Author Topic: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)  (Read 11157 times)

huddlma

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In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« on: September 23, 2014, 11:20:48 AM »
I'll be brief. I'm 27, 28 in December.

I have:

A job in consulting earning $76.5K/year.
$75K in outstanding consolidated student loan debt @ 6.34% interest.
$2,200 left in a car loan.
$2,000 in checking account.
$3,500 in savings account (for emergencies).

In short, the student loan debt keeps me up at night. I wish Congress would get together and work with Elizabeth Warren to get my 6.34% interest rate down to the current rates (3.4%). I want to begin putting money away, and I want to obtain some sound advice on the best option for doing that.

I've read a good bit of MMM's blog, and it certainly gives me hope. I've thought about the Vanguard Index Funds option or IRA option. I want to be able to put away money for 10 years while contributing a certain amount monthly to help it grow faster. By 37, I'd love to have enough money to either 1) pay off the remainder of my student loans or 2) buy a home. MMM had the statement that if you put away roughly $200/month for 10 years @ a certain interest rate that you'd have $100,000 or something like that?

I'm contributing a VERY minimal amount to my 401K currently (I just became eligible).

I just want the most bang for my buck, and I want to make a smart decision.

ANY advice would be greatly appreciated. Once I learn what the hell I'm doing, I'm for sure going to pay it forward :) Should I save $ and invest in stock index funds? I just want this to be easy!

Thanks,

M

Eric

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 11:45:39 AM »
Okay, you asked for it....

A job in consulting earning $76.5K/year.
$75K in outstanding consolidated student loan debt @ 6.34% interest.

In short, the student loan debt keeps me up at night.

It should.  Your hair is on fire and you need to take care of that.

I wish Congress would get together and work with Elizabeth Warren to get my 6.34% interest rate down to the current rates (3.4%). I want to begin putting money away, and I want to obtain some sound advice on the best option for doing that.

The interest rate should hardly matter to you.  With your high salary, you should be able to pay this off in 2 years, 3 tops.  The difference is only a few grand.


I've read a good bit of MMM's blog, and it certainly gives me hope. I've thought about the Vanguard Index Funds option or IRA option. I want to be able to put away money for 10 years while contributing a certain amount monthly to help it grow faster. By 37, I'd love to have enough money to either 1) pay off the remainder of my student loans or 2) buy a home. MMM had the statement that if you put away roughly $200/month for 10 years @ a certain interest rate that you'd have $100,000 or something like that?

10 YEARS!  You want to carry a flaming load of debt for 10 years!?!  Why in the world would you sabotage your future like that?  Pay that motherfucker off AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.  This is an EMERGENCY!!!!

I'm contributing a VERY minimal amount to my 401K currently (I just became eligible).

I just want the most bang for my buck, and I want to make a smart decision.

Does your 401k have a match?  Contribute enough to maximize that, as it's free money.  Every other penny that you can scrape together should be thrown at your debt as fast as you can.

ANY advice would be greatly appreciated. Once I learn what the hell I'm doing, I'm for sure going to pay it forward :) Should I save $ and invest in stock index funds? I just want this to be easy!

Oh, it ain't going to be easy.  It's going to be hard.  Easy is lolligagging your way to paying off your debt in 10 years.  But that's not why you're here.  You're here because you want the badass way.  The one where you're out of debt in 2 years and have a large chunk saved for your retirement plus a house down payment after 10 years.

What are you spending your income on?  Whatever it is, you need to find ways to cut it.  Sell that car and bike instead.  Rent a room instead of an apartment or take on a roommate in yours.  Stop eating out.  Stop drinking out.  Your hair is on fire!

JPinDC

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 12:02:44 PM »
Are you currently tracking your spending? Some more numbers would help show places that you could cut to create more savings and pay off those loans. I know it seems daunting, but you can do it!

LibrarIan

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 12:04:59 PM »
If you want to list your expenses (rent, entertainment, gas, etc.) we can really issue a beatdown ;-).

