Author Topic: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt  (Read 20763 times)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2018, 05:09:53 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.

That's what I thought. We've been to grocery outlet a few times, but the quality of the shit is just TOO low. I'll check out sprouts - there are a few around here. Thanks for the pointers. I often cook chicken.

Luckily my credit score is good (over 700) and my history is perfect with no delinquencies, which is another reason I opposed bankruptcy. My car lease is due back anytime in March, so I will be shopping around in March and won't be carless during is so that I don't feel pressured :).

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2018, 05:26:03 PM »
I'm going to get punched by the zealots here, but I see nothing wrong with buying something like a new 2018 Toyota Corolla LE on sale with financing if you can get a good price and cheap financing.  Those things are generally well made, reliable workhorses, and one should easily last you 10 years or more, depending on how many miles you drive.  You need to do your homework on financing, discounts, and rebates, but it might be a good solution for you.  I hate repairing cars because it's time consuming and stressful and my time and peace of mind are valuable to me.  It's also very difficult around here to find well maintained and undamaged used cars at reasonable prices, even from private parties.  I therefore consciously make the choice to buy new. 

Pizzabrewer

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2018, 05:30:15 PM »
No one here is going to endorse your car logic.  New cars, and particularly leasing new cars, are the worst financial mistakes most people make.

If you buy a 5-year-old Honda (check the Carfax) it will be just as reliable as a new car costing you 2 to 3 times as much money. 

I drive a 2002 Subaru (bought about 10 years ago for around $9k) and my wife drives a 2007 Honda Accord (bought 3 years ago for around $6k).  We haven't had a car payment in years.  Subarus are a bit controversial here so I won't recommend them (despite my good experience), but it has had minimal repair costs and my wife's Honda has performed flawlessly.  Our maintenance costs are far less than what you're paying to rent a car.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 05:32:50 PM by Pizzabrewer »

ysette9

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2018, 05:31:41 PM »
Good heavens, no. Not at all on the same level as Whole Foods though the quality of the food is good. Staples like a loaf of bread I find to be cheaper. If you have a food allergy I find it easier because their prepared foods are much closer to something you would cook at home than the stuff at Safeway made with five hundred ingredients.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2018, 05:34:57 PM »
No one here is going to endorse your car logic.  New cars, and particularly leasing new cars, are the worst financial mistakes most people make.

If you buy a 5-year-old Honda (check the Carfax) it will be just as reliable as a new car costing you 2 to 3 times as much money. 

I drive a 2002 Subaru (bought about 10 years ago for around $9k) and my wife drives a 2007 Honda Accord (bought 3 years ago for around $6k).  We haven't had a car payment in years.  Subarus are a bit controversial here so I won't recommend them (despite my good experience), but it has had minimal repair costs and my wife's Honda has performed flawlessly.  Our maintenance costs are far less than what you're paying to rent a car.

Totally agree. Leasing and financing are the least financial intelligent decision. Most times there is no value in cars, so buying it new is a HORRIBLE investment. I just bought it for ease of mind, and if you lived in this valley all the driving we do and daily traffic...a good reliable car is necessary. Also I'm an Executive Assistant so I have to run errands often. Though I agree, I will take advantage of the fact that I will be carless in a few months and look into good used cars. I just don't have thousands to pay for one if you read my previous comments - so whatever I decide...it has to be a payment plan, with no down payment.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2018, 05:36:55 PM »
I'm going to get punched by the zealots here, but I see nothing wrong with buying something like a new 2018 Toyota Corolla LE on sale with financing if you can get a good price and cheap financing.  Those things are generally well made, reliable workhorses, and one should easily last you 10 years or more, depending on how many miles you drive.  You need to do your homework on financing, discounts, and rebates, but it might be a good solution for you.  I hate repairing cars because it's time consuming and stressful and my time and peace of mind are valuable to me.  It's also very difficult around here to find well maintained and undamaged used cars at reasonable prices, even from private parties.  I therefore consciously make the choice to buy new.

LOL! Yes I am going to go with a reliable brand (used or new) and it will be under 20k. My current car was 28k. I am SO happy I didn't finance it, because it is a discontinued piece of shit junker. Lost SO much valuation. I'd be in worse if I had bought this thing.

Yes very difficult around here, and so many car deals. I will do my homework for sure.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #56 on: January 01, 2018, 05:37:33 PM »
What cat food are you buying and what are you paying for it? I have a cat with urinary issues and ended up going with Royal canin S/O. It can be bought in 17.5 lb bags for much cheaper per lb than the 4 lb bag. I used to pay $70 per bag at pet smart but found it on www.chewy.com for $53ish per bag with auto ship. You just mail them your prescription and they ship it to your door for free.
It is actually not cheaper to feed all 3 cats the same food. Any non prescription food can be bought for much cheaper than $55-70 per bag, but it requires the hassle of locking up the prescription needing cat during meal time and picking up all the food afterwards. I used to accomplish this when I had 4 cats by locking prescription cat up in the closet for 9 hrs at night. Now that we are down to 2 cats and in a different house with different space it's just easier to feed both the expensive food.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #57 on: January 01, 2018, 05:38:18 PM »
Good heavens, no. Not at all on the same level as Whole Foods though the quality of the food is good. Staples like a loaf of bread I find to be cheaper. If you have a food allergy I find it easier because their prepared foods are much closer to something you would cook at home than the stuff at Safeway made with five hundred ingredients.

Well, I have paid attention to what I consume over the last 1.5 years. Prior to that it was fast food and eating out, then I switched to cooking at home with raw ingredients (no pre made sauces) AND I also make fruit smoothies with my own fruit. So I will definitely check out trader joes on the weekend soon and see what kind of deals there are! :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #58 on: January 01, 2018, 05:42:19 PM »
What cat food are you buying and what are you paying for it? I have a cat with urinary issues and ended up going with Royal canin S/O. It can be bought in 17.5 lb bags for much cheaper per lb than the 4 lb bag. I used to pay $70 per bag at pet smart but found it on www.chewy.com for $53ish per bag with auto ship. You just mail them your prescription and they ship it to your door for free.
It is actually not cheaper to feed all 3 cats the same food. Any non prescription food can be bought for much cheaper than $55-70 per bag, but it requires the hassle of locking up the prescription needing cat during meal time and picking up all the food afterwards. I used to accomplish this when I had 4 cats by locking prescription cat up in the closet for 9 hrs at night. Now that we are down to 2 cats and in a different house with different space it's just easier to feed both the expensive food.

I also buy Royal Canin S/O - recommended by my vet. I have to tell you....seeing my cat in pain knowing something was off and rushing him to the ER was a super shitty moment. Poor baby was 100% blocked and had to be in the ER for two days ALL because of effing crystallization caused by food (I had blue buffalo prior too!). I'm so happy I noticed something was off before the blockage killed him...

