Author Topic: Feeling discouraged  (Read 5256 times)

CharChar

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Feeling discouraged
« on: August 07, 2014, 01:59:04 PM »
I'll get right to it...

Monthly Expenses
Car Insurance    $57
Fuel                  $120
Mortgage          $250 ($432.50 total, my SO pays the other half)
Utilities           ~$140
Everything Else  $350-400 (groceries, pet supplies, etc.)

Other Expenses
CC
School Loans      $2800
Windows            $2000

Here is my info from my very first post in October
27/female, no kids
Income: $1350/mo
Student Loan: $8300 total...couple of smaller ones @ 2.9 and the larger one @6.8, I pay $150/mo on these, more than minimum
Car: 2005 Mazda hatchback, paid off
Car insurance: $50/mo
Cat: $120/mo max
Fuel: $200/mo max
General (food, drink, hygene): $200/mo
Savings: $5000 cash (at home)
No 401k or any sort of investment/retirement account
Will be getting an $1800 tax refund in Jan.



marty998

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Re: Feeling discouraged
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 03:46:54 PM »
What's your plan? Would like to point you in the right direction but I don't know where you want to go :)

Chuck

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Re: Feeling discouraged
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 03:54:14 PM »
Your expenses work out to about 950 a month, and you are bringing home 1350 a month. That gives you about 400 a month to work with. What are the scheduled payments on your debts? Is that included in your expenses?

Is there any wiggle room on either side of the equation here? Can you work more hours? Eat your cat (j/k)?

400 is still more than enough to work with, if that is in fact what you have to work with.

CharChar

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Feeling Discouraged
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 04:00:14 PM »
Monthly Expenses
Car Insurance  $57
Fuel  $120
Mortgage  $250 ($432 total, SO pays other half)
Utilities  ~$140  (my half)
General  $350-400 (groceries, pet supplies, etc.)
CC  Will be paying the remaining $125 balance this weekend!

Other Expenses
School loans  $2800
5 New windows for home  $2000  (I may or may not get a face punch for this? My current windows are very old and painted shut. I know it will help with utilities. I borrowed the money from my mother - no interest)

Compare this info to the info from my very first post in October
27/female, no kids
Income: $1350/mo
Student Loan: $8300 total...couple of smaller ones @ 2.9 and the larger one @6.8, I pay $150/mo on these, more than minimum
Car: 2005 Mazda hatchback, paid off
Car insurance: $50/mo
Cat: $120/mo max
Fuel: $200/mo max
General (food, drink, hygiene): $200/mo
Savings: $5000 cash (at home)*
No 401k or any sort of investment/retirement account

*This is now about $600. My car crapped out on me and I used this cash to buy another one.

Income
~20k/yr at my full time job as an assistant manager at a rental housing community. I also sell clothes online throughout the year (though my inventory is dwindling) and I help my mother out a few days a week during tax season. I usually make about 25k/yr with these side gigs.

When I have a debt such as the windows, I always pay it down as soon as possible(~500/mo). I am doing the same thing with my school loans. My goal is to have these both paid off by the end of the year. A more realistic goal would be Feb/March, but I'm gonna try!

Ok so as you can see, my expenses are pretty low. I don't have cable or internet, my car is paid off, and my mother is paying my phone bill until I wipe out my school loans. The problem is, my income is also very low. I'm making more now than I ever have before, and I am thankful for that. However, I feel I am standing in front of a big wall. The only thing I could really do to improve my situation is to increase my income, and I can't figure out how to do that. I'm able to make ends meet just fine, but that's about it. I just got an $0.89 raise about 4 months ago. I even asked my boss today(who is not in charge of my wage) if she knew of any way I could increase my chances of earning more. She informed me that she has been here for 3 years and has received one $0.24 raise the whole time.

Anyway, I guess I'm just looking for some advice on what to try next. I feel that where I am at income-wise is unacceptable for my age (for me). And I've been making $10-12/hr for years. How can I break into the next level?! I really don't have any sought after skills. Customer service and management is about it. (But I am very competent and learn fast. That means something right?!) I graduated with an AA in liberal arts (useless).