I'm sure others will have different opinions, but I think you should do the following:

- If your employer will match something in your 401k, raise your contributions to get the match. Free moolah.
- Keep your emergency fund where it's at. That is a pretty decent amount. I prefer 5k, but I'm paranoid.
- Over the next couple paychecks, just pay off the car. What are you waiting for? After taxes (guessing about a 30% taxation rate) you should be pulling in about $2k per paycheck, give or take. Hopefully your lifestyle isn't so extravagent that you can't throw everything extra at the car to just take car of it.
- After that start pouring as much money as possible into the student loans. Don't wait for rate changes, take matters into your own hands.

With what info you've given us, you are sitting at a net worth of $-71,700. This is a serious hole, dude. You can do this in far less than 10 years though, assuming you're willing to make some life changes.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 12:07:09 PM by LibrarIan »

fallstoclimb

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 12:23:02 PM »
I just paid off the same amount of student loan debt in 3.5 years, making just a bit less than you.  (I also bought a house during the same time, which I wouldn't recommend.)  There is no reason you can't demolish this in 2-3 years.

10 years?  That's crazy pants.  Just put all of your money to that sucker now and stop worrying about what Congress may or may not do.

Do you know what you spend per month?  Start there. 

skunkfunk

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 12:32:25 PM »
You need a full case study if you doubt your ability to pay down that loan.

hybrid

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 12:54:31 PM »
I just paid off the same amount of student loan debt in 3.5 years, making just a bit less than you.  (I also bought a house during the same time, which I wouldn't recommend.)  There is no reason you can't demolish this in 2-3 years.

10 years?  That's crazy pants.  Just put all of your money to that sucker now and stop worrying about what Congress may or may not do.

Do you know what you spend per month?  Start there.

My bold. If you are hoping someone else will be your knight in shining armor you have the wrong mindset. You gladly took the loans, the interest rate was reasonable, now get your ass down to the hard work of paying them off fast. Here is what I would do. Figure out how much principal you can pay off each month, we'll say 2K. Get a glass of some sort and and put 75 glass beads in it. Every time you lop off 1K, throw a bead away. Keep that glass somewhere fairly conspicuous, you want that constant reminder (and the positive reinforcement that comes from throwing debt out). You should have these debts paid off in three years barring some financial crisis, not ten.

Below is how we do it with out mortgages. The glass on the left has one glass bead for every 1K of principle left on our rental, the one on the right has a big blue bead for every 10K left on our primary mortgage and one green bead for every 1K increment in between. The glass in the middle is where we put beads as we pay them off. This picture was taken over six months ago, there are many more beads in the middle glass today.

   

OptimizeOptimism

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 01:09:15 PM »
http://nomoreharvarddebt.com/

Read that a while back. Pretty impressive stuff and gives you a good idea of what a person can accomplish when they're making good money (which you are). Agree with the paying off loans ASAP approach and with starting by tracking expenses.

frugaliknowit

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2014, 01:09:29 PM »
Move into someone's basement.  Eat out:  Fagetaboudid!!  Vacation:  Fagetaboudit!  Starbucks:  Fagetaboudit!  All you freagin' do is work, sleep and payoff debt until those SL's are gone!!  Think of it as you are now in the military and that is your mission!!!

dandarc

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2014, 01:13:39 PM »
Posting to see if OP comes back with more details later.

skunkfunk

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2014, 01:14:24 PM »
Posting to see if OP comes back with more details later.

Notify button, lower right.

dandarc

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2014, 01:16:36 PM »
Posting to see if OP comes back with more details later.

Notify button, lower right.
Thank you -somehow haven't seen that / realized what it does.

huddlma

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2014, 02:01:28 PM »
Everyone,

Thanks so much for the time and thoughtful responses.

Eric, you're right about Congress and the benefits of interest rate changes. I need to quit focusing on that shit. It doesn't matter.

I'm having a hard time believing that I can pay this off in 2-3 years. Here's my expense breakdown:

Rent: $950
Utilities: $250
Car Insurance: $100/month
Dog Care: $50/month
Gas: (Hard to tell, fluctuates each month, but probably $200-$300/month. I drive home (2.5 hours away) 2 weekends a month to see sick family member and other family/friends).
Cell Phone: $80
Lately I've been putting a lot of $ into my 'oh shit savings' fund and the rest goes to my minimal student loan payments and paying off this car.

