Author Topic: Update from over a year ago  (Read 7389 times)

Aushin

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Update from over a year ago
« on: October 25, 2013, 02:46:11 PM »
I posted this topic in July 2012 http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/25-want-to-be-like-you-guys-but-not-sure-what-else-to-do

Since then my income has increased from ~37k to 52k [same job, but I was given a raise/new title.  still underpaid ;)]

This translated into about 700 dollars more a month after taxes and just based on that change I'm expecting to finally replace my 260,000 mile dodge neon this December.  (First 4k took me almost a year, second 4k should take 2/3 months.  It's insane what a small pay increase can do for your savings ability).

Monthly Income: ~$3000

Monthly Expenses:
   "Rent" -- $800 (I help pay a large chunk of my mother's mortgage because she can't afford the house on her own)
   Loans' total min payment - $250
   Cell phone plan -- $140 ($260 in reality but it is a family plan in my name that mom/sis use and spend 50 apiece on)
   Gas -- $180(70 mile round trip commute, 5 days a week, database admin job. 
                        I carpool 2-3 days a week)
   Car insurance -- about $80 a month (NJ, it would be roughly 2x worse if it wasn't in my grandmother's name)
   Impulse food/work lunches - $80-100 per month
   
Total about $1565.

I'm still not nearly mustachian enough.  I still drive too much.  I still have an outrageously high phone bill.   I probably eat out too much as well.  Really all I have going for me is I don't buy very much 'stuff' outside of food a few times a week.  My mom still doesn't work.  My sister's having all kinds of issues and isn't working right now either. 

My credit is much better now, but I still haven't paid the debt collectors I alluded to a year ago because the car savings has always been my top priority.

I hate the feeling I get when I go to socialize now because though I know I'll have lots of fun my friends always seem to want to go to a bar in a big city like Philadelphia.  And then I think of all the travel costs.  And the high liquor costs.  It's soul crushing sometimes to know I have to choose between seeing friends whose company I enjoy and being financially free early in my life.

As always, I have to ask: what can I be doing better that I maybe haven't thought of?  I figure there's always something.

Anyway I'm doing much better now and hope to have my student loans paid off within a year or two.  Family matters are still frustrating but I don't know.  One day at a time.  Thanks for reading!



Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 03:09:16 PM »
You look like you're doing pretty well, despite all the family problems.  You're saving just under 50% of your income, which is just fine.  When you end up paying off your loans, you'll be able to subtract that $250 from your expenses, making you even better.

RE: going out to bars with your friends, have you thought about taking a flask in your jacket?  I've been considering doing this.  I'm assuming most bars wouldn't "let" you, but you could down a fair bit of liquor right before you go in, and maybe sneak off the bathroom/corner every now and then for a shot.  For the cost of 3-4 drinks, you could get a whole bottle of your favorite liquor if you just prepare ahead of time. 

Obviously, you could almost eliminate dining out, but I eat out plenty myself, so I won't badger you.

Another Reader

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 03:22:12 PM »
Hey, Aushin, great to hear from you!  Congratulations on the pay raise from $37k to $52k.  That's over 40 percent in a little over a year!  As I suspected, your employer thinks highly of you.  Your savings rate is phenomenal, especially since you have the bulk of the responsibility for the house.  Were you able to straighten things out so your former stepfather is off the hook?

Yeah, it's tough not being able to afford going out with your friends.  Once you can replace that Neon, you can settle the medical debt or it may just drop off if the statute of limitations comes into play.  After that, the student loans can be put to rest.  Then you will be completely free of the old stuff that's holding you back and you can loosen up a little.  Heck, you can probably loosen up a little once the car is replaced and the medical debt disappears.

Lots of people ask for advice here and then don't take it.  You listened to what was offered and found a way to make a very challenging situation work.  Congratulations on what you have accomplished!  Can't wait to hear your next update!

dadof4

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 04:54:52 PM »
Good going, it sounds like you're headed in the right direction.

You're going to get some more face punches for that ridiculous cell phone package. You could save 100-130 a month more (which represents almost 10% of your total savings), and start using that to pay off the 6% student loan. It would even be cheaper for your mom and sister.

