Author Topic: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.  (Read 9436 times)

Juben

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New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« on: September 25, 2013, 03:01:42 AM »
Hi, my name is Juben. I live in south Louisiana. I have made very poor decisions through high school age and resulted in horrible financial decisions. Here is my situation. I'd love any honest comments.

 I am now 26 years old I have not completed any schooling except high school. I make $13 an hour. I work 30 hours a week on average. I have lived, worked and spent all my money because I didn't know any better. I have $1000 in the bank, $13,000 in student loans, and $2,000 left on my 2004 Honda civic. The car is in good condition. I am single. I also live in a separate room in my parents house. It is kind of separate so I'm to myself. They don't charge rent. I trade cutting the grass doing maintenance, buying milk, bread, catch fish, cook some red fish or something that I catch or kill to help take the load off of them by cooking or cleaning.

I would like to begin, now trying to secure a life for my future family. My parents have no money. So I will be responsible for them in the next 10-15 years. I know my situation is not very good at all but I feel like after reading 15-20 articles that I still have a chance to be financially free one day.

Asking for help isn't something I am used to. But financial things are slightly over wheeling to me since I'm so new at it. I haven't found much that I'm really good at for a career. I've really enjoyed looking at realestate for the past couple of years. I just had an interview with Keller Williams reality to become a realtor. This will cost me $2100 to be able to start selling after the school. 

Anyway, those are the factors. I've been paying my car down pretty hard. I'll have it paid off in 2 months. 

I'd like to hear your .10 cents worth ;) about strategy for the future. Please and thank you

Juben

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 03:26:09 AM »
I've also never seen anyone on here with a lower income than I have. So I am not sure that anyone can help me.

Note: student loans have interest rate of 6.8% interest
My car loan was unsecured at 7% interest.

DocLago

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 03:38:47 AM »
A simple solution, if you're open to it.  This will solve all of your problems and has a chance of giving you the successes you are looking for all around.  The military.   You will pay your own way, get a decent education in whatever field you are most qualified for etc etc.
The only thing with the military that you really have to worry about is criminal record if you have one, other than that most things are waiverable.  If this is something that interests you get with me, no I'm not a recruiter, I'm a soldier.

Juben

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 03:50:20 AM »
Thank you so much for your reply, it is a clever suggestion for sure. I have looked into the military before and physical issues won't allow me to do so.

I wasn't exactly overly excited while considering enlisting. But, I saw it as a possible way out as well.

Khan

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 04:43:33 AM »
Hmm... your situation isn't the greatest I'd agree. The major problem, as I see it, is that there's not much of a way of bettering your situation, as I see it, staying in Lousiana and without any skills. None of the roads are easy.

For a start, you could take a look through these:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/08/05/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-2/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/

Secondly, Lousiana isn't the greatest place to live/work, I know you have a decent situation with respect to rent, but don't be afraid to move, don't be afraid of the tradeskills(they pay far better then people give them credit for, what is plumbing hourly rates lol), and the further you're willing to jump(say, oil rig worker), the higher the ceiling without going to college can get.

Half-Borg

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2013, 04:57:16 AM »
Quote
I am now 26 years old I have not completed any schooling except high school
There you have it, all your problems in one sentence. You need some education or on-the-job-training.
What are you working right now?
Have you tried learning a trade?
Actually have you tried anything at all?

chasesfish

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2013, 05:06:18 AM »
I would argue you're situation isn't that bad, you have two really big thing going for you that may of us don't:  You're 26 years old and you live in the United States.  You have a lot of time on your side to build wealth and make a better life for yourself,


chasesfish

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2013, 05:38:25 AM »
What's the status of jobs on oil rigs offshore?  I know they pay well and I think you live on the rig for a period of time (very mustachian), but have no idea how someone gets on the job there. 

Khan

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2013, 05:52:52 AM »
My understanding is that it's usually something like a 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off deal. I've known 2 people that work there. One was making(I think) at least/around 50k a year. Another I just recently found is making 170k/year(though he has 9 years of Navy experience, QA experience, etc. so I'm not too sure what's driving the meat of that pay. I'm actually attempting to contact him again to find out).