So if I'm bringing home $4350 after taxes, and after all the expenses above are paid, I'm left with $2620. This is before food and entertainment. For the record, I don't go hard really at all. Me and my gf will catch a movie at the drive-in or something like that. We go camping a good bit as well...all very cheap ways to have fun and enjoy ourselves. I'm having a hard time coming to grips with what I'm willing to sacrifice because I'm not going to sit on my ass at my apt. and not enjoy my youth simply because these student loans hang over my head. I need release from time to time, you know!

My eyes are wide open now. Can I really pay this off in 3 years? So say I have $2000 after everything...I could probably put $1800-$2000 a month to my student loans, but it fucking pisses me off to do something like that! I hate these kids who's parent's paid for everything and get to buy houses and cars and take trips of a lifetime simply bc they have no debt. I want to LIVE life too! I sound like an entitled douche, but this is a legit thought of mine every time I log on to Sallie Mae's site. It drains me.

But I digress, so say I put $1800-$2000 to my loans every month, I could have them paid off in 4-5 years (after interest bc that $75K in loans will go up with interest). But that means I have to put my future on hold. I want a family and kids before I'm 33 or 34. My girlfriend won't want to wait 5 years for me to propose. It's all just so damn stressful.

Moving into someones basement, sacrificing my apt., or moving back in with a parent after living in hotels Monday through Thursday each week in different cities seems unlikely. I have a girlfriend so moving home would put an end to that. My apt. is my sanctuary, and I would become really depressed not having a decent place to go and relax on the weekends. Plus, $950 for a apt. in any big city is kind of a steal.

So those are my expenses. I respect you guys, but I'd be lying if I didn't think this is a little hardcore...giving up my apt. (1BR btw), living with a stranger who might suck, selling my car that I use to get home to see family, etc. There are just certain things that I'm not going to forego.

Whew!

Thanks for listening.

M

huddlma

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2014, 02:07:40 PM »
Dog Care is more like $175/month due to the fact that I have to have a sitter for her during the week. I've had her for 8 years, love her to pieces, not giving her up :)

skunkfunk

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2014, 02:14:59 PM »

My eyes are wide open now. Can I really pay this off in 3 years? So say I have $2000 after everything...I could probably put $1800-$2000 a month to my student loans, but it fucking pisses me off to do something like that! I hate these kids who's parent's paid for everything and get to buy houses and cars and take trips of a lifetime simply bc they have no debt. I want to LIVE life too! I sound like an entitled douche, but this is a legit thought of mine every time I log on to Sallie Mae's site. It drains me.


http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/02/what-is-stoicism-and-how-can-it-turn-your-life-to-solid-gold/

You don't have to move out of your apartment. Your utilities, gas, cell phone are kinda high but doable (reducible as well but I digress). Your biggest issue is your own outlook on this. Pay those loans off and be done with it. You don't have to put your life on hold. Any reason you can't have a wife with a 1 bedroom apartment? Where is your girlfriend living now? Does she make any money? If so you might pay these off even faster with a dual income household.

$1900/month at 6.34% is 45 months. Not even 4 years. Will your income increase in that time? Then even faster.

Also, max your company match on the 401K pronto. Greatest investment return possible is the company match.

Also, why do you need a dog sitter? I've always either just let it lounge around the house or put it in a crate. If it can't hold it's pee put out a puppy pad.

Zaga

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2014, 02:18:25 PM »
Yes, you do sound a bit entitled.  No, you don't have to wait for the debt to be gone to get married.  Your apartment sounds reasonable to me.  Any chance in the next year or so of the girlfriend moving in and taking some of the bills?  Or better yet becoming the Mrs. and combining finances?

I married someone with $115K in student loans.  I knew this going in.  $100K of them were in collections.  It sucked, a lot.  But he's more than worth it.

Go ahead and start paying these suckers off, car loan first since it is so small and will only take a month.  I bet you'll find that you pay them off faster than you are anticipating right now!

huddlma

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2014, 02:26:23 PM »
Skunkfunk,

I have to board her because I'm on the road Monday through Thursday. Can't leave her in the crate that long :) I'm not an animal abuser!

