Author Topic: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.  (Read 7411 times)

MrBuckBeard

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I'm not like you guys/gals.  Not exactly.  So when I decided to post what is probably a brag, I couldn't do it in the gauntlet section.  It just wouldn't be right.  I don't strive to reach FI.  I'm not trying to build my wealth in a particular way.  No, instead, I'm just a guy who wants to be a little smarter about my money, and that's easy to do when I've spent years being so ignorant about it.

For three years, I have fought hard to control my spending.  I've spent close to 75% of my take-home pay on things the past-me has bought but not paid for.  Old credit card debts.  Old student loans.  Unpaid state and Federal taxes (from two years time-span for each).  Judgments.  Collections.  In those three years, I have both paid for my past mistakes, and managed to prevent any major new ones.  I sold my truck, and for over a year I took the bus and two trains to get to my job.  I dispatched my fancy tablet-looking Galaxy Note phone and got a 3g option from Republic Wireless.  I obtained a secured credit card and never missed a payment.  Then I got a few more cards over time, and kept 100% perfect payments on those too.  I'm not going to lie: I built up a bit of debt I couldn't pay all at once, so I ate some interest charges here and there.  But I never got in over my head, and I kept fighting back against my spend-ready nature.

Last month, all that effort finally gave way to a real sign of progress.  My FICO climbed from it's starting point of 490 to 675.  And as of today, I have only the student loans left to tackle.  I have 3 years on-time payments on my credit score, and not a single collection or derogatory item remains.  Now my only limitation is length of time and credit inquiries. 

I promised myself I'd buy a car when this was done.  The 25 min trip to work takes me 1:45 by public transit.  That's each way.  I looked at the Prius C, which I could get around 20k for the options I wanted.  And I looked at a Scion IQ, which I could get around 11k.  And yesterday, I bought a vehicle.  A used 2006 Saturn Ion.  It's gold and ugly.  But it cost me just $600 and it's reliable.  My coworker sold it to me for the same amount a dealer was going to give him as a trade-in.

This is probably the least ego-driven decision I've ever made in a car.  Part of me is still in shock.  I worked my ass off to pay all this debt down, and the prize I promised myself for doing so was the first brand-new car I'd have ever owned.  And my credit was good enough, a car dealer would certainly have managed to extend me credit for it.  But that's the old way of thinking.

Now if I want a new car, my deal is this: I'm going to have to have every penny of it in my bank account.  I'm going to have to see the money sitting in a real, spendable balance.  I have to see it, know it's mine to use in any way I want, and STILL decide the best use for it is a new car.  Maybe that will happen.  Maybe it won't.  But either way, I am tired of buying things today that the tomorrow me has to pay for.  Because I just spent THREE YEARS paying for things I got in the past and I am sick and tired of doing that.  If today me wants a car, future me has a message: buy it yourself.

Kris

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2015, 06:45:19 AM »
Nicely done!  You should be proud.  And I really like the last sentence (and sentiment).

Killerbrandt

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2015, 06:53:41 AM »
Congrats!! Sounds like you are doing great and on the right track!

thd7t

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2015, 06:54:49 AM »
I'm not like you guys/gals.  Not exactly.  So when I decided to post what is probably a brag, I couldn't do it in the gauntlet section.  It just wouldn't be right.  I don't strive to reach FI.  I'm not trying to build my wealth in a particular way.  No, instead, I'm just a guy who wants to be a little smarter about my money, and that's easy to do when I've spent years being so ignorant about it.

For three years, I have fought hard to control my spending.  I've spent close to 75% of my take-home pay on things the past-me has bought but not paid for.  Old credit card debts.  Old student loans.  Unpaid state and Federal taxes (from two years time-span for each).  Judgments.  Collections.  In those three years, I have both paid for my past mistakes, and managed to prevent any major new ones.  I sold my truck, and for over a year I took the bus and two trains to get to my job.  I dispatched my fancy tablet-looking Galaxy Note phone and got a 3g option from Republic Wireless.  I obtained a secured credit card and never missed a payment.  Then I got a few more cards over time, and kept 100% perfect payments on those too.  I'm not going to lie: I built up a bit of debt I couldn't pay all at once, so I ate some interest charges here and there.  But I never got in over my head, and I kept fighting back against my spend-ready nature.

Last month, all that effort finally gave way to a real sign of progress.  My FICO climbed from it's starting point of 490 to 675.  And as of today, I have only the student loans left to tackle.  I have 3 years on-time payments on my credit score, and not a single collection or derogatory item remains.  Now my only limitation is length of time and credit inquiries. 

I promised myself I'd buy a car when this was done.  The 25 min trip to work takes me 1:45 by public transit.  That's each way.  I looked at the Prius C, which I could get around 20k for the options I wanted.  And I looked at a Scion IQ, which I could get around 11k.  And yesterday, I bought a vehicle.  A used 2006 Saturn Ion.  It's gold and ugly.  But it cost me just $600 and it's reliable.  My coworker sold it to me for the same amount a dealer was going to give him as a trade-in.