For a 7.7lb bag I pay $40 at the vet. I went to 2 stores in person and asked if they had any and they didn't stock it. I will check out chewy!! Thank you.

Well it's saved me money to feed them all the same brand. I was buying blue buffalo then instinct for $20 ish a bag and feeding the other cats that. Then I switched to just royal canin and save money. The reason I'm not feeding my other 2 cats a shitty/cheap brand is because I don't want them to end up in the hospital with issues (costing me more).

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #59 on: January 01, 2018, 06:13:18 PM »
No one here is going to endorse your car logic.  New cars, and particularly leasing new cars, are the worst financial mistakes most people make.

If you buy a 5-year-old Honda (check the Carfax) it will be just as reliable as a new car costing you 2 to 3 times as much money. 

I drive a 2002 Subaru (bought about 10 years ago for around $9k) and my wife drives a 2007 Honda Accord (bought 3 years ago for around $6k).  We haven't had a car payment in years.  Subarus are a bit controversial here so I won't recommend them (despite my good experience), but it has had minimal repair costs and my wife's Honda has performed flawlessly.  Our maintenance costs are far less than what you're paying to rent a car.

In theory, you are correct.  However, my experience is that it is very difficult to buy a used car in good mechanical condition with no damage at a reasonable price.  And I have decades of car buying experience in the OP's used car market.

I can buy a new Corolla LE for less than $18k out the door because of discounts, rebates, and my negotiating skills.  A two year old certified used is not going to be that much less.  And you are spinning the roulette wheel to buy private party, especially if you don't have a trusted mechanic to look it over.  I suspect that's the case with the OP.  The OP values not having to deal with car issues - he has a demanding job.  The extra cost may be worth it to him as it is to me.  After he cleans up his financial mess and quits wasting money on other things, the car will be a minor part of his financial world.

In my view, the OP would do well to minimize the car stress and use his energy to get all the other spending under control and pay off the debt.  He can ramp up his savings and investing as he gets to the end of the debt payoff, which will insulate him from future shocks.  Based on what he has said, doing things this way will make him happier in the long run.

ysette9

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28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #60 on: January 01, 2018, 07:25:31 PM »
Hmm, I live in the same area and have bought several used cars successfully using the method I outlined earlier in the thread. I can’t believe I’m on the MMM forums reading someone endorsing buying cars new, especially when the OP is in debt. Our net worth is a seven figures and both of our cars were bought used.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #61 on: January 01, 2018, 07:49:47 PM »
Hmm, I live in the same area and have bought several used cars successfully using the method I outlined earlier in the thread. I canít believe Iím on the MMM forums reading someone endorsing buying cars new, especially when the OP is in debt. Our net worth is a seven figures and both of our cars were bought used.

Well, get over your disbelief.  There is not one right solution to every problem in MMM land.  In the OP's case, he has shown no interest in or skill with dealing with cars.  Despite his serious debt problem, he appears to have seen the light and is serious about cleaning up the financial mess.  The last thing he needs to do is make the wrong car purchase, finance it at a ridiculous used car interest rate because he has no cash, and then have to deal with a $2,500 repair because he did not have the skills needed to buy a reliable car.


Broadway2019

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #62 on: January 01, 2018, 08:02:44 PM »
Hmm, I live in the same area and have bought several used cars successfully using the method I outlined earlier in the thread. I canít believe Iím on the MMM forums reading someone endorsing buying cars new, especially when the OP is in debt. Our net worth is a seven figures and both of our cars were bought used.

Well, get over your disbelief.  There is not one right solution to every problem in MMM land.  In the OP's case, he has shown no interest in or skill with dealing with cars.  Despite his serious debt problem, he appears to have seen the light and is serious about cleaning up the financial mess.  The last thing he needs to do is make the wrong car purchase, finance it at a ridiculous used car interest rate because he has no cash, and then have to deal with a $2,500 repair because he did not have the skills needed to buy a reliable car.

I agree with buying new cars and usually keep it to myself on here. LOL. I realize many on here disagree too. However, everyone has different interests and is in different situation. Some people don't know about fixing cars and don't want to. I am in that camp. I much rather buy a new car under warranty then take a gamble with a used car. A few months ago I actually tried to find a low mileage car in decent shape and found everything I looked at was near what I could get a new car for. There is not a bunch of low mileage cars for great prices just sitting there. Dealers are marking up used ones near new prices which equals not much savings when factoring in miles, how many years old is it, outdated technology or body, and piece of mind. I tried private party too and did not have any luck.

Good for the people that actually find these great deals on used cars, but I am not one of them.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #63 on: January 01, 2018, 08:09:30 PM »
Hmm, I live in the same area and have bought several used cars successfully using the method I outlined earlier in the thread. I canít believe Iím on the MMM forums reading someone endorsing buying cars new, especially when the OP is in debt. Our net worth is a seven figures and both of our cars were bought used.

Well, get over your disbelief.  There is not one right solution to every problem in MMM land.  In the OP's case, he has shown no interest in or skill with dealing with cars.  Despite his serious debt problem, he appears to have seen the light and is serious about cleaning up the financial mess.  The last thing he needs to do is make the wrong car purchase, finance it at a ridiculous used car interest rate because he has no cash, and then have to deal with a $2,500 repair because he did not have the skills needed to buy a reliable car.

I agree with buying new cars and usually keep it to myself on here. LOL. I realize many on here disagree too. However, everyone has different interests and is in different situation. Some people don't know about fixing cars and don't want to. I am in that camp. I much rather buy a new car under warranty then take a gamble with a used car. A few months ago I actually tried to find a low mileage car in decent shape and found everything I looked at was near what I could get a new car for. There is not a bunch of low mileage cars for great prices just sitting there. Dealers are marking up used ones near new prices which equals not much savings when factoring in miles, how many years old is it, outdated technology or body, and piece of mind. I tried private party too and did not have any luck.

Good for the people that actually find these great deals on used cars, but I am not one of them.

Yes thank you. My serious debt problem was all from stupid credit card purchases (a large amount was also to car repairs on a used car and random emergencies over the years). But my day to day cash spending was also very stupid/careless. That's all changed within the last 12-18 months. Just really recently even more so (after unemployment).

