Author Topic: Any others working on their debts?  (Read 28497 times)

SarahMD428

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #50 on: June 07, 2015, 10:34:41 AM »
Hubs and I have been on here since January. We've now paid off $14,650 in debt. (He got a raise and I decreased my tax withholdings. We cuy spending a tad.) Next on the list is maxing out his 401k. After that, I have no idea. I'm going to have to learn more between now and the end of the year. I don't want to put more down on the mortgage because we live near an expanding airport and we will probably be bought out in a decade. We're so underwater on it, I think we'll be sinking money in for no reason. I'm currently a teacher, so no 401k for me. Maybe max out Roth IRAs and HSA?? Any suggestions, or is this a bad place to ask - being that we're on the debt side of MMM? :)

sleepyguy

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #51 on: June 07, 2015, 10:54:59 AM »
We've been quite fortunate that we pretty much never had any debt except for mortgage.  GF paid her way through school with p/t jobs, a while I decided school is too boring and dropped out.

Currently just working on 2 mortgages, our primary residence and an investment property.  We're thinking of getting a 3rd soon but the market is just too high in our area.

surfhb

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #52 on: June 07, 2015, 11:00:33 AM »
Still pushing that boulder uphill but I feel it's getting easier every month.

5 years ago I was $20k in debt with no savings.....this time next year I will be well over $100k net worth with an investment property or 2.   ;)

It would have been more if I discovered this site sooner

psinguine

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2015, 03:51:17 PM »
Oh look, something I can contribute to. I... I'm not sure how to feel about that one.

Debt 1 - Wife's Visa - Current Status: DEAD

My wife and I knew the broad strokes of our finances when we were dating, but it wasn't until we got engaged and moved in together that we sat down and laid out the details. For me it was a matter of protection. Years of careful and cheap living had resulted in an exceedingly padded bank account. For her it was a matter of embarrassment. Years of bad choices had resulted in a paycheck to paycheck life that crushed her self worth.

I was shocked at the debts she held. $10,000 on this account, $10,000 on another, $5,000 owing on that one over there, a car payment bigger than the mortgage. She was in a position where she made very good money, but was simply incapable of making more than the minimum payments on all of these debts. So I made her a deal. I picked the biggest two on the list and told her I would pay off one of them in full. That night. But she had to commit the payment to the next one on the list.

So she called the bank, confirmed the balance. I called my bank and delivered a backhanded blow to the $10,000 Visa balance that removed its head from its shoulders. She then called back her bank and cancelled the card.

Debt 2 - Wife's Line Of Credit - Current Status: DEAD

This was the second on the list. A $10,000 line of credit that had, once upon a time, been taken out as a "consolidation loan". The problem was that as soon as the LOC had been maxed out the bank had raised the interest rate from a comparatively conservative (but still painfull) 8% to a far more difficult to contend with 13%. Interest, of course, compounded daily. As agreed she was putting the former Visa payment towards it, whilst also saving/paying for the upcoming wedding. During the following year leading to the wedding-

Debt 3 - Wife's Car Loan - Current Status: DEAD

- Recieved its final payment. That money also started going towards the LOC. We held a social (a fundraiser for those unfamiliar) to raise money for the wedding. We turned a nice profit from the wedding as well. In the end an event that cost us $7,000 to put on gave us a return of $15,000. It was at this point we called the bank and got an update on the balance. We still owed $7,000. We cursed, we raged, we wailed and gnashed our teeth. We took the entire profit from the wedding and used it to pay off the Line Of Credit. And then we closed it and swore to never deal with that bank again.

Debt 4 - Wife's Loan - Current Status: DEAD

Time passed. I did sweeping renovations to the house, a two year project that has so far averaged $1,000 a month kn cost. Money was tighter, but as we considered this an investment we kept rolling. I had noticed paperwork, and my wife had passed comments, concerning a loan that had not come up during our original consolidation of funds. With other, more pressing matters temporarily resolved I found the time to dig out the paperwork and go over it. A loan, held for the last six years, slowly nickle and diming us to death. I approached my wife for details.

Back in 2009 she had been dating a bad dude. One day, to make a long story short, he had stolen her credit card and maxed it out before skipping town. When she reported the theft she was told, in no uncertain terms, the because he had used her PIN that meant she had given him the code. She was therefore on the hook for the balance. At 25% on a $10,000 limit.

She has gone to the bank, gotten a loan, and paid it out. The loan had been for a three year term and everyone had been very sympathetic. The payment was $200 a month.

A three year term.

That was on it's sixth year.

And still had a $4,000 balance.

By my math she had made $12,000 in payments on an original loan amount of $9,000. And she still had $4,000 to go. It turned out that every year they had been sending her paperwork that tweaked the terms of the agreement,  and she had just been signing them and sending them back. Somewhere along the line they has tweaked things so that the interest rate had jumped five points higher than she'd agreed to, added insurance, and made it so interest compounded daily.

I was not a happy man. I went to the bank, pulled money from where I could, and beat that loan to death with a blunt instrument: my chequebook.

Debt 6 - My Car Loan - Current Status: STRUGGLING FOR AIR

Not much to tell on this one. I got a 0% car loan five years ago for too much money. I chose the smallest, most fuel efficient car I could afford for the lowest price possible. I now owe $600 on the loan. I'm just going to let those payments come out on schedule, there's only two more after all, because I have more pressing matters to contend with. Such as:

Debt 7 - Wife's Dental Loan - Current Status: MINOR INJURIES

My wife has a distinct lack of front teeth and has since she was a child. They had to be removed, for whatever reason, and she had been wearing a retainer with fake teeth for decades to hide this fact. The retainer broke and we made the decision to get them fixed permanently. At the time money was steadily coming in. By the time the work was done and the loan payments showed up (another $10,000 loan) we'd had a financial disaster and were not in the position we thought we would be. We were able to throw $1,000 at it right off the top, but since then have been making only slightly more than the minimum payment. On the plus side we've got it down to $7,000. On the crappy side we still owe $7,000.

Debt 8 - My Mortgage - Current Status: ON THE ROPES

Not much to tell. Purchase price of home was $35,000, bought from my grandparents. Ten year mortgage, paid 20% down, took a very aggressive tack. Currently owe about $16,000, but that hardly matters. The house was an investment. I have put $30,000 worth of materials into a full renovation, increasing the value to over $150,000. We intend to sell as soon as we finish the house, and get sufficiently into the bare minimum renovations needed in our second home which we already own. This other property, appropriately enough, just happens to be:

Debt 10 - My Wife's Mortgage - Current Status: HEALTHY AND IMPOSING

The purchase price of this home was $50,000. Thanks to the sheer volume of debt churning we have performed over the last 5 years both of our credit scores are remarkable. As such we were able to get a 25 year mortgage at 2.8%. We intend to utilize upcoming funds from the sale of the house to start the process of making this a 5 year mortgage.

I am suddenly realizing I could probably do a blog post on any one of these debts, as well as the stories behind them. But to make a long story short.

TL;DR -

Approximately  $75,000 in combined total debt, including two mortgages.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #54 on: June 07, 2015, 04:52:13 PM »
Debt.  Yeah, I got debt.

$51,897 in credit card debt (currently on two credit cards at either .98 or 0% interest until Sept or Oct 2014 -- I have good credit).
$156,000 in student loan debt for law school

I found MMM in May when I had my second anniversary of law school graduation and realized I was in worse financial shape in 2013 than I was when I graduated in 2011.  I slashed my spending and now live on about 30% of my income.   Since May, I've paid off two credit cards and paid one other way down and consolidated the debt.  I also opted to do some renovations in the basement of my home so that I can rent it out and cover 2/3 of my mortgage.  Thanks to my frugality, I've been able to pay cash for almost the whole renovation with about $2k on Home Depot and Lowes cards at 0% interest and $2400 at 0% for new carpet.

With the basement rent and rent from my daughter, who just moved back home, my monthly housing cost will be $75.  Fingers crossed that I find a good tenant in the next few weeks.

Essentially, I spent much of 2013 restructuring, cutting, and repositioning.  My goal for 2014 is to pay off all of the credit card debt (including newly incurred debt for the renovation).  That's a $56,000. goal.  Only then can I begin really tackling the student loan debt.

So, yeah, I could use some support too.

Sigh.  Reading this post from 18 months ago and checking my updated stats has me very depressed:

CC debt, 6/1/2015:  $48265.00
SL debt, 6/1/2015:   $150,912.00

I've made so little progress!!!  I adhere to a Mustachian lifestyle (MVNO phone, no cable TV, no shopping, minimal eating out, old Prius, hang out laundry).  Where are the leaks?