This is probably the least ego-driven decision I've ever made in a car.  Part of me is still in shock.  I worked my ass off to pay all this debt down, and the prize I promised myself for doing so was the first brand-new car I'd have ever owned.  And my credit was good enough, a car dealer would certainly have managed to extend me credit for it.  But that's the old way of thinking.

Now if I want a new car, my deal is this: I'm going to have to have every penny of it in my bank account.  I'm going to have to see the money sitting in a real, spendable balance.  I have to see it, know it's mine to use in any way I want, and STILL decide the best use for it is a new car.  Maybe that will happen.  Maybe it won't.  But either way, I am tired of buying things today that the tomorrow me has to pay for.  Because I just spent THREE YEARS paying for things I got in the past and I am sick and tired of doing that.  If today me wants a car, future me has a message: buy it yourself.
You deserve to post this with pride.  You've spent 75% of your take home on the past.  Now, you're listening to yourself from the future.  That's a huge mental shift and one that puts you ahead of a lot of people who didn't start out behind.  Congratulations!

rmendpara

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2015, 07:48:36 AM »
Because I just spent THREE YEARS paying for things I got in the past and I am sick and tired of doing that.  If today me wants a car, future me has a message: buy it yourself.

This part made me laugh. Good for you!

Nothing sucks more than paying for past decisions, but it's a good way to learn things. Some of us, myself included, end up learning many things the hard way. For me, finances have always been easy to manage due to my own personality/spending inclinations, but in many other ways I'm as stubborn and clueless as the average Joe.

Nothing's harder than change, but winning is awesome!

math-ya

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2015, 08:09:13 AM »
That's a sick deal on a great car. How many miles are on it? I don't think ions are ugly, and for 600 you could have done a lot worse!

MsPeacock

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2015, 08:12:43 AM »
Congratulations! Your car is "new" to you - so enjoy (even if it is gold and ugly).

NSF: http://m.collegehumor.com/post/7018342/guys-with-crappy-cars-must-have-huge-dongs


TheFixer

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2015, 08:45:51 AM »
Congrats on making big personal/financial progress.

<cargeek words>The Ion is a greatly underrated little car.  German designed Opel chassis, GM's excellent Ecotec engine and a Aisin (Toyota) transmission.  Good bones for a cheap car. </cargeek>

Axecleaver

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2015, 09:09:23 AM »
Great story, Beard, that's inspirational. For every post you read here about someone who has it all locked down since they graduated from college, you'll see three from people like you and me who made mistakes and are turning things around.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2015, 09:45:23 AM »
Congrats! and well written. Some parts made me laugh! stay the course!

DecD

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2015, 11:21:14 AM »
Nicely done.  Quite a turnaround!

Mr. Green

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2015, 11:26:42 AM »
This, Sir, is why you will be wealthy.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2015, 11:27:45 AM »
Congrats!!!! That's an amazing turnaround indeed. This should definitely be in "Share Your Badassity" ;)

Snow White

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2015, 11:37:01 AM »
Amazing story...congratulations!  I expect you will be in a position reach FI more quickly than you expect as you've proven you can walk the walk.  😀

Lyngi

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2015, 11:38:33 AM »
this is an amazing journey,  and I think the little green soldiers in your bank account are gorgeous.  I checked Saturn Ions in my area, the prices are NO WHERE NEAR what you paid. 

Gone Fishing

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2015, 11:43:37 AM »
Sweet!  How may miles on the Ion?

slschierer

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2015, 12:12:34 PM »
Congratulations!  That's a great, inspirational story!

Retire-Canada

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2015, 12:52:17 PM »


Nice work. Gold is for a man who can manage his money!

-- Vik

ohana

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2015, 12:57:19 PM »
Props to you.  We are all behind you!

LouLou

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2015, 01:02:46 PM »
Six hundred dollars for a working car! Frankly, I'm jealous.

Really good job. I'm proud of you (strange because we are strangers?).

apricity

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2015, 01:04:22 PM »
So inspired! Thanks for sharing :)

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2015, 03:21:17 PM »
Wow, I'm impressed--you really took that bull by the horns and turned things around.  I think the real triumph here is your change of attitude--the rest just naturally followed!

Rural

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2015, 05:21:23 PM »
You, sir, are a badass. You just haven't realized it yet.

PJ

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2015, 09:16:58 PM »
Looks for the "report post" feature ...



My thought:  "Hmm ... I should report this to the mods.  This should definitely have been posted in the Share Your Badassity section.  Maybe they can move it."

lunahsol

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2015, 09:53:41 PM »
Wow . . . sounds like you have what it takes for the long haul ;) 

SenoritaStache

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2015, 10:01:58 PM »
Thanks for sharing.  Long live the gold car!

Nickyd£g

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Re: Maybe I'm just talking to myself, but you can listen if you want.
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2015, 08:35:28 AM »
Great story, Beard, that's inspirational. For every post you read here about someone who has it all locked down since they graduated from college, you'll see three from people like you and me who made mistakes and are turning things around.

Exactly!  I'm still paying for bad decisions with money I made a couple of years ago, and am determined to learn my lesson.  Future me will be buying things when I have the cash - after I get some FU money together!  It's tough but worthwhile, and this journey has taught me that I really don't need that much stuff to be happy.