I can't afford repairs, but I also know not to purchase a car beyond my means. That's why I think it's fair to buy a new/used car for $20k or under with a great warranty for many years.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #64 on: January 01, 2018, 08:30:27 PM »
In addition, if you buy a Toyota, you get the first two years or 24,000 miles of maintenance thrown in.  Not worth a lot of money, but oil changes and tire rotations are paid for with the car.  You should be past your debt issues by the time you need to pay to get the car serviced.  You should get good gas mileage, probably high twenties to thirty overall.  It's enough car to visit the out of town family comfortably and you should get at least 30 mpg on the trip.

ysette9

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #65 on: January 02, 2018, 08:56:47 AM »
I’m still going to push back, in the spirit of the fact that this is the MMM forums after all.
I know nothing about cars and have no interest in doing my own repairs. Nevertheless, I have successfully bought high-quality used cars on multiple occasions using the guidance I provided up-thread. There is nothing magical about it. You simply pay an expert for their expert opinion before purchasing anything (mechanic). This costs $250 or so versus the thousands extra you will pay for a new car (depreciation is a bitch initially). Buy a car that is 2-4 years old if you want that new feel and smell and are afraid of repairs. Buy a car brand and model that has a proven history of being reliable (Consumer Reports). It isn’t that tough.

With cars, used or new, you will still need to pay for regular maintenance. That can be upwards of $500 at a time. You have to plan for these expenses regardless because that is part of car ownership. That is why MMM talks so much about getting rid of cars if you possibly can because there is no way around it: cars are expensive. The way to reduce those expenses is to buy a used, small, fuel-efficient, reliable car.

I’m not going to post anymore about this subject since it seems to be falling on deaf ears. Good luck educating yourself on personal finance topics and un-learning some bad things you have picked up along the way.

I think I’ll head over to the thread on how these forums are going soft now. :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #66 on: January 02, 2018, 09:06:46 AM »
A family member of mine bought a non-MMM endorsed vehicle (Honda C-RV) used. The old owner traded it in after a year to move up to an Audi. So the used car was scooped up for a cool $5000 less than a new one. I think deals are out there! I bought a new car on finance myself recently and I REALLY regret it. I wish I had paid cash for something I could afford.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #67 on: January 02, 2018, 10:04:15 AM »
Not trying to be rude but this is the MMM forum right?? YOUR HAIR IS ON FIRE!!! THIS IS A DEBT EMERGENCY!!! Even $20k for a car is A LOT of money!!! I understand you can't pay cash and need to finance but there's definitely some great maintenance-free cars for closer to $10k. How much do you drive everyday? Can any of this be reduced?  I know you have to do errands in a car at work sometimes but are there days you could walk/bike/public transit instead? It's going to be tough and it's going to take a lot of creative solutions but you'll be able to pay off this debt faster if you cut in every possible area.

So no more lunches at work, find ways to cook for cheaper (I've ordered food w/friends before from nutstop.com in bulk before to save on beans/rice/peanuts), no sling, no gym, get out of that ridiculous phone situation and when you find a company that will buy you out of it get the cheapest phones possible. You're living outside of your means and have been for a long time. It's tough to make these cuts but people do it all the time. You got this and we're all here to cheer for you along the way but you have got to flex those frugal muscles and annihilate this debt!

zinnie

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #68 on: January 02, 2018, 10:33:25 AM »
Smart & Final is another low-cost grocery option in your area. It has a limited selection but what they carry is very well priced. I find Safeway to be one of my more expensive options, and mostly use it when I can't find something at other places. I divide between Smart & Final, Sprouts, and Trader Joe's for the most part. Produce is the least at Smart & Final and they have bulk bins, TJs is good for low prices on fancier items (cheeses, pancetta, mushrooms, butter, canned tomatoes, olives, chocolate), and I like Sprouts for bulk bins and produce that S&F doesn't have. Also check out produce markets, and don't be afraid of "ugly" produce. California has a ton of these kinds of markets. I go to one that has crazy low prices on the produce that wasn't pretty enough and/or cylindrical enough for places like Safeway. 

Looking at this from an outside perspective, your car costs are CRAZY between the lease and your insurance rate. Remember that a cheaper car costs less to insure, as well. I have a 2007 Honda Civic with 80k miles that is in excellent condition and is worth ~$4-5k in my area. You could easily buy a car like this--finance it is you have to--but at least at the end of a year or two you would own a reliable car and not have to pay so much every month for the rest of your life.

I would also focus on getting your fiance on board with a shared financial plan before you get married. You're going to need a plan that the two of you are both all in on if you want to be financially healthy.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #69 on: January 02, 2018, 11:47:08 AM »
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!

My parents thought this too for a very long time... I was like actually Trader Joe's is pretty affordable and definitely some stuff is cheaper (or at least the same price) as your regular Safeway/Ralphs/etc. The only downside is less choice (like, only 2 coffee creamer choices instead of 20) but it's great for a budget shopper.

I'd honestly finance a $10k car and call it a day. Also yes, T-Mobile and Sprint will buy you out of your contract.

Laura33

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #70 on: January 02, 2018, 11:59:54 AM »
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.

. . . .

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

Right.  So one more shot:  yes, older cars will involve maintenance that is not covered by warranty.  The good news is that they also cost significantly less, so you have more room in your budget to plan for those repairs.  And you need to plan that into your budget regardless of what you buy, because even brand-new cars need things like oil changes and tires.  So if you think you have $250/mo. free, limit yourself to a car that you can swing for $200/mo., and then save that extra $50/mo. in a "shit happens" fund.  You may not be able to do this now, when every penny needs to go to the debt -- but it is critical once that debt is gone.  Because shit always happens.

And you don't buy a first-year model because many times the manufacturers don't have all the kinks worked out.  [Ask me how I know]

FWIW, I get the sense that your car-buying focus is driven by a significant degree of what's "cool."  You have clearly come around to the need to economize, but I don't think you've really let go of the desire to have a spanky new car, so you rationalize that choice as, well, I need a new car because it has to be reliable and I can't afford repairs and and and.  The problem is that you cannot afford cool right now.  If your primary worry is truly reliability, a brand-new Hyundai Accent lists at $14K, a Toyota Yaris at $15K (and of course you won't pay list).  But here's the secret:  if you buy a used version, you also get the balance of the warranty (you don't even need "certified used" for that), so you should easily be able to pick up a lightly-used one of those for under $10K that comes with the protection you want.   

I'd suggest looking at your situation logically, not emotionally.  No. 1:  This focus on reliability is emotional, not logical.  The reality is that almost everything that goes wrong with cars in their first 8-10 years is NOT covered by warranty.  You live in a temperate climate, so you don't have to worry much about flooding or corrosion or extreme temperatures, which means that a properly-maintained, boring, reliable vehicle should last for at least 200,000 miles.  The odds of you picking a crappy one are small if you do the research. 

No. 2:  Remember that you are looking at a limited time.  Your budget cannot handle unexpected costs right now, because you have massive debt on a single income.  OK.  How long is that going to last -- a year?  Maybe two?  So the reality is that you don't need a car that is reliable forever -- you just need one that will make it through the next couple of years.  So why lock yourself into a permanent solution to a temporary problem?

