Author Topic: I want to grow a mustache!  (Read 1730 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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I want to grow a mustache!
« on: November 27, 2017, 10:04:02 AM »

I'm a financial mess. I'm 47, single, I live in Austin Texas (which costs WAY too much for rent/food/everything), but my brain (and my pocketbook) suggest that it's getting time to move. I previously lived in Chicago for more than 20 years, owned a way-too-expensive and underwater condo - but had a nice mid-life crisis and gave the keys back to the bank and ran away. Currently I'm an orthopedic physical therapist, but sadly insurance reimbursement these days means we PTs make very little money in relation to our student debt (this is a somewhat new -last 5 years- development).

I have family here, which is why I came to Austin (a little psychological salve, really). But I'm ready to move on if I can swing it.

I make about 80k a year before taxes, but I owe so many people so much money it's insane. I have about 80k in student loan debt (I went to PT school in my mid-30s), i owe my mom 9k on her credit card and my brother 7k for helping me get out of Chicago. I have a 10 year old car, but my job here in Austin involves driving literally all over central TX, so I've put nearly 40k miles on it in the last year. I have super crappy credit. I mean SH!##Y credit.

I've applied for (and will probably get) a teaching job that I can do remotely, as well as several other side gigs one can do as a PT to bring in extra income (ie see patients on the side for cash).  This won't happen until the summer.

I also have a friend with a super bushy mustache who I'm helping find some property in CO - where I can live for free! (my FI dream is to live in a yurt on a mountainside, watch rivers go by, ride my mountain bike, go on long hikes and play with my dog)

Here are my options (so far):

a) keep doing what I'm doing, SLOWLY getting out from this mess but sheesh i'm ready to kill someone it's taking so damned long with COL prices this high!!!

b) bide my time until the remote professor position comes through (summer ish), but stay in my high-rent town with family nearby (I like my job, i have a 6 yo niece who I adore, etc) and just try to make as much money as humanly possible for now;

c) bide my time until the remote professor position comes through, and until my friend finds land in CO, then get a cheapish travel trailer to live in rent- and relatively expense-free while working remotely with only occasional commutes to Austin for in-person teaching duties (1-2x/month). This would involve getting a trailer/outfitting a van/etc etc in order to live there (she only wants property, not buildings). Looking at a tiny teardrop trailer that my current vehicle could pull and leaving it on her land. I would need lots of phone data/internet as an expense in order to be able to work, but otherwise not much else bill-wise (well, my debt...)

d) screw all of that, get a travel PT job right now (that pays WAY more than I'll ever make), let them send me somewhere cheaper to live (but my credit is so bad...getting a new place to live could be tough) and move on from there.

Which is the more mustachian thing to do?

Ultimate goal is FI (obviously...), and to live cheaply in the mountains in a yurt or something, write a novel, maybe see some patients or do some research every now and then........



  • Bristles
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Re: I want to grow a mustache!
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 12:59:27 PM »
Sounds like you need to write a case study.  With limited knowledge of your situation, Id chose option d) along with some extreme life changes.

Rice & beans, roommates, sell what you can, more side hustles, etc.

Travel trailer just digs you deeper in debt at this point. 


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: I want to grow a mustache!
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 01:05:33 PM »
I agree that the travel trailer would be a bad idea.  Try to avoid putting out any extra money now.  Can you get a roommate or two where you live?  Or even better, ditch your place, sell most of your stuff and move in as someone else's roommate (bad credit might not matter so much if you aren't dealing with a company). 

If travel PT pays way more, really consider trying to get into that.  You might have a hard time finding a place to live that's up to your old Chicago condo standards, but lots of people have crap credit and still need a place to live.  If you can suck it up for a couple of years in a place that's less swank than you feel comfortable in, you could save tens of thousands of dollars just on rent.  Also, if you go the roommate route there as well, crap credit might not be such a problem, and you could save twice as much (or more) on rent.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 64
  • Location: on the road again... but usually Los Angeles
Re: I want to grow a mustache!
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 03:31:53 PM »
You should check out the blog Tiny Van Big Living ( She's a traveling occupational therapist who lives in her van. I remember reading a post of hers about the pros and cons of letting your travel job pick your housing for you vs. you finding your own. Might make your D option stand out more.


  • Stubble
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Re: I want to grow a mustache!
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 06:23:58 AM »
I didn't know traveling PT's was even a thing, but my travel nurse colleagues make BANK. I vote D. Get to see different places, if you hate it, the contract is up in so many weeks anyway. And your shitty credit might not be a problem with short-term housing $$ that is guaranteed by the agency (not 100% sure about this). This will probably scratch your travel itch nicely and you can still have Austin and your family as a home base in between contracts.

I would NOT go live on a friend's property in a travel trailer. You've already done the mid-life crisis thing with your condo in Chicago. You made a mess. It takes time to dig out--and it's important that you take that time, because that's how you learn new habits, and don't do it again! What if your friend changes their bushy mind about you living there rent free (assuming all this even happens)? I'm going to hazard a guess the professor position pays less, and you have to travel back to Austin regularly, which costs $$.


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 132
Re: I want to grow a mustache!
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 07:53:56 PM »
Another vote for travel PT. An agency may even help arrange housing, if you're willing to go where the need is greatest, and you'll make the most $ in the least time.