Since this post in December, 2013, I've spent $8552 on business travel (mostly unreimbursed).  As many of you know, I'm a part-time staff attorney at my BigLaw firm and I have been trying to shift that into a full time associate position (40% pay increase).  In early 2014, I decided to build my expertise in a specialty area of the law, hoping that would help.  It didn't. For the last 6 months, I've been working full time -- hoping to prove I'm worthy (stopped that this month) and working 70-80 hours a week has taken a toll on my ability to be frugal.  Now that I'm downshifting to part-time hours (still at least a 35 hour work week), I've got to rebuild my frugality muscle.

In 2014, I also spent almost $5k for a family trip for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary -- we rented a house in Big Bear California for a week.  I don't regret that but it hurt.

I spent $4308k for a walkway and patio which is also related to the basement renovation -- my tenant was walking on grass and dirt, which was not popular.   

Quite frankly, I'm pretty depressed about this and I need to figure out what has gone wrong.  I'll have to report back after some analysis.

Edited to add:  HUGE leak... for all of 2014, my SL's were on IBR.  I was paying $983/mo JUST TO TREAD WATER.  That's almost $12k simply up in flames.  All my progress on SL's has come AFTER I refinanced them.  Talk about pushing a rock up hill!
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 05:02:37 PM by TrulyStashin »

surfhb

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2015, 06:08:50 AM »
You are spending for the wrong reasons bro. 

Your parents didn't need you to spend $5k to celebrate their anniversary and you spent 4k on another unneeded addition to your home.    You're in debt man....these things wait. 

Over 8k for business travel?    Huh? 

When you start seeing those numbers go down you'll start to get motivated....believe me.    But you'll never get motivated unless you really apply yourself.   
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 06:13:17 AM by surfhb »

Bumfluff

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2015, 08:37:34 AM »
SarahMD428 I'm a Brit so have no idea about Roth IRAs and HSAs etc. sorry!

surfhb that's a real turnaround - how did you do it?

psinguine I love your analogies, you should definitely blog you have a great writing style.I read the whole post so you must have been engaging ;-)

Trulystashin son't be too hard on yourself, it's an uphill battle this one. Sounds luke you've had a bit of a lightbulb moment re your student loans. What is IBR - does it mean interest only repayments?

I am really cross with myself today. I've been Googling cheap holidays in Europe (I'm in the UK so they really are cheap) which I KNOW is anti-mustachian and foolish considering we still have debt but sometimes I struggle with the needs vs wants battle. It's been such a tough year (bereavements and other personal things) that I just want to whisk us all off for some R&R. Staying and fighting the debt instead is unappealing and a bit depressing. I need to re-focus on the short-term pain for long-term gain thing - will punch myself in the face now.




TrulyStashin

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #57 on: June 08, 2015, 09:45:59 AM »
IBR is "Income Based Repayment" and yes, it is essentially interest only.  I refinanced my SL's in late December and cut my interest rate in half.  Now, most of my $1580 monthly payment goes to principal. Thank God.

I have no trouble saying "no" to eating out or new clothes or pedicures.   I struggle with saying "no" to spending on my kids and family.  The 50th anniversary trip?  That was me and my son spending a week with my brothers and their spouses and my nephews and my parents.  My brothers and their families live in LA and we don't see each other often.  A week together over Christmas?  I'm just not going to say "no" to that and I'm glad I didn't.  Those memories are priceless.

My youngest son just graduated from high school and we had a party at my house.  That cost about $300 for food (homemade by me), lawn games, and drinks.  I don't regret that.

My other son is graduating from Ohio State in August (MA degree) and in light of this reality check, I'm wrestling with the painful decision to stay home.

That's my biggest Achilles Heel.  Especially when I consider that I'll be in debt for years to come -- best case scenario.  Do I forego all milestone family events like this for the next five years?  That is a VERY hard issue to overcome.

My second biggest Achilles Heel is that I've been trying to push my job to the next level.  I've spent a lot on business travel and meals and a little on some new clothes (job interview suit).  Since March, I've spent $434 on business meals -- almost all lunches with business contacts.   I believed, wrongly, that putting time, energy, and money into this would result in a promotion with a 40% increase in pay.  In the past month, it's become increasingly clear that I was wrong.  The politics of my firm and my positioning within it are not in my favor.  Unless I leave my city, I'm not likely to get there.  It's not entirely a bad thing because I make very good money already.  It's just that the insane "Oprah money" of BigLaw is not going to happen.  I will stop spending money on this immediately.

Today's post from MMM is very timely for me.  I will get back on track.   Does anyone else really struggle with spending on family?  I'd love to hear how you work through those questions.

Edited to add:  my review shows that I was actually making pretty decent progress until this March.  My CC debt was down almost $10k -- to $42k.  In March, I started working a ton of hours (no additional pay) and both my focus and frugality muscle suffered.   Just three months of unfocused spending unwound months of hard work!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 10:17:31 AM by TrulyStashin »

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #58 on: June 08, 2015, 01:31:50 PM »
Debt - I hate that nasty little four letter word. We aren't terribly off but working towards improvement but we have a long haul before FIRE.
$1200 - DH's credit card, opened that when our moodle slipped a disc - was payed off last week

$1,400 - My CC - more vet expenses and a few wedding expenses (oops!) we will have this payed off at the latest September 4th, 2016

$4,485 - My car loan for my Honda FIT, already knocked off 2k and I bought it last August. This will be payed off August 2016 at the latest

$10K - My student loans - by the end of 2017 if we don't get an inheritance but the lines have been signed and I'm scheduled to receive almost this exact amount in November or so. It'll be going to wiping out the loans

$95k - Our house. He bought it in 2001 for 105k and refinanced in 2008 (before we met). Still debating what to do with this.

It can be intimidating staring down that long road. It feels like I'll never get to retirement, much less FIRE but we make a good team and I am young.
The eternal optimist in me just wants to tell everyone here to keeping burning you crazy fires :)

Stachetastic

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2015, 06:44:48 AM »
Thanks for resurrecting this thread! I love updates.

I discovered MMM about a year ago, so I didn't contribute to the original thread. Our current debts aren't horrible, but still a monkey on our back:

19k--My student loans, at 6%. We have the savings to just pay this off, but DH is still laid off and work has been sporadic at times (esp through the winter), so I'm hesitant to diminish our savings. Maybe throw a few big chunks toward it?

24k--Investment property husband bought in 2001, interest rate is below 3%, so we will not be paying extra. Mortgage is a paltry $165.

62k--Investment property (duplex) I bought in 2006. Recently refi'd for a lower rate and not too concerned at this point.

55k--Our primary residence. Just purchased late last year for 70k and completely updating a bit at a time. Comps in the 'hood run 150k and up.

So overall, not too cringe worthy, but I want to knock those SL out so bad!!!! Time to get serious.

Merrie

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2015, 09:20:25 PM »

My other son is graduating from Ohio State in August (MA degree) and in light of this reality check, I'm wrestling with the painful decision to stay home.

That's my biggest Achilles Heel.  Especially when I consider that I'll be in debt for years to come -- best case scenario.  Do I forego all milestone family events like this for the next five years?  That is a VERY hard issue to overcome.

Well, is there a way to go on the cheap? Or have a party at home, if he's coming home after? How much does your son care about it?
Quote
My second biggest Achilles Heel is that I've been trying to push my job to the next level.  I've spent a lot on business travel and meals and a little on some new clothes (job interview suit).  Since March, I've spent $434 on business meals -- almost all lunches with business contacts.   I believed, wrongly, that putting time, energy, and money into this would result in a promotion with a 40% increase in pay.  In the past month, it's become increasingly clear that I was wrong.  The politics of my firm and my positioning within it are not in my favor.  Unless I leave my city, I'm not likely to get there.  It's not entirely a bad thing because I make very good money already.  It's just that the insane "Oprah money" of BigLaw is not going to happen.  I will stop spending money on this immediately.

You should at least be able to deduct some of that, right?

Me? buried in debt. $69k student loan #1, $14k student loan #2, $97k husband's student loan, and $203k on mortgage. Hair on fire doesn't really seem to work super well. Living literally the better part of the next decade with crushing austerity is... unappealing. "Sell the house and move" is a theoretical option but similarly unappealing. I try to reduce expenses where I can but we can't, or just don't want to, cut out absolutely everything vaguely optional. It would be one thing if a year or two of that would accomplish it, but it won't.