Put those together, and it is clear that the advantage provided by a new car is that IF it breaks down, and IF that is caused by something covered under warranty, and IF that happens within the next two years, you won't have to put the repairs back on your CC.  OK.  What is the likelihood of that actually happening with something like a 2012 Yaris?  Answer:  really, really, really low.  And what is the cost if it does?  What, another month or two to get the debt paid off?  Paying an extra $10K+ on a spanky new car, simply to avoid the risk of something that isn't going to happen over the next two years, and that would cost you a small fraction of that figure if it did, is an emotional decision, not a smart financial one.

So, again, I would recommend buying the cheapest, least-cool, most reliable POS you can find, which should keep you well under $10K (and yes, every dealer and every credit union will finance a used car).  Then, once you have the debt paid off and have established a reasonable emergency fund, if you still want a cool new car, you can start saving for it.  It doesn't have to be "never" -- it just cannot be "right now." 

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #71 on: January 02, 2018, 01:22:06 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.).

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #72 on: January 02, 2018, 01:24:08 PM »
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.

. . . .

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

Right.  So one more shot:  yes, older cars will involve maintenance that is not covered by warranty.  The good news is that they also cost significantly less, so you have more room in your budget to plan for those repairs.  And you need to plan that into your budget regardless of what you buy, because even brand-new cars need things like oil changes and tires.  So if you think you have $250/mo. free, limit yourself to a car that you can swing for $200/mo., and then save that extra $50/mo. in a "shit happens" fund.  You may not be able to do this now, when every penny needs to go to the debt -- but it is critical once that debt is gone.  Because shit always happens.

And you don't buy a first-year model because many times the manufacturers don't have all the kinks worked out.  [Ask me how I know]

FWIW, I get the sense that your car-buying focus is driven by a significant degree of what's "cool."  You have clearly come around to the need to economize, but I don't think you've really let go of the desire to have a spanky new car, so you rationalize that choice as, well, I need a new car because it has to be reliable and I can't afford repairs and and and.  The problem is that you cannot afford cool right now.  If your primary worry is truly reliability, a brand-new Hyundai Accent lists at $14K, a Toyota Yaris at $15K (and of course you won't pay list).  But here's the secret:  if you buy a used version, you also get the balance of the warranty (you don't even need "certified used" for that), so you should easily be able to pick up a lightly-used one of those for under $10K that comes with the protection you want.   

I'd suggest looking at your situation logically, not emotionally.  No. 1:  This focus on reliability is emotional, not logical.  The reality is that almost everything that goes wrong with cars in their first 8-10 years is NOT covered by warranty.  You live in a temperate climate, so you don't have to worry much about flooding or corrosion or extreme temperatures, which means that a properly-maintained, boring, reliable vehicle should last for at least 200,000 miles.  The odds of you picking a crappy one are small if you do the research. 

No. 2:  Remember that you are looking at a limited time.  Your budget cannot handle unexpected costs right now, because you have massive debt on a single income.  OK.  How long is that going to last -- a year?  Maybe two?  So the reality is that you don't need a car that is reliable forever -- you just need one that will make it through the next couple of years.  So why lock yourself into a permanent solution to a temporary problem?

Put those together, and it is clear that the advantage provided by a new car is that IF it breaks down, and IF that is caused by something covered under warranty, and IF that happens within the next two years, you won't have to put the repairs back on your CC.  OK.  What is the likelihood of that actually happening with something like a 2012 Yaris?  Answer:  really, really, really low.  And what is the cost if it does?  What, another month or two to get the debt paid off?  Paying an extra $10K+ on a spanky new car, simply to avoid the risk of something that isn't going to happen over the next two years, and that would cost you a small fraction of that figure if it did, is an emotional decision, not a smart financial one.

So, again, I would recommend buying the cheapest, least-cool, most reliable POS you can find, which should keep you well under $10K (and yes, every dealer and every credit union will finance a used car).  Then, once you have the debt paid off and have established a reasonable emergency fund, if you still want a cool new car, you can start saving for it.  It doesn't have to be "never" -- it just cannot be "right now."

Yes, when I got my Chrysler it was because of 1. Having a new car I didn't have to worry about 2. Something luxury and exciting I felt I earned. Today, I feel differently, I just want reliability and affordability. Used doesn't bother me as much at all, I don't need a brand new car. But I also won't be buying a POS that ''hopefully'' has no repairs come up. I need something that will be covered (major repairs) for the next couple years ahead. But I am definitely OK with spending $15k. My next car purchase will no matter what save me hundreds a month, that is definitely the plan!

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #73 on: January 02, 2018, 01:26:15 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!

My parents thought this too for a very long time... I was like actually Trader Joe's is pretty affordable and definitely some stuff is cheaper (or at least the same price) as your regular Safeway/Ralphs/etc. The only downside is less choice (like, only 2 coffee creamer choices instead of 20) but it's great for a budget shopper.

I'd honestly finance a $10k car and call it a day. Also yes, T-Mobile and Sprint will buy you out of your contract.

I used to be a part of Tmobile and Sprint, I left because the service was shit (but I think that's changed). Both bought out each others contracts (FYI Verizon was absolutely the WORST at this service).
When I get my phones paid down enough, I definitely plan on switching. I still owe to much that other phone companies won't cover.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #74 on: January 02, 2018, 01:28:10 PM »
Smart & Final is another low-cost grocery option in your area. It has a limited selection but what they carry is very well priced. I find Safeway to be one of my more expensive options, and mostly use it when I can't find something at other places. I divide between Smart & Final, Sprouts, and Trader Joe's for the most part. Produce is the least at Smart & Final and they have bulk bins, TJs is good for low prices on fancier items (cheeses, pancetta, mushrooms, butter, canned tomatoes, olives, chocolate), and I like Sprouts for bulk bins and produce that S&F doesn't have. Also check out produce markets, and don't be afraid of "ugly" produce. California has a ton of these kinds of markets. I go to one that has crazy low prices on the produce that wasn't pretty enough and/or cylindrical enough for places like Safeway. 

Looking at this from an outside perspective, your car costs are CRAZY between the lease and your insurance rate. Remember that a cheaper car costs less to insure, as well. I have a 2007 Honda Civic with 80k miles that is in excellent condition and is worth ~$4-5k in my area. You could easily buy a car like this--finance it is you have to--but at least at the end of a year or two you would own a reliable car and not have to pay so much every month for the rest of your life.

I would also focus on getting your fiance on board with a shared financial plan before you get married. You're going to need a plan that the two of you are both all in on if you want to be financially healthy.