Mega

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 08:29:11 AM »
What are your student loans from? What is your current job? My understanding is $13 an hour is pretty good for just HS.

Not to pry, but what physical issue prevents you from signing up for the military? This will determine our recommendations for alternate careers.

APowers

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2013, 09:16:30 AM »
Good question Juben! You've definitely got some not-so-great things going on, mainly your debts. You'll want to get those out of your life ASAP. But on the other hand, you've got some great things going for you.

-You have a job. This is huge; having a current employment history makes it a LOT easier to get hired somewhere else.
-You don't have to pay rent (or utilities, I assume). This is also huge; it's one of the single largest expenses that many people have (including me). and you don't have it.
-You are single. This is huge, too; it means you can go for a time without too much income if you have to, you can move to find a better job without worrying that your wife/kids will starve. It mean tons of freedom in your ability to choose your career.

You're paying off your car loan. Good job (and it looks like you can make ~$1000/mo payments). Keep at it with your student loan, and they'll disappear pretty quickly.

Meanwhile, here's my advice.

Be willing to move.
Write yourself a good resume and cover letter. If you don't know how, ask someone at your highschool or community college to help you.
Look on Craigslist for jobs. Apply for as many as you can.
Find your local union office, and tell them you want an apprenticeship in a good trade. See where that leads.
Don't give up and settle for only $13/hr, 30hrs/wk.

Another Reader

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 09:21:52 AM »
Paying $2100 for a possibility of making a career selling real estate is a bad deal.  You should be able to find a real estate school that will accomplish the same thing for a lot less.  In Arizona, there are schools of real estate, and it costs under $500 to get the licensing classes.  The Keller Williams model works for high-volume experienced agents, but not for new agents.  Look on your state's licensing website for acceptable licensing classes and ask other agents how they got their start if you are interested in a real estate career.  Perhaps you can find a very busy agent and work part time doing tasks that don't require a license to learn the business.

At $13 and 30 hours a week, you are probably grossing around $20,000.  That's low for an urban, high COLA, but not for your situation.  I'll bet there are a number of folks on this forum making it work on that income.  You are really doing well to have that car paid off in two months.  What's your take home pay?  What are your payments on the loans?  Once you pay off that car, the student loans should take a little over a year to pay off.

At 26, you have time on your side.  You have a great attitude and a lot of determination.  You will be debt free in around 15 months.  Keep looking, and you will find the right work for you. 

nawhite

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 09:49:56 AM »
First off, your situation isn't really that bad! You make 20k a year (probably 18k after taxes) and don't have to pay rent or utilities! F--- Yeah! This is awesome and while it can be improved, its amazing!!! I second the question on what the student loans paid for? If you got any credit with them, you make 18k/year, have no rent and have some college credits? Sweet!

Ok here is what I'd do in your situation:

Step 1, go onto income based repayment with the student loans. This will improve your cashflow dramatically. Your student loan payment will drop to somewhere around $200/month max. This will allow you to put all the money you were putting on the student loan to your car instead which has the higher interest rate thus saving you money in the long term. It also will help with if there is an emergency and you can't make the regular payment that month. Note that decreasing your payment is not designed to decrease the amount you should pay every month on loans. You should still spend the same amount each month. Just put the extra money towards the car first and then go back to paying the extra on the student loans. If something comes up and there is an emergency that would have caused you to be late with payment before, now you don't have to worry quite as much that month and wont get hit with late fees.

Step 2, start tracking what you actually spend. If you have a debit card you always use, you could track your spending with Mint.com. Or another idea is to write down on a piece of paper you keep in your wallet every purchase you make for 2 months. Write down what it was and how much. Have 5 columns on your paper to split your purchases into "food", "utilities", "transportation", "debt" and "other". What is in the "other" category? Why? There shouldn't be much but you need to know what it all is or you can't figure out what to work on saving on. Tell us what you're spending in each category. If we see crazy things like you spend $300/month on food for just you, we can point you towards ideas on how to decrease that.

Step 3a, If you want to finish school, figure out what credit you have at school and figure out a free or much cheaper way to get the rest you need to get a degree. Community college is awesome. They get you an associates degree, their credits transfer to other schools and they are cheap!

