work out the price per meal of your regular dinner and compare it to the 3$ work lunch.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #105 on: January 02, 2018, 06:21:33 PM »
I'll do a little research on ring insurance.

Does that work for cleaning windows (Windex) too?

I like that future bank account idea. Makes sense.

$120 was a high guesstimate. Between the food and litter, it costs $60. I am not sure how long that lasts though, definitely not a month. Which litter brand do you use? The problem with the other 4 or 5 we tried was that the smell of pee and poo was horrible. This litter literally blocks those smells out.

Vinegar and water is great for windows. I use it on the following: windows, counters, stovetop, stainless steel dining table, hardwood floor spills, bathroom counters, mirrors, toilets. It doesn't quite cut it on the acrylic shower, which is why I use this stuff - https://www.dollartree.com/The-Works-16-oz-Tub-Shower-Cleaner/p6065/index.pro/. A few other basic supplies such as bleach and a good scrub brush will take you far.

I use Worlds Best Cat Litter Multicat. You can flush it. It smells natural and controls odor very well. But it's way more than you need to spend ($26 for 28 lbs). I went to Chewy's website and sorted by average customer review. I'd start trying the best rated cheap litter - https://www.chewy.com/s?rh=c%3A325%2Cc%3A410%2Cc%3A411&sort=rating.

I feed my cats this stuff and it lasts over a month - https://www.chewy.com/taste-wild-rocky-mountain-grain-free/dp/34263. But, again, in your position I'd be searching for cheaper alternatives. Awhile back, there was a thread on here about pet food and several vets recommended Purina One. While it's certainly not cheap, it's less than what I'm serving. Between switching litters and foods, you could probably drop $30/mo while still getting a decent product and not jeopardizing your cats' health.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #106 on: January 02, 2018, 06:36:23 PM »
While a lot of people are focusing on the car, I'd suggest taking a good look at your two biggest expenses: payroll deductions and housing. What is the impact on your taxes of switching from single to married filing jointly? Since your fiance doesn't make much, even if you don't do the party for a while, it might make a lot of sense to get married sooner rather than later. Also, how much are you paying for health insurance?

Since you are paying almost $2k a month for housing, is there any chance you could put another person in your rental? Having someone pay $600 a month for a space on your couch would put a lot of breathing room back into your budget.

Looks like I'd be taking home a little over $200 more a paycheck. I'm not sure if that's before or after taxes. So $400 ish a month?

I pay $86 per paycheck pre tax, so about $160 a month, for the both of us full coverage (medical/dental/vision).

Thing is I don't think that person would want to share a living room with my 3 cats and a litter box...lol.


remizidae

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #107 on: January 02, 2018, 06:48:10 PM »
I'm surprised by how many people recommend cancelling gym. That is something I will never do. "do cardio at home" - "go on walks"...that BARELY has the same positive affect on your body as weight training does (i.e. upper/lower body weight lifting routine). Health should always be the #1 priority in someones life, and should never be cut out.

I would use the gym at my work, except they only cardio machines (which again has no where the same positive affect as weight lifting does). I also don't have a yard around me to supply my own weights.

Sorry but that is something that I just disagree with and one piece of advice people should not take. Yes you should go to your minimal gym membership, but I still believe a gym membership is extremely important, unless of course you have property and can supply your own full supplies (bench press, pull up bar, squat rack, multiple barbells, etc.).

I hear you there (two gym memberships here!). While I don't think it's *necessary* for health to lift weights (come on, we care about aesthetics more), it's awesome for your physical and mental health and is relatively cheap compared to all the other hobbies you could have.

On the tax issue--please don't get married just for the tax bonus! If you're sure you want to marry this person, mazel tov, but it's not something that you should rush into for the sake of an extra ~$3k a year. Divorce can be extremely expensive.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #108 on: January 02, 2018, 06:49:58 PM »
I'll do a little research on ring insurance.

Does that work for cleaning windows (Windex) too?

I like that future bank account idea. Makes sense.

$120 was a high guesstimate. Between the food and litter, it costs $60. I am not sure how long that lasts though, definitely not a month. Which litter brand do you use? The problem with the other 4 or 5 we tried was that the smell of pee and poo was horrible. This litter literally blocks those smells out.

Vinegar and water is great for windows. I use it on the following: windows, counters, stovetop, stainless steel dining table, hardwood floor spills, bathroom counters, mirrors, toilets. It doesn't quite cut it on the acrylic shower, which is why I use this stuff - https://www.dollartree.com/The-Works-16-oz-Tub-Shower-Cleaner/p6065/index.pro/. A few other basic supplies such as bleach and a good scrub brush will take you far.

I use Worlds Best Cat Litter Multicat. You can flush it. It smells natural and controls odor very well. But it's way more than you need to spend ($26 for 28 lbs). I went to Chewy's website and sorted by average customer review. I'd start trying the best rated cheap litter - https://www.chewy.com/s?rh=c%3A325%2Cc%3A410%2Cc%3A411&sort=rating.

I feed my cats this stuff and it lasts over a month - https://www.chewy.com/taste-wild-rocky-mountain-grain-free/dp/34263. But, again, in your position I'd be searching for cheaper alternatives. Awhile back, there was a thread on here about pet food and several vets recommended Purina One. While it's certainly not cheap, it's less than what I'm serving. Between switching litters and foods, you could probably drop $30/mo while still getting a decent product and not jeopardizing your cats' health.

I'll try the water and vinegar trick soon!

Ugh can't believe someone suggested Purina. I had a kitten that passed away from FIP (unrelated) but I learned A LOT about the right kinds of foods that cats should consume. I was originally giving them all Blue Buffalo, but then my little one got the blockage.
The litter I buy is $20 for a 40lb bag. It's GREAT, looks like I can keep using it.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #109 on: January 02, 2018, 06:52:09 PM »
For lunches,I realize it can depend on office culture. My office is a mix of going out and bringing form home, with a few vending machine eaters thrown in (gag!).

It is totally accepted here to bring a loaf of bread, lunch meat or peanut butter, etc, and leave it for the week. Or leave your salad dressing, and just bring the salad every day. Things like that can make it easier.

If you batch cook for the whole week, can you double that to cover lunches? Maybe work out the price per meal of your regular dinner and compare it to the 3$ work lunch.

We have a full serviced cafe run by Bon Appetit. Very good / yummy / fresh food. The sandwiches are $3, I think I could make it stretch 2 days (it's big) to where I'd spend $1.50 a day. That may actually be cheaper than bringing my own.

But I'll still look into home meal options.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #110 on: January 02, 2018, 06:55:58 PM »
I'm surprised by how many people recommend cancelling gym. That is something I will never do. "do cardio at home" - "go on walks"...that BARELY has the same positive affect on your body as weight training does (i.e. upper/lower body weight lifting routine). Health should always be the #1 priority in someones life, and should never be cut out.