Other than that, there isn't a lot of fat to cut. Looking out for your mom's mortgage is commendable, as long as you don't feel taken advantage of.


apoclater

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 10:47:23 PM »
Two pieces of advice for you:

1. I second the "take a flask to the bar" recommendation.  If you're a twentysomething it is inevitable you'll spend a lot of Friday/Saturday nights at bars and without a proper pregame you'll spend at least $30-60 a night in drinks.  My advice is pre game to a reasonable level then resort to a 6 oz flask in your jeans or jacket pocket.  Develop a strong stomach and take shots of whiskey or vodka.  My friends now know I don't buy more than one drink and I don't buy rounds so they don't include me, and I've cut my bar bills from $250 monthly down to $20-30.

2. If you like to go out to eat for convenience, try planning your own meals instead a little better.  I learned to enjoy my own cooking and got significantly better at it, to the point where I enjoy my own meals more than some nice spots.  If you like to go out because you legitimately love eating food you probably can't make yourself--my advice is twofold.  One, really savor it--as in, pick a restaurant, research it with a friend or S.O. and plan what you're going to order.  No need for wine, just get the food.  Second, try food trucks and little stands for your going out fix.  They often make amazing food and it's incredibly cheap (this taco stand by me makes traditional carnitas for $1/taco).

msilenus

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2013, 02:12:13 AM »
If you don't mind my asking: what the heck happened with the house and the quit-claim deed?


lizfish

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 02:56:32 AM »
I read the partial history you linked to. I have no sage advice, but just support from afar. You're dealing with a difficult situation still, and you're getting there. I wish you all the best and hope that things change eventually so that you can move out into the world with less responsibility (or as much as you want)

CU Tiger

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2013, 08:52:36 AM »
If your mother hasn't worked for several years due to a physical disability, has she considered filing for disability? Because not having ANY income and relying on an adult child to care for her the rest of her life isn't really a good long-term strategy.

Also, the phones, the phones, the phones! I have a pay as you go phone and it does everything I need it to do. If they were my mother and sister, I'd snatch those expensive phones out of their hands so fast their heads would spin. I don't think a fancy phone with data plan is a necessity, no matter what other people think.

Other than those two things, you are doing well. Keep on keeping on.

Aushin

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2013, 10:42:19 AM »
Hey, Aushin, great to hear from you!  Congratulations on the pay raise from $37k to $52k.  That's over 40 percent in a little over a year!  As I suspected, your employer thinks highly of you.  Your savings rate is phenomenal, especially since you have the bulk of the responsibility for the house.  Were you able to straighten things out so your former stepfather is off the hook?

Yeah, it's tough not being able to afford going out with your friends.  Once you can replace that Neon, you can settle the medical debt or it may just drop off if the statute of limitations comes into play.  After that, the student loans can be put to rest.  Then you will be completely free of the old stuff that's holding you back and you can loosen up a little.  Heck, you can probably loosen up a little once the car is replaced and the medical debt disappears.

Lots of people ask for advice here and then don't take it.  You listened to what was offered and found a way to make a very challenging situation work.  Congratulations on what you have accomplished!  Can't wait to hear your next update!

Thank you :-)

I haven't been able to get my stepfather off the house yet and the payment situation isn't totally sorted out either (the USDA owns the house as part of a rural development program and they change the amount we have to pay and the amount we owe them almost weekly.  Still trying to work that out with their bureaucracy but I'm not horrible concerned about it and I think it'll work out).

Other than that, everything else seems to be looking up and I can't wait for the day when the old debts are dead.  I can only imagine how free I'll feel.

Aushin

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2013, 10:46:07 AM »
Two pieces of advice for you:

1. I second the "take a flask to the bar" recommendation.  If you're a twentysomething it is inevitable you'll spend a lot of Friday/Saturday nights at bars and without a proper pregame you'll spend at least $30-60 a night in drinks.  My advice is pre game to a reasonable level then resort to a 6 oz flask in your jeans or jacket pocket.  Develop a strong stomach and take shots of whiskey or vodka.  My friends now know I don't buy more than one drink and I don't buy rounds so they don't include me, and I've cut my bar bills from $250 monthly down to $20-30.