Oh yeah my mom and step dad love shopping there. There are SO many grocery stores around me so I just need to find deals. Luckily I always buy the same things so that shouldn't be too hard.

Yes my car cost is outrageous, I'm so happy I didn't buy it. It's a POS now, will be looking at affordability and reliability for my next vehicle!

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #75 on: January 02, 2018, 01:29:51 PM »
Lots of advice, none of it really actionable for someone in the OP's position.  He uses his car daily for work, not just commuting.  He needs a reliable car with little to no cash in his pocket.  He has no positive experience with buying used cars and no mechanic to evaluate the car.  It's close to impossible to finance a private party sale, even if he knew what he was buying.  He would be stuck buying an overpriced used car at a dealer and financing it at a higher rate than a new car.

The OP's financial situation is precarious at best.  He needs to keep this job, so he must be there on time and run errands for his boss.  A couple of missed mornings because of car trouble and a few days of not being able to run errands because the car is in the shop might cost him the high paying job he just scored.

Buying a new car, even a cheap one, entails some risk.  Another job loss would be disastrous for the OP, especially with a car payment.  Laura's suggestion is right on target for someone kin the OP's position that could execute the purchase and had a job that was not car-dependent.  However, that's not the OP.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #76 on: January 02, 2018, 01:30:30 PM »
Not trying to be rude but this is the MMM forum right?? YOUR HAIR IS ON FIRE!!! THIS IS A DEBT EMERGENCY!!! Even $20k for a car is A LOT of money!!! I understand you can't pay cash and need to finance but there's definitely some great maintenance-free cars for closer to $10k. How much do you drive everyday? Can any of this be reduced?  I know you have to do errands in a car at work sometimes but are there days you could walk/bike/public transit instead? It's going to be tough and it's going to take a lot of creative solutions but you'll be able to pay off this debt faster if you cut in every possible area.

So no more lunches at work, find ways to cook for cheaper (I've ordered food w/friends before from nutstop.com in bulk before to save on beans/rice/peanuts), no sling, no gym, get out of that ridiculous phone situation and when you find a company that will buy you out of it get the cheapest phones possible. You're living outside of your means and have been for a long time. It's tough to make these cuts but people do it all the time. You got this and we're all here to cheer for you along the way but you have got to flex those frugal muscles and annihilate this debt!

Yeah that's why I was so close to bankruptcy, this will be a tough year for sure (and actually many years ahead) - but I am going to cut down a lot of bills in the coming months. I hate Verizon and hate that I'm stuck in their horrific contract, I wish there were a way out. I can't afford to switch to another carrier just yet.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #77 on: January 02, 2018, 01:47:09 PM »
T-mobile will pay up to $650 per phone to buy out contracts: https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans?icid=WMM_TM_Q217CARRIE_OYCWNWQUPJ8955

I haven't personally done this but one of my friends had mentioned this recently. Seems like it's worth looking into for you because it would get you out of the dreaded Verizon contract and while $120 a month for two phones isn't great it's less than half of what you're paying now. You'd likely have to finance phones again but you could pick ones that would work on Google Fi/Republic Wireless then after you pay off the phone with T-mobile (24mo) you could switch and lower this line item even more.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #78 on: January 02, 2018, 01:50:21 PM »
I can't believe all the whiney-pants-itis going on about used cars. There is no skill or knowledge needed. Just a tiny bit of smarts.

OP is in the Bay area I believe?  A 10-second search found this dealership with several Hondas around $10k:

https://www.sftoyota.com/used-inventory/index.htm?invtype=used&make=Honda&model=&tcdkwid=541925034&tcdcmpid=484626&tcdadid=191555159030&locale=en_US&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIl73Jt5G62AIVAlgNCh2gwQCEEAAYAiAAEgL9GfD_BwE

I'm sure there's plenty more to be found with a minimal amount of research.

A 5-7 year old Honda with 70-100k miles is not going to leave you stranded.

Sheesh.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 01:53:49 PM by Pizzabrewer »

LittleWanderer

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #79 on: January 02, 2018, 01:51:28 PM »
So you say you run errands for work a lot in your car.  Is work reimbursing you for those miles? 

AccidentalMiser

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #80 on: January 02, 2018, 01:54:55 PM »
MOVE.

Short of that, do everything Laura33 says.  She's the best advice-giver on this forum.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #81 on: January 02, 2018, 01:59:13 PM »
no mechanic to evaluate the car.

Seriously?

I assume he knows six people.

All you have to do is ask six people "do you have a mechanic you can recommend?"

That's all it takes.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #82 on: January 02, 2018, 02:07:27 PM »
T-mobile will pay up to $650 per phone to buy out contracts: https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans?icid=WMM_TM_Q217CARRIE_OYCWNWQUPJ8955

I haven't personally done this but one of my friends had mentioned this recently. Seems like it's worth looking into for you because it would get you out of the dreaded Verizon contract and while $120 a month for two phones isn't great it's less than half of what you're paying now. You'd likely have to finance phones again but you could pick ones that would work on Google Fi/Republic Wireless then after you pay off the phone with T-mobile (24mo) you could switch and lower this line item even more.

I've done it 3 times. It sometimes takes months to get the money from them (in the form of a Visa Gift Card) and horrible Verizon put HALF of the reimbursement on the phone bill which really annoyed me. For the first couple of months, if you have no cash, you will be paying way more. Also when going to a new phone company you need to pay a couple hundred when you sign up (tax on new phones, initiation fees etc).

Laura33

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #83 on: January 02, 2018, 02:29:00 PM »
Lots of advice, none of it really actionable for someone in the OP's position.  He uses his car daily for work, not just commuting.  He needs a reliable car with little to no cash in his pocket.  He has no positive experience with buying used cars and no mechanic to evaluate the car.  It's close to impossible to finance a private party sale, even if he knew what he was buying.  He would be stuck buying an overpriced used car at a dealer and financing it at a higher rate than a new car.

The OP's financial situation is precarious at best.  He needs to keep this job, so he must be there on time and run errands for his boss.  A couple of missed mornings because of car trouble and a few days of not being able to run errands because the car is in the shop might cost him the high paying job he just scored.

Buying a new car, even a cheap one, entails some risk.  Another job loss would be disastrous for the OP, especially with a car payment.  Laura's suggestion is right on target for someone kin the OP's position that could execute the purchase and had a job that was not car-dependent.  However, that's not the OP.

Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I have done all of the things I recommended here:  I have bought used cars from the dealer and gotten hundreds/thousands off the listed price; I have sold cars through private party sales to buyers who managed financing with their credit union/bank just fine; I have had dealers basically throw money at me to finance with them; I have driven cars for years and years and only been stranded twice -- and one of those was a brand spanking new car that my mom loaned me the money to buy because (irony alert) she was worried about my previous POS leaving me stranded (and the other was my own damn fault, because I was stupid enough to buy a BMW).  Oh, yeah, and I have also had 25 years of jobs that required a reliable car, including jobs that would happily dock my pay if I didn't show on time.  And yet somehow -- miraculously -- I was never fired because of car trouble, despite driving cars that averaged over 4 years old* over that entire time. 

And I am not remotely special.  Or even particularly Mustachian.  I am a fucking creampuff on these boards.

The fundamental problem is that all of the things I listed take effort.  They require research into different car makes and models and reliability history (how often does a 2012 Yaris actually leave you stranded?), and different financing options, and finding a local mechanic, and following car prices in the area until you can spot a deal, and learning enough about cars to spot a lemon, and learning to negotiate effectively, and figuring out fallback options in the event of a problem (Zipcar?  Uber/Lyft?), and a bunch of other stuff.  You never know what is possible until you actually try.  And it is pretty clear that the OP has no interest in doing that.  So, ok, take the easy way out, and pay an extra $10K for the illusion of reliability.  It's definitely better than the current lease -- and if that's the standard, then, well, good enough.

But this is the goddamn MMM forum.  Arguing that a new car is "necessary" is absolute, total bullshit -- especially when it is based on broad assertions about the impossibility of XYZ, and especially when pretty much everyone else here on this board has managed to accomplish XYZ just fine.  And even more to the point:  advocating for the easy way out, because doing anything else is just to haaaarrrrdd/risky, is antithetical to the ethos here -- especially when the guy's hair is on fire.  And you want to know the real kicker?  The mental attitude is far more important than the money -- that willingness to dive in and learn hard shit, to deal with adversity, to distrust the bullshit that MegaCorp throws at you, to do what is smart and right and good instead of what is easy, that is what leads to long-term success.  If you go through life talking yourself into buying shit you don't need with money you don't have to keep yourself safe from problems that won't happen, you will never escape consumer suckaville.

And with that, we've reached "teaching a pig to sing" territory, and all this pig is doing is getting annoyed, so I'm out.  OP, I wish you the best of luck in getting through this difficult pass.

*Toddler years by Mustachian standards; hobbling to the grave, apparently, here.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #84 on: January 02, 2018, 02:39:56 PM »
Lots of advice, none of it really actionable for someone in the OP's position.  He uses his car daily for work, not just commuting.  He needs a reliable car with little to no cash in his pocket.  He has no positive experience with buying used cars and no mechanic to evaluate the car.  It's close to impossible to finance a private party sale, even if he knew what he was buying.  He would be stuck buying an overpriced used car at a dealer and financing it at a higher rate than a new car.

The OP's financial situation is precarious at best.  He needs to keep this job, so he must be there on time and run errands for his boss.  A couple of missed mornings because of car trouble and a few days of not being able to run errands because the car is in the shop might cost him the high paying job he just scored.

Buying a new car, even a cheap one, entails some risk.  Another job loss would be disastrous for the OP, especially with a car payment.  Laura's suggestion is right on target for someone kin the OP's position that could execute the purchase and had a job that was not car-dependent.  However, that's not the OP.

Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I have done all of the things I recommended here:  I have bought used cars from the dealer and gotten hundreds/thousands off the listed price; I have sold cars through private party sales to buyers who managed financing with their credit union/bank just fine; I have had dealers basically throw money at me to finance with them; I have driven cars for years and years and only been stranded twice -- and one of those was a brand spanking new car that my mom loaned me the money to buy because (irony alert) she was worried about my previous POS leaving me stranded (and the other was my own damn fault, because I was stupid enough to buy a BMW).  Oh, yeah, and I have also had 25 years of jobs that required a reliable car, including jobs that would happily dock my pay if I didn't show on time.  And yet somehow -- miraculously -- I was never fired because of car trouble, despite driving cars that averaged over 4 years old* over that entire time. 

And I am not remotely special.  Or even particularly Mustachian.  I am a fucking creampuff on these boards.

The fundamental problem is that all of the things I listed take effort.  They require research into different car makes and models and reliability history (how often does a 2012 Yaris actually leave you stranded?), and different financing options, and finding a local mechanic, and following car prices in the area until you can spot a deal, and learning enough about cars to spot a lemon, and learning to negotiate effectively, and figuring out fallback options in the event of a problem (Zipcar?  Uber/Lyft?), and a bunch of other stuff.  You never know what is possible until you actually try.  And it is pretty clear that the OP has no interest in doing that.  So, ok, take the easy way out, and pay an extra $10K for the illusion of reliability.  It's definitely better than the current lease -- and if that's the standard, then, well, good enough.

But this is the goddamn MMM forum.  Arguing that a new car is "necessary" is absolute, total bullshit -- especially when it is based on broad assertions about the impossibility of XYZ, and especially when pretty much everyone else here on this board has managed to accomplish XYZ just fine.  And even more to the point:  advocating for the easy way out, because doing anything else is just to haaaarrrrdd/risky, is antithetical to the ethos here -- especially when the guy's hair is on fire.  And you want to know the real kicker?  The mental attitude is far more important than the money -- that willingness to dive in and learn hard shit, to deal with adversity, to distrust the bullshit that MegaCorp throws at you, to do what is smart and right and good instead of what is easy, that is what leads to long-term success.  If you go through life talking yourself into buying shit you don't need with money you don't have to keep yourself safe from problems that won't happen, you will never escape consumer suckaville.

And with that, we've reached "teaching a pig to sing" territory, and all this pig is doing is getting annoyed, so I'm out.  OP, I wish you the best of luck in getting through this difficult pass.

*Toddler years by Mustachian standards; hobbling to the grave, apparently, here.

Ah! People are arguing on my behalf.

Couple of things...I do know a mechanic, one my entire family uses - who had fixed my previous used cars many times.
Another thing, when I got this lease 3 years ago, I was financially better. I had gotten a raise making 84K a year and felt I deserved a reward, so I got myself a 28k lease. At the time it was manageable, then the years of shit credit card purchases, fiance and I being unemployed a combined 10 months...that's what made it difficult ($20k cc debt during this time).

Lastly, I don't mind buying a used car. No, I will not buy a 2007 with 80k miles on it - I just won't, but I don't mind buying a 2014 for thousands less than new cars.

I'll take everyone's advice and do my research.

Bicycle_B

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #85 on: January 02, 2018, 02:45:07 PM »
HelpMe, the wisest advisor on these boards is usually Laura33; ignore her advice at the peril of your pocketbook.

I am putting my 2 cents in because you chose your own screen name.  As a literalist, I interpret your screen name to mean that you need help.  Your responses in this thread indicate the name was a good choice. Since you haven't bought your car yet, please listen.