Bumfluff

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #61 on: June 10, 2015, 06:08:00 AM »
Trulystashin I have the same issue re family stuff. I'm happy to do without beauty stuff, haircuts, new clothes, all that personal luxury. We share a 2002 Ford Focus (bought with cash) and shop really smart. We don't pay much in rent and walk the kids to school etc. BUT I struggle to tell myself no with family activities. We do lots of outdoor stuff with a picnic so we are t going crazy but I do throw the kids a birthday party and pay for lunch when my parents visit for example. If I were in your shoes I would definitely be going to that graduation - unmustachian or not! I'd find a way to do it on the cheap and try and cut the budget elsewhere to cushion the financial blow.

Iamlittehedgehog - being young and on the same team is a MASSIVE advantage - use it! :-)

I love updates too Stachetastic, it's great to see others' progress and to remind myself how far I've come while simultaneously giving me a kick up the jacksie to keep going.

Merrie what is so unappealing about selling your house? We held onto ours for ages (because we loved it and didn't want to get off the property ladder etc.) but when we finally sold it (at a decent profit thankfully) it was a huge weight lifted. Even if we had just broken even, the reduced expenditure of not having a mortgage and buildings insurance etc. was fantastic.

snuggler

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2015, 06:47:20 AM »
IBR is "Income Based Repayment" and yes, it is essentially interest only.  I refinanced my SL's in late December and cut my interest rate in half.  Now, most of my $1580 monthly payment goes to principal. Thank God.

I have no trouble saying "no" to eating out or new clothes or pedicures.   I struggle with saying "no" to spending on my kids and family.  The 50th anniversary trip?  That was me and my son spending a week with my brothers and their spouses and my nephews and my parents.  My brothers and their families live in LA and we don't see each other often.  A week together over Christmas?  I'm just not going to say "no" to that and I'm glad I didn't.  Those memories are priceless.

My youngest son just graduated from high school and we had a party at my house.  That cost about $300 for food (homemade by me), lawn games, and drinks.  I don't regret that.

My other son is graduating from Ohio State in August (MA degree) and in light of this reality check, I'm wrestling with the painful decision to stay home.

That's my biggest Achilles Heel.  Especially when I consider that I'll be in debt for years to come -- best case scenario.  Do I forego all milestone family events like this for the next five years?  That is a VERY hard issue to overcome.

My second biggest Achilles Heel is that I've been trying to push my job to the next level.  I've spent a lot on business travel and meals and a little on some new clothes (job interview suit).  Since March, I've spent $434 on business meals -- almost all lunches with business contacts.   I believed, wrongly, that putting time, energy, and money into this would result in a promotion with a 40% increase in pay.  In the past month, it's become increasingly clear that I was wrong.  The politics of my firm and my positioning within it are not in my favor.  Unless I leave my city, I'm not likely to get there.  It's not entirely a bad thing because I make very good money already.  It's just that the insane "Oprah money" of BigLaw is not going to happen.  I will stop spending money on this immediately.

Today's post from MMM is very timely for me.  I will get back on track.   Does anyone else really struggle with spending on family?  I'd love to hear how you work through those questions.

Edited to add:  my review shows that I was actually making pretty decent progress until this March.  My CC debt was down almost $10k -- to $42k.  In March, I started working a ton of hours (no additional pay) and both my focus and frugality muscle suffered.   Just three months of unfocused spending unwound months of hard work!

As a former Biglaw myself, I would confirm your decision to stop hoping for the associate (non-staff) position. From what I saw, staff attorneys can never make that transition. There are too many factors preventing it, the most important one being that Biglaw partly justifies its high billable fees by the resumes of its associates. So if you didn't make it to that path on the first attempt, it likely means that your resume will prevent you from getting there, at least until you can bring in clients. And if you can bring in clients, then it's probably financially best to hang your own shingle anyway.

Your unreimbursed business expenses are crazy. If those are self-imposed, stop immediately. You can get just as much benefit from a $5 networking coffee meeting as a $50 lunch. In fact, you are more likely to find time with really busy (successful) attorneys and to show them you respect their time by limiting things to a short cheap meeting. If your job requires it, and you work in Biglaw, it should be reimbursable.

For family events, I understand to a point. I'm not willing to reduce travel spending to see family. However, your costs seem extremely high. Does your family go out to eat a lot? Spend a lot on gifts? Are you covering the costs for other people? These things add up quickly. I've found that if you inject some mustachian ways into family affairs, you can usually reduce the cost of family visits quite a bit. Cook frugal and delicious dinners at the rental house. Take a hike for free instead of paying for zip lining. Ask family if they are interested in reducing or eliminating gifts, particularly given your costs of travel. Rent the nice-but-not-a-crazy-mansion rental house instead of the most expensive option. Learn how to hack credit cards to help reduce travel expenses. Bring your own food when you are on the plane. Stay with family whenever you can. Etc.

snuggler

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #63 on: June 10, 2015, 09:14:41 AM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #64 on: June 10, 2015, 01:17:34 PM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

Wow!  That's amazing.  Great job.

Digging deeper into the numbers, out of the $434 I spent since March on business dining, $129 of that was to take a client to dinner.  He has referred two other clients to me.  I should have asked for reimbursement from my firm, but I didn't and don't have the receipt.  Face punch.  Otherwise, it's typically a $15 lunch (separate checks) or $5 coffee.  I can greatly curtail or stop this, immediately.  But getting a new job requires networking and that's takes some level of investment. 

I'm bitter about my job, I'll admit.  I have a kick-ass resume -- all the credentials I need to be an associate if I had graduated in 2006.  But I graduated in 2011 when there were NO jobs and took the best I could get -- part time staff attorney.  I'm badly positioned in my firm, working for partners who have no power or influence and in an ancillary department. I tried to change departments and my two partners blocked me because they know the firm would not let them replace me b/c they have so little work.  In short, I'm f*cked.  If I relocated, I could be an associate, but I don't want to leave the great life I've built here.  So, PT/ SA it is....

The business travel I need to dig into deeper -- no time yet -- that $8500 was a very rough number and was likely offset by some reimbursements.  But last year, I went to NYC five times and DC three times.  Even on the cheap that adds up.  It resulted in some great connections, one of which is likely to result in some side work.  But, this too stops now.

The 50th anniversary trip was a one-off.  In general, we're not a big-spending family and everyone is supportive (though a little baffled by my frugality).  Do you all really think $300 is expensive for an at-home graduation party for 30 people?  I have some left-over beer and food so maybe I could have shaved this by $80.  But the beer will support more hang-out-at-my-house social events over the summer so that still seems frugal to me.  I bought bottled beer at Costco, instead of a keg, with this in mind.

For my older son's graduation in August, my parents are also planning on going. My dad has CC points he's going to redeem for a free van rental so all 7 of us can ride together (10 hours by van).  Still, I'd need to chip in for gas ($100?), and pay for two nights in a hotel for me and my youngest ($200? ball park) and meals for both of us ($100?).  So, there's roughly $400 spent, if I go.   

The good news is that there are no additional family events on the horizon.  No more milestone birthdays or anniversaries.  No more graduations.  No weddings.  I can get back on track.  I showed the basement apartment today and if the cute young couple who saw it decide to move in, it"ll add about $7k to my 2015 income.  I. Can. Do. This.

Sibley

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #65 on: June 10, 2015, 01:36:31 PM »
IBR is "Income Based Repayment" and yes, it is essentially interest only.  I refinanced my SL's in late December and cut my interest rate in half.  Now, most of my $1580 monthly payment goes to principal. Thank God.

I have no trouble saying "no" to eating out or new clothes or pedicures.   I struggle with saying "no" to spending on my kids and family.  The 50th anniversary trip?  That was me and my son spending a week with my brothers and their spouses and my nephews and my parents.  My brothers and their families live in LA and we don't see each other often.  A week together over Christmas?  I'm just not going to say "no" to that and I'm glad I didn't.  Those memories are priceless.

My youngest son just graduated from high school and we had a party at my house.  That cost about $300 for food (homemade by me), lawn games, and drinks.  I don't regret that.

My other son is graduating from Ohio State in August (MA degree) and in light of this reality check, I'm wrestling with the painful decision to stay home.

That's my biggest Achilles Heel.  Especially when I consider that I'll be in debt for years to come -- best case scenario.  Do I forego all milestone family events like this for the next five years?  That is a VERY hard issue to overcome.

I get it, I used to live 2000 miles from all my family. There are costs to this. Two MMMish options - don't see them as much, or move closer.

