Author Topic: Budget Plan  (Read 10039 times)

DuncanIdaho

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Budget Plan
« on: December 04, 2014, 10:26:29 AM »
I need some advice on budgeting.

On a biweekly basis

Current

Income
Net salary: 1712 (after taxes, 5% 401k match, health/dental/vision insurance, pension contribution, etc)

Expenditures
Housing: 700 (deposited into joint account with roommate to cover food, rent, utilities, etc, cannot be negotiated)
Car Gas: 60
Car Insurance: 70
Cell phone: 60
Incidentals: 200 (essentially spending money)
Credit card 1: 100 (5,900 balance @ 16% annual)
Credit card 2: 100 (257 balance @ 16.5% annual)
Car Loan: 183 (8,300 balance @ 2.99% annual)
Student Loans: 33 (12,600 balance @ 6% annual)

Remaining = 146 dollars

Major future purchase by January: Car tires total cost will be 600 dollars. The plan is to save up 600 dollars from remaining and incidentals first. This purchase cannot be held off as the tires are cracking and need replaced.

I've been reading Dave Ramsey and he suggests to create a 1,000 dollar emergency account first, then snowball debt payment (or debt avalanche if you have the wherewithal), then increase savings to 3 - 6 months of expenditures. I also read another site which recommends creating separate savings accounts for future purchases (such as new clothes, vacation, etc).

My initial plan:
1. save 600 dollars to replace tires in January;

2. Halve incidental costs and roll that into remaining for a total of 246 dollars per pay period. Put this into a newly emergency savings account until 1,000 dollars;

3. Start debt snowball paying off credit card 2 and rolling payment into credit card 1. After emergency fund is to 1,000 dollars put the extra 246 dollars into snowball (Credit card 2, credit card 1, car loan, student loan);

4. After snowball completed (I've calculated 2 years from now) increase 401k contributions to max, then Roth IRA, then a taxable brokerage account; and

5. Create savings account for different things (vacation, clothes, electronics, etc).

Thoughts and advice appreciated!






« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 11:10:51 PM by DuncanIdaho »

klystomane

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 10:40:04 AM »
Are these per month figures?

Housing: 700 (deposited into joint account with roommate to cover food, rent, utilities, etc, cannot be negotiated)
Seems reasonable.

Car Gas: 60
Car Insurance: 70
Car Loan: 183 (8,300 balance @ 2.99% annual)
Lumped your car related expenses together. Is selling the car and taking the bus/riding a bike an option? This all goes away if it is.

Cell phone: 120
Pretty steep. What does your cell phone plan entail? PTel offers a $25 unlimited everything plan (albeit 2G data) which should be fine if you're near enough Wifi hotspots most of the time. There are even cheaper plans if you're willing to settle for less.

Incidentals: 200 (essentially spending money)
What does this cover?

Your plan sounds reasonable, but I think you need to increase the amount you're saving and to increase your income (part-time job or new job maybe).

Try to get rid of the car and cut down your incidentals even further. Throw everything else at your loans.


Gin1984

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 10:40:22 AM »
Cut your phone costs, when does your contract expire?
Your cat insurance is high as well, but that may be because your car is too new.  How old is the car and how much is it worth?
Next, call your credit card companies and tell them they are your highest rate, will they lower it.

midweststache

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 10:47:24 AM »
If you go on a no-spend month (i.e. get rid of your $200 "incidentals" category--you should really figure out what this is, $50/week is high for miscellaneous spending) you can knock out CC2 this month. That frees up $100/month to double your payments on CC1 (or more if you reduce the "incidentals" spending).

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 10:56:09 AM »
Are these per month figures?

Housing: 700 (deposited into joint account with roommate to cover food, rent, utilities, etc, cannot be negotiated)
Seems reasonable.

Car Gas: 60
Car Insurance: 70
Car Loan: 183 (8,300 balance @ 2.99% annual)
Lumped your car related expenses together. Is selling the car and taking the bus/riding a bike an option? This all goes away if it is.

Cell phone: 120
Pretty steep. What does your cell phone plan entail? PTel offers a $25 unlimited everything plan (albeit 2G data) which should be fine if you're near enough Wifi hotspots most of the time. There are even cheaper plans if you're willing to settle for less.