You can buy a good used car for 4k to 10k.  If you add $4k in repairs to that, it will be cheaper than a 15k car.  Add 4k to 10k, you'll see it's less than 15k.  Your 15k proposed car purchase is not financially your best option.  Follow Ysette9's suggestions.  Since you got a Sofi loan, your credit is good enough to float a personal note for the purchase if you have to.

By doing other savings moves in the next 2 months, you can accumulate part of the needed cash. 

IN my first 30 years of buying cars, I bought 5 used cars.  All were excellent.  I didn't buy from dealers, rather from private parties.  Today my source would be Craigslist private sellers.  I have no mechanical skills, I just did the same technique as Ysette9.  I highly recommend following the suggestion of the other poster who said ask around to find good mechanics.  Google and Yelp may help you too; search for ones who evaluate used cars.  Pro tip:  if you bring a car to the mechanic and he says "How much did they want for that?... If you don't buy it, I'd like it", you have a winner.

Re groceries, pack your lunch.  Also use Google and cook your own food, you can get under $200/person easily with no restaurants at all. Google "cook quick cheap (food style of your choice) at home", you'll get answers.

For a group with more expertise than us about wanting nice things and getting out of debt, call or meet with Debtors Anonymous.  Everyone there knows what it's like to get out from crushing debt.  Anyway, good luck.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 03:00:20 PM by Bicycle_B »

YoungGranny

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #86 on: January 02, 2018, 02:59:11 PM »
T-mobile will pay up to $650 per phone to buy out contracts: https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans?icid=WMM_TM_Q217CARRIE_OYCWNWQUPJ8955

I haven't personally done this but one of my friends had mentioned this recently. Seems like it's worth looking into for you because it would get you out of the dreaded Verizon contract and while $120 a month for two phones isn't great it's less than half of what you're paying now. You'd likely have to finance phones again but you could pick ones that would work on Google Fi/Republic Wireless then after you pay off the phone with T-mobile (24mo) you could switch and lower this line item even more.

I've done it 3 times. It sometimes takes months to get the money from them (in the form of a Visa Gift Card) and horrible Verizon put HALF of the reimbursement on the phone bill which really annoyed me. For the first couple of months, if you have no cash, you will be paying way more. Also when going to a new phone company you need to pay a couple hundred when you sign up (tax on new phones, initiation fees etc).

Helpful information. If it costs a couple hundred to switch then as soon as you can jump over to Republic wireless. The moto E costs $129 so you can get new phones and a way cheaper monthly bill for the same cost as sign-up fees.

Until then focus on areas you can cut spending.

Since the car debate is heating up I wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I used to be terribly afraid of older cars with high miles. To me, anything over 75-80k meant my car could obviously break down at any minute. Now our main vehicle is a 2007 Civic with 107k on it and I never worry about breaking down. We have a mechanic we trust and we take care of it but we don't spend more than a couple hundred a year on average. I know you had a lemon in the past but do your research and don't be afraid of cars if you buy smart used cars will still last for a long, long time.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #87 on: January 02, 2018, 03:09:30 PM »
Ah, Laura333, you are my hero. :)

Finding a mechanic is not tough. Just pull up your Yelp app and find one with good ratings. It is as easy as finding someplace good to go out to for dinner.

As for not wanting to buy a 2007..... I don’t even have words.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #88 on: January 02, 2018, 03:18:17 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.

Check with your renters insurance to see about the cost of insuring the ring through a rider. It's got to be cheaper than $89. But to be clear, I do not think you should re-up. My ring has enough carats to hurt your eyes but I don't insure it. I just don't lose it.

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).

Get spray bottles (for cleaning). Fill half with vinegar, half with water. It cleans damn near everything. The only cleaning specific supplies I buy are bath and tub cleaner from dollar general (it's seriously good and seriously cheap) and knock off magic erasers.

You can buy dish soap on BOGO sale. I pour some in spray bottles, dilute it and spray on dishes. It makes it go a lot further. Check toothpaste prices online. If you don't color your hair, and especially if your hair is short, you can wash your hair with baking soda and water and then condition it with apple cider vinegar. I used to do that and it left my hair very soft and manageable. I've read it can damage your hair over time (and it'll strip color) but I've always had short hair so I cut it before anything is too damaged. If I had hair on fire debt, I'd be using that again. For tp and paper towels, look for an aldi near you. Shoot, for everything, look for an aldi. I have a family of 5 and our grocery bill is $675/mo so $500 for two is crazy.

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?

In the long run, you may want to establish a second checking account that is his alone and maybe one that's just yours. All your money should go into a joint account and then each of you should have a monthly allowance transferred into your personal accounts. You can each spend it on whatever you want. That may help him stick to a budgeted amount.

Right now, though, you can't afford that.

Also, I have two cats and buy world's best clumping cat litter and good cat food and spend NOWHERE near that much. I spend about $40/mo. I understand one cat has dietary problems but, still, I can't fathom how you're spending $120/mo. As much as I love my flushable cat litter, in your shoes, they'd be getting the cheapest stuff that'll do the trick.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #89 on: January 02, 2018, 03:27:08 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.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #90 on: January 02, 2018, 03:31:25 PM »
Guys! I just got home from the bank (rent) and found my fiances credit card in the freezer. He hadn't been using it as of recent - but I was talking to him about this new forum (this post) I'm on and found that.
WOOH!

Baby steps...

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #91 on: January 02, 2018, 03:32:50 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....

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #92 on: January 02, 2018, 03:34:50 PM »
T-mobile will pay up to $650 per phone to buy out contracts: https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans?icid=WMM_TM_Q217CARRIE_OYCWNWQUPJ8955

I haven't personally done this but one of my friends had mentioned this recently. Seems like it's worth looking into for you because it would get you out of the dreaded Verizon contract and while $120 a month for two phones isn't great it's less than half of what you're paying now. You'd likely have to finance phones again but you could pick ones that would work on Google Fi/Republic Wireless then after you pay off the phone with T-mobile (24mo) you could switch and lower this line item even more.

I've done it 3 times. It sometimes takes months to get the money from them (in the form of a Visa Gift Card) and horrible Verizon put HALF of the reimbursement on the phone bill which really annoyed me. For the first couple of months, if you have no cash, you will be paying way more. Also when going to a new phone company you need to pay a couple hundred when you sign up (tax on new phones, initiation fees etc).

Helpful information. If it costs a couple hundred to switch then as soon as you can jump over to Republic wireless. The moto E costs $129 so you can get new phones and a way cheaper monthly bill for the same cost as sign-up fees.

Until then focus on areas you can cut spending.