Step 3b, If you never ever want to finish school because it isn't for you, what do you want to do? What are you interested in? Does it require training classes? Do you or your friends/family know anyone who does it? Can they introduce you to the person so you can try it out? Ask around.

Step 4, I second the look on craigslist for gigs idea. If you are only working 30 hours a week you can easily be working on something else that pays or working on school. Your choice. I'd consider hunting and fishing adequate "payment" only if they are cost effective. You can catch 2 fish per hour that cost $4 at the store? thats an effective rate of $8/hour which you could do better on craigslist.

Glad you made it here. We'd love to help you stay motivated too.

StarryC

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 10:52:10 AM »
I'll add to avoid the real estate class costs for now.  I think your young age might be a disadvantage once you graduate.  Also, I think a key feature in real estate is seeming really "professional", including nice cars, suits, business cards.  It also is probably not that reliable as income for several years.  Also, look at the area you live in, do you see a lot of real estate transactions going on?  High turnover in housing?  If not, there might not be a lot of room in the real estate agent market.  Though the class is not that expensive, starting up that business can be and I'm not sure it would be a good fit for you. 

I second the question regarding your student loans.  To have $13,000 in loans you must have taken some classes.  How close are you to an associates degree?  What were your grades? What were the classes?

Juben

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2013, 01:20:51 AM »
Hey everyone!

I never expected to get off work and find so many people commenting trying to help me

The fastest way to increase my money I saw from reading last night was to bargain with my boss so extremely short term I got a $1 an hour pay raise and 5 more hours of work a week! Also he said he would enroll me in online school to get certified to run the CNC machines at our shop. In between getting my certification there are tests. Every time I pass one ill get a raise! He just emailed me my login at 10:00 tonight! So no he was not bluffing.

With low hours of work I can have a lot of time to think! So I'll be able to come up with a better plan.

Second thing I did today was start a mint account and link it to my checking and savings! I went through and set some things straight that didn't transfer properly or mint couldn't understand what certain purchases were.

Then I worked on fine tuning my budget! I found out I was spending $268 on food a month.. Not very mustachian...

A common question was my student loans. I don't have to make payments until next month which will be $160ish give or take a couple bucks. That's why I'm trying to destroy my car payment.
I've been through 2 years of schooling at a community college and one semester at a university. I was majoring in finance. I held a 2.5 GPA. Not great I know. But in high school I paid people to do my work and lied/manipulated teachers to give me grades for effort using lots of things as a reason. The main one that I was homeschooled and I never learned how to do that basics of math, English.... Ect. Which was partly true because I wiggled my way out of learning while I home schooled.
College was my attempt to fix that. I learned how to write papers and do basic algebra in college!  So I'm actually proud that I was able to pull that GPA off.



Now, I have my head on straight and I am focused (which is big because I'm extremely a.d.d.)
I've been researching Vangaurd investments for when I'm out of debt I can immediately begin investing.

I'm reading some books right now trying to figure what I like. But I think now I'm starting to see a little sunshine.

Thank you all who took your time to reply and help me. You can be sure I'll be paying it forward.
I'm sure i missed something so I may reply again Lol

Thanks,
Juben


Silvie

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2013, 04:02:15 AM »
Wow you got a raise, extra hours at work and you're enrolled in an online program, which also gets you raises when you pass tests.

Good job! Although it's a short term solution, it's quite an achievement. Congrats!

Devils Advocate

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2013, 04:57:40 AM »
Juben

Congrats on your raise! The extra training will be helpful as well.

You have some barriers to success it sounds like, i.e poor wealth building role models, lower paying job and less than full time hours, ADHD, limited schooling, among others.

HOWEVER

You do have quite a few things going for you in your favor:
1) You are young
2) You are interested in bettering yourself
3) You are making plans
4) You live in a great country where you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps and become the successful person


I would suggest you hold off on the real estate school for now. I am afraid you may be setting yourself up for failure. Continue to research other options...Perhaps a less expensive online course?
Keep your chin up and keep on keeping on.