M

LibrarIan

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2014, 02:30:56 PM »
I'm having a hard time believing that I can pay this off in 2-3 years. Here's my expense breakdown:

Rent: $950
Utilities: $250
Car Insurance: $100/month
Dog Care: $50/month
Gas: (Hard to tell, fluctuates each month, but probably $200-$300/month. I drive home (2.5 hours away) 2 weekends a month to see sick family member and other family/friends).
Cell Phone: $80
Lately I've been putting a lot of $ into my 'oh shit savings' fund and the rest goes to my minimal student loan payments and paying off this car.

So if I'm bringing home $4350 after taxes, and after all the expenses above are paid, I'm left with $2620. This is before food and entertainment. For the record, I don't go hard really at all. Me and my gf will catch a movie at the drive-in or something like that. We go camping a good bit as well...all very cheap ways to have fun and enjoy ourselves. I'm having a hard time coming to grips with what I'm willing to sacrifice because I'm not going to sit on my ass at my apt. and not enjoy my youth simply because these student loans hang over my head. I need release from time to time, you know!

My eyes are wide open now. Can I really pay this off in 3 years? So say I have $2000 after everything...I could probably put $1800-$2000 a month to my student loans, but it fucking pisses me off to do something like that! I hate these kids who's parent's paid for everything and get to buy houses and cars and take trips of a lifetime simply bc they have no debt. I want to LIVE life too! I sound like an entitled douche, but this is a legit thought of mine every time I log on to Sallie Mae's site. It drains me.

But I digress, so say I put $1800-$2000 to my loans every month, I could have them paid off in 4-5 years (after interest bc that $75K in loans will go up with interest). But that means I have to put my future on hold. I want a family and kids before I'm 33 or 34. My girlfriend won't want to wait 5 years for me to propose. It's all just so damn stressful.

Moving into someones basement, sacrificing my apt., or moving back in with a parent after living in hotels Monday through Thursday each week in different cities seems unlikely. I have a girlfriend so moving home would put an end to that. My apt. is my sanctuary, and I would become really depressed not having a decent place to go and relax on the weekends. Plus, $950 for a apt. in any big city is kind of a steal.

So those are my expenses. I respect you guys, but I'd be lying if I didn't think this is a little hardcore...giving up my apt. (1BR btw), living with a stranger who might suck, selling my car that I use to get home to see family, etc. There are just certain things that I'm not going to forego.

I'm going to be real here, but don't take this as disrespect. Take what I'm about to say as honest, heartfelt advice that you may or may not be able to accept: Suck it up. I say that in the most badass, friendly way possible.

I'm going to go line by line (or paragraph by paragraph)...

Rent: Depending on where you live, this may be a steal. I live in the Greater Cincinnati area and my rent is $630/month and in the city it really isn't that much higher for a comparable place (1200 sq. ft, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms). This may be out of the cards, but moving is sometimes an option.

Utilities: What does this include? If it's electric and water like I'm thinking, that's pretty damn high. You can always reduce. Navy showers, CFL bulbs, being a temperature badass, etc. Find ways to reduce because the little things add up. That's what this site is all about.

Car insurance: I don't know what you drive, but that's $1200 a year. I pay like $390 a year. Shop that rate around, see if you can get it reduced and maybe cut out some bells/whistles if there are any.

Dog Care: I'm leaving this alone.

Gas: If you've spent any time reading MMM, you'll be aware we're all huge bike advocates. This saves a lot of gas. I picked up a bike on Craigslist for $150 and after locks, lights and other gear, probably only spent about $250-270 total. I ride almost everywhere. I also use the public bus (which is wonderful - lots of reading time!). See if you can implement more efficient travel means.

Cell Phone: You won't find anyone here who believes you need an $80/month cell plan. That's totally insane, dude. I have a Samsung Galaxy with T-Mobile, unlimited data and text, 100 talk minutes for $30/month. I just saved you $600 a year.

Oh Shit Savings: You have $3,500 now. I've seen a lot of people on here with about that amount in their E-fund. Your emergency is really your debt, so start focusing on other things. You have plenty here.