I would use the gym at my work, except they only cardio machines (which again has no where the same positive affect as weight lifting does). I also don't have a yard around me to supply my own weights.

Sorry but that is something that I just disagree with and one piece of advice people should not take. Yes you should go to your minimal gym membership, but I still believe a gym membership is extremely important, unless of course you have property and can supply your own full supplies (bench press, pull up bar, squat rack, multiple barbells, etc.).

I hear you there (two gym memberships here!). While I don't think it's *necessary* for health to lift weights (come on, we care about aesthetics more), it's awesome for your physical and mental health and is relatively cheap compared to all the other hobbies you could have.

On the tax issue--please don't get married just for the tax bonus! If you're sure you want to marry this person, mazel tov, but it's not something that you should rush into for the sake of an extra ~$3k a year. Divorce can be extremely expensive.

No but it's definitely beneficial. Yes definitely we want to look sexy, but it helps you in so many more ways. Flexibility, endurance, resilience, etc. And weight lifting is just super good for the blood flow, and yes MENTAL HEALTH. Stress is up there with the other #1 killers. That is what kept me sane through unemployment, gym 4x a week.

We've been together since August 2011, but yes we are still not rushing into marriage. We got engaged because we got sick of calling each other boyfriends, we were WAY beyond that after living together for 5 years. Just enjoying it day by day :)


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2018, 06:57:01 PM »
OP, I'm curious how many miles is too many for you?

Because 70k is not that many.

I say that as someone driving an older Civic that I bought new and who might buy a new Camry or Subaru in a couple years. I'm not hating on new cars.

And with that in mind, 70k is brand new.

I honestly am not sure. I got my 1999 Isuzu Rodeo at 70k miles and it lasted to a little over 100k. That is the one that had many repairs after a year or two. I just need something reliable that I won't have to worry about ANY repairs for a couple of years (oil change/normal is OK). So whatever mileage that is....

So as a PP mentioned with your Corsica, the problem is your previous car choices, not ALL cars failing at 100k miles.

Read the total cost of ownership stats for some cars. They will vary wildly. A Fit or a Corolla or whatever the Hyundai equivalents are will not be falling apart between 70-100k. Sure they may need routine maintenance like new brake pads, but that is a few hundred bucks, not a few thousand.

Hey, what 18 year old had a good first car? It was my first bought with quarters, give me a break lol. It got me from A to B. Then my 99 Isuzu (bought for $5k) lasted me 6 years.

Trust me I will be doing my research for my next car.

Very fair point!

Just try to keep in mind that your experience wasn't typical.

True :) - I don't regret the car at all! Drove it to it's last breath (broke down and smoke came out of the engine lol).
I will definitely be researching Toyota/Honda's for my next car though.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2018, 06:58:30 PM »
For lunches, just Google “budget lunches” and you will see many recipes/websites. Or you can try this one: https://www.budgetbytes.com.

I commuted into NYC on public transit (3 hours round trip) for many years and always carried my lunch. Many times I had my breakfast and a snack as well. Since it sounds, from your dinners, that you are highly tolerant of repetitious meals (I am, too), I will tell you what I typically made:

For breakfast: hard boiled eggs or instant oatmeal. I made my own instant oatmeal “packet” with pumpkin spice and powdered stevia. I also packed a can of V-8 juice (cans from a warehouse store) or a piece of fruit.

For lunch: a salad in the summer and homemade vegetable soup in the winter. I bulk made and packed these on the weekend. During the week, it’s grab a container and go. With the soup or salad I also had a sandwich. This might be peanut butter or chicken or turkey or pot roast or ham. Meat was NOT purchased at the deli counter for $10 a pound, but was cooked by me at home and sliced and frozen in weekly increments.

Tuna salad and salad dressing went in separately in Tupperware containers. I also also kept small bottles of oil and vinegar and salt and pepper in my desk. I also had a jar of peanut butter or dry roasted peanuts for emergencies.

I have peanuts at work and nature valley bars too, bought them both bulk/discount. We have a full service cafe and the sandwich are big @ $3.00 (made in front of you SUPER FRESH). It can easily last 2 days so technically $1.50 a day for lunches is a possibility for eating at work...but I'll research other budget eating.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #113 on: January 02, 2018, 07:01:26 PM »
@HelpMe, congratulations on 6 year stable relationship.  Finances aside, I'm sure your beau is glad you put a ring on it.  ;)

Re cars to research, +1 to the comments stating that some makes/models are more reliable than others.  Here is an article to use a starting point for general research on car makes/models to buy used:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

When you actually research individual cars, use Craigslist and that good mechanic.  Get your $ ready, and don't wait until the last week of your lease to buy.  Shop for the actual car a few weeks ahead of the lease end, and get through some of the "new" used car's shakedown period before you drop off the old one.  A good chunk of the needed repairs will appear in the first few weeks of driving.  Preparation will reduce your stress level and enable you continue your work life smoothly.

Thank you! It was no easy thing...we met when we were young (me just 22 him just 19). We've been through a lot together, including a lot of firsts (apartments, careers, cats, international travel, therapy - ha). But happy where we are today :)

I remember reading that blog, thanks for the reminder. Will take a look at some of them.

Ugh...that sounds stressful. So stressful.

ysette9

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #114 on: January 02, 2018, 07:24:13 PM »
Your relationship sounds sweet. I started dating my husband when I was 19 too and it is really lovely to have grown up” with someone like that. Best of luck to you both.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #115 on: January 02, 2018, 07:34:17 PM »
Re:  packing lunches, I used to have a long cross-town commute in Beijing (I took the bus there and a taxi home), and once my office moved I usually biked it (or took public transit).   I almost always packed my lunch.   What worked best for me was to put dinner leftovers into containers (I found the glad ones were cheap and lasted a long time as long as you hand wash them) and freeze them.   They were frozen solid on the way to work (no leakage worries) and I'd just leave them on my desk and they'd be mostly thawed by lunchtime, at which point I'd throw them in the microwave.   We didn't have a good place to clean dishes at the office, so I'd just throw the lid back on the dirty container and pop it in a plastic bag before putting back in my backpack to take home.

Easily saved myself hundreds of dollars a month by eating leftovers instead of paying for lunch every day.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #116 on: January 02, 2018, 07:43:53 PM »
Your relationship sounds sweet. I started dating my husband when I was 19 too and it is really lovely to have grown up” with someone like that. Best of luck to you both.