Incidentals: 200 (essentially spending money)
What does this cover?

Your plan sounds reasonable, but I think you need to increase the amount you're saving and to increase your income (part-time job or new job maybe).

Try to get rid of the car and cut down your incidentals even further. Throw everything else at your loans.


Cut your phone costs, when does your contract expire?
Your cat insurance is high as well, but that may be because your car is too new.  How old is the car and how much is it worth?
Next, call your credit card companies and tell them they are your highest rate, will they lower it.

1. These figures are biweekly.
2. The cellphone costs are high. Currently Verizon Wireless with unlimited data. I've looked at other plans and while high I get the best service for the price. The other option is to just do away with the data plan and go with a cheap voice only. The other issue is that I do telework once a week and using the cellphone allows me to telework.
3. Incidentals basically covers eating out, and any costs that pop up that I don't budget for (basically play money). This month this amount will go towards some Christmas gifts for my family.
4. Selling the car and biking is not reasonable. I live 5 miles from the train station and have to take the highway. Zero way I can bike on the highway. Also, moving closer to work is a no go. I work in DC as a federal employee. My sister (roommate) and I own the house which also ties me to the current commute.
5. I think a part-time job is doable. However, this will most likely start some time at the beginning of next year. The job I have now has guaranteed raises with me reaching 120,000 (before taxes) within the next 5 years.
6. Car insurance is high, but cheapest I can find. Factors to why its high are due to living close to DC and the fact that my bank requires full coverage while I have a loan out. I also had a traffic violation about a year ago that caused the spike.
7. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable getting rid of the car. This car can last me another 6 years easily.

Overall, I think I need to roll in as much as I can from incidentals into paying down debt. And a part time job will work wonders in getting out of debt faster.

rujancified

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 10:57:40 AM »
If you get paid biweekly, aren't there some 3 paycheck months? What are you doing with those checks?

Cut your cell phone plan when you can, that's a pretty high expense.

You say the housing situation is non-negotiable, so I'll take you at your word there.

Your steps are in the right order for the most part, but once you get to step 4, you could start your "savings accounts" for clothes, etc.

Gin1984

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 11:03:27 AM »
Are these per month figures?

Housing: 700 (deposited into joint account with roommate to cover food, rent, utilities, etc, cannot be negotiated)
Seems reasonable.

Car Gas: 60
Car Insurance: 70
Car Loan: 183 (8,300 balance @ 2.99% annual)
Lumped your car related expenses together. Is selling the car and taking the bus/riding a bike an option? This all goes away if it is.

Cell phone: 120
Pretty steep. What does your cell phone plan entail? PTel offers a $25 unlimited everything plan (albeit 2G data) which should be fine if you're near enough Wifi hotspots most of the time. There are even cheaper plans if you're willing to settle for less.

Incidentals: 200 (essentially spending money)
What does this cover?

Your plan sounds reasonable, but I think you need to increase the amount you're saving and to increase your income (part-time job or new job maybe).

Try to get rid of the car and cut down your incidentals even further. Throw everything else at your loans.


Cut your phone costs, when does your contract expire?
Your cat insurance is high as well, but that may be because your car is too new.  How old is the car and how much is it worth?
Next, call your credit card companies and tell them they are your highest rate, will they lower it.

1. These figures are biweekly.
2. The cellphone costs are high. Currently Verizon Wireless with unlimited data. I've looked at other plans and while high I get the best service for the price. The other option is to just do away with the data plan and go with a cheap voice only. The other issue is that I do telework once a week and using the cellphone allows me to telework.
3. Incidentals basically covers eating out, and any costs that pop up that I don't budget for (basically play money). This month this amount will go towards some Christmas gifts for my family.
4. Selling the car and biking is not reasonable. I live 5 miles from the train station and have to take the highway. Zero way I can bike on the highway. Also, moving closer to work is a no go. I work in DC as a federal employee. My sister (roommate) and I own the house which also ties me to the current commute.
5. I think a part-time job is doable. However, this will most likely start some time at the beginning of next year. The job I have now has guaranteed raises with me reaching 120,000 (before taxes) within the next 5 years.
6. Car insurance is high, but cheapest I can find. Factors to why its high are due to living close to DC and the fact that my bank requires full coverage while I have a loan out. I also had a traffic violation about a year ago that caused the spike.
7. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable getting rid of the car. This car can last me another 6 years easily.