It's not all bad. In the last year, I've purchased a home (with no money down), started a Roth IRA with $500 and paid about $5000 on my school loans. By the first of the year I will be completely debt free. Then Ill be able to save about $500-600/mo. Sounds ok but I need to put some work into my house at some point (I want to rent it out in a year or 2).

I've been vigorously trying to turn my financial situation around, and making fairly good progress. But with my income, I really don't think I'll ever retire! I've googled just about everything about making money on the side and increasing income. I've thought about starting a small side business, but at this point I need something with little or no investment required.

Sorry for the super long rants. Thank you so much for your time! Please help.



4alpacas

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Re: Feeling Discouraged
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 04:06:55 PM »
Why do you want to rent out your house?  Are you going to rent out a room or the entire thing?  Could you find a cheaper living arrangement?

gimp

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Re: Feeling Discouraged
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 04:14:47 PM »
Don't be too discouraged. You're really not doing too terribly! Saving 5-600 per month (or otherwise increasing your net worth by this amount) is decent, if not amazing.

If you work in the rental business, I think learning the ropes and using that for side income is a great idea. As you said, you're looking at renting your place out.

You might be able to do a little bit better on your 'general' category.

As far as businesses that require very little startup costs... well, tell us more about this selling clothes online gig. Your clothes? Are you buying and reselling?

alsoknownasDean

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Feeling Discouraged
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 04:35:41 PM »
Is going back to study out of the question?

Also with such crazily low mortgage payments (and hence prices), are the employment prospects in your area any good?

Seems you're doing OK with spending, but definitely need to work on improving your income.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 04:39:11 PM by alsoknownasDean »

Glenstache

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Re: Feeling Discouraged
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 04:45:09 PM »
First off, kudos on having a budget and making progress on your debt. For your income level you are doing well and making good decisions. Assuming you are replacing windows that will improve your energy efficiency, that is most likely a good long-term financial decision and will make your living space more comfortable and maybe even healthier (thinking of winter condensation and mold, etc).

My guess is that improving your income level will require either a more robust second job or a change in your primary job. I assume the student loans are for having attended either community of a 4-year college. Do you have a degree/certificate from your studies? It sounds like you may be getting some valuable experience at your current job, but that it may ultimately be a dead-end financially. Are there other jobs in property management that you could bridge up to somewhere else? 

AZlawyer

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Re: Feeling discouraged
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 05:48:23 PM »
My guess is your discouragement is because you want things to happen faster than the realistically will.  Saving for retirement is a 40 year process that you're trying to cut down to maybe a 15 year process.  That still takes 15 years, the progress isn't obvious every day.  Track your net worth every 6-12 months so you can see some progress.  Get the debts paid and start earning a little more, and the progress will come more quickly.  To make it work you have to believe you're on the right track, and never lose that faith.

surfhb

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Re: Feeling discouraged
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 06:14:08 PM »
When are you hoping to get a higher paying job because that's where the problem is here?

Gone Fishing

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Re: Feeling discouraged
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 08:21:31 PM »
Yep, you need more income.  Your expenses are very mustashian, but that can only go so far without more cash flow.  Polish up the résumé, tap your network, and see what you can get!  If you find something that looks good, and they make you an offer, ask for more!

CharChar

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Re: Feeling discouraged
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 08:46:19 PM »

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/feeling-discouraged-21790/

Everyone please click on this link and it will take you to my original post. Somehow it posted part of the message separately.  Weird.

MOD EDIT: Topics merged.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 10:03:14 AM by arebelspy »

okashira

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Re: Feeling Discouraged
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 08:55:46 PM »
Wait. Is your income 20k + 25k or 25k total?

Rental community? Does your job include a free / heavily discounted apartment?

t-rymz

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Re: Feeling Discouraged
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2014, 07:36:09 AM »
You're right in that your biggest obstacle is probably income. Now how to fix that...

Your mortgage is very low, suggesting you live in an area that doesn't offer all that many high-paying jobs. I know you just bought a house, but could you consider getting a higher-paying job if it requires moving? You might look into a higher position at a company somewhere else.