Travel around big holidays is insanely expensive and stressful. Don't do it. Period! I don't care that it's Christmas - I have spent many Christmases away from my family and I'm just fine. You can have a wonderful time with whoever's in the geographic area. When you do visit, do it during lower cost times of the year. Do things on a budget. Try to stay with family if you can instead of a hotel. Drive or look into other options (train?) instead of flying.

Above all, make it very clear to the family that you may not see that you still love them, you just can't swing it right now. If they can't understand it, that's their problem not yours. And they're welcome to visit you!

snuggler

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #66 on: June 10, 2015, 03:44:23 PM »


Wow!  That's amazing.  Great job.



Thanks! There is a lot of truth to the saying that frugality muscles strengthen with use. I was pretty facepunch-worthy when I first started working, but have slowly improved my spending and investing decisions over the years.

Sounds like you're doing the most important thing- starting to look at spending very carefully. And believe me, I understand with the family outings. I'm reminded every time I hang out with my family of how far I have come in terms of frugality. Some other things I have done to help reduce costs:

- eat cheap. Seriously. Think Subway meals (with the coupons you can find online) if you have to go out, and bring as much food as you can to avoid going out. If it's an option, ask for a complimentary fridge at your hotel, and then get food from the grocery store. You'd be surprised how many hotels will give you a free fridge if you ask. If they don't, then get non-perishable items and just a few perishable items and store in the ice bucket.

- stay cheap. Sleep on an air mattress at your son's place or join Couchsurfing to find a place to sleep. If that isn't an option, are you familiar with Priceline? You can check a site called betterbidding.com to optimize your Priceline/Hotwire strategy. If you have any friends/family that work for Radisson, you can also use the Friends & Family rate to get a $80 room at many of their hotels. See http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hotel-deals/1006932-carlson-hotels-radisson-family-friends-rate.html for more details. Also check AirBnB for cheap options. The great thing about AirBnB is that you don't get gouged with hotel taxes, and you normally have access to a full kitchen. If you take advantage of that, you end up saving a lot more than if you stayed in a similarly-priced hotel room and eat your meals out.

I've read some of your other posts, and it sounds exactly like so many of my and my friends' experiences in Biglaw. They will always dangle a carrot in front of you, but then have some excuse when you win the race and ask for your carrot. They will say they care about your future, but really only care about the firm's profit-per-partner numbers. They will avoid sharing money with you unless they want you to stay and think you will walk without it.

Importantly, however, it looks like you are setting yourself up to have a really sweet job in terms of hours & pay in a couple of years. Given that, you are probably wise to focus on reducing expenses and side hustles instead of chasing the path to becoming an associate. IMO, the extra money is not worth the sacrifices you have to make, but of course it is easy for me to say that now with the reduced loan balances.

YTProphet

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #67 on: June 11, 2015, 06:52:32 AM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

Awesome work dude! I graduated shortly after you with $135k in loans. I also ended up borrowing $30k from my inlaws to buy a house. I just finished paying off that $165k at the beginning of this year (so a little over 3 years). It was very difficult but now the cash is rolling in and it's awesome. I've got a high paying job (taking into consideration my age and location) and am maxing out my 401k, my rIRA, my wife's rIRA and adding some to my post-tax 401k account as well (shooting to do the mega-backdoor 401k to rIRA conversion).

snuggler

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #68 on: June 11, 2015, 12:12:35 PM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

Awesome work dude! I graduated shortly after you with $135k in loans. I also ended up borrowing $30k from my inlaws to buy a house. I just finished paying off that $165k at the beginning of this year (so a little over 3 years). It was very difficult but now the cash is rolling in and it's awesome. I've got a high paying job (taking into consideration my age and location) and am maxing out my 401k, my rIRA, my wife's rIRA and adding some to my post-tax 401k account as well (shooting to do the mega-backdoor 401k to rIRA conversion).

Congrats to you too! That is awesome. It must be an amazing feeling to have gotten the in-law debt off of your back.

Excited to hear about your progress as the years go on.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #69 on: June 20, 2015, 07:13:19 PM »
I just wanted to let you guys know that I have kicked ass this month! 

1) I got new tenants for my basement apartment.  I've been very picky and as a result, the basement has been empty since March.  Finally, I have a really great young couple moving in next month.  I got their $900 deposit today.  That's an extra $950/ month with a 12-month lease.

2) By the end of this month, I will have sent $4460 to debt payoff, which may be an all-time record high payment to debt.  I'm very excited about that.  By June 25, when everything clears, my CC debt will be down from $48,666 (June 1) to $45973 (July 1).

3) My combined debt/ investment equals 73.81% of NET income this month.  Hell yeah.

That's called back on track, my friends.

tvan

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #70 on: June 20, 2015, 07:46:55 PM »
8k cc debt
60k student loan
And I live in one of the most expensive cities in the USA (2k/mo to rent a 700 sq ft apartment).

I have a net worth of about 50k though, and growing.

pachnik

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #71 on: June 20, 2015, 07:52:22 PM »
I just wanted to let you guys know that I have kicked ass this month! 

That's called back on track, my friends.

Cheers, TrulyStashin!!!
I felt a bit sad when I read your post from a few days ago. So thanks for posting this. 

My family is all very close by  - like living next door to my brother and his family with our parents across the backyard close.  :)  We get along so it is okay.  A parents' 50th wedding anniversary party would be difficult to say no to and i don't think I would want to say no to something like this.  My parents celebrated their 50th a few years ago now and it was held in the communal back yard.  I consider myself lucky to be a part of events like this and you probably do too.

Awesome about that debt payment this month too!   

Pachnik 

Elderwood17

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #72 on: June 20, 2015, 08:11:58 PM »
I just wanted to let you guys know that I have kicked ass this month! 

1) I got new tenants for my basement apartment.  I've been very picky and as a result, the basement has been empty since March.  Finally, I have a really great young couple moving in next month.  I got their $900 deposit today.  That's an extra $950/ month with a 12-month lease.

2) By the end of this month, I will have sent $4460 to debt payoff, which may be an all-time record high payment to debt.  I'm very excited about that.  By June 25, when everything clears, my CC debt will be down from $48,666 (June 1) to $45973 (July 1).

3) My combined debt/ investment equals 73.81% of NET income this month.  Hell yeah.

That's called back on track, my friends.

Nice job!

Katsplaying

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #73 on: June 21, 2015, 10:06:42 AM »
Found MMM just a couple months ago and these forums a few weeks ago.

Diving in with $6400 credit card, $5500 car loan, and $180K mortgage at 4.125%.

First goal is get those stupid debts paid off by xmas this year, then tackle mortgage.

Go team MMM!

use2betrix

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #74 on: June 21, 2015, 02:10:46 PM »
Add me to part of the debt group! I've paid off 30k and the remainder of my student loans in the past year. I still have a truck and trailer to pay off. I live full time in the trailer and need the truck to tow it, they total about 95k in debt. I can definitely pay half that off this year. That'll leave me with about 45k at a reasonable interest rate I may hold off on paying. I should be able to mac my 401k this year as well. I've thought about downsizing truck and trailer, but even a major downsize would save me 30k and it would be sacrificing a lot. Once I stop traveling to for work I'll buy a house and sell the trailer, probably truck too.

Bumfluff

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #75 on: June 22, 2015, 09:49:11 AM »
Excellent work TrulyStachin, you're beasting that debt!

Great to see others joining our gang too. We all seem to be heading in the right direction, looking forward to more updates as we each get closer to our beautiful debt-free moment.

hops

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #76 on: June 24, 2015, 07:44:45 AM »
My only debt is a small mortgage with an interest rate so low that I've not thrown extra money at it. For years I wondered whether I was making the right choice, and now I'm glad that I saved and invested in index funds instead, as my soon-to-be fiancee recently presented me with a list of her outstanding student loans.

She's not financially savvy and had been telling me for months that she believed her debts totaled around $160k. This weekend she felt brave enough to actually log into her account (her med school loans have been in forbearance) and lo and behold, she actually owes $207k. Most of the loans carry 6.8% interest rates. We need to destroy the hell out of these loans as quickly as possible.

Pylon

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #77 on: June 24, 2015, 01:39:04 PM »
Currently, we owe:

Just under $6,000 on car loan @ 2.64%.  Will be paid off by the end of the year, leaving us with just student loans and mortgage.

Student loans:  ~$25,000 @ 2.33%.  About $6000 is my husband's and the rest is mine.  Not a terrible interest rate, but it is somewhat variable so want to pay the higher balance down a bit in case the rate comes up any.

Mortgage: $64,500 @ 3.5%.  Not a huge issue for me right now, but want to pay off enough to get rid of the PMI.

