Author Topic: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.  (Read 8157 times)

Fejj7ty

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Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« on: March 09, 2016, 11:36:11 AM »
Gonna get right to it:

ME: 25, male.
LOCATION: NW Florida
EDUCATION: BS in History, went from 08 - 12

INCOME: $11/hr, full 40 hrs every week. Comes out to about $725 every two weeks. That does leave two extra paychecks a year due to uneven weeks, but I do not include this in budget - extra. (Generally for payment..) Have been two $500 bonuses last two years.
Customer Service Rep. for a local company.
Been in the position about 13 months, previously worked receptionist for same company for a few years.

Currently taking employer match for 401k - full match for first 3%, 80% match for next 2%. Roughly about $40-50 of pay.

BUDGET:

RENT: $600
WATER: $10 (on average)
ELECTRIC: $75 (on average)
HEALTH INSURANCE: $99
CAR LOAN: $130
STUDENT DEBT: $157
INTERNT: $60 (AT&T only choice here.)
GAS: $60~ (Wish the public transit was worth a dang, and that I lived closer to work!)
PHONE: $10 (Old flip phone, wooo!)
CAR INSURANCE: $100 (paid every 6 months, about $600) (This used to be MUCH cheaper, but now with a car still being paid for...)


Putting the numbers together, including budgeting for car insurance monthly, but not including the two floating paychecks + bonuses, comes out to in the "green" by about $100. Before taking into account a copay that might pop up or small things. Not much for emergency. Or much of anything.

DEBT:

*CAR LOAN: $5,515.71 balance, 4.50%
*STUDENT DEBT: $10,206.52 balance
-$3,163.83, 5.35%
-$3,876.31, 4.25%
-$3,166.38, 6.55%
-(and a fourth already paid off that was at 6.55%)


Note: Car loan came from purchase after old truck was totaled in a crash Dec. 2014.

ASSETS: After paying everything this month, should be roughly at $5000 in savings.

GIRLFRIEND:

Had an income of roughly $1200 a month, with essentially a self employed job. This is after taxes, roughly.

She handles her own expenses - I don't have these numbers quite as down pat, but:

AGE: 28

PHONE: $35
MEDICAL: $50 (medicine + insurances)
FOOD: $250-$300 (this is our food budget for the two of us. We can probably cut this down some more, and we've got some new recipes.)
She has about $30,000 in student loans for an English degree, but is currently on deferment.


She has about $2500 in savings.
She lost that job about two weeks ago (yaay, subcontract work) - but looks to have been picked up somewhere else at the same rate/hours.

Both of us are trying to be smart about not eating out, and have definitely cut back on it/very limited. But then we had a friend come in last month from across the country for a few weeks and whoof, that was rough. Fun, but... rough.

Ultimately, here is what I'm trying to figure out.

1.) My job is... alright? Like, the company treats people well, it's a good place to work. I just... really wish it was more money, y'know? Management drags their behind on raises, I had to fight hard just to get .50 for my promotion, because apparently that puts me pretty close to people in this department who have been here for years. Dead end!

My degree is in History. It's something I love and enjoyed, but I am really kicking myself a little and often have hardcore guilt over. The fuck do I do with it? I'm looking again at jobs in the area, and while I've actually gotten some encouragement from management (understanding I want something more, esp. at this age - even got a nice letter from our company's president to use if need be for reference) ... applying elsewhere kind of scares me a little? This job seems pretty stable/not going anywhere, but again... pay, dead end?

2.) As a follow-up to 1, I guess. I despair over the fact of my skills, or lack thereof. No coding, no handy skills, pretty clumsy. I'm pretty good with people, and I know how to research Things pretty good, and love politics. I consider myself a hard worker and willing to learn. (I busted my ass with the overnight stocker job I held at a Wal-Mart for about 9 months... you get paid for a job, you do your job and do it well, love it or not.) But I've got no idea what, where, how to start. Ultimately, this is something I have to decide for myself, but... any tips for dealing with decision paralysis, particularly on this topic?