Groceries, eating out, entertainment and every other conceivable expense need to be accounted for. Being frugal doesn't mean sitting on your ass in your apartment doing nothing. It means redefining what you can afford and seeking out alternatives to pricier things. I don't eat out. Instead, I cook with my girl. I don't go to movies. Instead, I hit up the library/Netflix and have a movie marathon with home baked snacks. I don't shop for fun. Instead, I shop to flip things on eBay. I also go to library programs, free public events, parks, etc. I work out in my apartment instead of sitting in it.

If you're upset that you don't have ~$2,000 free to blow on random things every month, we've got work to do. Don't hate on other kids who are out doing shit because they don't have loans to pay. Remember this: You chose and accepted the burden of the debt. Now it's time to man up and take care of business. You dug the hole, now get yourself out and stop whining about what other people are doing. You can do this! You can get yourself straight in 2-3 years no problem and then be the one dishing the advice on someone else's situation.

You have a high rate of income. Now you need to focus on decreasing expenses. You can live on less and be happy. Everyone else here does it every day ;-)

I don't think you need to give up your apartment to make this work. It's an option (and so is moving to a less expensive area), but not necessary. However, if your girl is that shallow that she would leave you over you taking responsibility for your financial situation, you have deeper issues. Not trying to judge her, just putting that out there.

We're here for you, dude! Now get out there and be a badass!

Travis

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2014, 02:34:12 PM »
Quote
But that means I have to put my future on hold. I want a family and kids before I'm 33 or 34. My girlfriend won't want to wait 5 years for me to propose. It's all just so damn stressful.

Why is your future on hold?  Tying the knot has nothing to do with your current arrangements.  If you're serious about knocking out this debt soon, then marriage is just a few forms and a fee.  Between Congress and other people's kids, you're spending way too much mental energy inventing stress for yourself that has nothing to do with your financial situation. My first year of marriage we shared a 2 bedroom apartment with someone.  I wanted more privacy, but you do what is necessary to get by.

Can you break down your utilities into more detail? Are you on a contract with your cell phone provider? If not, there are several ways to get the service you need without a major carrier.  If you don't know what your grocery bill is, figure it out quick. Figure out a regular meal plan, buy what you need, and make that your routine.  Many grocery bills go up because people don't know what they're buying or buy stuff they never end up using.

frugaliknowit

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2014, 02:35:47 PM »
But that means I have to put my future on hold. I want a family and kids before I'm 33 or 34. My girlfriend won't want to wait 5 years for me to propose. It's all just so damn stressful.

Moving into someones basement, sacrificing my apt., or moving back in with a parent after living in hotels Monday through Thursday each week in different cities seems unlikely. I have a girlfriend so moving home would put an end to that. My apt. is my sanctuary, and I would become really depressed not having a decent place to go and relax on the weekends. Plus, $950 for a apt. in any big city is kind of a steal.

I really feel for you, but the fact is your student loan debt is 1 times annual income!

hybrid

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2014, 02:37:06 PM »
I could probably put $1800-$2000 a month to my student loans, but it fucking pisses me off to do something like that! I hate these kids who's parent's paid for everything and get to buy houses and cars and take trips of a lifetime simply bc they have no debt. I want to LIVE life too! I sound like an entitled douche, but this is a legit thought of mine every time I log on to Sallie Mae's site. It drains me.

But I digress, so say I put $1800-$2000 to my loans every month, I could have them paid off in 4-5 years (after interest bc that $75K in loans will go up with interest). But that means I have to put my future on hold. I want a family and kids before I'm 33 or 34. My girlfriend won't want to wait 5 years for me to propose. It's all just so damn stressful.

Don't take this the wrong way, but you sound like someone in their 20s. Four years is a walk in the park, and then you are one of those guys with no debt and a big income. Look, you gotta quit worrying about what some other guy has, you make great coin in the U S of A and the cost of making that great coin is paying off your college education. Someone else got theirs for free? Why TF should you care about what someone else has????