2. If you like to go out to eat for convenience, try planning your own meals instead a little better.  I learned to enjoy my own cooking and got significantly better at it, to the point where I enjoy my own meals more than some nice spots.  If you like to go out because you legitimately love eating food you probably can't make yourself--my advice is twofold.  One, really savor it--as in, pick a restaurant, research it with a friend or S.O. and plan what you're going to order.  No need for wine, just get the food.  Second, try food trucks and little stands for your going out fix.  They often make amazing food and it's incredibly cheap (this taco stand by me makes traditional carnitas for $1/taco).

1. I already enjoy drinking straight scotch and whiskey so I won't have problems following this advice.

2. I go through stretches where I am able to cobble together meals for work and save a lot that way, but I usually rely on cans of things or leftovers from dinners that other people cook.  I know pretty much nothing of cooking still, but it would be a good excuse to learn how.  I'm still pretty sure I won't for a while though.  It feels like a steep learning curve and I'm already applying a lot of focus to other skills with steep learning curves (most of which are work-related).

Aushin

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2013, 10:49:03 AM »
If you don't mind my asking: what the heck happened with the house and the quit-claim deed?

Nothing.  That situation's exactly what it was before.  He still is named on the house.  In probably a year or so, if I'm still in this area, I should be able to buy the house from them for what's owed on it (88k now?).  I'd feel comfortable doing that because I'm aggressive with my debts and that's a very low principal. 

Also I'm pretty sure the only way my conscience will let me be free of my mom's finances is if this place is paid off.

msilenus

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 11:24:48 AM »
Last year arebelspy had some great advice for you on that front (IMO): try to sell the property transfer as a refinance into your name to your stepfather.  Don't mention that he has an interest in the house.  Just tell him that you want to refinance the loan into your name, but in order to do that, you need the quit-claim "paperwork" filled out.  You can even bring him the paperwork.

From what I read there, it will probably work.  If it doesn't, it doesn't.  But this is really something that's worth squaring a way.  The money at stake probably dwarfs your current net worth.

I think you get this now, but just in case I'll reiterate what people were trying to drive home back then: paying off the loan does nothing for you right now.  The loan is the debt.  The title is the ownership.  There's no relationship.  Paying off the debt does not get you any equity.  Until he quits that claim, 50% of every dollar you pay into that loan needs to be assumed to be a gift to your stepfather.

capital

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 02:35:18 PM »
Depending on where you are in Jersey, I would think the number one thing you could do to increase your savings rate would be to get into the NYC/Manhattan job market-- the tech market is doing very well right now, and you would probably be able to significantly increase your salary.  Since you go out in Philly it'd probably be a bear of a commute, but your curretn 70-mile commute sounds like no picnic either so it's worth looking into if it's feasible. Even if you aren't able to get to NYC, I think you're right about being underpaid and you should at least put feelers out, now that you have a few years of experience in the field.

And a flask definitely helps if you wanna get crunked up on a budget, and you should look to get out from under that phone bill ASAP. Eating out that much is pretty understandable when your commute eats up a ton of your time, though learning to cook is an investment-- I'm a lot better at it after a year or so of trying. All of those changes other than the flask are nontrivial, so I'd suggest looking at what kind of salaries you'd be able to get by changing jobs (looking at Glassdoor, etc.) as a first priority.

arebelspy

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 11:45:58 PM »
Thanks for the update Aushin.  Congrats on the raise at work!  :D
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TrulyStashin

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2013, 08:15:43 AM »
Regarding drinking with friends at bars.............   I see several posts advising you to take a flask or drink heavily before you go.

Why not just reduce the amount you drink? 

Whether before or during, it is still costing you money and after the first couple of drinks, it actually detracts from connecting with your friends.   Go out, have two drinks spaced out over an hour or so.  After that, switch to club soda with a splash of cranberry juice and a lime.  It looks like a cocktail but bartenders generally give it for free.  Tell them you're the Designated Driver and they'll definitely give it for free.   You'll be relaxed and have fun but stay sober and will avoid the hangover the next morning.  Plus, you'll get to hang out with your friends all you want.