This is what remains after we have spent the last 9-10 months slaying our debt.  In September of last year we owed $122,000 overall (and some more before I started tracking the totals.)  That was higher balances on all the above plus $3500 in CC debt.  Since the start of the year, we have paid off all CC and lowered balances on the rest.  All to the tune of $20,000.

I share this because it is possible to make big changes.  You just have to decide you want it and have the dedication to do it. 

bb11

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #78 on: June 24, 2015, 04:54:46 PM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

Wow!  That's amazing.  Great job.

Digging deeper into the numbers, out of the $434 I spent since March on business dining, $129 of that was to take a client to dinner.  He has referred two other clients to me.  I should have asked for reimbursement from my firm, but I didn't and don't have the receipt.  Face punch.  Otherwise, it's typically a $15 lunch (separate checks) or $5 coffee.  I can greatly curtail or stop this, immediately.  But getting a new job requires networking and that's takes some level of investment. 

I'm bitter about my job, I'll admit.  I have a kick-ass resume -- all the credentials I need to be an associate if I had graduated in 2006.  But I graduated in 2011 when there were NO jobs and took the best I could get -- part time staff attorney.  I'm badly positioned in my firm, working for partners who have no power or influence and in an ancillary department. I tried to change departments and my two partners blocked me because they know the firm would not let them replace me b/c they have so little work.  In short, I'm f*cked.  If I relocated, I could be an associate, but I don't want to leave the great life I've built here.  So, PT/ SA it is....

The business travel I need to dig into deeper -- no time yet -- that $8500 was a very rough number and was likely offset by some reimbursements.  But last year, I went to NYC five times and DC three times.  Even on the cheap that adds up.  It resulted in some great connections, one of which is likely to result in some side work.  But, this too stops now.

The 50th anniversary trip was a one-off.  In general, we're not a big-spending family and everyone is supportive (though a little baffled by my frugality).  Do you all really think $300 is expensive for an at-home graduation party for 30 people?  I have some left-over beer and food so maybe I could have shaved this by $80.  But the beer will support more hang-out-at-my-house social events over the summer so that still seems frugal to me.  I bought bottled beer at Costco, instead of a keg, with this in mind.

For my older son's graduation in August, my parents are also planning on going. My dad has CC points he's going to redeem for a free van rental so all 7 of us can ride together (10 hours by van).  Still, I'd need to chip in for gas ($100?), and pay for two nights in a hotel for me and my youngest ($200? ball park) and meals for both of us ($100?).  So, there's roughly $400 spent, if I go.   

The good news is that there are no additional family events on the horizon.  No more milestone birthdays or anniversaries.  No more graduations.  No weddings.  I can get back on track.  I showed the basement apartment today and if the cute young couple who saw it decide to move in, it"ll add about $7k to my 2015 income.  I. Can. Do. This.

This is gonna be harsh but I think you need a facepunch.

$5000 for a weeklong family trip!!?!?! That's insane!! How can you try to rationalize that now? I did a 3 week roadtrip across the Unites States, stopping all sorts of places, and only spent $1800. My 2015 vacation budget now that I've taken said trip to move to my new home is $1200. I'm going on my third vacation next week and should be able to fit at least one more in on this budget. Look into some cheaper options. Couchsurf, Airbnb, stay with a friend, buy a freaking tent. Go with your family to the destination but there's no reason you have to match all of their prolific spending.

The $300 party isn't nearly as bad, but you probably could have spent half that. 5 $15 vodka handles and 10 pizzas can't be $200, and even that would probably provide leftovers of food and drink. Or buy a keg.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #79 on: June 24, 2015, 05:28:26 PM »
Sign me up for debt too! DH and I have $42k in student loans. $7k are his, I don't know the interest rate, but monthly payments are $100. I just graduated, so we're not paying on my $35k yet. Average interest rate on mine is 4.5%. No other debt.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2015, 08:12:05 AM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

Wow!  That's amazing.  Great job.

Digging deeper into the numbers, out of the $434 I spent since March on business dining, $129 of that was to take a client to dinner.  He has referred two other clients to me.  I should have asked for reimbursement from my firm, but I didn't and don't have the receipt.  Face punch.  Otherwise, it's typically a $15 lunch (separate checks) or $5 coffee.  I can greatly curtail or stop this, immediately.  But getting a new job requires networking and that's takes some level of investment. 

I'm bitter about my job, I'll admit.  I have a kick-ass resume -- all the credentials I need to be an associate if I had graduated in 2006.  But I graduated in 2011 when there were NO jobs and took the best I could get -- part time staff attorney.  I'm badly positioned in my firm, working for partners who have no power or influence and in an ancillary department. I tried to change departments and my two partners blocked me because they know the firm would not let them replace me b/c they have so little work.  In short, I'm f*cked.  If I relocated, I could be an associate, but I don't want to leave the great life I've built here.  So, PT/ SA it is....

The business travel I need to dig into deeper -- no time yet -- that $8500 was a very rough number and was likely offset by some reimbursements.  But last year, I went to NYC five times and DC three times.  Even on the cheap that adds up.  It resulted in some great connections, one of which is likely to result in some side work.  But, this too stops now.

The 50th anniversary trip was a one-off.  In general, we're not a big-spending family and everyone is supportive (though a little baffled by my frugality).  Do you all really think $300 is expensive for an at-home graduation party for 30 people?  I have some left-over beer and food so maybe I could have shaved this by $80.  But the beer will support more hang-out-at-my-house social events over the summer so that still seems frugal to me.  I bought bottled beer at Costco, instead of a keg, with this in mind.

For my older son's graduation in August, my parents are also planning on going. My dad has CC points he's going to redeem for a free van rental so all 7 of us can ride together (10 hours by van).  Still, I'd need to chip in for gas ($100?), and pay for two nights in a hotel for me and my youngest ($200? ball park) and meals for both of us ($100?).  So, there's roughly $400 spent, if I go.   

The good news is that there are no additional family events on the horizon.  No more milestone birthdays or anniversaries.  No more graduations.  No weddings.  I can get back on track.  I showed the basement apartment today and if the cute young couple who saw it decide to move in, it"ll add about $7k to my 2015 income.  I. Can. Do. This.

This is gonna be harsh but I think you need a facepunch.

$5000 for a weeklong family trip!!?!?! That's insane!! How can you try to rationalize that now? I did a 3 week roadtrip across the Unites States, stopping all sorts of places, and only spent $1800. My 2015 vacation budget now that I've taken said trip to move to my new home is $1200. I'm going on my third vacation next week and should be able to fit at least one more in on this budget. Look into some cheaper options. Couchsurf, Airbnb, stay with a friend, buy a freaking tent. Go with your family to the destination but there's no reason you have to match all of their prolific spending.

The $300 party isn't nearly as bad, but you probably could have spent half that. 5 $15 vodka handles and 10 pizzas can't be $200, and even that would probably provide leftovers of food and drink. Or buy a keg.

First of all, I self-administered several face punches for other spending and I'm back on track.

Secondly, $1500 of the $5k was my share of the week long house rental.  There were 13 of us.  I'm the only frugal person and I didn't pick the house.  My brothers each paid $1800 and gave me a discount because they're great guys (and we had to fly, they live near Big Bear).  The balance of the spending was in air travel (VA to CA), groceries, ONE dinner out, and two days of skiing for my son.  I DON'T REGRET THIS TRIP at all and would make the same decision in a heartbeat.   The cardinal rule of Mustachianism is to spend money thoughtfully, in ways that build deep value and meaning in our lives.   In 1975, when I was 7, my family celebrated Christmas in Big Bear and it ended up a family legend.  Forty years later, we all went back to Big Bear and created more legends.  This is the stuff that matters and yes, my debt can fucking wait the two extra months of debt paydown that this set me back.   On a five-year payoff trajectory, that's insignificant.

Imagine the alternative, "I'm sorry Mom & Dad, Brothers, Nephews... I know you're all dedicating a week of (rare) time off to be together for a family milestone, but my debt is more important."    Fuck.  That.

The $300 party resulted in tons of leftovers that we're still eating -- that's why I made carnitas and beans, easy to freeze and reheat.  I also have a ton of bottled beer left.  I bought bottles (4 cases, $16/ case) on purpose so I could have leftovers for more at-home gatherings.

My friends, I am not "talking" about the anniversary trip again.  Subject closed.  Face punch rejected.

bb11

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2015, 09:43:48 AM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

Wow!  That's amazing.  Great job.

