Author Topic: FIRE in Boston  (Read 2323 times)

mafire

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
FIRE in Boston
« on: March 23, 2016, 12:49:18 PM »
Edited for TL;DR

25 year old, moving from suburbs to Boston by September, trying to figure out some of the better neighborhoods to look. Familiar with Brighton/allston/brookline from couch surfing there every weekend, just wondering if there are any similarly priced neighborhoods that are more bike-able to the financial district.

income from main job: $46K and a few hundred in overtime per month plus 16% profit sharing plan ($7200 pretax towards retirement). Also side hustle that brings in 50-70 per week.

credit card debt:$8,900 left out of $14,000 at the beginning of the year-will be paid to 0 by July/August

Student loans:$30-31,000

train pass currently costs $240 per month


I also have 30-31,0000 in student loans from undergrad.

My question is, where do I get started?

Biggest goals right now in order of importance:

1.Pay credit card debt to $0. With my current payment schedule I can make this happen by July, maybe August at the latest.

2.Move out of my parents house into Boston, preferably close to work. This is more of an immediate need, my self-imposed deadline is to be moved out is September 1st, preferably earlier. A short commute and the ability to get home cheaply and easily (probably via uber) from bars at 2 AM are my biggest wishes in a location.

3. Start saving for FIRE and paying down student loans strategically.

Should I pay higher rent and live closer to work, or out in a cheap area like Brighton where the T-ride would take 45 minutes and  the monthly pass would be $80 plus? I like to bike, if I lived within a 15-20 minute bike ride from work then I wouldn't even bring my car into the city, but some of the closer neighborhoods seem pricey.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 09:35:55 AM by mafire »

humbleMouse

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 297
  • Location: Minneapolis
Re: FIRE in Boston
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 12:52:59 PM »
Just curious - what kind of finance job pays 46k + a couple thousand yearly?  Is that after tax or before tax income? 

mafire

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: FIRE in Boston
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 12:59:39 PM »
Sorry was a little too generic about my job. Entry level performance analyst here without industry experience. That's pre-tax, not sure how it ranks on the scale for most other local companies but after talking to friends at State street who started under 40K I was happy.

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: FIRE in Boston
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 02:45:54 PM »
I used to live in Boston...know it quite well.

If you move into the city, your rent will eat up a huge chunk of your income. You will need to find roommates or be prepared to pay 1500+ yourself each month. If you want to move into the nicer areas around State Street, it could be that much even with a roommate splitting the cost.

Personally, I never lived downtown, the North End, or in the Back Bay. Way too expensive. The only young 20 somethings who lived in those neighborhoods were kids with wealthy families who were paying their rent and/or school tuition, so the kids didn't have to foot the bill themselves. I'd recommend looking at Allston/Brighton/Brookline/Jamaica Plain and make sure you are within walking distance of a T stop. The beauty of Boston is that if you really needed to, you could cross it on foot in an hour and a half.  There are also tons of young professionals looking for roommates. The whole MMM concept of living close to work doesn't apply if to do that you need to spend 1/3 or 1/2 of your net take home pay to do it. Especially not when you can get an unlimited link pass for $80/mo.

As for the bars near Faneuil, the Ts are perfectly fine for going out on the weekends. And again, if you are in a group, you can always stumble home together in a worst case scenario if you miss the last train. I used to do this all the time. Sure it would have been easier to live right there, but 46k doesn't go very far in Boston, so it's not worth the cost when you can easily get there via the trains.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 02:50:07 PM by little_brown_dog »

McStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
Re: FIRE in Boston
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 04:33:53 PM »
Maybe check out Allston.  It's about 4-5 miles from the State Street area and mostly a straight shot on Comm Ave or on the path by the Charles.

What's your commute from where you currently live?

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
Re: FIRE in Boston
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 07:10:46 PM »
I also live in the Boston area; you probably aren't going to want to live in downtown Boston. And on 46k/year, you are definitely going to want roommates. I would look at some place that is farther out, but will still let you walk/bike/take transit to work. Myself, I live in Medford which gives me an easy bicycle ride to Kendall. Yourtrip would be a little longer from there; more like 40 minutes.