And we are definitely growing up! We have been on our own for 5 years. Obviously learned very recently that we shouldn't of ever used a damn credit card, but it is what it is! At least I have a good credit history now :p

We are now on the path to lose this debt and live WAY more frugally. Tonight we were $20 under our grocery bill budget which was awesome! We are usually over, so I'm happy with how this year is already going

That is awesome that you met someone young too. I'm sure you guys went through the growing pains of life together.

Hopefully in a year or two we will finally be able to go on vacations again and be in control of our money! Thank you for all of your helpful advice.


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #117 on: January 02, 2018, 07:46:01 PM »
We have definitely been through a lot together and have learned a lot from each other, as well as from our own mistakes. 17 years together and now we even have two sprogs, both who love waking me up at night. Enjoy those cats!

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #118 on: January 03, 2018, 06:17:52 AM »
$89/year ring insurance works out to around $1000 every 10 years to insure the ring. Every 20 years you're paying over $4000 for insurance when you consider the lost investment returns on the money (I used 7%).

You could literally buy a new ring every 20 years and come out ahead compared with buying insurance. That's assuming there's no deductible (which there almost definitely is) and puts no value on the hassle of insurance. With a $1000 deductible it's down to more like every 16 years. This also ignores the rising cost of the insurance (granted, the cost of a replacement will rise as well, probably about the same)

Assuming you keep insurance for the next 60 years, you will have used $82,628.78 to insure a $4000 item. Compound interest is a beast here.

http://www.moneychimp.com/calculator/compound_interest_calculator.htm
Inputs:
$89
$89
60
7

If you still want it that's your call, but just be aware of what you're doing. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, so if it's something that isn't life critical or you could absolutely never afford like brain cancer, it's not usually worth insuring.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 06:20:17 AM by ooeei »

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #119 on: January 03, 2018, 10:37:21 AM »
$89/year ring insurance works out to around $1000 every 10 years to insure the ring. Every 20 years you're paying over $4000 for insurance when you consider the lost investment returns on the money (I used 7%).

You could literally buy a new ring every 20 years and come out ahead compared with buying insurance. That's assuming there's no deductible (which there almost definitely is) and puts no value on the hassle of insurance. With a $1000 deductible it's down to more like every 16 years. This also ignores the rising cost of the insurance (granted, the cost of a replacement will rise as well, probably about the same)

Assuming you keep insurance for the next 60 years, you will have used $82,628.78 to insure a $4000 item. Compound interest is a beast here.

http://www.moneychimp.com/calculator/compound_interest_calculator.htm
Inputs:
$89
$89
60
7

If you still want it that's your call, but just be aware of what you're doing. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, so if it's something that isn't life critical or you could absolutely never afford like brain cancer, it's not usually worth insuring.

That's assuming I pay ring insurance for 20 years, let alone 10 (I definitely won't)- that most likely won't be the case ($4,000 won't seem like such a large amount of money to me by then I assume). It's just that it's so new, and it holds a lot of $ value + emotional value, that I insured it. I literally got it November 2016 ha :) - but yes I totally see your point.


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #120 on: January 03, 2018, 10:59:46 AM »
That's assuming I pay ring insurance for 20 years, let alone 10 (I definitely won't)- that most likely won't be the case ($4,000 won't seem like such a large amount of money to me by then I assume). It's just that it's so new, and it holds a lot of $ value + emotional value, that I insured it. I literally got it November 2016 ha :) - but yes I totally see your point.

So...you are literally paying money you can’t afford simply because you bought something you can’t afford?? You are literally paying for emotional irrationality.

Honestly, you need to see how insane that is.

Actually it's paying to cover an expensive asset. The ring is paid off.

You can re frame from nasty comments. Actually if you don't have anything nice to say, don't respond to this thread at all. I already mentioned above my stupid purchases from my past are mine to own and I am paying for it (obviously), but it doesn't mean you shouldn't cover what you have. You insure a car, you insure a house, you insure your body - I can damn well insure a ring if I so choose to.

I haven't yet, but spending $7.41 a month to cover my fiances ring for my peace of mind is my choosing. All other advice on this thread I am taking and really excited that I have already started (and I'm really excited to get a cheap reliable car in 2 months), but I am done defending myself for this insurance payment and my reasoning behind it.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #121 on: January 03, 2018, 11:50:29 AM »
I guess the question is, if he lost the ring, what would you do? Would you replace it with the exact same thing? Something different? Take a breather and reconsider? Not replace it?

In my case I can honestly say that I adore my engagement ring and I also would not replace it if it were lost. Then again, I can also afford to replace it if it were lost with no sweat, so there is no point in insuring it. I insure against the things that I either can’t afford (massive medical situations) or things that would put a big dent in my net worth (totaled car, earthwork, tree crashing down on my roof). I don’t insure things like my cell phone because I can afford to replace it myself, which means that insurance is statistically going to be a bad deal for me in the long run.

I hope that made sense.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #122 on: January 03, 2018, 11:58:52 AM »
I guess the question is, if he lost the ring, what would you do? Would you replace it with the exact same thing? Something different? Take a breather and reconsider? Not replace it?

In my case I can honestly say that I adore my engagement ring and I also would not replace it if it were lost. Then again, I can also afford to replace it if it were lost with no sweat, so there is no point in insuring it. I insure against the things that I either can’t afford (massive medical situations) or things that would put a big dent in my net worth (totaled car, earthwork, tree crashing down on my roof). I don’t insure things like my cell phone because I can afford to replace it myself, which means that insurance is statistically going to be a bad deal for me in the long run.

I hope that made sense.

Yes the exact same thing. The insurance was through the jeweler (a ma and pa place - not the big corporate ones) and the insurance covered lost, stolen, damaged 100%. The ring was something very special to both of us, and beautiful too - it has Sapphire in it - we custom built it and it took a couple months to decide on the exact features, in hindsight we would of looked at a cheaper one but the whole point was it wasn't a spur of the moment purchase - it was our 5 years together and we wanted to get something special. Again I got it at a time we could afford it, then all the other bad stuff happened (10 months unemployment, bad credit card purchases, loan going into forbearance accruing interest).

I can't afford to replace it right now - that's why I said above that in a few years, probably 5 or less, I will no longer insure it. As it stands, $7 a month is something I think that I don't need to beat with a hammer. It's half the price of Netflix, it's not going to make or break me, and it gives me peace of mind. Yes, people insure things that mean A LOT to them. I own it outright, it is what it is.

Moving forward though, I will not be purchasing anything I can't afford to replace. I couldn't even afford to replace my phones and that's why I insure them too (thank god too because awhile ago I broke my phone accidentally and it only cost me $150 vs $750).

But all other points on this thread are super valid and I appreciate them, I have taken each of them to heart and I really do appreciate everyone being kind enough to offer their input. I KNOW this year will be good in paying down debt and building a savings, as well as constant frugal shopping. Last night we went grocer shopping and I brought coupons, we paid attention to every item we purchased and were actually $20 under our budget - which was super exciting for us.


« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 12:00:45 PM by Help Me :) »

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #123 on: January 03, 2018, 12:11:20 PM »
I applaud your positive attitude and commitment to making changes. Best of luck to you.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #124 on: January 03, 2018, 12:48:12 PM »
You've made a conscious decision to make changes and I'm sure you'll start seeing progress if you keep at it.  Getting from where you were to where you are now to where you want to be takes a huge change in mindset.  Caring less what people think about what you're wearing/driving/eating etc., changing your values, establishing long-term goals, cutting out things you used to purchase without a second thought - that takes work and dedication.

If you keep an eye on your cash flow and keep cutting, and maybe increasing what's coming in, you'll get there.  It's a game you want to win.

Further up in the thread, there were a few posts about DIY cleaning products.  I recommend cheap white vinegar as a basic household cleaner.  Dilute with an equal part of water in a reusable spray bottle and you have a cheap, environmentally safe, solution for windows, mirrors, and most hard surfaces including hardwood floors.  The smell dissipates pretty quickly, in case that concerns you.  Save old t-shirts and sheets to use as rags.  Eliminate paper towels and napkins - use rags or sponges for spills.  In general, try not to spend money on one-use disposable stuff.  Minimize your waste and you'll even save $ on garbage bags.  Mustachianism means being green, and everybody wins, especially you.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #125 on: January 03, 2018, 12:55:04 PM »
I guess the question is, if he lost the ring, what would you do? Would you replace it with the exact same thing? Something different? Take a breather and reconsider? Not replace it?

In my case I can honestly say that I adore my engagement ring and I also would not replace it if it were lost. Then again, I can also afford to replace it if it were lost with no sweat, so there is no point in insuring it. I insure against the things that I either can’t afford (massive medical situations) or things that would put a big dent in my net worth (totaled car, earthwork, tree crashing down on my roof). I don’t insure things like my cell phone because I can afford to replace it myself, which means that insurance is statistically going to be a bad deal for me in the long run.

I hope that made sense.

Yes the exact same thing. The insurance was through the jeweler (a ma and pa place - not the big corporate ones) and the insurance covered lost, stolen, damaged 100%. The ring was something very special to both of us, and beautiful too - it has Sapphire in it - we custom built it and it took a couple months to decide on the exact features, in hindsight we would of looked at a cheaper one but the whole point was it wasn't a spur of the moment purchase - it was our 5 years together and we wanted to get something special. Again I got it at a time we could afford it, then all the other bad stuff happened (10 months unemployment, bad credit card purchases, loan going into forbearance accruing interest).

I can't afford to replace it right now - that's why I said above that in a few years, probably 5 or less, I will no longer insure it. As it stands, $7 a month is something I think that I don't need to beat with a hammer. It's half the price of Netflix, it's not going to make or break me, and it gives me peace of mind. Yes, people insure things that mean A LOT to them. I own it outright, it is what it is.

Moving forward though, I will not be purchasing anything I can't afford to replace. I couldn't even afford to replace my phones and that's why I insure them too (thank god too because awhile ago I broke my phone accidentally and it only cost me $150 vs $750).

But all other points on this thread are super valid and I appreciate them, I have taken each of them to heart and I really do appreciate everyone being kind enough to offer their input. I KNOW this year will be good in paying down debt and building a savings, as well as constant frugal shopping. Last night we went grocer shopping and I brought coupons, we paid attention to every item we purchased and were actually $20 under our budget - which was super exciting for us.

If you want to pay to insure it that's your prerogative, I just wanted to point out what you'd be giving up. If you pay it for 5 years, then it's only around $500, but over 40 years that $500 would grow to $7500 if invested at 7%.

The problem isn't specifically the ring, or the phone, or whatever it may be. The problem is your attitude toward these luxury items you now say you wouldn't buy if you could do it over. You've said you're going to stop buying things like that, yet here you are paying to keep them, and insisting on replacing them if they're lost/stolen. That tells us you aren't yet over them. If your $750 phone breaks, you can buy a perfectly great phone for $150 (or less) without any sort of insurance. THAT is the lesson to learn here. You don't need a $750 phone, so why are you so worried about losing/breaking it? If the ring is lost you can get by just fine with a $500 (or less) ring without bothering with any sort of insurance. You're throwing good money after bad at this point, and paying money now to preserve a purchase that you now say isn't important for you in the future.

Chances are you can't sell your phone because it's under contract, and you can't sell the ring because you wouldn't get more than a few hundred dollars for it (which is what a replacement would cost anyway), so it makes sense to keep both of them. What doesn't make sense to me is spending MORE money ensuring you can keep them for longer if you're irresponsible with them.  If you really love expensive phones, or rings, or cars, then get one, but if you can't afford to replace it yourself, you should reconsider buying it.

Insurance is for insanely high expense super rare occasions like getting cancer, or your house burning down with somebody in it. Electronics stores have their employees push insurance on $50 hard drives and shit like that because it makes them a lot of money. The insurance is cheap, only a couple dollars, but they make way more money than they pay out. Over your life you could get insurance on basically everything you buy, and individually they'd all seem reasonable, $2 here, $20 there, but over time you'll end up paying a LOT of extra money just to prevent occasionally having to re-buy something. I know plenty of people who would be happy spending $10/month on insurance to prevent a $400 event that happens statistically every 5 years. To them $10 a month sounds way better than paying $400 for a new whatever it is. Emotionally it makes sense, but mathematically it's nonsense and they're throwing away $200 every five years (not even considering investment gains). If you're remotely responsible and have some savings around you should be able to cover anything that breaks without too much trouble, and you don't have to pay an insurance company to do it for you.

In my example there an insurance company is statistically making $200 every time they sell 5 years worth of insurance on whatever that item is, that's half of the purchase price! That increases their probably 3-5% margin 10x up to 33%. It's no wonder they do it.


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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #126 on: January 03, 2018, 01:09:15 PM »
People, please. It's clear that OP understands the maths on the ring and insurance.  The ring is a done deal from a previous life and the insurance a temporary measure.  There comes a point at which advice becomes counterproductive nagging. 

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #127 on: January 03, 2018, 01:17:27 PM »
People, please. It's clear that OP understands the maths on the ring and insurance.  The ring is a done deal from a previous life and the insurance a temporary measure.  There comes a point at which advice becomes counterproductive nagging.

THANK YOU. I wrote out a long response to the last message sent to me, but I deleted it. I'm done commenting on it and defending it. It is going to be his wedding ring too - and kept in our possession forever / passed down generations. This is why I currently insure it, and won't in the future when money isn't an issue.