Digging deeper into the numbers, out of the $434 I spent since March on business dining, $129 of that was to take a client to dinner.  He has referred two other clients to me.  I should have asked for reimbursement from my firm, but I didn't and don't have the receipt.  Face punch.  Otherwise, it's typically a $15 lunch (separate checks) or $5 coffee.  I can greatly curtail or stop this, immediately.  But getting a new job requires networking and that's takes some level of investment. 

I'm bitter about my job, I'll admit.  I have a kick-ass resume -- all the credentials I need to be an associate if I had graduated in 2006.  But I graduated in 2011 when there were NO jobs and took the best I could get -- part time staff attorney.  I'm badly positioned in my firm, working for partners who have no power or influence and in an ancillary department. I tried to change departments and my two partners blocked me because they know the firm would not let them replace me b/c they have so little work.  In short, I'm f*cked.  If I relocated, I could be an associate, but I don't want to leave the great life I've built here.  So, PT/ SA it is....

The business travel I need to dig into deeper -- no time yet -- that $8500 was a very rough number and was likely offset by some reimbursements.  But last year, I went to NYC five times and DC three times.  Even on the cheap that adds up.  It resulted in some great connections, one of which is likely to result in some side work.  But, this too stops now.

The 50th anniversary trip was a one-off.  In general, we're not a big-spending family and everyone is supportive (though a little baffled by my frugality).  Do you all really think $300 is expensive for an at-home graduation party for 30 people?  I have some left-over beer and food so maybe I could have shaved this by $80.  But the beer will support more hang-out-at-my-house social events over the summer so that still seems frugal to me.  I bought bottled beer at Costco, instead of a keg, with this in mind.

For my older son's graduation in August, my parents are also planning on going. My dad has CC points he's going to redeem for a free van rental so all 7 of us can ride together (10 hours by van).  Still, I'd need to chip in for gas ($100?), and pay for two nights in a hotel for me and my youngest ($200? ball park) and meals for both of us ($100?).  So, there's roughly $400 spent, if I go.   

The good news is that there are no additional family events on the horizon.  No more milestone birthdays or anniversaries.  No more graduations.  No weddings.  I can get back on track.  I showed the basement apartment today and if the cute young couple who saw it decide to move in, it"ll add about $7k to my 2015 income.  I. Can. Do. This.

This is gonna be harsh but I think you need a facepunch.

$5000 for a weeklong family trip!!?!?! That's insane!! How can you try to rationalize that now? I did a 3 week roadtrip across the Unites States, stopping all sorts of places, and only spent $1800. My 2015 vacation budget now that I've taken said trip to move to my new home is $1200. I'm going on my third vacation next week and should be able to fit at least one more in on this budget. Look into some cheaper options. Couchsurf, Airbnb, stay with a friend, buy a freaking tent. Go with your family to the destination but there's no reason you have to match all of their prolific spending.

The $300 party isn't nearly as bad, but you probably could have spent half that. 5 $15 vodka handles and 10 pizzas can't be $200, and even that would probably provide leftovers of food and drink. Or buy a keg.

First of all, I self-administered several face punches for other spending and I'm back on track.

Secondly, $1500 of the $5k was my share of the week long house rental.  There were 13 of us.  I'm the only frugal person and I didn't pick the house.  My brothers each paid $1800 and gave me a discount because they're great guys (and we had to fly, they live near Big Bear).  The balance of the spending was in air travel (VA to CA), groceries, ONE dinner out, and two days of skiing for my son.  I DON'T REGRET THIS TRIP at all and would make the same decision in a heartbeat.   The cardinal rule of Mustachianism is to spend money thoughtfully, in ways that build deep value and meaning in our lives.   In 1975, when I was 7, my family celebrated Christmas in Big Bear and it ended up a family legend.  Forty years later, we all went back to Big Bear and created more legends.  This is the stuff that matters and yes, my debt can fucking wait the two extra months of debt paydown that this set me back.   On a five-year payoff trajectory, that's insignificant.

Imagine the alternative, "I'm sorry Mom & Dad, Brothers, Nephews... I know you're all dedicating a week of (rare) time off to be together for a family milestone, but my debt is more important."    Fuck.  That.

The $300 party resulted in tons of leftovers that we're still eating -- that's why I made carnitas and beans, easy to freeze and reheat.  I also have a ton of bottled beer left.  I bought bottles (4 cases, $16/ case) on purpose so I could have leftovers for more at-home gatherings.

My friends, I am not "talking" about the anniversary trip again.  Subject closed.  Face punch rejected.

You missed the part where I said you should go, but there's no reason you need to spend $5K. That's an absurd amount. You could have spent 1/3 of that and had the exact same result no? Your either/or fallacy where the only alternative is to not go at all is completely illogical.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2015, 10:35:09 AM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

Wow!  That's amazing.  Great job.

Digging deeper into the numbers, out of the $434 I spent since March on business dining, $129 of that was to take a client to dinner.  He has referred two other clients to me.  I should have asked for reimbursement from my firm, but I didn't and don't have the receipt.  Face punch.  Otherwise, it's typically a $15 lunch (separate checks) or $5 coffee.  I can greatly curtail or stop this, immediately.  But getting a new job requires networking and that's takes some level of investment. 

I'm bitter about my job, I'll admit.  I have a kick-ass resume -- all the credentials I need to be an associate if I had graduated in 2006.  But I graduated in 2011 when there were NO jobs and took the best I could get -- part time staff attorney.  I'm badly positioned in my firm, working for partners who have no power or influence and in an ancillary department. I tried to change departments and my two partners blocked me because they know the firm would not let them replace me b/c they have so little work.  In short, I'm f*cked.  If I relocated, I could be an associate, but I don't want to leave the great life I've built here.  So, PT/ SA it is....

The business travel I need to dig into deeper -- no time yet -- that $8500 was a very rough number and was likely offset by some reimbursements.  But last year, I went to NYC five times and DC three times.  Even on the cheap that adds up.  It resulted in some great connections, one of which is likely to result in some side work.  But, this too stops now.

The 50th anniversary trip was a one-off.  In general, we're not a big-spending family and everyone is supportive (though a little baffled by my frugality).  Do you all really think $300 is expensive for an at-home graduation party for 30 people?  I have some left-over beer and food so maybe I could have shaved this by $80.  But the beer will support more hang-out-at-my-house social events over the summer so that still seems frugal to me.  I bought bottled beer at Costco, instead of a keg, with this in mind.

For my older son's graduation in August, my parents are also planning on going. My dad has CC points he's going to redeem for a free van rental so all 7 of us can ride together (10 hours by van).  Still, I'd need to chip in for gas ($100?), and pay for two nights in a hotel for me and my youngest ($200? ball park) and meals for both of us ($100?).  So, there's roughly $400 spent, if I go.   

The good news is that there are no additional family events on the horizon.  No more milestone birthdays or anniversaries.  No more graduations.  No weddings.  I can get back on track.  I showed the basement apartment today and if the cute young couple who saw it decide to move in, it"ll add about $7k to my 2015 income.  I. Can. Do. This.

This is gonna be harsh but I think you need a facepunch.

$5000 for a weeklong family trip!!?!?! That's insane!! How can you try to rationalize that now? I did a 3 week roadtrip across the Unites States, stopping all sorts of places, and only spent $1800. My 2015 vacation budget now that I've taken said trip to move to my new home is $1200. I'm going on my third vacation next week and should be able to fit at least one more in on this budget. Look into some cheaper options. Couchsurf, Airbnb, stay with a friend, buy a freaking tent. Go with your family to the destination but there's no reason you have to match all of their prolific spending.

The $300 party isn't nearly as bad, but you probably could have spent half that. 5 $15 vodka handles and 10 pizzas can't be $200, and even that would probably provide leftovers of food and drink. Or buy a keg.

First of all, I self-administered several face punches for other spending and I'm back on track.

Secondly, $1500 of the $5k was my share of the week long house rental.  There were 13 of us.  I'm the only frugal person and I didn't pick the house.  My brothers each paid $1800 and gave me a discount because they're great guys (and we had to fly, they live near Big Bear).  The balance of the spending was in air travel (VA to CA), groceries, ONE dinner out, and two days of skiing for my son.  I DON'T REGRET THIS TRIP at all and would make the same decision in a heartbeat.   The cardinal rule of Mustachianism is to spend money thoughtfully, in ways that build deep value and meaning in our lives.   In 1975, when I was 7, my family celebrated Christmas in Big Bear and it ended up a family legend.  Forty years later, we all went back to Big Bear and created more legends.  This is the stuff that matters and yes, my debt can fucking wait the two extra months of debt paydown that this set me back.   On a five-year payoff trajectory, that's insignificant.