CharChar

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Re: Feeling Discouraged
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2014, 09:29:39 AM »
Why do you want to rent out your house?  Are you going to rent out a room or the entire thing?  Could you find a cheaper living arrangement?

I'm wanting to rent out the whole house. I'd like to have a few rentals in the next 3-5 years. It's something I've always wanted to do. I wanted to move to a different state, but as far as real estate goes, I'm already in one of the cheapest markets so I wanted to take advantage of that. I still want to move out of state as soon as I can make it happen.


As far as businesses that require very little startup costs... well, tell us more about this selling clothes online gig. Your clothes? Are you buying and reselling?

I started off selling some of my clothes and then experimented with buying wholesale vintage, which sold fairly well. The problem is, there are no warehouses anywhere near me, which means I have to order online, which means I don't know what I'm getting until it arrives. I also have to put money into dry cleaning and sometimes doing minor sewing repairs. This isn't a big deal but I don't have advanced sewing skills. Anyway, I just ordered another batch of clothing (a mix of vintage and modern) and I have to donate 4 bags because they are not sell-worthy. I enjoy doing this but until I have a better way of obtaining good inventory, its going to continue to be an unstable process. Thank you for your encouragement!


Is going back to study out of the question?

Also with such crazily low mortgage payments (and hence prices), are the employment prospects in your area any good?

Going back to school? Ugh, I just don't know. I spent almost 7 years in school and ended up with an AA in liberal arts. At that point I just wanted to get whatever degree I was closest to. I have thought about it but it's almost not worth it for me. I don't learn very well by doing homework. I learn best by DOING and practicing. The only way I'd consider it is if I qualified for grants. If I did though, what courses or degree program would best increase my chances for higher income?

I browse jobs on CL often and am always keeping my eyes/ears open for other opportunities. I've not had any luck though. And besides the pay, my work environment is excellent. Everyone gets along really well and it's very laid back. In my experience that is hard to find. But if I could get a job offering a higher wage, I would definitely take it.



First off, kudos on having a budget and making progress on your debt. For your income level you are doing well and making good decisions.

My guess is that improving your income level will require either a more robust second job or a change in your primary job. I assume the student loans are for having attended either community of a 4-year college. Do you have a degree/certificate from your studies? It sounds like you may be getting some valuable experience at your current job, but that it may ultimately be a dead-end financially. Are there other jobs in property management that you could bridge up to somewhere else? 

Thanks! My next step in property management if working for a company would be Property Manager. I'm definitely not ready for that yet but I recently started exploring other ways of gaining that knowledge including taking online classes for industry specific certifications.


Wait. Is your income 20k + 25k or 25k total?

Rental community? Does your job include a free / heavily discounted apartment?

My income is about 25K total and that's only if I sell stuff online AND work with my mother during tax season or some other side job.
My company offers a 25% discount. Not bad but could be better considering they don't offer any sort of commission or bonus, like most rental companies do. However, I bought my house with an FHA loan (which is how I purchased it with no money down) so in order to rent out my house and move out of it, I would have to refinance. But like I said, the house needs a little updating first. That's my goal for next year.


You're right in that your biggest obstacle is probably income. Now how to fix that...

Your mortgage is very low, suggesting you live in an area that doesn't offer all that many high-paying jobs. I know you just bought a house, but could you consider getting a higher-paying job if it requires moving? You might look into a higher position at a company somewhere else.

This is my ultimate goal! But as I stated above I need to be in a position to refinance.


Thank you so much to everyone for your encouragement! I know I need to be patient. I'm not doing too bad but am so eager to take it to the next level. Part of my problem has always been that I am just all over the place. "I could go back to school or I could take sewing classes or I could get this certification or la di da di da." I can't determine which route to take, what would work out best for me and take me the furthest while still allowing me to be content with life. It's obviously more of a psychological barrier than anything. I can't sort my thoughts enough to figure out what will take me to where I want to be. I want so badly to retire early and I never even thought about it until I started reading MMM last year. I know I can't do it on 25k/yr.