Overall, I think I need to roll in as much as I can from incidentals into paying down debt. And a part time job will work wonders in getting out of debt faster.
You may not be comfortable but it is something to consider given how bad your debt is.  And if you have a loan, it should be lasting you way longer than six years.  How old is it? 
If you have Internet at home, why do you need data at home for telecommuting?

klystomane

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2014, 11:04:21 AM »
Are these per month figures?

Housing: 700 (deposited into joint account with roommate to cover food, rent, utilities, etc, cannot be negotiated)
Seems reasonable.

Car Gas: 60
Car Insurance: 70
Car Loan: 183 (8,300 balance @ 2.99% annual)
Lumped your car related expenses together. Is selling the car and taking the bus/riding a bike an option? This all goes away if it is.

Cell phone: 120
Pretty steep. What does your cell phone plan entail? PTel offers a $25 unlimited everything plan (albeit 2G data) which should be fine if you're near enough Wifi hotspots most of the time. There are even cheaper plans if you're willing to settle for less.

Incidentals: 200 (essentially spending money)
What does this cover?

Your plan sounds reasonable, but I think you need to increase the amount you're saving and to increase your income (part-time job or new job maybe).

Try to get rid of the car and cut down your incidentals even further. Throw everything else at your loans.


Cut your phone costs, when does your contract expire?
Your cat insurance is high as well, but that may be because your car is too new.  How old is the car and how much is it worth?
Next, call your credit card companies and tell them they are your highest rate, will they lower it.

1. These figures are biweekly.
2. The cellphone costs are high. Currently Verizon Wireless with unlimited data. I've looked at other plans and while high I get the best service for the price. The other option is to just do away with the data plan and go with a cheap voice only. The other issue is that I do telework once a week and using the cellphone allows me to telework.
3. Incidentals basically covers eating out, and any costs that pop up that I don't budget for (basically play money). This month this amount will go towards some Christmas gifts for my family.
4. Selling the car and biking is not reasonable. I live 5 miles from the train station and have to take the highway. Zero way I can bike on the highway. Also, moving closer to work is a no go. I work in DC as a federal employee. My sister (roommate) and I own the house which also ties me to the current commute.
5. I think a part-time job is doable. However, this will most likely start some time at the beginning of next year. The job I have now has guaranteed raises with me reaching 120,000 (before taxes) within the next 5 years.
6. Car insurance is high, but cheapest I can find. Factors to why its high are due to living close to DC and the fact that my bank requires full coverage while I have a loan out. I also had a traffic violation about a year ago that caused the spike.
7. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable getting rid of the car. This car can last me another 6 years easily.

Overall, I think I need to roll in as much as I can from incidentals into paying down debt. And a part time job will work wonders in getting out of debt faster.

Assuming 4 weeks per month, your phone costs you $240 per month and you're sharing a place you pay $1400/month for? I'm a bit confused by the numbers.

Can you telework with your laptop?

Not sure what cell phone plans are like in DC; MetroPCS around where I am offers a $35 unlimited everything plan (first 500mb data LTE).

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2014, 11:19:12 AM »
1. If you get paid biweekly, aren't there some 3 paycheck months? What are you doing with those checks?
These checks will go immediately into the the snowball debt repayment.

2. Assuming 4 weeks per month, your phone costs you $240 per month and you're sharing a place you pay $1400/month for? I'm a bit confused by the numbers.
Essentially yes. Numbers are high, but not really considering it's DC.


I think I will downgrade my cellphone for sure. Right now it's a family plan. I hate to lose the unlimited data, but money will speak louder than anything else.

My car is a 2008 model. I bought it 3 years ago with 29,000 miles. It has 85,000 miles now. I drive a lot to different state parks (VA, MD, WV, NC) to hike.



themagicman

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2014, 11:43:47 AM »
2. Assuming 4 weeks per month, your phone costs you $240 per month and you're sharing a place you pay $1400/month for? I'm a bit confused by the numbers.
Essentially yes. Numbers are high, but not really considering it's DC.