Imagine the alternative, "I'm sorry Mom & Dad, Brothers, Nephews... I know you're all dedicating a week of (rare) time off to be together for a family milestone, but my debt is more important."    Fuck.  That.

The $300 party resulted in tons of leftovers that we're still eating -- that's why I made carnitas and beans, easy to freeze and reheat.  I also have a ton of bottled beer left.  I bought bottles (4 cases, $16/ case) on purpose so I could have leftovers for more at-home gatherings.

My friends, I am not "talking" about the anniversary trip again.  Subject closed.  Face punch rejected.

You missed the part where I said you should go, but there's no reason you need to spend $5K. That's an absurd amount. You could have spent 1/3 of that and had the exact same result no? Your either/or fallacy where the only alternative is to not go at all is completely illogical.

No, spending $1500 would not have gotten the same result.  It cost us $1k just to fly out there (2 tickets, at Christmas, from the east coast to the west).  If you think $5k is absurd, then fine.  Make your choices accordingly.   I'm glad I spent the money, it was worth every dime.  I'd do it again, in that context.

bb11

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2015, 04:29:52 PM »
Also, to respond to the original post . . .

I graduated school in 2009 with over $210k in loans, almost all of which were student loans.

Six years later, I've paid off everything but ~$30k, and I'm paying this remainder slowly because of low interest rates.

Net worth is now just over $200k. My savings rate is likely to take a hit soon as my SO and I plan to consider children in the near future, and I plan to get a lower-stress job, which will slash my earnings but give me much more time and sleep. Given this, I'm looking into side hustles and techniques at reducing my expenses.

Wow!  That's amazing.  Great job.

Digging deeper into the numbers, out of the $434 I spent since March on business dining, $129 of that was to take a client to dinner.  He has referred two other clients to me.  I should have asked for reimbursement from my firm, but I didn't and don't have the receipt.  Face punch.  Otherwise, it's typically a $15 lunch (separate checks) or $5 coffee.  I can greatly curtail or stop this, immediately.  But getting a new job requires networking and that's takes some level of investment. 

I'm bitter about my job, I'll admit.  I have a kick-ass resume -- all the credentials I need to be an associate if I had graduated in 2006.  But I graduated in 2011 when there were NO jobs and took the best I could get -- part time staff attorney.  I'm badly positioned in my firm, working for partners who have no power or influence and in an ancillary department. I tried to change departments and my two partners blocked me because they know the firm would not let them replace me b/c they have so little work.  In short, I'm f*cked.  If I relocated, I could be an associate, but I don't want to leave the great life I've built here.  So, PT/ SA it is....

The business travel I need to dig into deeper -- no time yet -- that $8500 was a very rough number and was likely offset by some reimbursements.  But last year, I went to NYC five times and DC three times.  Even on the cheap that adds up.  It resulted in some great connections, one of which is likely to result in some side work.  But, this too stops now.

The 50th anniversary trip was a one-off.  In general, we're not a big-spending family and everyone is supportive (though a little baffled by my frugality).  Do you all really think $300 is expensive for an at-home graduation party for 30 people?  I have some left-over beer and food so maybe I could have shaved this by $80.  But the beer will support more hang-out-at-my-house social events over the summer so that still seems frugal to me.  I bought bottled beer at Costco, instead of a keg, with this in mind.

For my older son's graduation in August, my parents are also planning on going. My dad has CC points he's going to redeem for a free van rental so all 7 of us can ride together (10 hours by van).  Still, I'd need to chip in for gas ($100?), and pay for two nights in a hotel for me and my youngest ($200? ball park) and meals for both of us ($100?).  So, there's roughly $400 spent, if I go.   

The good news is that there are no additional family events on the horizon.  No more milestone birthdays or anniversaries.  No more graduations.  No weddings.  I can get back on track.  I showed the basement apartment today and if the cute young couple who saw it decide to move in, it"ll add about $7k to my 2015 income.  I. Can. Do. This.

This is gonna be harsh but I think you need a facepunch.

$5000 for a weeklong family trip!!?!?! That's insane!! How can you try to rationalize that now? I did a 3 week roadtrip across the Unites States, stopping all sorts of places, and only spent $1800. My 2015 vacation budget now that I've taken said trip to move to my new home is $1200. I'm going on my third vacation next week and should be able to fit at least one more in on this budget. Look into some cheaper options. Couchsurf, Airbnb, stay with a friend, buy a freaking tent. Go with your family to the destination but there's no reason you have to match all of their prolific spending.

The $300 party isn't nearly as bad, but you probably could have spent half that. 5 $15 vodka handles and 10 pizzas can't be $200, and even that would probably provide leftovers of food and drink. Or buy a keg.

First of all, I self-administered several face punches for other spending and I'm back on track.

Secondly, $1500 of the $5k was my share of the week long house rental.  There were 13 of us.  I'm the only frugal person and I didn't pick the house.  My brothers each paid $1800 and gave me a discount because they're great guys (and we had to fly, they live near Big Bear).  The balance of the spending was in air travel (VA to CA), groceries, ONE dinner out, and two days of skiing for my son.  I DON'T REGRET THIS TRIP at all and would make the same decision in a heartbeat.   The cardinal rule of Mustachianism is to spend money thoughtfully, in ways that build deep value and meaning in our lives.   In 1975, when I was 7, my family celebrated Christmas in Big Bear and it ended up a family legend.  Forty years later, we all went back to Big Bear and created more legends.  This is the stuff that matters and yes, my debt can fucking wait the two extra months of debt paydown that this set me back.   On a five-year payoff trajectory, that's insignificant.

Imagine the alternative, "I'm sorry Mom & Dad, Brothers, Nephews... I know you're all dedicating a week of (rare) time off to be together for a family milestone, but my debt is more important."    Fuck.  That.

The $300 party resulted in tons of leftovers that we're still eating -- that's why I made carnitas and beans, easy to freeze and reheat.  I also have a ton of bottled beer left.  I bought bottles (4 cases, $16/ case) on purpose so I could have leftovers for more at-home gatherings.

My friends, I am not "talking" about the anniversary trip again.  Subject closed.  Face punch rejected.

You missed the part where I said you should go, but there's no reason you need to spend $5K. That's an absurd amount. You could have spent 1/3 of that and had the exact same result no? Your either/or fallacy where the only alternative is to not go at all is completely illogical.

No, spending $1500 would not have gotten the same result.  It cost us $1k just to fly out there (2 tickets, at Christmas, from the east coast to the west).  If you think $5k is absurd, then fine.  Make your choices accordingly.   I'm glad I spent the money, it was worth every dime.  I'd do it again, in that context.

Cool, glad it was worth it to you. Just pointing out that it doesn't have to be an either/or thing (and even with $1k in required plane tickets you still spent another $4k). If you have no friends in the area you can try Couchsurfing.org, it's free. Or Airbnb, where you can find a place pretty much anywhere for $100 a night. You can hang out with loved ones all day and just go back to crash for a few hours, saving $750 or more. The rest of the $2500 was apparently spent on food and skiing? I could probably have skiied and gotten some cheap groceries and appetizers/entrees for a few hundred bucks. Most any expense with travel is all about what you're comfortable with, but there is no reason you can't do trips with family on a budget.

snogirl

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #84 on: June 26, 2015, 11:12:34 AM »
I started my MMM journey in May 2014.
At that time, my hair is on fire with debt!

CC debt (3 cards, 0%, 4%, 9.9%) = $29k
Truck loan (used for work) - $18k
Mortgage (3.5%) - $223k

A year later, my hair is singed, still a little smokey....but the card debt is gone as of last week!
To accomplish this
I followed many of the suggestions here & a few other valuable forums/blogs ie YMOYL, Prosperous Heart, The Minimalists
For example:
I ate rice & beans,
stripped away every consumer booby trap for me (amazon prime, cable, internet, smartphone etc)
inventoried, sold, or donated all kinds of items not needed or valued,
stopped spending,
counted my money/expenditures with a notebook,
bought a bicycle,
did side gigs for cash.

Current June 2015 picture looks like this:

CC Debt = zero
Truck loan = $10500
Mortgage=$219k

Now I want to kill the truck loan.  It is something I use to make money with for my side business is landscaping & kayak guide work (what I love).
My current fulltime gig that I want to kick to the curb is a state job.
 