3.) I love my girlfriend, deeply and utterly. But it's been a long road to trying to help her with financial things. She's been the type of person to not really... worry or think much about finances. She's definitely made some big missteps, and it's something she beats herself up over a lot. (Passed on a big scholarship, burned a lot of her share of her mother's life insurance when she passed...) And there's been some... other stuff she's been dealing with, that I don't want to get into here. However, she seems to have picked up a lot from me worrying about finances and whatnot, and a well improved work ethic. Once she's got her new job hopefully settled out, we're going to talk about rebalancing a few things on between our budgets.

I talked with her about myself getting a part time job, to really do some damage to my debt... that was rough. Maybe not the brightest time to time it a couple days after she lost her job. I'm a dummy for that one. She's afraid going from 40 to 60(+?) hours will have me come home and 'hate her' for not doing enough, apparently?

4.) Plans/thoughts/goals?
-Continue grinding down the eat out to zero. Get back on that wagon after last month, so to put. We don't drink, party, buy clothes, or do much of anything else. This is our biggest, occasional sin I feel.
-Student loans. That 3.1k at 6.55% seems like a good target to tackle first. I really, really, REALLY want to get out from under debt...
-Car loan. Would like to get out of, of course. Apparently 4.5% is not a bad rate for someone with little/no credit history, however, and it may not be a bad idea to keep this (in more ideal budget?) to build history some?
-Money: fuck, i need to make more.
-Going from $300/mo for rent/power/water/internet to a lot more suucked. Lived with a friend for a couple years who was very, very kind to us. Could not find a vacancy, despite searching hardcore. So now I'm 30 minutes drive away from work (same as before, but different direction) and pay a whole lot more. Boo.

Any thoughts, tips, recommendations, help, advice or comments in general greatly appreciated. I am more than happy to answer any questions. And even if none, getting this off my chest and all on paper, a bit, has been helpful. Thanks, MMM.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 11:55:52 AM »
I think you're in a position where you can cut and cut and cut, but it won't get you where you need to be. You need to be making more than $11/hr, especially if you're commuting.

You said you're good with people, have you considered sales? I'm more familiar with pharmaceuticals, but there are other (good) salary + commission type sales jobs out there too.

Fejj7ty

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 11:58:42 AM »
I think I've done at least a passable job of managing on what we've got... not 100% sure where to cut further (sure there's something...) so making more seems to be the best route, yeah.

I have thought of sales. But the idea of not having a "guaranteed" pay is kinda scary, just going to admit it, and that's most of the sales jobs I've seen. Also our company just brought on a new salesperson, who is the VP's son, funny enough.

edit: edited for a touch of clarity

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 12:01:34 PM »
I have thought of sales. But the idea of not having a "guaranteed" pay is kinda scary, just going to admit it, and that's most of the sales jobs I've seen. Also our company just brought on a new salesperson, who is the VP's son, funny enough.

To be clear, I'm not talking about pure commission jobs, that's not something I would ever be comfortable with, personally. I'm talking about jobs that pay a livable base salary, have benefits, and pay commissions on top of that.

AZDude

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2016, 12:14:46 PM »
I hate to even bring it up, but the first thing I thought of when you said history degree was teaching. Every district in the country is looking for middle school teachers. The pay would be much better(still not great) at like $40K to $50K depending on the area. It would be stable, but it would require getting a teaching certificate. If you are really desperate there are programs that will pay you while you get your cert but they usually require a commitment to work at some shithole school for a few years.

Other than that, you are looking at getting lucky, or working your ass for the next 30 years before finally scraping enough together to have a comfortable retirement.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2016, 12:20:41 PM »
Hi, Fejj7ty. Welcome to the forum!

Your situation is a very familiar one of me. I was in a very similar position early in my career. Both my masters and bachelors are in political science, and I'm a politics and history buff. Unlike you, I worked jobs in my field for several years before inadvertently moving on after getting promoted in an unrelated job that I had hoped would be temporary. (To this day, I'd love to return to politics or public service but can't find a job paying more than $40k/year in a LCOL area even with experience and a masters.) You have one distinct advantage in that you've already accepted that you often have to do something you're not interested in to pay the bills. The next step is building some specialized skills so you can make more money.