Holy Shit! You are saying your phone costs $240 a month?!?! When is your contract up and how much does it cost to break your contract? This needs to be cut right now!

thecornercat

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2014, 12:02:53 PM »
I agree with others that the phone expense needs to be dealt with. If it really is $240/mo, that's two months of groceries and household expenses. Whoa.


My advice to you would also be to track where your money is going. "Incidentals" is very vague. You could do this in very many different ways, but it doesn't have to be fancy. Spent $5 on fries? Just write down on an excel sheet that you spent $5. Next to it,  in a different column, write fries. Let it all add up over the course of a month.

(I actually don't count my expenses this way, but you might find this easier starting out.)

I needed three months of tracking before I figured out what was going on with my money and gained any control over it. It helped me be more aware and disciplined. And it gave me a fuller picture of what my life looks like and what I spend my money on. It also helps you make sure that you are happy with where your money is going.

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2014, 12:19:37 PM »
My apologies, my cell bill per month is 120 dollars. So on a biweekly basis it is 60 dollars.

Gin1984

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2014, 12:23:25 PM »
My apologies, my cell bill per month is 120 dollars. So on a biweekly basis it is 60 dollars.
I think I agree with one of the other posters, you need to start tracking your spending.

2ndTimer

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2014, 01:08:39 PM »
Given your situation $200/month for incidentals is way too high.  Get a pocket notebook and immediately write down every "incidental" you buy.  You will find that more than half of them are so unnecessary that you can hardly bear to write them down.  Stop eating out until you have paid off your debt.   

skunkfunk

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2014, 01:28:10 PM »
Your car insurance and cellphone are ridiculous. Oh, huge facepunch on that cell. Get republic wireless or something, ANYTHING but that bullshit.

Car insurance - you have too much car for your situation. Those credit card debts are HAIR ON FIRE. Get rid of the car. Don't care if you're not comfortable with it, you should be LESS comfortable with your crazy high interest debt load. You could churn through 4 cheapass cars over the next 6 years, get towed when it breaks down on the highway, and still come out money ahead. Get a cheaper one that you don't need full coverage. "But repairs cost!" Sure. But they'll cost less than you're spending on that crap right now, by a lot. Oh, and fix it yourself. See youtube for instructions. Also, get a bike and use it for grocery shopping and whatnot.

Incidentals - find lower cost alternatives for whatever the hell you are doing. Gaming? Download free games, I like older ones from before the F2P model. Going out? Go do something physical. Drinking? Make your own. You know, whatever it takes.

These things are fairly imperative and may be readdressed to some extent after you get rid of the debts and rip up your credit cards. Credit cards can be good, but you should really work on that frugality muscle before ever using it again.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/22/curing-your-clown-like-car-habit/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/06/21/frugality-as-a-muscle/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/12/09/soldier-of-luxury/

Travis

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2014, 02:10:58 PM »
Quote
My car is a 2008 model. I bought it 3 years ago with 29,000 miles. It has 85,000 miles now. I drive a lot to different state parks (VA, MD, WV, NC) to hike.

You're not going to find much sympathy for your car and cell phone expenses in this forum.  In the MMM community hitting 100,000 miles on your car is otherwise known as "breaking it in."  I did some quick math and if you keep to your current loan payment you'll be paying for the car for four more years, but you think the car will only last you another six.  That's mathematical insanity. 56,000 miles in 3 years is higher than the national average, but there's no reason why your car shouldn't last you four times that if properly maintained.  No matter how you slice the numbers, maintenance and repairs beat car payments by any stretch.

For the cell phone, take a serious look at how much data you're actually using each month.  Unlimited data might feel comfortable, but if you're only using half of what is offered then you're throwing money away.

Quote
I've looked at other plans and while high I get the best service for the price. The other option is to just do away with the data plan and go with a cheap voice only.

Why is it all or none?  There's a plan for nearly every level of data usage out there.  What telework are you doing that requires phone data?  If you're serious about squashing these debts sooner than later, you may very well have to suck it up and get a simple voice plan.

And I'm throwing a facepunch for the comment I  bolded.  You're in debt. Prices for everything are absolutes, not relative.  If you only have $50 to spend, but spend it on fluff that was on sale you still spent $50 you needed elsewhere.  I used that excuse and bought twice as much house as I needed, but told myself it was okay because I only paid an extra 12% more than I intended (it was even more when you factor in upkeep).  It was still a ton of money I pissed away for the time I was paying for that house.  If you're serious about this debt then nothing you spend money on should be considered too sacred or too good a deal to not consider.