Some other places worth considering Arlington (77 bus is frequent, bike able, some parts are close to Alewife), Somerville (closer, more expensive), Quincy (not really bikeable, but has the red line).
With that amount of debt, I'd skip the bars entirely.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 07:19:01 PM by vhalros »

mafire

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: FIRE in Boston
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 09:27:06 AM »
Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I'm definitely with you on the roommates, one high school friend offered his soon to be former roommates place when he moves out in August for $900, a little more than what I'd like to pay living that far out. I guess the premium has to do with it being right on the D line instead of the god-forsaken b line. I'm very familiar with the Brighton/Allston/brookline area, I guess I was just hoping to live someplace that involved a shorter commute, that might have to wait a few years. Any thoughts on Southie? Friends living there say the bus commute is a hassle, but depending on how bikeable it is I could get to work in just a few minutes from areas where I see decent apartments available. Also, any rental brokers you have had good experiences with in the past?

Maybe check out Allston.  It's about 4-5 miles from the State Street area and mostly a straight shot on Comm Ave or on the path by the Charles.

What's your commute from where you currently live?

I like the idea of taking that path down the Charles, maybe I'll try that this weekend to see how it is. I live right near Gillette, taking the commuter rail in most mornings takes about an hour and 15 minutes each way from door to door. The pass from my zone is $240 per month.

I also live in the Boston area; you probably aren't going to want to live in downtown Boston. And on 46k/year, you are definitely going to want roommates. I would look at some place that is farther out, but will still let you walk/bike/take transit to work. Myself, I live in Medford which gives me an easy bicycle ride to Kendall. Yourtrip would be a little longer from there; more like 40 minutes.

Some other places worth considering Arlington (77 bus is frequent, bike able, some parts are close to Alewife), Somerville (closer, more expensive), Quincy (not really bikeable, but has the red line).
With that amount of debt, I'd skip the bars entirely.

I appreciate the comment, 40 minutes is definitely better than I'm doing now, and wouldn't be a bad trade off considering the rent difference. As far as the bars go, to each his own. I'm dumping $2k per month into debt paydown now. With the repayment schedule I made for the student loans after that, the difference in what I spend in a month at bars will only save me 8 months, not worth it for me.

I used to live in Boston...know it quite well.

If you move into the city, your rent will eat up a huge chunk of your income. You will need to find roommates or be prepared to pay 1500+ yourself each month. If you want to move into the nicer areas around State Street, it could be that much even with a roommate splitting the cost.

Personally, I never lived downtown, the North End, or in the Back Bay. Way too expensive. The only young 20 somethings who lived in those neighborhoods were kids with wealthy families who were paying their rent and/or school tuition, so the kids didn't have to foot the bill themselves. I'd recommend looking at Allston/Brighton/Brookline/Jamaica Plain and make sure you are within walking distance of a T stop. The beauty of Boston is that if you really needed to, you could cross it on foot in an hour and a half.  There are also tons of young professionals looking for roommates. The whole MMM concept of living close to work doesn't apply if to do that you need to spend 1/3 or 1/2 of your net take home pay to do it. Especially not when you can get an unlimited link pass for $80/mo.

As for the bars near Faneuil, the Ts are perfectly fine for going out on the weekends. And again, if you are in a group, you can always stumble home together in a worst case scenario if you miss the last train. I used to do this all the time. Sure it would have been easier to live right there, but 46k doesn't go very far in Boston, so it's not worth the cost when you can easily get there via the trains.

Thanks, it's hard to reconcile the MMM housing concept with a city like Boston. With the T stopping late night service it'll probably be uber more often, but we split those for about 3 bucks usually. Maybe I'll take a second look at JP.

Ramblin' Ma'am

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Location: Boston area
Re: FIRE in Boston
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 09:45:41 AM »
I live in Quincy and my rent is $1100 a month. Granted, it's below market value because I've lived there for several years and the landlord likes me. But there seem to be a lot of apartments around $1300, still cheap for the area. There are cities and towns that are safe and close to Boston but still relatively cheap because they don't have the "cool factor"--although Quincy is getting there.