The good and bad news is that you have an income problem, not a spending problem (which you've already acknowledged). You can only squeeze so much blood from the turnip that is your current budget. Short term, I would suggest picking up a part-time job or starting a side hustle. Since you were a history major (assuming that your GPA was relatively high) how do you feel about tutoring? Specifically, do you think you could work with a high school or college student either in-person or via webcam to understand course material, write better essays and improve their test taking skills? I'm currently tutoring as a side hustle and can give you some advice and a referral if you're interested.

Long term, what are your marketable skills? If you were qualified to apply for a job you actually wanted, what would that job be? It sounds like you're unlikely to find any opportunities for advancement with your current employer. If I were you, I'd be looking applying for administrative positions with employers that have better reputations for promoting internally. Ideally this would be something like an executive assistant position where you could learn a lot about the operations and would be considered for a higher level position after a couple years.

mozar

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 12:47:19 PM »
Your girlfriend sounds like she suffers from depression and is codependent  (well you both do). I had to start getting treatment for depression before I could release that guilt and move on with my life. You can't change the past. You did what you did, and being finished with a college degree is a good place to start. Are you good at numbers? Does your job pay for education? A part time mba might be an option. You can use it to get on the management track, and also working with people.
In my magic crystal relationship ball here is what I see: you start doing the work to improve your life and eventually you get to a place where you're on a path you feel confident about. She improves her agency a little bit, but only in places where you've pushed her. She starts to feel like a dead weight to you and you start to resent her. Alas my magic ball went dark. You'll have to figure out what's next.

Fejj7ty

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2016, 12:56:01 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

I'll have to look at the sales thing a bit more when/as I do - a huge amount of those positions I've seen have pretty much been commission only.

Teaching: Yeah. I actually went to do this very thing, teaching middle school. I even got in so far as to start some student teaching, but dropped that part of my degree before my final year/actually going a full year of teaching. I didn't feel it was right for me, but I think a large part of it was a very long, very painful deconversion from Pentecostal Christianity that was happening that year. Still. Shouldn't have dropped. Always thought about it...

My GPA was decent, above a 3.0 at least but just shy of honors. (Boo. I'd kick past me in the butt if I could.) I'd at least be interested in the referral, if you don't mind.

As for marketable skills...

I've had four jobs in total I think to draw from... Crew Leader Assistant in the Census (would have been a Crew Leader, but had issues with schedule/college at the time) Maintenance Assistant for our college for a few years, which did... not really give a whole lot of experience in the maintenance/upkeep sphere of things, sadly. Wal-Mart overnight stocker for a while, then finally receptionist -> Customer Service I have now. Also briefly helped with a nonprofit in college that some of us threw together.

I pour myself into my work and try to give it my all, whatever it may be. I love dealing with people and helping them figure out their problems. If I don't know how to do something, I won't rest until I can figure out or until I find someone who does. I have decent competency at things related to Microsoft (although I could def. use an excel refresher!) I know the exciting world of office supplies and how our ordering DDMS/ECi systems work. I regularly handle large accounts and orders.

... I don't have a ton of hard skills to pick from, unfortunately.

re: Girlfriend... yeah. Not gonna deny that one. She suffers from a lot of anxiety issues due heavily in part to things I'd prefer not to get into here. She's definitely come a way, especially on financial issues, as in actually caring about it. Another issue is that it's only one car for us. Since we actually have decent insurance, this is something that we (both) should look into. And yes. I don't think it would happen, resentment, but I know I'm not the first person to say/think that by far.

Thanks again, all.

acepedro45

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2016, 02:40:21 PM »
How about some props for all the things you are doing right? Sure you have a low pay RIGHT NOW a few years out of school, but you have a budget, you've identified some of your problems and you are knocking out debt bit by bit and being careful about expenses.

I think that's pretty darn good.

I agree 100% with other posters. Your problems are entirely on the earning side of the equation, not the spending. Once you get going a little more with your career - be that at your present job or elsewhere - you'll be in a good position to hold your expenses at a nice low level and start to stack up some coin.

TrashMan

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2016, 03:52:13 PM »
One of my friends was in a similar situation and had some luck getting a teaching job through https://www.teachforamerica.org/ from my understanding you have to be willing to relocate but they hook you up with certifications and all that good stuff no more money spent on tuition. It might be worth checking out. Good luck!