If you doubt my wisdom, read this http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/02/13/understand-the-marginal-utility-of-booze-and-drugs/


rockstache

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2013, 09:21:09 AM »
Hi Aushin,


Congratulations on the raise! I'm kind of a newbie myself, so I don't have a lot to offer, but I will suggest you check out www.budgetbytes.com for cooking ideas. Someone here once suggested it to me so I can't take credit for it, but my husband and I (who hated cooking previously), have come such a long way with that website, slashing our eating out budget by almost half. It has pictures of everything, and really simple steps. A lot of things we double the recipe for, and then carry to work as lunch for a couple of days. Give it a try, you might find it enjoyable.

Best of luck!

Aushin

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2013, 09:21:37 AM »
Regarding drinking with friends at bars.............   I see several posts advising you to take a flask or drink heavily before you go.

Why not just reduce the amount you drink? 

Whether before or during, it is still costing you money and after the first couple of drinks, it actually detracts from connecting with your friends.   Go out, have two drinks spaced out over an hour or so.  After that, switch to club soda with a splash of cranberry juice and a lime.  It looks like a cocktail but bartenders generally give it for free.  Tell them you're the Designated Driver and they'll definitely give it for free.   You'll be relaxed and have fun but stay sober and will avoid the hangover the next morning.  Plus, you'll get to hang out with your friends all you want.

If you doubt my wisdom, read this http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/02/13/understand-the-marginal-utility-of-booze-and-drugs/

The flask really did me in, too.  I still have a hangover headache from Saturday.  Aging...

Aushin

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 09:27:09 AM »
Hi Aushin,


Congratulations on the raise! I'm kind of a newbie myself, so I don't have a lot to offer, but I will suggest you check out www.budgetbytes.com for cooking ideas. Someone here once suggested it to me so I can't take credit for it, but my husband and I (who hated cooking previously), have come such a long way with that website, slashing our eating out budget by almost half. It has pictures of everything, and really simple steps. A lot of things we double the recipe for, and then carry to work as lunch for a couple of days. Give it a try, you might find it enjoyable.

Best of luck!

Thank you!  I've bookmarked it.  Maybe I can will myself into cooking lol

Dezrah

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2013, 10:22:06 AM »
Something I love about sites like this is they show you all the opportunities and you choose which ones are right for you at the time.  Personally I found things reducing our cell phone bill and automating our retirement with index funds to be easy, but biking to work and eliminating eating out are more challenging.  Someday I hope to do these things, but for now I'm okay taking on one challenge at a time.

My point is it's all about progress, not perfection.  If anything, the fact that there are still so many low hanging fruits means that your situation is only going to keep getting better as you're able to implement more and more changes.

Thank you for updating and good luck to you in the year to come.

jrhampt

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2013, 12:16:16 PM »
Regarding drinking with friends at bars.............   I see several posts advising you to take a flask or drink heavily before you go.

Why not just reduce the amount you drink? 

Whether before or during, it is still costing you money and after the first couple of drinks, it actually detracts from connecting with your friends.   Go out, have two drinks spaced out over an hour or so.  After that, switch to club soda with a splash of cranberry juice and a lime.  It looks like a cocktail but bartenders generally give it for free.  Tell them you're the Designated Driver and they'll definitely give it for free.   You'll be relaxed and have fun but stay sober and will avoid the hangover the next morning.  Plus, you'll get to hang out with your friends all you want.

Seconded.  And also seconding the advice to cut back the cell phone plans.

But perhaps what would help you out the most is this: since you're a DBA, and your company values you (based on the promotion and the nice raise - congrats!), can you ask about options to telecommute one or two days a week?  If this is a feasible option, I think you'd be amazed at how much time and money you'd save.

CommonCents

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2013, 12:56:44 PM »
Last year arebelspy had some great advice for you on that front (IMO): try to sell the property transfer as a refinance into your name to your stepfather.  Don't mention that he has an interest in the house.  Just tell him that you want to refinance the loan into your name, but in order to do that, you need the quit-claim "paperwork" filled out.  You can even bring him the paperwork.