I do understand the math and how insurance works, and buying things that are outside of your budget as unnecessary (hence why I will be buying a used Toyota or Honda as my next car, and also removing my phone insurance as I agree to the last comment about buying a cheaper phone). The suggestion of selling my ring was just off putting.

People are getting a bit TOO invasive with their comments on that topic and really need to back off.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #128 on: January 03, 2018, 01:20:43 PM »
You've made a conscious decision to make changes and I'm sure you'll start seeing progress if you keep at it.  Getting from where you were to where you are now to where you want to be takes a huge change in mindset.  Caring less what people think about what you're wearing/driving/eating etc., changing your values, establishing long-term goals, cutting out things you used to purchase without a second thought - that takes work and dedication.

If you keep an eye on your cash flow and keep cutting, and maybe increasing what's coming in, you'll get there.  It's a game you want to win.

Further up in the thread, there were a few posts about DIY cleaning products.  I recommend cheap white vinegar as a basic household cleaner.  Dilute with an equal part of water in a reusable spray bottle and you have a cheap, environmentally safe, solution for windows, mirrors, and most hard surfaces including hardwood floors.  The smell dissipates pretty quickly, in case that concerns you.  Save old t-shirts and sheets to use as rags.  Eliminate paper towels and napkins - use rags or sponges for spills.  In general, try not to spend money on one-use disposable stuff.  Minimize your waste and you'll even save $ on garbage bags.  Mustachianism means being green, and everybody wins, especially you.

Trust me the mind set is there - I sound like a broken record but being unemployed for 5 months truly put things into perspective and taught me how to budget every single penny. I care more about a comfortable future, not working into my 60s, traveling, building a family - than how people view me. I'm young, made some dumb decisions - but have the mindset now (albeit it's new) to change all of that and give myself a healthy financial future :)

I definitely will be buying cheap white vinegar for cleaning moving forward.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2018, 05:02:33 PM »
Nice to see the post about your fiancé putting his CC in the freezer! Baby steps are fine, as long as you are moving in the right direction. You seem to have made progress in how you are thinking about expenses during the course of this thread already; good job on that!

I'm surprised by how many people recommend cancelling gym. That is something I will never do. "do cardio at home" - "go on walks"...that BARELY has the same positive affect on your body as weight training does (i.e. upper/lower body weight lifting routine). Health should always be the #1 priority in someones life, and should never be cut out.

I would use the gym at my work, except they only cardio machines (which again has no where the same positive affect as weight lifting does). I also don't have a yard around me to supply my own weights.

Sorry but that is something that I just disagree with and one piece of advice people should not take. Yes you should go to your minimal gym membership, but I still believe a gym membership is extremely important, unless of course you have property and can supply your own full supplies (bench press, pull up bar, squat rack, multiple barbells, etc.).

People can get good exercise without machines. Cardio like running is great for strengthening the heart and there are plenty of great bodyweight exercises for core strength. You will not be unhealthy if you trail run and do body weight exercises for a while.

Remember, too, that we are giving advice based on that fact that you have "almost bankrupt" in the title of your post. This is not the time to keep expenses that are not essential. Once your finances are in order and you have strengthened your frugality muscles you can spend money on things that you find valuable, like a reasonably-priced gym. But you have to wipe out the debt and get on the right track first! Of course it's your choice how you do that, but the gym is a good one to consider.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #130 on: January 03, 2018, 05:05:45 PM »
Nice to see the post about your fiancé putting his CC in the freezer! Baby steps are fine, as long as you are moving in the right direction. You seem to have made progress in how you are thinking about expenses during the course of this thread already; good job on that!

I'm surprised by how many people recommend cancelling gym. That is something I will never do. "do cardio at home" - "go on walks"...that BARELY has the same positive affect on your body as weight training does (i.e. upper/lower body weight lifting routine). Health should always be the #1 priority in someones life, and should never be cut out.

I would use the gym at my work, except they only cardio machines (which again has no where the same positive affect as weight lifting does). I also don't have a yard around me to supply my own weights.

Sorry but that is something that I just disagree with and one piece of advice people should not take. Yes you should go to your minimal gym membership, but I still believe a gym membership is extremely important, unless of course you have property and can supply your own full supplies (bench press, pull up bar, squat rack, multiple barbells, etc.).

People can get good exercise without machines. Cardio like running is great for strengthening the heart and there are plenty of great bodyweight exercises for core strength. You will not be unhealthy if you trail run and do body weight exercises for a while.

Remember, too, that we are giving advice based on that fact that you have "almost bankrupt" in the title of your post. This is not the time to keep expenses that are not essential. Once your finances are in order and you have strengthened your frugality muscles you can spend money on things that you find valuable, like a reasonably-priced gym. But you have to wipe out the debt and get on the right track first! Of course it's your choice how you do that, but the gym is a good one to consider.

Yes true, it is an additional expense. It isn't a ''luxury'', but is isn't also a ''must need necessity''. I can probably meet myself halfway and go down to the $10 a month gym membership, from the $20. The $20 covers all the gyms in my area (I live in a big city), but the $10 will just be for the one gym. So I'll do that.

Cardio is good, but muscle workout is a whole different ball park. Just do the research.

Yes thank you, everyone's opinions have been great and I am going to introduce most of them to my life. I am really excited about getting a cheaper car payment & insurance payment, that will save a lot. I posted a separate thread about what to claim on my income so that I can get more take home - so doing every little thing I can :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #131 on: January 05, 2018, 08:23:02 AM »
I'll do a little research on ring insurance.

Does that work for cleaning windows (Windex) too?

I like that future bank account idea. Makes sense.

$120 was a high guesstimate. Between the food and litter, it costs $60. I am not sure how long that lasts though, definitely not a month. Which litter brand do you use? The problem with the other 4 or 5 we tried was that the smell of pee and poo was horrible. This litter literally blocks those smells out.

Vinegar and water is great for windows. I use it on the following: windows, counters, stovetop, stainless steel dining table, hardwood floor spills, bathroom counters, mirrors, toilets. It doesn't quite cut it on the acrylic shower, which is why I use this stuff - https://www.dollartree.com/The-Works-16-oz-Tub-Shower-Cleaner/p6065/index.pro/. A few other basic supplies such as bleach and a good scrub brush will take you far.

I use Worlds Best Cat Litter Multicat. You can flush it. It smells natural and controls odor very well. But it's way more than you need to spend ($26 for 28 lbs). I went to Chewy's website and sorted by average customer review. I'd start trying the best rated cheap litter - https://www.chewy.com/s?rh=c%3A325%2Cc%3A410%2Cc%3A411&sort=rating.

