Author Topic: Constructive Criticism - Go!  (Read 4106 times)

KurtBikes

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Constructive Criticism - Go!
« on: December 30, 2013, 04:10:43 PM »
2014 is the year of no (or very little) unnecessary spending as I look to wipe out the final $12K in student loan debt and add some cash to my Vanguard targeted fund. I live in NYC but have an affordable rental (yes, they do exist, even in hip neighborhoods!) and believe I lead a frugal life. Anything to add to my current ways?

-Rent is 30% of take home pay
-I workout at public rec centers (NYC's best value - $50/six months, $75 for six months if the center has an indoor pool)
-I bike or walk to work and only use the subway if absolutely necessary (usually around $40/month)
-I do not own a car, nor care to as long as I live here
-Other expenses: no smart phone so my unlimited plan runs about $75/month; $15/month giving to a nonprofit; plan is to pay $2k/month toward the outstanding student loan (2.9% interest rate) through the end of the loan

Any feedback from the Mustachian community is greatly appreciated!

johlstei

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Re: Constructive Criticism - Go!
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2013, 04:19:03 PM »
1. $75 is hugely expensive for a phone plan, frankly I would get a smartphone on ting but you can stick without data if you want, that should cut that in half at least(unless you make tons of daytime phone calls - do that at work maybe?).
2. You haven't given many details, not sure what all I can critique. What do your food expenses look like? Basic goods? A lot of the time household goods are cheaper on amazon than they are in NYC department stores - pretty weird.
3. Please move and rent me your affordable apartment, thanks in advance.

aj_yooper

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Re: Constructive Criticism - Go!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2013, 04:29:03 PM »
Your SL interest rate is very low as is your balance, so, even though I hate debt, I would pay it off according to the schedule and not go Hair on Fire about it.  Make sure you have an adequate emergency fund and then add on to your retirement savings.  I also think your phone bill is too high.

KurtBikes

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Re: Constructive Criticism - Go!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2013, 06:01:26 PM »
Thanks, I will look into a lower priced wireless deal. My other expenses:

$20/month for wifi - my upstairs neighbor and I share service
$450/month food - I cook a lot, organic and/or local when possible, but know I can probably cut this expense
$100/month - wine - oops, I really like Oregon Pinot Noir :)


Daley

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Re: Constructive Criticism - Go!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2013, 06:04:22 PM »
Thanks, I will look into a lower priced wireless deal.

Start here.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Constructive Criticism - Go!
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2013, 05:34:07 AM »
Well, you need to cut back on the wine.  You know that, right?  $100 a month is insane.  What is that, ten bottles at $10 apiece? Can't you cut down to three bottles at $10 apiece?  What are you doing with all the wine -- do you drink it yourself, or with friends?  That is a huge cost.

Rural

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Re: Constructive Criticism - Go!
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2013, 06:15:26 AM »
Do find yourself a better phone plan. They're out there.

Cut your wine consumption in half -- that gives you both wine and $50 a month.

The grocery bill is unimaginably high to me, but I have been to grocers in Manhattan, so I know you won't be eating for $75 a month or anything. Start looking, though, for ways to economize.

 I've found that I can often leave expensive "extras" out of recipes and never notice. Perhaps start with that and see what works. Then go back to the extras (and look for lower-priced alternatives) if the results are gross. Frankly, with your preference for local/organic, leaving out garnishes and spices you don't end up tasting anyway may be the best way to get started cutting that bill while staying with your values.

Start making a note of where your usual staples are cheapest, and plan errands so you never get them somewhere else for convenience.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Constructive Criticism - Go!
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2013, 07:15:47 AM »
$450/month food - I cook a lot, organic and/or local when possible, but know I can probably cut this expense
$100/month - wine - oops, I really like Oregon Pinot Noir :)

Wow, I feed a family of five healthy and balanced food on $400! Go meatless as much as possible, especially at dinner. We spend $50-$100 on alcohol for ourselves, but while I can *appreciate* very nice wine, I've come to *enjoy* and *afford* nice boxed wines. Big House Pinot Noir is $16 for 3L and is quite tasty, roughly equivalent to a $10 Pinot Noir bottle.

bruntstreet

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Re: Constructive Criticism - Go!
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 05:21:47 PM »
I have to second the boxed wine suggestion.  Cutting back is nice.  If you don't feel like it there is always the decent grade of boxed wine that is being produced these days.  Oh and Id go with Ting or Boost mobile.  Speaking to a co worker today we both are broke and he was going on about the virtues of boost.  One of which was that if you made seven payments on time your bill would go down.  Check it out.