From what I read there, it will probably work.  If it doesn't, it doesn't.  But this is really something that's worth squaring a way.  The money at stake probably dwarfs your current net worth.

I think you get this now, but just in case I'll reiterate what people were trying to drive home back then: paying off the loan does nothing for you right now.  The loan is the debt.  The title is the ownership.  There's no relationship.  Paying off the debt does not get you any equity.  Until he quits that claim, 50% of every dollar you pay into that loan needs to be assumed to be a gift to your stepfather.

+1

This is a really scary thing to consider OP, and it may be hard to resolve, but I strongly urge you to try to resolve it now and not put it off any longer.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2013, 01:27:10 PM »
Aushin,

Have you ever looked at your tax situation again?

You would qualify for free tax preparation through VITA, and they can even help you amend prior-year returns. Filing as head of household is definitely helpful from a tax perspective, and you might find yourself with a decent amount of money coming back to you. Here is a link to VITA so you can read up on it, and just Google VITA + your city to find a contact number.

Both your mom and your sister should qualify as your dependents for Head of Household purposes. Here is an easy-to-read explanation of HOH (below):

***
The head of household status can lead to a lower taxable income and greater potential refund than the single filing status, but to qualify, you must meet certain criteria. To file as head of household, you must:

Pay for more than half of the household expenses
Be considered unmarried for the tax year, and
You must have a qualifying child or dependent.
Some of these terms, such as "considered unmarried" and "qualifying child or dependent" may seem a bit confusing, but the IRS has provided a series of guidelines to help taxpayers understand whether or not they qualify to file as head of household.

Maintaining a household
The first requirement for filing as head of household is that you must have paid for more than half of the expenses involved in maintaining your household during the tax year. This means that you must have paid more than half of the total household bills, including rent or mortgage, utility bills, insurance, property taxes, groceries, repairs and other common household expenses.

If you receive financial assistance toward your household expenses from a parent or other individual, you can still qualify to file as head of household as long as you are paying for more than 50 percent of the bills with your own earnings, savings, or capital.

Considered unmarried
The IRS also requires all taxpayers who file as head of household to be "considered unmarried" as of the last day of the tax year. To be considered unmarried means:

You have never been married
You are divorced or legally separated from your spouse
You lived away from your spouse for at least the last six months of the tax year
Your spouse is a nonresident alien and you have a qualifying child who lived with you for more than half of the year.
Keep in mind that if you and your spouse lived in separate homes due to a temporary circumstance, such as military service, business trips, a stay in a medical treatment facility, or attendance at college, the IRS still considers you married for that tax year.

Qualifying child
The requirement for a qualifying child or dependent extends beyond just your own son or daughter. To be considered a qualifying child, the child must meet the criteria in each of the following categories:

The child must be your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step sibling, half sibling, or a descendant (child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc.) of one of these relatives.
The child must have lived within your home for more than six months during the tax year.
The child needs to be younger than you.
As of the end of the tax year, the child must be under 19 if he is not a student, or under 24 if he is a full-time college student.
The child must not have paid for more than half of his living expenses during the tax year.
In some cases, you may be eligible to file as head of household even if you are unable to claim your child as a dependent. For divorced or separated parents, if the child lived in your home for more than half of the year, you may file as head of household, even if the divorce or separation agreement gives the other parent the right to claim the child as a dependent.

Qualifying dependent
If your dependent does not meet the criteria to be a qualifying child, you may still qualify to file as head of household. The following relatives are considered qualifying dependents for the head of household filing status as long as you provided more than half of her financial support and she lived with you for more than half of the year:

Your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step sibling, half sibling or a descendant (child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc.) of one of these relatives who is permanently and totally disabled, even if he or she does not meet the age requirements to be a qualifying child.
Your mother or father.
Your stepfather, stepmother, niece, nephew, a sibling of one of your parents, or your son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
Even if your father or mother did not live with you for more than half of the tax year, you may still qualify to file as head of household. If you paid for more than half of the living expenses for your parent's main home throughout the entire tax year and you are eligible to claim him as a dependent, then you may file as head of household.

Aushin

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2013, 01:27:51 PM »
Aushin,

Have you ever looked at your tax situation again?