I feed my cats this stuff and it lasts over a month - https://www.chewy.com/taste-wild-rocky-mountain-grain-free/dp/34263. But, again, in your position I'd be searching for cheaper alternatives. Awhile back, there was a thread on here about pet food and several vets recommended Purina One. While it's certainly not cheap, it's less than what I'm serving. Between switching litters and foods, you could probably drop $30/mo while still getting a decent product and not jeopardizing your cats' health.

I'll try the water and vinegar trick soon!

Ugh can't believe someone suggested Purina. I had a kitten that passed away from FIP (unrelated) but I learned A LOT about the right kinds of foods that cats should consume. I was originally giving them all Blue Buffalo, but then my little one got the blockage.
The litter I buy is $20 for a 40lb bag. It's GREAT, looks like I can keep using it.

On cat food, for preface I have a diabetic cat so all of my 3 eat food that is good for him.  I specifically do not feed perspiration diabetic food because in fact the prescription diabetic food is actually worse for diabetics than fancy feast or friskies. 

What is the best overall food for all cats including ones with crystals, raw homemade, what is the second best wet low carb food.  Currently I feed mine Merrick Limited ingredient because that is what they all agree is eatable and is fine for my sugar kitten. 

Please see this info from Dr. Lisa  http://catinfo.org/

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #132 on: January 05, 2018, 11:28:27 AM »
Mostly posting to follow...

Sometimes on this forum we see people who "desperately need help", yet have multiple reasons why they can't do every suggestion that is made.  Sometimes we see those who take everything to heart and really make some great changes. As you can imagine, the latter is much less common than the former. So I'm following to see which one you turn out to be. :)  Feel free to consider that a challenge. :)

Out of curiosity, what cat litter are you using?

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #133 on: January 05, 2018, 12:04:22 PM »
Mostly posting to follow...

Sometimes on this forum we see people who "desperately need help", yet have multiple reasons why they can't do every suggestion that is made.  Sometimes we see those who take everything to heart and really make some great changes. As you can imagine, the latter is much less common than the former. So I'm following to see which one you turn out to be. :)  Feel free to consider that a challenge. :)

Out of curiosity, what cat litter are you using?
I've already begun :). As mentioned in previous comments, I had no choice when I was unemployed for almost half a year and surviving on unemployment checks. I have a different state of mind now that I'm employed again - I'm excited for this year!

I use Integrity cat litter, it's a godsend.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #134 on: January 05, 2018, 01:43:33 PM »
I'm sure you love the location you're in, but to be quite frank you can't afford to live in that location - even if you are getting a deal when comparing the competition.

There are plenty of places in the U.S. you could move to, make 60K-70K (and potentially more), and cut your housing costs by half or even 75%.

Ultimately, that seems like the best move in this instance. Your salary isn't justifying the housing costs. If both of you made 90K it would be feasible but unfortunately that's not the case. I doubt you'll move, and I'm sure you're optimistic about your fiancee's job potential and pay raises, but you're shooting yourself in the foot currently. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #135 on: January 05, 2018, 02:13:13 PM »
I'm sure you love the location you're in, but to be quite frank you can't afford to live in that location - even if you are getting a deal when comparing the competition.

There are plenty of places in the U.S. you could move to, make 60K-70K (and potentially more), and cut your housing costs by half or even 75%.

Ultimately, that seems like the best move in this instance. Your salary isn't justifying the housing costs. If both of you made 90K it would be feasible but unfortunately that's not the case. I doubt you'll move, and I'm sure you're optimistic about your fiancee's job potential and pay raises, but you're shooting yourself in the foot currently. Just my 2 cents.

No I'm not optimistic about his pay, it's been this way our entire relationship. He will probably be in college for the next 4-5 years before anything comes of it. I've always made more than him.

I made $105k last year, but the sad thing is Silicon Valley is one of the most expensive areas

Yes I understand cheaper costs (my step brother just moved to Oregon this morning) - but as it stands my entire family is within 5 miles of where I currently live. Whom I'm very close with and see on a weekly basis - and I have a huge family. I'd probably shoot myself in the head before leaving them (not literally but you get the point). Only way I move is if they move. That feeling may change in the future, but for now that's where I'm at mentally.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #136 on: January 05, 2018, 03:25:18 PM »
Realistically, going to school is not going to help your partner.  His career objective is "creative director."  Unlikely that a college degree is going to get him there.  In your shoes, I would be talking to my potential spouse about finding a job that will pay his half of the bills.  Otherwise, it looks like you are enabling him not to grow up and be self sufficient.  He is your dependent, not your partner.

No reason for you to move out of the area.  You just need to increase your family income and be more responsible with money going forward.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #137 on: January 06, 2018, 12:39:47 AM »
If you are in the Bay Area, shop at Trader Joe’s 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!

I would seriously recommend Grocery Outlet. I normally do not mention this chain on MMM because they are only in a few states. But, I know for a fact they are in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley. I only spend about 110.00 a month for two adult mouths and it's mostly because of Grocery Outlet. Safeway is NOT the way to go(unless you are picking up their deeply discounted stuff because it is nearing its sell by date) or TJ's for that matter. What's extra great about G.O. is that when their stuff gets near its sell by date, they also deeply discount.....on things that were already a deal. For example, a jar of Classico pasta sauce would normally be about 2.99 at Safeway would be at G.O. for 1.50. Then, when they are close to the sell by date, I have seen them priced at five jars for a dollar. Once, it was ten jars for a dollar. Each store is independently owned, so prices vary. I've done this with organic coffee, organic heavy cream, all dairy products, meat, cheese, snacks, chocolate, cereal, eggs, cleaning products, personal care products. They have all kinds of brands, main stream stuff you would see in Safeway but also higher quality stuff you would see in Whole Foods. I have found so many deals that my current problem is having too much stuff already that I do not need to go......but i go anyway because of fomo. Then, coming home with nine boxes of Green and Black's sea salt milk chocolate for 3.00, cos they were .33 per box.  Or the time I bought ten packs of Reese's pb cups for a dollar when I STILL had chocolate to finish.
I get fresh produce elsewhere, I have found Asian markets tend to have the best prices. Toilet paper is Costco's "Marathon" brand is the best price per sheet(I did the math). Math wise it is better than their Kirkland brand. Charmin is not the best option price wise. If you want to get super aggressive, you can cut up old cloth rags into "cloth toilet paper" I use it for #1 only, wash with my usual load of laundry. My toilet paper buying has gone from once a year to about once every three years.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #138 on: January 06, 2018, 03:34:20 PM »
Just be careful at grocery outlet. I used to shop there when one was close to my house, but after bringing home some lunch meat and finding spots of blue mold of it, I decided it wasn’t worth the savings (plus the hassle of going to another store). Obviously your experience is positive though.

rubybeth

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #139 on: January 08, 2018, 09:35:10 AM »
I'm sure you love the location you're in, but to be quite frank you can't afford to live in that location - even if you are getting a deal when comparing the competition.