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2016, 03:55:44 PM »
Teaching: Yeah. I actually went to do this very thing, teaching middle school. I even got in so far as to start some student teaching, but dropped that part of my degree before my final year/actually going a full year of teaching. I didn't feel it was right for me, but I think a large part of it was a very long, very painful deconversion from Pentecostal Christianity that was happening that year. Still. Shouldn't have dropped. Always thought about it...

My GPA was decent, above a 3.0 at least but just shy of honors. (Boo. I'd kick past me in the butt if I could.) I'd at least be interested in the referral, if you don't mind.

I sent you all of the information on the tutoring gig in a PM. It's not a huge moneymaker but will pay more per hour than your current position. You create your own schedule and set appointments directly with the students, so working this around a full-time job isn't a major hassle.

Some words of advice on TFA: almost all candidates are required to relocate to a high need area. It's a 2 year contract, and the contract itself doesn't pay much (if any) more than what you're making now. The upside is that you'd be a qualified teacher when you're finished.

Josiecat

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2016, 06:06:10 PM »
Have you thought about moving to a 'history rich' area to use your degree?  Thinking St Augustine, Washington DC, NY, etc.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2016, 07:38:24 PM »
What about hr recruiting? Alot of hr positions pay pretty well and they accept people with all types of generally nonfunctional bachelors degrees (psych comes to mind). Your customer service experience may be a plus when you apply. I know people who worked in hr doing almost nothing and got paid crazy money for literally just reviewing resumes. Your desire to solve issues could be pitched as a huge asset for managers looking to hire into positions that arent being filled.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 07:39:55 PM by little_brown_dog »

BlueHouse

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2016, 08:17:58 PM »
You write very well.  Have you considered looking into any of the e-lance writing / editing / proof-reading positions?  No idea what they pay, but they can be done from anywhere during off-hours. 

One thing I hear so many people bring up is their degree and how it's not useful.  I have never thought the course of study was important (unless it's specialized, like Comp Sci).  I've never even stated my major on my degree.  I always wrote "B.S. from xxxxx".  My major was a bullshit major that was kind of like business, but with a different name that no one ever heard of.  I thought it hurt rather than helped.  So by just stating the fact that I had a bachelor's I believe it set the tone that I placed more importance on the fact that I accomplished something rather than learned a specific track.  Unless you're applying for a degree that is in your course of study, I suggest doing the same.  Yes, they'll ask, and then that gives a chance to tell a little something about yourself.  Don't try to hide it, but it doesn't seem relevant for the types of positions you're looking for.

Are you near any Federal Government contracting offices?  I hate to say it, but they'll hire just about anybody if they need to fill a seat and they'll overpay you for the privilege.  (I am one of the overpaid, so I don't mean this derisively).  If you are, I can provide some job titles that are easy to get into and that pay very well.   

And remember this too:  companies don't hire people.  People hire people.  They want good quality, hard workers who can learn and get things done.  Once they find that, they keep them around because it's so hard to find good people.  From what you've written, you sound like you're one of the good ones.

Good luck!

humbleMouse

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2016, 10:08:47 PM »
I don't know if there are any fine dining restaurants in your area, but I would suggest being a busboy or server at a fine dining restaurant.  I sometimes cleared 3500+/month after taxes working as a busyboy at a fine dining restaurant.  As a server I sometimes pulled $450+ on a single night just in tips. 

This may not be a use for you history degree, but if you can keep your current spending habits and avoid the stupid nightlife of restaurant industry people you could save a lot of money in a short period of time!

Edit:
Also, just write a good looking resume and send it to a bunch of jobs that sound interesting.  I got my first high paying job with a random email to a craigslist posting.  Target companies that could maybe use a history major smart guy who can write good. 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 10:10:43 PM by humbleMouse »

Kaikou

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2016, 01:50:45 AM »
You write very well.  Have you considered looking into any of the e-lance writing / editing / proof-reading positions?  No idea what they pay, but they can be done from anywhere during off-hours. 