Gin1984

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2014, 02:44:28 PM »
I want to know how you have a loan for that long.  It seems that you will have the loan for 6 years?  Is that right?

klystomane

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2014, 02:48:46 PM »
My apologies, my cell bill per month is 120 dollars. So on a biweekly basis it is 60 dollars.

Car insurance is 70 or 140 per month?

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2014, 02:58:28 PM »
It is a 5 year loan. And insurance is 140 a month.

I've looked into selling the car and buying a cheaper one, but I don't have the liquid cash to buy a car right now so it makes no sense for me to sell unless there are other options.

skunkfunk

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2014, 03:01:13 PM »
It is a 5 year loan. And insurance is 140 a month.

I've looked into selling the car and buying a cheaper one, but I don't have the liquid cash to buy a car right now so it makes no sense for me to sell unless there are other options.

Not as bad as I thought on the cell phone, but 140 a month insurance is still horrible (as is 120 on cell.) Are you underwater on the car? You've got to get rid of it if you want to make progress here.

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2014, 03:16:42 PM »
I'm not. I have 8,500 left on the loan and the car is appraised at 12,500.

skunkfunk

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2014, 03:28:58 PM »
I'm not. I have 8,500 left on the loan and the car is appraised at 12,500.

That's enough to buy a decent car. 4k.

klystomane

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2014, 03:36:20 PM »
I'm leaning towards if he truly needs the car, then there's no real value in selling and getting a new one, unless he is an expert mechanic and is confident that he can find a working car for 4k. The 8.5k seems like a good amount to just pay off asap. The caveat being that he should keep his car forever....

To the OP: $1700 after deductions and contributions bi-weekly isn't a bad paycheck. I think you just need to trim the fat from your spending.

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2014, 09:10:41 AM »
My calculations project my car being paid off by June 2015 even without a part time job. My car currently has 86,000 miles and will last easily over 200k. My interest rate is extremely low as well. In June, I'll be able to lower my insurance since I won't need comprehensive.

Right now, my biggest plan of attack after reading everyone's comments is to:
1. find a part-time job (that'll be a new question);
2. cut back and eliminate most of the incidental costs and roll that into paying off debt;
3. lower cell phone bill.

Thanks again for all the advice and help!

skunkfunk

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2014, 09:33:34 AM »
My calculations project my car being paid off by June 2015 even without a part time job. My car currently has 86,000 miles and will last easily over 200k. My interest rate is extremely low as well. In June, I'll be able to lower my insurance since I won't need comprehensive.

If you're going to ignore our advice on the car, that is of course your prerogative. It is your responsibility not ours, so while you don't have to justify it to me, just know you are not making the best "financial" decision for your situation.

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2014, 12:57:14 PM »
skunkfunk,

I'm not attempting to ignore your advice on the car. However, there are a few reasons to my course of action:

1. Trading in my current car for a car worth 4,000 dollars is a huge risk. I don't have the know how much less the time to learn, tools or location to repair a car. I have to make sure it passes MD safety and emissions tests. This could increase my immediate costs to which I don't have any disposable income. I could get a cheaper car, but then I risk paying more for repairs than for the actual worth of the vehicle. It doesn't make much sense to me. Even though my vehicle is depreciating in value, it is by far a very good asset to hold. Now, I'm not close minded, but if you have an alternative, I'm all ears.   

2. If I keep the current car, I'll have my high interest credit cards paid off 2nd week of February 2015. If I sell and roll that 365 per month into my loans, I get out ahead by 2 weeks which really doesn't make much sense again.

3. I have not factored in the huge tax return I get due to the house I bought this year. This will be rolled immediately into the credit cards. I also will be selling a engagement ring and a few other things that will again be rolled into debt.