DA

Half-Borg

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2013, 05:04:16 AM »
I actually don't think it's a short term solution. You get to learn CNC which is a valuebale skill have. After you have finished that you can enroll in some more training and climb up the ladder. Dishwasher to millionaire!

Mega

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2013, 06:29:57 AM »
I have to agree that, strangely, keeping your existing job is a good solution, now that you have a career improvement plan.

Do the tests, get the raises, and keep an eye out for other opportunities in higher paying manufaturing sectors. You should be able to make great cash by being an expert CNC operator.

TrulyStashin

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2013, 07:51:41 AM »
Hey everyone!

I never expected to get off work and find so many people commenting trying to help me

The fastest way to increase my money I saw from reading last night was to bargain with my boss so extremely short term I got a $1 an hour pay raise and 5 more hours of work a week! Also he said he would enroll me in online school to get certified to run the CNC machines at our shop. In between getting my certification there are tests. Every time I pass one ill get a raise! He just emailed me my login at 10:00 tonight! So no he was not bluffing.

With low hours of work I can have a lot of time to think! So I'll be able to come up with a better plan.

Second thing I did today was start a mint account and link it to my checking and savings! I went through and set some things straight that didn't transfer properly or mint couldn't understand what certain purchases were.

Then I worked on fine tuning my budget! I found out I was spending $268 on food a month.. Not very mustachian...

A common question was my student loans. I don't have to make payments until next month which will be $160ish give or take a couple bucks. That's why I'm trying to destroy my car payment.
I've been through 2 years of schooling at a community college and one semester at a university. I was majoring in finance. I held a 2.5 GPA. Not great I know. But in high school I paid people to do my work and lied/manipulated teachers to give me grades for effort using lots of things as a reason. The main one that I was homeschooled and I never learned how to do that basics of math, English.... Ect. Which was partly true because I wiggled my way out of learning while I home schooled.
College was my attempt to fix that. I learned how to write papers and do basic algebra in college!  So I'm actually proud that I was able to pull that GPA off.



Now, I have my head on straight and I am focused (which is big because I'm extremely a.d.d.)
I've been researching Vangaurd investments for when I'm out of debt I can immediately begin investing.

I'm reading some books right now trying to figure what I like. But I think now I'm starting to see a little sunshine.

Thank you all who took your time to reply and help me. You can be sure I'll be paying it forward.
I'm sure i missed something so I may reply again Lol

Thanks,
Juben

Allow me to point out some wonderful intangibles that are evident when I read this post.

1) You are persistent and tenacious.
2) You are self-aware and willing to review your past performance in order to learn from mistakes (this is HUGE -- most people can't/ don't do this)
3) You are willing to take reasonable risks (attempting college after goofing off in HS) instead of staying stuck
4) You ask for help when you sense a gap in your knowledge.

I thought of this classic MMM post as I read yours:  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/05/15/the-principle-of-constant-optimization/

Regardless of the details of where you work; how much you earn; how much you save (all very important, don't get me wrong) it is these character traits that will be the foundation of a successful life.  Keep it up!

little_owl

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2013, 08:28:18 AM »
Juben,

I just read through the thread and I have to say that I love your attitude!  Congratulations on taking charge of your financial future.  I believe you can make some really fantastic progress longer-term.

Your priorities right now are great - paying off that car (and ensuring that you do much of the future maintenance yourself), and eliminating that student debt will be wonderful.  May I make a suggestion?

When your car is paid off, take that money and start setting it aside to begin investing.  You will likely need $3,000 to open an account with Vanguard (that is their typical minimum for a mutual fund.)  Since you have time on your side (being so young), I would love for you to get into the habit of investing monthly as soon as possible.  Put the extra income from your raise toward your investments, and any savings from your expenses put that towards your student loans (you just found some money that you can cut from "eating out / food").

I am inspired by you!!!

nawhite

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2013, 08:47:38 AM »
I've been researching Vangaurd investments for when I'm out of debt I can immediately begin investing.

Just a bit of clarification so you can maximize things going forward, Vanguard requires $3000 to open an account (they have a $1000 opening balance fund but it is a mediocre fund in my opinion). If one is available, enroll in your company's 401k and forget about Vanguard.