Since the car debate is heating up I wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I used to be terribly afraid of older cars with high miles. To me, anything over 75-80k meant my car could obviously break down at any minute. Now our main vehicle is a 2007 Civic with 107k on it and I never worry about breaking down. We have a mechanic we trust and we take care of it but we don't spend more than a couple hundred a year on average. I know you had a lemon in the past but do your research and don't be afraid of cars if you buy smart used cars will still last for a long, long time.

There's that, Metro, Google Fi, a few others I am keeping my eye on. The goal is to get a reliable phone that lasts for years (i.e. not bullshit iPhones, which I don't have anyways).

It seems Honda and Toyota are good brands...so if I am to go used I will probably go that route. I will do my research, thank you :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #93 on: January 02, 2018, 03:37:44 PM »
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.

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

Chevy Corsica and Isuzu Rodeo are both shit cars. I'm not a car person but I know enough to not judge a used car by those stinkers.

I'm driving an '08 Highlander (I've got 3 kids so I need the space) that I got used in '11. I have had ZERO problems with it (I can email you my maintenance records to prove it, lol) and I've now got over 100k miles on it. I researched the hell out of that bitch before I bought it. I'm planning on driving it until at least one kid is out of the house, so another 8 years minimum.

The car retailed brand new for $30k. When I bought it, certified preowned, with 30k miles on it, I paid around $24k. So I received a 20% discount for letting someone drive it for 30k miles. And the person who drove it 30K miles paid $6k.

It is a bad decision financially to buy a car brand new because depreciation is highest when the car is new. The older the car is, the slower the rate of depreciation. The value of a car goes down the moment you drive it off the lot.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #94 on: January 02, 2018, 03:39:19 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.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #95 on: January 02, 2018, 03:45:03 PM »
HelpMe, the wisest advisor on these boards is usually Laura33; ignore her advice at the peril of your pocketbook.

I am putting my 2 cents in because you chose your own screen name.  As a literalist, I interpret your screen name to mean that you need help.  Your responses in this thread indicate the name was a good choice. Since you haven't bought your car yet, please listen.

You can buy a good used car for 4k to 10k.  If you add $4k in repairs to that, it will be cheaper than a 15k car.  Add 4k to 10k, you'll see it's less than 15k.  Your 15k proposed car purchase is not financially your best option.  Follow Ysette9's suggestions.  Since you got a Sofi loan, your credit is good enough to float a personal note for the purchase if you have to.

By doing other savings moves in the next 2 months, you can accumulate part of the needed cash. 

IN my first 30 years of buying cars, I bought 5 used cars.  All were excellent.  I didn't buy from dealers, rather from private parties.  Today my source would be Craigslist private sellers.  I have no mechanical skills, I just did the same technique as Ysette9.  I highly recommend following the suggestion of the other poster who said ask around to find good mechanics.  Google and Yelp may help you too; search for ones who evaluate used cars.  Pro tip:  if you bring a car to the mechanic and he says "How much did they want for that?... If you don't buy it, I'd like it", you have a winner.

Re groceries, pack your lunch.  Also use Google and cook your own food, you can get under $200/person easily with no restaurants at all. Google "cook quick cheap (food style of your choice) at home", you'll get answers.

For a group with more expertise than us about wanting nice things and getting out of debt, call or meet with Debtors Anonymous.  Everyone there knows what it's like to get out from crushing debt.  Anyway, good luck.

YES! I do need help :).

I will be researching used cars, and financing through my bank since I have no way of accumulating enough cash in a few months. Recovering from unemployment is a long path. BUT, I'm definitely not opposed to buying used.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #96 on: January 02, 2018, 03:46:13 PM »
Lots of advice, none of it really actionable for someone in the OP's position.  He uses his car daily for work, not just commuting.  He needs a reliable car with little to no cash in his pocket.  He has no positive experience with buying used cars and no mechanic to evaluate the car.  It's close to impossible to finance a private party sale, even if he knew what he was buying.  He would be stuck buying an overpriced used car at a dealer and financing it at a higher rate than a new car.

The OP's financial situation is precarious at best.  He needs to keep this job, so he must be there on time and run errands for his boss.  A couple of missed mornings because of car trouble and a few days of not being able to run errands because the car is in the shop might cost him the high paying job he just scored.

Buying a new car, even a cheap one, entails some risk.  Another job loss would be disastrous for the OP, especially with a car payment.  Laura's suggestion is right on target for someone kin the OP's position that could execute the purchase and had a job that was not car-dependent.  However, that's not the OP.

And yet in your detailed study of what the OP needs, you have failed to notice that she is a she...

:)

I'm a he, just a gay he. I assume you got that I was a she from me calling my fiance a he, but we are both men :p

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #97 on: January 02, 2018, 03:47:23 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.

Help Me :)

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #98 on: January 02, 2018, 03:55:36 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.

Check with your renters insurance to see about the cost of insuring the ring through a rider. It's got to be cheaper than $89. But to be clear, I do not think you should re-up. My ring has enough carats to hurt your eyes but I don't insure it. I just don't lose it.

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).

Get spray bottles (for cleaning). Fill half with vinegar, half with water. It cleans damn near everything. The only cleaning specific supplies I buy are bath and tub cleaner from dollar general (it's seriously good and seriously cheap) and knock off magic erasers.

You can buy dish soap on BOGO sale. I pour some in spray bottles, dilute it and spray on dishes. It makes it go a lot further. Check toothpaste prices online. If you don't color your hair, and especially if your hair is short, you can wash your hair with baking soda and water and then condition it with apple cider vinegar. I used to do that and it left my hair very soft and manageable. I've read it can damage your hair over time (and it'll strip color) but I've always had short hair so I cut it before anything is too damaged. If I had hair on fire debt, I'd be using that again. For tp and paper towels, look for an aldi near you. Shoot, for everything, look for an aldi. I have a family of 5 and our grocery bill is $675/mo so $500 for two is crazy.

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?

In the long run, you may want to establish a second checking account that is his alone and maybe one that's just yours. All your money should go into a joint account and then each of you should have a monthly allowance transferred into your personal accounts. You can each spend it on whatever you want. That may help him stick to a budgeted amount.

Right now, though, you can't afford that.

Also, I have two cats and buy world's best clumping cat litter and good cat food and spend NOWHERE near that much. I spend about $40/mo. I understand one cat has dietary problems but, still, I can't fathom how you're spending $120/mo. As much as I love my flushable cat litter, in your shoes, they'd be getting the cheapest stuff that'll do the trick.

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.

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Re: 28yr old $95k a yr salary | Previously Unemployed - Almost Bankrupt
« Reply #99 on: January 02, 2018, 04:12:50 PM »
Nice move on freezing the credit card! Yes, baby steps.