To reiterate, do you know just how many people would love love love to make 76K a year at your age? At any age??? So yeah, that does make you sound like an entitled douche and no, it's not legitimate. Get a little compounding perspective. Better to be you than a 35K a year schoolteacher starting out with no debt. You will be financially ahead of that person pretty quickly and much farther ahead in the long run.

Suck it up, pay the thing off, and be on your way to a better life.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 02:39:07 PM by hybrid »

Cinder

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2014, 02:37:38 PM »
But I digress, so say I put $1800-$2000 to my loans every month, I could have them paid off in 4-5 years (after interest bc that $75K in loans will go up with interest). But that means I have to put my future on hold. I want a family and kids before I'm 33 or 34. My girlfriend won't want to wait 5 years for me to propose. It's all just so damn stressful.

What's stopping you from proposing and getting married while still paying off student loan debt?   There are lots of examples on this forum and others of people having really nice ceremonies that don't coast a boatload of moulah!   Just because you are putting a large chunk of your financial resources toward your debt doesn't mean you can't live life.  You just have to learn to do the 'finer' things in life in ways that don't break the budget.  Plenty of things that are expensive aren't very fulfilling, and some things that don't cost a dime are worth more then you'll ever make in your life. 

Part of mustachianism is about stepping back and reevaluating your beliefs and habits.  Find out how to be a badass instead of a sucka!

Seņora Savings

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2014, 02:39:34 PM »
So if I'm bringing home $4350 after taxes, and after all the expenses above are paid, I'm left with $2620. This is before food and entertainment. For the record, I don't go hard really at all. Me and my gf will catch a movie at the drive-in or something like that. We go camping a good bit as well...all very cheap ways to have fun and enjoy ourselves. I'm having a hard time coming to grips with what I'm willing to sacrifice because I'm not going to sit on my ass at my apt. and not enjoy my youth simply because these student loans hang over my head. I need release from time to time, you know!

What's the problem?  $200 for food (Restaurants don't count as food) and $300 for entertainment.  You can go to the drive-in every day (if it's $10) or save up and go camping every weekend ($35 for campsite fees).   $2000 left for loans, and the other $120 on Lassie.

I'm also not sure why paying off student loans = unmarriageable.

skunkfunk

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2014, 02:41:07 PM »
Just would like to throw out there that 4 days  a week gone with $250 utilities is insane. Get a programmable thermostat, only thing running should be the fridge.

huddlma

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2014, 02:53:31 PM »
Everyone,

Thanks so much. I'm an entitled shit head, and it stops now. 6 months from now I'm going to update you guys and hopefully I only owe $68K instead of 75K by then!

M

RetireAbroadAt35

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2014, 03:14:39 PM »
Also, why do you need a dog sitter? I've always either just let it lounge around the house or put it in a crate. If it can't hold it's pee put out a puppy pad.
Traveling consultant out of town 4-5 days a week.  No dog can hold it that long :)

To the OP - I've been there man.  My loan amount was much lower - the financial aid environment was different then - but I took advantage of my out-of-town travel to live inexpensively when I was back home.  I was happy to have a room be my sanctuary rather than a house/apartment, especially since it accelerated my path out of debt. 

It's all about priorities.  Right now your priority seems like enjoying the fruits of your first well-paying job out of school.  In 10 years your priority may well be finding a way out of your high-paid high-stress consulting job, which would be very difficult if your view on finances and what makes you happy doesn't change soon.

I wish I could punch 24 year-old me in the face for the stupid shit I wasted money on.  I could be FI TODAY if it weren't for those early decisions.

CheapskateWife

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2014, 04:00:08 PM »
To the OP, here is a lady's point of view on the whole proposal/wedding/marriage thing...

My husband surprised me with a beautiful diamond that he was going to have to make a bajillion payments on and I told him to take that shit back right away or we couldn't consider getting married.  I needed a man who would make smart decisions about money, spending and debt.  We are grown ass adults with kids and mortgages and this is no fairy tale. 

My real ring cost about $400 and has a family diamond, our ceremony topped out at $500.  Here we are 8 years later with 300K net worth and no debt other than a very reasonable and low interest rate mortgage.  We will be FI in 5 years when he retires from the Army.  I'll be 45.