There are plenty of places in the U.S. you could move to, make 60K-70K (and potentially more), and cut your housing costs by half or even 75%.

Ultimately, that seems like the best move in this instance. Your salary isn't justifying the housing costs. If both of you made 90K it would be feasible but unfortunately that's not the case. I doubt you'll move, and I'm sure you're optimistic about your fiancee's job potential and pay raises, but you're shooting yourself in the foot currently. Just my 2 cents.

No I'm not optimistic about his pay, it's been this way our entire relationship. He will probably be in college for the next 4-5 years before anything comes of it. I've always made more than him.

I made $105k last year, but the sad thing is Silicon Valley is one of the most expensive areas

Yes I understand cheaper costs (my step brother just moved to Oregon this morning) - but as it stands my entire family is within 5 miles of where I currently live. Whom I'm very close with and see on a weekly basis - and I have a huge family. I'd probably shoot myself in the head before leaving them (not literally but you get the point). Only way I move is if they move. That feeling may change in the future, but for now that's where I'm at mentally.

Has your fiance read the 50 jobs posts that pay at least $50k without a degree posts from MMM? If not, I'd consider them vs. more schooling.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/08/05/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-2/

Some of them are definitely hard work, but some are ideal for extroverts. Or, would there be a way to get him a part-time internship in his field of interest for some experience, and jump into it without a degree? Honestly, real life experience on a resume can look 10x better than just a degree.

And I think there's an unknown financial benefit to being near family--DH and I specifically live near family and don't want to be too far from aging parents. Those close human connections help us in a lot of intangible ways, and some more tangible ones (like my dad who came to jump start my car and went with me to buy a new battery--sure, I could have called a tow truck to do it, but my parents did it on my schedule and made sure I got home safely). It also saves us our paid time off and travel expenses to go visit them. We know a lot of people who moved far away who now feel they have to visit at least annually, and that's time and money that we get to spend on vacations to go elsewhere. :)

cats

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #140 on: January 08, 2018, 09:56:29 AM »
We have lived in several parts of the Bay Area and in each of them I've found Safeway to be a pricey option for groceries. 

Trader Joe's generally has the best prices on eggs and dairy.  For meat and produce I find Sprouts is also a good option--the "normal" prices are nothing amazing but they do have good specials and also a decent bulk selection. 

If you live near a Grocery Outlet check them out also--the selection can be kind of random but often good deals on eggs/meat/dairy, sometimes also on dry goods like pasta and legumes. The 99 cents only chain has a surprising amount of produce and other fresh/healthy food as well (I have not found this to be true of other dollar stores like Dollar Tree or Dollar General, not all dollar stores are the same!).  Smart & Final may also be worth a look. 

And in each area we've lived we've also managed to find a local option for produce that is much cheaper than Safeway or other chains.  Whereabouts are you located?  If you're down on the peninsula try Felipe's, Milk Pail, or Foothill Produce.

We pay $40/month to Comcast for internet only.  I called and told them we were cancelling and switching to another provider (Sonic) who would do $40/month and voila, Comcast for $40/month.

Also, with regards to the car, is it actually a necessity?  Could you go without for a while, maybe just until you have your debt paid off?

« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 10:00:38 AM by cats »

BabyShark

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #141 on: January 08, 2018, 10:45:19 AM »
Mostly posting to follow...

Sometimes on this forum we see people who "desperately need help", yet have multiple reasons why they can't do every suggestion that is made.  Sometimes we see those who take everything to heart and really make some great changes. As you can imagine, the latter is much less common than the former. So I'm following to see which one you turn out to be. :)  Feel free to consider that a challenge. :)

...

Doing the same thing!  Looking forward to your progress!

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #142 on: January 08, 2018, 11:19:30 AM »
One more suggestion on the cat food!  I volunteer at my local animal shelter and I get prescription foods 50% off the vet price.  The shelter gets a wholesale deal that they are allowed to pass on to their volunteers.  I don't even have to go that often.  I take some pictures every other Sunday for them.  See if you have anything like that near you.  As a bonus, you might get a discount from vets they partner with too. 

eliza

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #143 on: January 08, 2018, 05:41:12 PM »
PTF.   You're in an interesting place and I'm interested to see which path you go down and how things turn out.  MMM and FIRE aren't for everyone and that's OK. 

le-weekend

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #144 on: January 08, 2018, 08:21:46 PM »
Okay I will not chime in anything about cars :-)   But I would like to tell you that YOU CAN DO THIS.

I was your age, not making anywhere near your salary but with a similar amount of debt and also living in expensive metropolitan areas, and I finally got it paid off. I agree that Bankruptcy should only be used if one is absolutely desperate, as a last resort.

My journey took a really long time to complete -- I was in my early 40's when my credit card balances finally reached zero. I believe you can do it much more quickly than that with the right mindset and determination.  The reason I think you can do it, is that I was earning an average of $28K per year until I was in my early 30's --- and then got bumped up to what seemed like a jackpot of $60K in my mid-30's. All of that time, I still had not yet learned the skills to stop racking up debt, so the amount hovered around that $30K level for way too long.

I knew you were "supposed" to save, but I was under the impression that I needed every penny for my regular expenses and therefore simply had to use credit cards in order to pay for inevitable "unexpected emergencies" of life. I also had a delusional sense of the difference between "needs" and "wants" because I'd been in debt for so long (since age 17) I had this sort of dim acceptance that I could never pay it off anyway so I might as well have that nice (iPod / purse / trip). It was awful and it was always gnawing away at me. What hadn't gotten through my thick skull was that if I truly kept a budget, even one with generous allowances for eating out and other B.S., but just made sure that ONE OF THE BUDGET ITEMS WAS AUTOMATIC SAVINGS (even a small amount), I would have been able to pay for more 'unexpected' things with cash instead of credit. But here's the rub -- I was stuck in hopelessness and immaturity and anger over how unfair it felt and a whole bunch of emotions that may not apply to your situation at this point  :-)   But for what it's worth, these two books helped me more than anything else:

1) You're Broke Because You Want to Be (by Larry Winget)

and

2) The Debt-Free Spending Plan (by Joanneh Nagler)

It is liberating and amazing to finally be an adult about money and not have that weight on my back. Yes it will be a slog but please don't let that stop you from starting the way I let it stop me.... the sooner you start, the sooner you will reach the end goal and sweet relief!  Every little bit counts!  Pennies make dollars!  GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

innkeeper77

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #145 on: January 08, 2018, 10:44:28 PM »
Good luck! Posting to follow.