4. With my current plan, I'll have paid off my car by May of this year.

5. After my car, the only debt I'll have is my student loans and mortgage. My work does student loan repayment in September every year. I'll be eligible for 6,500 dollars that will be applied to my student loans. So, by September of this year, I'll be debt free (minus my mortgage) and have a good stream of FCF I can apply to the house, savings account, 401k, Roth IRA and brokerage account.




caseyzee

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2014, 01:04:23 PM »
I would be concerned that your budget - even with the high "incidentals" allotted for, doesn't cover everything.  How did you get this credit card debt?  What kinds of things did you buy?  Are you now not buying those things?  Paying it back is one thing, but eliminating the need is important too.


skunkfunk

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2014, 01:13:39 PM »
skunkfunk,

I'm not attempting to ignore your advice on the car. However, there are a few reasons to my course of action:

1. Trading in my current car for a car worth 4,000 dollars is a huge risk. I don't have the know how much less the time to learn, tools or location to repair a car. I have to make sure it passes MD safety and emissions tests. This could increase my immediate costs to which I don't have any disposable income. I could get a cheaper car, but then I risk paying more for repairs than for the actual worth of the vehicle. It doesn't make much sense to me. Even though my vehicle is depreciating in value, it is by far a very good asset to hold. Now, I'm not close minded, but if you have an alternative, I'm all ears.   

My experience is admittedly anecdotal, but I feel it is riskier to keep a depreciating asset that you bought on credit than to take the chance that a used car is a piece of shit. You're spending $430 a month on that thing before taxes or repairs. It would be a huge shock if you spent anywhere near that on repairs + insurance for a used car. After 10 months you're in the green and it's pure profit. Best ROI you'll find anywhere anytime. You were also planning on saving up $600 for tires anyway, do that and you should have enough for most repairs put back. If you have that and $1k emergency fund on hand you can cover virtually any repair short of crashing it into something. Listed here are some cars you should be looking at, trend older and higher mileage on certain cars on the list and you can find something reliable for around $4k.

I suggest if you are uncomfortable with this, save up that $1600 before selling the car. Check insurance prices on cars before buying, you don't want to get blindsided.


2. If I keep the current car, I'll have my high interest credit cards paid off 2nd week of February 2015. If I sell and roll that 365 per month into my loans, I get out ahead by 2 weeks which really doesn't make much sense again.

3. I have not factored in the huge tax return I get due to the house I bought this year. This will be rolled immediately into the credit cards. I also will be selling a engagement ring and a few other things that will again be rolled into debt.

2 weeks is 2 weeks. It adds up or you wouldn't be here, right? Are you sure you'll get a big tax return because of that? If you don't exceed the standard deduction you won't get any extra back. I'm unaware of any homebuyer tax credit plans at this time, thought that ended in 2010. In your initial post I thought you paid $1400 into a pool to cover rent and food? You have a mortgage in your name? What is the value of the house and the value of the loan?
4. With my current plan, I'll have paid off my car by May of this year.
I must have missed something. I don't see how that is possible. It is your lowest interest debt and quite sizable.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 01:54:12 PM by skunkfunk »

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2014, 01:52:18 PM »
I admit I am a little blinded by my choice of vehicle. For all the travelling and driving I do (It's my hobby), I'd want to shoot myself in the face before driving any of the cars listed by the link. I consider most too small, death traps and the best way to lose weight since the ride's so uncomfortable you'll shake any excess weight off in no time flat. So, while number wise it makes sense to do as you suggested, I can offset the cost by limiting travelling and rolling the money into the credit card debts. I could also wait on the tires since I won't be travelling a lot. And I have such a steady job, I can risk 2 months with no emergency savings and roll that into my credit card debts. Also, the part time job (hopefully! wish me luck!) should help offset costs too.

Yes, mortgage is in my sister's and my name. Interest is at 3.5%. I'll have to double check the mortgage interest stuff. I could be overshooting my tax return. Regardless, I usually get back around 2k every year that I can roll into debt. The current loan value is 264,000. The house value is appraised at 310,000 dollars.

Combined with the cost cutting, part-time job, tax return and selling valuables May is doable. Unless my Excel spreadsheet is lying to me.

Also, the costs on the credit card debts were due to emergency purchases for the house (furniture, lawn tools, shed).