My house is on a double lot in a highly desirable VT location (not Stowe but S. Burlington). I want this baby to start making me money too.
It seems clearing out the debt & getting a handle on my finances has really opened up all kinds of opportunities.
Well this is my contribution to the thread fwiw


 

aj_yooper

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #85 on: June 26, 2015, 03:00:52 PM »
Snogirl, that is amazing progress!  Very good work.

snogirl

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #86 on: June 27, 2015, 02:40:17 PM »
Snogirl, that is amazing progress!  Very good work.
Thank you!!

SingleMomDebt

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #87 on: June 27, 2015, 04:58:02 PM »
Snogirl, that is amazing progress!  Very good work.
+1

ioseftavi

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #88 on: July 22, 2015, 08:57:18 AM »
Resurrecting this thread to see how everyone is doing with their debts?

Since my last post I have reduced ours from US$38,000 to US$20,765 so it's still a bit "slow and steady" but that period of time (18 months) also included an international move entirely funded with money we saved up so I'm not being too hard on myself. Not taking my put off the pedal though...

Congrats, bumfluff!  That is AWESOME - a huge reduction in overall debt.  I bet you're starting to see serious 'snowball' effects, as well, as more of your payments go to principal each month. 

Crazy to see some of the debt that young lawyers are saddled with as they head out into the world!  Add us to the same pile.

My fiancee graduated law school with a total of $115,000 or so in debt (about $110,000 in student loans) in May 2012.  Repayment started in November of 2012, and we started getting medieval on them in the 2nd half of 2013. 

As of our most recent journal post, we're down to less than $60,000 - we're actually just about to hit the halfway point this week!  IT CAN BE DONE, YOU JUST HAVE TO RESOLVE TO PUNCH YOUR GODDAMNED LOANS IN THE FACE.

Debt was $115k in mid-2012, I wrote that post saying we were at $60k remaining at year end 2013, and we paid off the loans around Q3 of 2014.  Feels amazing to be done, but I will say that there's a definite sense of ennui having the loans gone - we feel a bit like superheroes with no villains to fight.  :(

Now we're pretty much plowing all of the former 'student loan repayment' money into after-tax accounts.  NW around ~$330k on our last monthly check in (journal here) and we're still saving pretty damned hard.  We've also started dabbling in the credit card rewards game, which I think probably scared us too much when we were still working on crushing the loans. 

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2015, 11:18:39 AM »
Debt - I hate that nasty little four letter word. We aren't terribly off but working towards improvement but we have a long haul before FIRE.
$1200 - DH's credit card, opened that when our moodle slipped a disc - was payed off last week

$1,400 - My CC - more vet expenses and a few wedding expenses (oops!) we will have this payed off at the latest September 4th, 2016

$4,485 - My car loan for my Honda FIT, already knocked off 2k and I bought it last August. This will be payed off August 2016 at the latest

$10K - My student loans - by the end of 2017 if we don't get an inheritance but the lines have been signed and I'm scheduled to receive almost this exact amount in November or so. It'll be going to wiping out the loans

$95k - Our house. He bought it in 2001 for 105k and refinanced in 2008 (before we met). Still debating what to do with this.

It can be intimidating staring down that long road. It feels like I'll never get to retirement, much less FIRE but we make a good team and I am young.
The eternal optimist in me just wants to tell everyone here to keeping burning you crazy fires :)

$1200 - DH's credit card, opened that when our moodle slipped a disc - was payed off last week[/s]

$1,400 - My CC - more vet expenses and a few wedding expenses (oops!) we will have this payed off at the latest September 4th, 2015
-Down to a little over $300 and we are a month ahead of schedule on re-payment

$4,485 - My car loan for my Honda FIT, already knocked off 2k and I bought it last August. This will be payed off August 2016 at the latest
-a little over 4k at the moment - this will be payed off in March, almost 4 months ahead of schedule

$10K - My student loans - by the end of 2017 if we don't get an inheritance but the lines have been signed and I'm scheduled to receive almost this exact amount in November or so. It'll be going to wiping out the loans
-still waiting for the inheritance disbursement but slowly paying on them at the moment

$95k - Our house. He bought it in 2001 for 105k and refinanced in 2008 (before we met). Still debating what to do with this.

Our new goal is to be debt free (except for the house) by our 1 year anniversary on 4/4

Bumfluff

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #90 on: November 24, 2015, 11:38:43 AM »
There has been some brilliant progress since I last checked in - anyone else got an update (good or bad)?

Since my last post I have taken on a permanent role (part-time as I want to be at home with the little ones) which pays more and offers more security. We're now saving for a decent deposit on a house while paying down the remaining debt at a steady rate. I know there are those who say don't save/buy until you have zero debt (I used to be one of them!!) but this is the right thing to do for our family and our future. The next step will be paying down that mortgage in record time - lots of inspiration on MM to help make that happen.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #91 on: November 24, 2015, 12:10:04 PM »
Sign me up for debt too! DH and I have $42k in student loans. $7k are his, I don't know the interest rate, but monthly payments are $100. I just graduated, so we're not paying on my $35k yet. Average interest rate on mine is 4.5%. No other debt.

Before all was said and done with school, I took more debt that wasn't represented in that total. Between DH and I, full debt point was $52k. We now have that down to $43.8k. Considering I only graduated this spring/early summer, I'm pretty happy with that!

There has been some brilliant progress since I last checked in - anyone else got an update (good or bad)?

Since my last post I have taken on a permanent role (part-time as I want to be at home with the little ones) which pays more and offers more security. We're now saving for a decent deposit on a house while paying down the remaining debt at a steady rate. I know there are those who say don't save/buy until you have zero debt (I used to be one of them!!) but this is the right thing to do for our family and our future. The next step will be paying down that mortgage in record time - lots of inspiration on MM to help make that happen.

Thanks for the update! And thanks for reviving. I had forgotten about this thread!

Sibley

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #92 on: November 24, 2015, 12:17:16 PM »
Well, I've almost paid off my credit card. Current balance will be wiped out in December, then I'll have $700 or so of dental work, so that'll get paid in January most likely.

Also currently saving $100 per pay period specifically for down payment. Once the credit card is done, I'll increase that and the SL payments some. Basically reallocating the cash.

Exflyboy

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #93 on: November 24, 2015, 01:02:19 PM »
I have a friend graduated medical school 2 or 3 years ago.. He is currently $300K in the hole... The mind boggles!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #94 on: November 24, 2015, 02:10:39 PM »
I have a friend graduated medical school 2 or 3 years ago.. He is currently $300K in the hole... The mind boggles!

IIRC, the debt for the average new doc is like $350k coming out of med school now.

zephyr911

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #95 on: November 24, 2015, 02:17:37 PM »
Been here over a year and a half, still paying off some consumer debt. No shame.
My APRs are all under 3% so I choose to focus primarily on investing with expected higher returns. SR is king. Obviously, all debt will be eliminated before FIRE or any other decisions involving reduced income.

lunahsol

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #96 on: November 24, 2015, 02:32:51 PM »
When I found MMM last February, my credit card debt had reached 16K.  It is now 3500 and is on track to be cleared by Feb 2016.   

In the past year, I have eliminated lunches and coffees out during the workday.  That simple change has made a huge difference.  I also like to go on "no spend" streaks.  Staying out of stores is key for me.  Also, as much as possible, I make it inconvenient for myself to spend money.  For example, do not save credit card info on amazon or other sites.  I also wrapped my remaining card in paper and tape, so it is there in case of emergency, but would require effort to get it all unwrapped so I could use it.  It just isn't worth it for a frivolous purchase.   

chesebert

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #97 on: November 25, 2015, 10:32:32 AM »
Just signed myself up for some more debt....

I have 100k in margin loan that was at a cool 2.3% but has now increased to 4% (unless SP500 drops by 50%, I won't have much to worry about). I really want to knock this out in 2016.

Just closed on an apartment unit with 400k in mortgage. I never had problem taking out loans for my rentals but taking out a big loan for primary residence without any income attached to it is new for me. The math tells me to not pay this off due to all the tax benefits - we will see.


use2betrix

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Re: Any others working on their debts?
« Reply #98 on: November 25, 2015, 10:42:25 AM »
I've paid off around 45-50k in student loans and consumer debt over the last few years. My only debt now is my 5th wheel I live full time in and the truck I use to pull it. They are both worth about what I owe so I consider them a 0 impact on my net worth. I recently refinanced the 5th wheel and knocked about 1/3 the time off and lowered the interest rate considerably. The truck is pretty expensive but the interest rate is right at the cutoff. About 4.9%, so for now I'm investing as opposed to paying it off early. I have about 3 more years of payments so I'd imagine I'll still pay it off a bit early.