One thing I hear so many people bring up is their degree and how it's not useful.  I have never thought the course of study was important (unless it's specialized, like Comp Sci).  I've never even stated my major on my degree.  I always wrote "B.S. from xxxxx".  My major was a bullshit major that was kind of like business, but with a different name that no one ever heard of.  I thought it hurt rather than helped.  So by just stating the fact that I had a bachelor's I believe it set the tone that I placed more importance on the fact that I accomplished something rather than learned a specific track.  Unless you're applying for a degree that is in your course of study, I suggest doing the same.  Yes, they'll ask, and then that gives a chance to tell a little something about yourself.  Don't try to hide it, but it doesn't seem relevant for the types of positions you're looking for.

Are you near any Federal Government contracting offices?  I hate to say it, but they'll hire just about anybody if they need to fill a seat and they'll overpay you for the privilege.  (I am one of the overpaid, so I don't mean this derisively).  If you are, I can provide some job titles that are easy to get into and that pay very well.   

And remember this too:  companies don't hire people.  People hire people.  They want good quality, hard workers who can learn and get things done.  Once they find that, they keep them around because it's so hard to find good people.  From what you've written, you sound like you're one of the good ones.

Good luck!

Sent you a pm

justajane

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2016, 06:06:27 AM »
If I were you, I'd be looking applying for administrative positions with employers that have better reputations for promoting internally. Ideally this would be something like an executive assistant position where you could learn a lot about the operations and would be considered for a higher level position after a couple years.

This is spot on. My husband, who was a waiter with a film studies degree until about 25, took a temp position with a major financial institution. He remained a contract worker (with benefits) for about 2-3 years. Because they liked him, he was hired on as a full employee. He worked in one position at around 35K for a few years, then moved to a slightly higher position within the company. He worked in that job for a few years and then moved again to another department. At that point, he was making 50K. He's still with the same major company and, with a few more lateral moves, now makes 100K including bonuses. He's 42 years old.

No more education. Just slowly working your way up. I don't think this is unusual. Think of your history degree as a stepping stone. It's not prescriptive of what you have to do. You need the BA to get any job in business, and that's where the higher wages are - that is, if you don't want to teach.

I have a Ph.D. in history, and most jobs focused solely on using your history degree (public history, museums) are likely for those with a graduate degree in history. But definitely don't do that!

amyj05

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2016, 11:05:20 AM »
Hello!

I think you're already doing well with your budget and you're on the right path financially. Like humbleMouse said, waiting tables is a great way to earn money, relatively quickly and easily. Customer service is an extremely important part of serving/waiting, and you already have lots of experience there. I waited tables while I was in college and brought home more than $11 per hour in tips. Waiting tables is also a great way to network because you get to meet lots of new people.

Best of luck!

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2016, 09:50:35 AM »
In certain areas of the country, the only jobs available are entry-level jobs.  It seems like companies are sorting jobs into different locations, so that most of the entry level jobs will be in low cost of living areas.  That makes it extremely difficult to network your way into something better or on a career growth path.  I am not sure how to work around this for you, but think about relocating (if the salary is right) and trying to get on a path to a better career.  If there is a track there (and I may have missed your post about it) then stay put but otherwise you might be limited in your area of Florida.

onlykelsey

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2016, 09:57:54 AM »
I think you've gotten great medium- and long-term advice, but since you have such a serious shortcoming on the income side, is there anything you could do right now for some extra cash?  Maybe just until you get a bit of a cushion built up or knock out the next student loan? Tutoring or even babysitting for $20 hour a few hours a week would really make a dent.

As much as you're in a bad position right now, it sounds like you have your head on straight and can get out of it pretty easily.

Fejj7ty

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2016, 08:48:43 AM »
Seriously, thanks so much everyone for the messages. I think there are definitely some things to consider, and trying to figure out where to go re: income.

However, I'm bumping this specifically because I saw another topic about credit cards. I have zero, had had zero. I was warned about them pretty harshly growing up, especially with the insane CC debt my dad racked up, particularly in the time right before his passing. I know there are some cards with decent(?) rewards, and that they shouldn't be too much an issue so long as one is, y'know, smart with them and doesn't use them for spending sprees.