Gin1984

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2014, 01:59:39 PM »
I admit I am a little blinded by my choice of vehicle. For all the travelling and driving I do (It's my hobby), I'd want to shoot myself in the face before driving any of the cars listed by the link. I consider most too small, death traps and the best way to lose weight since the ride's so uncomfortable you'll shake any excess weight off in no time flat. So, while number wise it makes sense to do as you suggested, I can offset the cost by limiting travelling and rolling the money into the credit card debts. I could also wait on the tires since I won't be travelling a lot. And I have such a steady job, I can risk 2 months with no emergency savings and roll that into my credit card debts. Also, the part time job (hopefully! wish me luck!) should help offset costs too.

Yes, mortgage is in my sister's and my name. Interest is at 3.5%. I'll have to double check the mortgage interest stuff. I could be overshooting my tax return. Regardless, I usually get back around 2k every year that I can roll into debt. The current loan value is 264,000. The house value is appraised at 310,000 dollars.

Combined with the cost cutting, part-time job, tax return and selling valuables May is doable. Unless my Excel spreadsheet is lying to me.

Also, the costs on the credit card debts were due to emergency purchases for the house (furniture, lawn tools, shed).
You do not have money for a hobby.  That is the point!.  And those are not emergencies.

Mortgage Free Mike

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2014, 02:04:06 PM »
Sign up for Mint.com's app and put it on your smartphone. It will help you track expenses in ALL budget categories. You need to know where your money is going to avoid going further into debt. I also agree about working to reduce some expenses. I pay $30 a month with Republic Wireless for my smartphone. You can get straightened out fairly quickly with some smart decision making. Best of luck.

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2014, 02:18:53 PM »
You do not have money for a hobby.  That is the point!.  And those are not emergencies.

I agree which is why I am cutting back expenses related to that hobby and will resume once I get the high credit card debt out of the way. However, long term I'll end up wanting the exact same car I have now. The interest on the loan is low and it'll be paid off in May. I also don't want to run the risk of cutting everything out of my life for an entire year. It's the same as dieting. Most who try extreme diets usually end up failing and starting worse off.

My plan I am hoping will enable me to get out of debt in an appropriate amount of time while still enjoying life.

As for the second part of your post; I know they aren't emergencies, but tell that to my sister. :) In any case, it's pointless pointing that out since the damage is done and I need to pay off the debt.

themagicman

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2014, 02:22:31 PM »
I admit I am a little blinded by my choice of vehicle. For all the travelling and driving I do (It's my hobby), I'd want to shoot myself in the face before driving any of the cars listed by the link. I consider most too small, death traps and the best way to lose weight since the ride's so uncomfortable you'll shake any excess weight off in no time flat. I think you could find a car that would work for you. My wife's car is worth about $4k and is not small, not a "death trap" and does not shake. You are not really in a situation where you can splurge on your car!
I could be overshooting my tax return. Regardless, I usually get back around 2k every year that I can roll into debt.
This is not a good thing. You need to adjust your withholdings at work to not get anything back. You are giving a free loan and paying extra interest on your debts that you do not have to

Also, the costs on the credit card debts were due to emergency purchases for the house (furniture, lawn tools, shed).
These are not anywhere close to being considered "emergencies"

Travis

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2014, 04:38:51 PM »
Quote
2. If I keep the current car, I'll have my high interest credit cards paid off 2nd week of February 2015. If I sell and roll that 365 per month into my loans, I get out ahead by 2 weeks which really doesn't make much sense again.

3. I have not factored in the huge tax return I get due to the house I bought this year. This will be rolled immediately into the credit cards. I also will be selling a engagement ring and a few other things that will again be rolled into debt.

4. With my current plan, I'll have paid off my car by May of this year.

5. After my car, the only debt I'll have is my student loans and mortgage. My work does student loan repayment in September every year. I'll be eligible for 6,500 dollars that will be applied to my student loans. So, by September of this year, I'll be debt free (minus my mortgage) and have a good stream of FCF I can apply to the house, savings account, 401k, Roth IRA and brokerage account.

If your figures are accurate, this is a significant amount of information you left out of your initial post.  Some of it comes close to contradicting what you initially stated.  The numbers you posted made it appear you had almost no cash after your minimum balances were paid and you needed to spend several months building an emergency fund, but now you're saying you could have your largest credit card and car paid off within the next few months.  I'm thoroughly confused at this point.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2014, 05:02:35 PM »
Are you able to refinance any of your debts? Especially the credit cards, surely you could balance transfer them to a lower interest card (especially with steady work) whilst aggressively paying them off? Save some interest and all.