You would qualify for free tax preparation through VITA, and they can even help you amend prior-year returns. Filing as head of household is definitely helpful from a tax perspective, and you might find yourself with a decent amount of money coming back to you. Here is a link to VITA so you can read up on it, and just Google VITA + your city to find a contact number.

Both your mom and your sister should qualify as your dependents for Head of Household purposes. Here is an easy-to-read explanation of HOH (below):

***
The head of household status can lead to a lower taxable income and greater potential refund than the single filing status, but to qualify, you must meet certain criteria. To file as head of household, you must:

Pay for more than half of the household expenses
Be considered unmarried for the tax year, and
You must have a qualifying child or dependent.
Some of these terms, such as "considered unmarried" and "qualifying child or dependent" may seem a bit confusing, but the IRS has provided a series of guidelines to help taxpayers understand whether or not they qualify to file as head of household.

Maintaining a household
The first requirement for filing as head of household is that you must have paid for more than half of the expenses involved in maintaining your household during the tax year. This means that you must have paid more than half of the total household bills, including rent or mortgage, utility bills, insurance, property taxes, groceries, repairs and other common household expenses.

If you receive financial assistance toward your household expenses from a parent or other individual, you can still qualify to file as head of household as long as you are paying for more than 50 percent of the bills with your own earnings, savings, or capital.

Considered unmarried
The IRS also requires all taxpayers who file as head of household to be "considered unmarried" as of the last day of the tax year. To be considered unmarried means:

You have never been married
You are divorced or legally separated from your spouse
You lived away from your spouse for at least the last six months of the tax year
Your spouse is a nonresident alien and you have a qualifying child who lived with you for more than half of the year.
Keep in mind that if you and your spouse lived in separate homes due to a temporary circumstance, such as military service, business trips, a stay in a medical treatment facility, or attendance at college, the IRS still considers you married for that tax year.

Qualifying child
The requirement for a qualifying child or dependent extends beyond just your own son or daughter. To be considered a qualifying child, the child must meet the criteria in each of the following categories:

The child must be your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step sibling, half sibling, or a descendant (child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc.) of one of these relatives.
The child must have lived within your home for more than six months during the tax year.
The child needs to be younger than you.
As of the end of the tax year, the child must be under 19 if he is not a student, or under 24 if he is a full-time college student.
The child must not have paid for more than half of his living expenses during the tax year.
In some cases, you may be eligible to file as head of household even if you are unable to claim your child as a dependent. For divorced or separated parents, if the child lived in your home for more than half of the year, you may file as head of household, even if the divorce or separation agreement gives the other parent the right to claim the child as a dependent.

Qualifying dependent
If your dependent does not meet the criteria to be a qualifying child, you may still qualify to file as head of household. The following relatives are considered qualifying dependents for the head of household filing status as long as you provided more than half of her financial support and she lived with you for more than half of the year:

Your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step sibling, half sibling or a descendant (child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc.) of one of these relatives who is permanently and totally disabled, even if he or she does not meet the age requirements to be a qualifying child.
Your mother or father.
Your stepfather, stepmother, niece, nephew, a sibling of one of your parents, or your son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
Even if your father or mother did not live with you for more than half of the tax year, you may still qualify to file as head of household. If you paid for more than half of the living expenses for your parent's main home throughout the entire tax year and you are eligible to claim him as a dependent, then you may file as head of household.

I should absolutely look into this.  I will probably do so this week.

Exflyboy

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Re: Update from over a year ago
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2013, 04:20:28 PM »
Why you want to replace the Neon,

I am a Dodge Neon fan and currently drive 600 miles a week in mine for an average of 36MPG!.. I bought it for $350 and spent $1000 rebuilding it. Pic shows it after the rebuild.. i rebuilt the motor and manual transmission plus repainted the front half as it had some dents.

My first Neon looks rough but is otherwise fine.. but the "new one" (150Hp twin cam 2 door model) was so cheap it didn't make doing anything with my first one worthwhile.

The question is.. if your car is free and reliable.. why would you change it?

Frank.. Who now has 2 Neons!..Hmm
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 04:39:58 PM by frankh »