Just to add to the NO NEW CARS chorus- buy japanese, used, and older. Here are my examples:

My wife has a 2006 civic we bought a year ago for $6k. Great condition, only 100k miles on it, no rust, etc. It has needed zero repairs, just oil changes, and tire rotations, all of which I do myself, and I have an assumption that it will stay that way for a while. It needs brake pads and spark plugs sometime in 2018, but those are cheap (I expect to pay under $200 total even if I replace all the rotors) (I also had to have the Takata airbag replaced, but Honda did that for free.) If we have this car at 200k miles I will not be suprised, but I "KNOW" that it will last us three years at the very least! If it completely dies and we have to give it away in two years, it will have cost us WELL under $8k all in with maintenance. It will more realistically last us 5 to 10 or even more years, and repairs shouldn't be too much- it's a cheap car, with cheap parts, in great condition. Even with no salvage value, it will be far less than a new car per year/mile, and FAR FAR less than a lease.

I drive a 2000 Subaru Outback. I.... will be getting a new car soonish for peace of mind. I bought it on craigslist for too much, and have driven it 25k miles (starting at 200k). However, if I sell it for blue book today (doable) it will have only cost me about $2500 including maintenance (needed a timing belt, I did that myself, and a bunch of brake work, also learned how to do it myself) after the salvage value (Worth $1500 according to blue book, craigslist looks a bit higher, but it has a bunch of cosmetic issues) - for 2 years and 25k miles (Unusually high for us- visiting family a lot, and I took up a side gig as a pizza driver for a while, which more than paid for the car) - I probably paid too much, and will instead be looking for a "newer" car- meaning 2008 or 2009 - when I replace it! (Paying $7000 or less. Ideally a lot less)

MrsPete

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #146 on: January 09, 2018, 03:44:04 PM »
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
You're getting loads of good advice on other topics, but this jumped out at me -- you sound exactly like one of my dear friends, and I want to warn you what happened to her: 

She went to college for a year -- young and stupid -- decided it wasn't for her -- she got a job as a secretary, was EXCELLENT at that job, largely because she is a very good writer and communicator (and most people ... aren't).  Very quickly she became attached to one of the company's rising stars -- I'll say he was a CEO; it's close enough to the truth.  He was a very difficult boss, but the two of them got along.  She knew the business, anticipated his needs, and could take his temper tantrums.  When he "went too far", she could say, "Enough", and he'd stomp off for an hour or two, and then he'd apologize and give her flowers or gifts.  Anyway, over the course of a few years, she became EXCEEDINGLY VALUABLE to this man, and she was being paid accordingly.  The boss let her use his beach house and his mountain house.  Given that she had no college degree, she thought she'd won the lottery -- Executive Assistant job, a professional salary, excellent benefits. 

Her first hint of trouble came when she married.  She married a farmer, so he wouldn't leave his land ... but her job was a solid hour's drive.  For the first time, she really realized that she was in an extremely fortunate situation ... but that situation wasn't "portable".  That is, she was attached to this one company, this one man ... but her skills wouldn't allow her to leave /go to another firm /step into the same level of job.  So she married her fellow and spent two hours a day on the road to keep her job.

Her second, more serious hint of trouble came very shortly after when she had her (only) child.  She decided she just couldn't keep up the commute, so she quit -- knowing she'd never find another job like that, knowing that she'd have to start again as a regular secretary.  Her boss was so determined to keep her that he gave her a raise that was enough to buy a new luxury SUV every couple years AND to put her son in daycare right there in their downtown building /pay for private school later.  She kept her job, but it was tough:  Most of her time with her son /most of their meals were in the car.  Many times she thought about quitting, but then she'd stay because without her job, her son would've had to be pulled out of the private school -- and he was flourishing.

The final straw came when the CEO had a heart attack (did I mention he was 70 something?), and he had an epiphany:  He had more than enough money for the rest of his life, and the work -- for which he had previously lived -- he LOVED his job, LOVED to win clients and make money -- but after the heart attack, he decided it could all go hang.  He didn't return to work.  You'd think that someone of her caliber would've been given another spot in the big company, but NO.  She was fired.  No other employee at "that level" needed an Executive Assistant, and the company knew she was vastly overpaid for her work ... because that one man had insisted upon keeping her. 

So she was late 40s, had a son ready to head out to college ... and her job is gone.  She made WAY more money than her farmer husband, so it hurt.  With no education, she isn't going to get back in that game.  She was extremely fortunate to have stayed in it as long as she did -- and if she hadn't been EXACTLY the right fit for this one CEO, she wouldn't have had the job all those years.  I heard her tell her son and his friends at least 50 times, "You must get an education.  I know, you see me doing very well without it, but that was a different generation.  You can never follow in my footsteps.  Education is your key."

If I see correctly, you're in kind of the same position ... but you don't have to go as many years as she did before you make some changes.  Be sure you're not a unique employee good for -- very, very good for -- one job only. 



Apple_Tango

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #147 on: January 10, 2018, 11:17:43 PM »
If you are valuable to the company, many times they will pay for your college if you do a night school, online school, or something part time. Following the post above, I would say look into that and see if your company offers that perk. My cousin is getting her degree that way (after a long and winding road). I also saw an episode of undercover boss for a hotel chain, and the employee really wanted to go to school but didn't know how she would pay for it. It turns out that the hotel chain offered free courses or something like that. But it hadn't been marketed well so no one knew about it.

If school isn't your thing, I understand. But degree creep is SO real and really...learning is fun! Especially when it's free.

TheStrenuousLife

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #148 on: January 11, 2018, 09:37:23 AM »
Posting to follow!  Good luck!

civil4life

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #149 on: January 11, 2018, 01:05:50 PM »
Trader Joes is definitely cheaper.  Also, do not dig on Aldi's.  They actually carry organic now.

I had a cat that developed bladder stones.  4 days hospital and surgery.  Still paying that off.  He absolutely hated the food for the crystals.  He actually starved himself and I had to get him a feeding tube.  He now eats a regular wet food.  We check for crystals regularly with the vet, but since he is no longer on dry food the wet was enough to improve the health. 

I own a 2013 Toyota Prius that I bought in 2014 used.  It was a fleet vehicle and had 17k miles on it.  I want to say it was $15k.  My loan was $200 a month, but paid it off faster than that.  Additionally I financed through a credit union for a much better interest rate.  Besides routine maintenance I have not had any repair expenses.  So instead of leasing consider slightly used with plenty of life.  I will have it 4 years in May and I now have 95k on it.  I drive 30 mi each direction for work.   Plus my gas mileage is at least 45 mpg.

You should consider filling out a new W-4 at work and take at least 1 exemption.  That will give you a little more in each paycheck and you still should not owe taxes come tax time.