Does anyone have any particular advice / can point me somewhere on this?

Simply827

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2016, 08:55:13 AM »
Seriously, thanks so much everyone for the messages. I think there are definitely some things to consider, and trying to figure out where to go re: income.

However, I'm bumping this specifically because I saw another topic about credit cards. I have zero, had had zero. I was warned about them pretty harshly growing up, especially with the insane CC debt my dad racked up, particularly in the time right before his passing. I know there are some cards with decent(?) rewards, and that they shouldn't be too much an issue so long as one is, y'know, smart with them and doesn't use them for spending sprees.

Does anyone have any particular advice / can point me somewhere on this?

As far as CCs go, you may need to start out with a secured card, since you haven't had a card yet. But the good thing is, you do have positive history with your student loans. I like the Citi Double Cash card. It's a 2% cash back card (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay). Do you know what your scores look like?

Fejj7ty

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2016, 09:41:02 AM »
My score appears to be at 680 right now, and I can't find any dings on my record - I've been up to date on all my payments for my student loans (since 12) and my car loan (14). But those are the only things on my history!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2016, 09:43:24 AM »
Seriously, thanks so much everyone for the messages. I think there are definitely some things to consider, and trying to figure out where to go re: income.

However, I'm bumping this specifically because I saw another topic about credit cards. I have zero, had had zero. I was warned about them pretty harshly growing up, especially with the insane CC debt my dad racked up, particularly in the time right before his passing. I know there are some cards with decent(?) rewards, and that they shouldn't be too much an issue so long as one is, y'know, smart with them and doesn't use them for spending sprees.

Does anyone have any particular advice / can point me somewhere on this?

It sounds like your GF has some questionable financial leanings, so I would only consider CCs if you feel certain that both you and she can act with responsibility toward them. They are never to be used for revolving credit. They are a convenient method to track your spending and protect transactions (better protection against identity theft than debit cards, etc, best idea for online purchases), but you should only do CCs if you can pay them in full each month.

That being said, rewards cards are awesome. Ex, I get 6% back on groceries.

MsSindy

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2016, 09:55:10 AM »
I don't think you spend enough to make the temptation of credit cards worth while - just do the math.  the only thing you could put on the card is $60 worth of gas, maybe your $10 phone, everything else are payments that typically aren't allowed to be on cc.  I think you (or your GF) might be tempted to buy something because, you know, "we'll get points!".  Better to stay the course with what you're doing and focus on the income side of things - you got really great suggestions for both immediate and longer term strategies.

One more that I'll throw into the mix, is to be a Business Analyst or Project Manager assistant - basically someone who is really good at tracking things, working with others to get things done, and has great people skills.  There are entry level positions in these areas and they provide a good career track that cuts across industries.  You can take a technical route (with training), or a business route.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2016, 10:42:23 PM »
It sounds like your GF has some questionable financial leanings, so I would only consider CCs if you feel certain that both you and she can act with responsibility toward them. They are never to be used for revolving credit. They are a convenient method to track your spending and protect transactions (better protection against identity theft than debit cards, etc, best idea for online purchases), but you should only do CCs if you can pay them in full each month.

I second this advice. Do not let your girlfriend have access to a card in your name. I'd advise against allowing anyone to have access to your credit unless you're already sharing all of your accounts with that person.

Used responsibly, it would be a great way to build your credit history. In addition to Bracken_Joy's points, it's very difficult to rent a car or book a hotel stay without a credit card. I also held out on getting a credit card for many years but reluctantly signed up for one a few years ago after experiencing a couple different instances of fraud on my debit card. Monitor your spending patterns for the first few months after getting the card. Some people do tend to spend more when paying credit, but given your current level of fiscal discipline, that shouldn't be a problem for you.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2016, 10:12:36 AM »
I think I saw that you have $5000 in savings. Are you comfortable using that to knock out your 6.55% loan?

fdubz

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Re: Case Study?: 25, going nowhere fast.
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2016, 03:06:24 PM »
Fellow history major here!  Are there any colleges or universities near by?  With your love of helping people and finding answers I think you'd be a great Academic Advisor.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 08:02:43 AM by fdubz »