Forget the A-holes that went to school on a daddy scholarship.  That is not your reality so get over it.  You took someone else's money to pay for school...pay that shit back, pronto!

IF GF isn't up for MMM style living until you get your financial ducks in a row...find one who will!

marblejane

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2014, 04:02:23 PM »
Would your girlfriend be able to take care of your dog during the week while you are out of town? Have you considered moving in with her?

hybrid

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2014, 07:34:49 AM »
Everyone,

Thanks so much. I'm an entitled shit head, and it stops now. 6 months from now I'm going to update you guys and hopefully I only owe $68K instead of 75K by then!

M

There you go. Keep us updated.

Bob W

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2014, 07:58:10 AM »
I just paid off the same amount of student loan debt in 3.5 years, making just a bit less than you.  (I also bought a house during the same time, which I wouldn't recommend.)  There is no reason you can't demolish this in 2-3 years.

10 years?  That's crazy pants.  Just put all of your money to that sucker now and stop worrying about what Congress may or may not do.

Do you know what you spend per month?  Start there.

My bold. If you are hoping someone else will be your knight in shining armor you have the wrong mindset. You gladly took the loans, the interest rate was reasonable, now get your ass down to the hard work of paying them off fast. Here is what I would do. Figure out how much principal you can pay off each month, we'll say 2K. Get a glass of some sort and and put 75 glass beads in it. Every time you lop off 1K, throw a bead away. Keep that glass somewhere fairly conspicuous, you want that constant reminder (and the positive reinforcement that comes from throwing debt out). You should have these debts paid off in three years barring some financial crisis, not ten.

Below is how we do it with out mortgages. The glass on the left has one glass bead for every 1K of principle left on our rental, the one on the right has a big blue bead for every 10K left on our primary mortgage and one green bead for every 1K increment in between. The glass in the middle is where we put beads as we pay them off. This picture was taken over six months ago, there are many more beads in the middle glass today.

   

That is awesome!

Bob W

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2014, 08:17:30 AM »
Yes your hair is on fire!   

So unlike most people here I wouldn't focus on the student loan.  That is a red herring in my opinion.  (whatever that means?).   The problem is not the loan it is you.

So take everyone's advice and reduce your uber luxury spending.  (I don't have a dog and am happy not to).   

The student loan has 3 choices I believe.

1.  Pay it off asap
2.  Don't pay it off but save like hell that you were paying it off and name that account "paid off student loan"  (2.5 years max to fill this up).   The reason I pick 2 is that your job could dissipate at any second and it is better to have control of you cash.  Cash has much more leverage than paid off debt.
3.  Ask for a partial deferment.    I believe you can reduce based on your income, but you may not qualify.

And of course there is always the 4th way. 

With the 4th way,  you have lowered all your monthly payments to the minimum possible.  This includes loaning the dog to a family friend with a visitation schedule.    But the main 4th way is to increase your income.   

To do that is simple.  You're a bright person so figure it out.   Teach part time at a local college,  be a weekend bar tender,  deliver pizzas,  use you "in demand" skills on weekends and evenings.

If you follow the 4th way you could amass a fund to pay off the student loan in less than 1.5 years.

While doing this,  max out your 401K,  IRA and HSA.   You won't have an opportunity to back track those.   The debt is on one side of the ledger and will be offset by the investments on the other side of the ledger.   

I'm not a big fan of debt free.   I am a huge fan of hard core management of money.  I've lived in basements,  had roommate etc.. 

But as I say at the beginning.   The problem isn't the loan ----- it is you.   The question is do you have the balls or are you an excuse maker?   

Of course I could be completely wrong with my opinions.   




2ndTimer

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2014, 09:14:41 AM »
Have you talked to your girlfriend about all this?  If both of you are on the same page, things go a lot faster and she might have some good ideas.  Re marriage:  Done right it saves you money.  You might at least be able to quit paying a dogsitter. Our wedding cost us exactly $20 for the license and $200 for a fancy fake diamond ring which I wore to look "normal" among my peers. 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2014, 10:40:02 AM »
I'll +1 what everyone else has said.