With the whole car thing, buying stupid cars is part of what's got you into this mess. You may have to swallow your pride and buy something more reasonable. Then you get cheaper insurance, tyres, less gas, the lot.

Think of what got you into $6000 of credit card debt.

Hotstreak

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2014, 05:32:41 PM »
Given your situation $200/month for incidentals is way too high.  Get a pocket notebook and immediately write down every "incidental" you buy.  You will find that more than half of them are so unnecessary that you can hardly bear to write them down.  Stop eating out until you have paid off your debt.   

Absolutely agree and wanted to point out that this is $200 every two weeks, or $433/month (4.3333 weeks/month). 

Likewise housing + food + utilities is $700 biweekly, or $1,517/month.  I get that this is DC, but still seems expensive with a roommate.

OP - can you convert your spending to monthly & edit your original post with the information?  You stated previously that your cell phone cost was stated as monthly, and I'm curious if this is true for any of the other expenses you list.  Without precise data it's difficult to make helpful comments on your budget.
 
 
ETA: You list your debt paydown order as (Credit card 2, credit card 1, car loan, student loan).  Based on interest rate the student loan should come first.  Are you planning on reducing your insurance coverage when the car is paid?  That would make sense.  The student loan interest tax break is good, but not so great that you should pay it off last (at 3% vs 6% rate).
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 05:35:47 PM by RobbyJ »

kpd905

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2014, 05:41:43 PM »

 The job I have now has guaranteed raises with me reaching 120,000 (before taxes) within the next 5 years.

Do you have this in writing?

DuncanIdaho

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Re: Budget Plan
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2014, 11:09:35 PM »
If your figures are accurate, this is a significant amount of information you left out of your initial post.  Some of it comes close to contradicting what you initially stated.  The numbers you posted made it appear you had almost no cash after your minimum balances were paid and you needed to spend several months building an emergency fund, but now you're saying you could have your largest credit card and car paid off within the next few months.  I'm thoroughly confused at this point.

I'm not sure why there is confusion. I clearly pointed out this is biweekly. Additionally, cost cutting the cell phone and incidentals and rolling that into debt payments accounts for the extra cash flow. Also, with the hope of getting part time job should help temporarily increase cash flow as well. I think most people are reading this as monthly when it is not. I hope this sorts you out. The numbers should check out. If you have issues please point them out. I think my layout in the first part is reasonably easy to follow.


 The job I have now has guaranteed raises with me reaching 120,000 (before taxes) within the next 5 years.

Do you have this in writing?

Yep, it's in writing.

Given your situation $200/month for incidentals is way too high.  Get a pocket notebook and immediately write down every "incidental" you buy.  You will find that more than half of them are so unnecessary that you can hardly bear to write them down.  Stop eating out until you have paid off your debt.   

Absolutely agree and wanted to point out that this is $200 every two weeks, or $433/month (4.3333 weeks/month). 

Likewise housing + food + utilities is $700 biweekly, or $1,517/month.  I get that this is DC, but still seems expensive with a roommate.

OP - can you convert your spending to monthly & edit your original post with the information?  You stated previously that your cell phone cost was stated as monthly, and I'm curious if this is true for any of the other expenses you list.  Without precise data it's difficult to make helpful comments on your budget.
 
 
ETA: You list your debt paydown order as (Credit card 2, credit card 1, car loan, student loan).  Based on interest rate the student loan should come first.  Are you planning on reducing your insurance coverage when the car is paid?  That would make sense.  The student loan interest tax break is good, but not so great that you should pay it off last (at 3% vs 6% rate).

Unfortunately, 1500 a month is cheap for DC. Believe me, I wish this was considered expensive. I prefer to keep the budget biweekly as I get paid biweekly and budget everything accordingly. However, I'll go through tomorrow to make clarifications as needed.

I disagree with your assessment of paying down the student loan first. The credit cards carry the highest interest. I prefer a modified debt avalanche plan. I chose car over student loans since student loans will be take care of with work student repayment. The Student loan isn't a tax break. My work will give me 6,500 dollars. It's literally free money.