If a 401k isn't available, bump up your emergency fund in the short term until you have $3000 of extra money (beyond your normal emergency fund) and then open your account. I'd recommend a "ROTH IRA" for your account because you have a low income now and are very young and have a long time to earn interest on your account.

blinx7

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2013, 08:51:52 AM »
I disagree with other posters who are telling you to be prepared to move.  You currently get free rent (and I am sure your family appreciates the labor you provide in return) and have a 30 hour per week job.  You also likely have a good support network of family and friends around.  Obviously if you got a killer job offer somewhere else that was so good that you would still come out ahead paying for your own living expenses, that would be something to consider, but given your personal situation I would NOT move without a firm, well-paying job lined up. 

StarryC

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2013, 01:38:04 PM »
If you spent 2 years at a community college and were able to transfer to a university you probably have, or are very close to having the appropriate credits for an associates degree in something. 

The job training you are getting sounds great.  But, you should also call that community college and see what, if anything you need to do to turn your credits into an issued diploma for an Associates of Arts or Sciences degree.  (Maybe pay a $50 fee and fill out a form, maybe take 1 or 2 more credits?)   Being able to put that line on your resume, along with the work certification, might open up a lot of jobs for you.  Just don't put the GPA in.  Employers, unfortunately, care about the degree, even if it is entirely unrelated.  I have heard this is true even for manufacturing jobs and trades.  Since you are already paying for 95% of the degree, the last 5% is a worthy investment.

Juben

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2013, 02:03:56 PM »
Hi!

So, I'm moving faster than I thought possible. Which is making me dream big instead of small. I have a meeting with the real estate company today. I will tell them very kindly that I can't proceed if they don't pay for my school and license as other companies are willing to do. The area I live in is the fast growing parish in louisiana. The parish beside us competes for that. I have helped 2 of my friends find and buy houses this year. I believe I could make the realestate deal work. I am young and that's a disadvantage, but I would be able to keep my current job and work the real estate on the weekends and weekdays since I currently work at night! So if I can't lower my risk of the initial start up, and I don't risk losing my job that I currently have, what do you guys think about that move?

Also inside the company I have 2 older friends who take home over $75k a year. They are eager for me to join and have both let me know they are going to show me the ropes.

I love the positive feedback. But I also love the negative feedback as well. They both motivate me to get out and make something of myself right now.

With that said Ill be selling a couple guns, old  pallet furniture I built, and other random things that don't work for me.  It's not time for fun. It's time for frugal.


Devils Advocate

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2013, 03:42:27 PM »
I think part time real estate would be an excellent idea.

 Persistence and a positive attitude will bring you to the success that you envision. There will inevitably be setbacks but you have to continue to better yourself.

DA

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2013, 03:47:55 PM »
YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!! :D

Selling stuff is a great way to jumpstart your savings :)

Juben

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2013, 12:40:00 AM »
Hi, just wanted to update you guys who have helped me. Not only am I in school for the machines at my current job, I sold a bunch of stuff and raised $800. I used that $800 to enroll in a speedy 3 month drafting course. There are a ton of drafting jobs around where I live because so many plants are being built and expanded I went to a company called Audubon today in Baton Rouge they told me they want me to have the 3 month school under my belt then they would be very interested in hiring me! They want me fresh so they can train me the way they want me to be. Starting pay.... $20 an hour with plenty of room to grow!

Mega

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2013, 09:28:08 AM »
Way to go!!!!


What happened with the real estate?

zarfus

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Re: New and far behind the Mustachian way. Help.
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2013, 11:32:55 AM »
A lot of good stuff here, Juben, so I'm not going to beat a dead horse.  You have good attitude and worth ethic, so I'm just going to put something into perspective:

Which would you rather have?
1) Be a 26 yr old with a 100k student loan and a degree you can't do shit with.
or
2) Be a 26 year old with only 13k loan and the ability/opportunity to start anywhere.

There are WAY TOO many in this country that fit the profile 1.  At this point in your life, I would suggest staying away from a 'traditional' schooling route, and continue what you're doing in looking for more ways to earn more money.  Keep it up!