For additional perspective, we have twice your debt load, a lower combined income, and 3 kids to support but we live life pretty damn well and will be FI in about a decade.

You can do this.

starbuck

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2014, 02:26:22 PM »
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/02/what-is-stoicism-and-how-can-it-turn-your-life-to-solid-gold/

+1 on the dose of stoicism. I think it would really help with your mindset.

Are you on the road 4 days EVERY week? If I were traveling that much, I would find another keeper of my dog, either my SO or my parents. Since you go home twice a month, could a family member take care of the pooch for a couple of months? It would save you money, but it would also benefit the dog. It's hard on an animal to only have a dog sitter for that many days every month. If you're not traveling every week, then disregard.

We travel a lot too and have pets, and we have some local friends that serve as temporary boarding facilities, and we happily return the favor when asked. Could your GF step up and care for Fido in your absence? It's not a weird favor to ask for if your SO is a Significant instead of just an Other.

With a 1 BR apt and lots of travel, I'm surprised your utilities are so high. Some focus on this category will really help because of their recurring nature. The savings month after month adds up very quick.

How does your travel reimbursement work? Can you use a personal CC to earn some rewards to assist in your new spartan lifestyle, or get groceries when you travel to save on meals and pocket the difference?

galliver

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2014, 04:16:00 PM »
For perspective, I'm just a few years younger than you and your "post-necessities" amount is about equal to my monthly take home as a graduate student. I currently share a 1BR with my bf, and my coworker shares a smaller one with his wife. No one seems unduly strained by these conditions.

I totally understand not wanting to wait X years with your life on hold while paying off loans for wedding, kids, etc. When to become a parent is a personal choice, and I for one don't want to wait till I'm 30 to start. But I didn't pick the most lucrative early career path, so I might have to make compromises, like having a baby while living in a 1BR and staying there as long as possible. My parents lived in 1BR or less apartments until we moved to the US when I was 6. It was probably challenging for them at times, but I didn't care. I got a little alcove behind a bookcase and it was really cozy. I didn't be come conscious of my family's housing situation until I was in late elementary school at least. Basically: raising kids in a rental for several years won't hurt them, and you can tough it out and get creative to make it work. I've known a family whose toddlers/preschoolers slept in a walk-in closet. And loved it. (Obviously not an option if you don't have one.)

Now, while some people seem totally happy with a courthouse-type wedding, I would say for me it will be important to celebrate it, if not with all the traditional trimmings and fanciness. Here's how I would handle it in your shoes: sit down and figure out what the actual important aspects of it are for us. Family? Friends? Dancing? Pretty pictures? Then figure out how to make this happen for a minimum cost. I can't see spending more than $5k as being reasonable. You could save that in 5 months with just half of your projected repayment (setting you back just 3 months of payments, ish), or over 10 months by having your gf/fiancee move in (roughly $500/mo savings on rent+probably household expenses/food). I've also found that living together helps us with cooking at home more often. As others have mentioned, maybe she can help with the dog, too.

You're in a good place; you can have anything, but not everything. Yes, there are some people better off; always will be. Right now it's weddings and houses, next it's boats and vacation homes and private schools. You focus on that and you'll never be satisfied; create your own goals! :)

yoyalia

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2014, 05:59:39 PM »
Marriage does make it easier! Inspired by no harvard debt and MMM, by fiance-turned-husband and I paid off my $100k student loan in 10 months. Being married allowed us to combine income, expenses, and brainstorm/execute ways to earn extra income to throw at the loan.

During the 10 months we were paying off the loan, we didn't feel like we were missing out on 'life' too much. We had a lovely, simple wedding with family and friends, honeymooned, cooked yummy meals at home, free entertainment, etc. It also feels great that we tackled such a big challenge early on in our marriage and we kinda had fun doing it ;) Now we are 100% debt free and will be FOREVER. Pretty great feeling!

brooklynmoney

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Re: In need of a Mustachian to kick my ass into gear :)
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2014, 07:34:27 PM »
OP I don't know if you are still around, but have you heard of Sofi? I know very little about it, but from what I understand it gives prime borrowers a chance to refi their student loans at lower rates. Could be something for you to check out.