Author Topic: Need Some Advice with steps toward Financial Independence  (Read 3845 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Need Some Advice with steps toward Financial Independence
« on: October 16, 2013, 08:51:02 PM »
Hello everyone, I have been an avid reader of Mr. Money Mustache for a couple of months now and I need some help, some type of direction something, lol.

Right now I am at a crossroads in my life i'm 32 years old, have about $2900 in Credit Card debt and about $29,000 of student loan debt (damn you sallie mae). I have some goals I want to accomplish and one of them(actually to me the most important) is being financially independent at a minimum by the time i'm 45 years old.

I currently have a full time job(that I don't enjoy and wish I can quit like yesterday) making about $42,000 a year, I have a little side carpet cleaning business that I also do to get some extra cash every once in a while( not the kind of work for the weak at heart full blown manual labor lol and I don't enjoy it.) With these current numbers and my situation what would you do ?

I would like to invest in real estate and some other ventures to help create passive income to get to the point in my life where I make my own rules and not following corporate america's rules, but my current job and side business just don't cut it, in between trying to pay down debt and actually get started with investing it can be overwhelming and frustrating at the same time. I'm already familiar with the snowball method of paying debt and I am currently in the process of working off my credit card debt, once that is paid I'm going to start working on the student loans.

So what would you do, hang tight until all the debt is paid off  ? Find another job that I enjoy that pays more so I can speed up the debt paydown ? or keep the current job that gives me some flexibility, do my side carpet cleaning business to earn extra money to throw at debt and pay it off ( remember even a side business has expenses). Any help would be great to just get me in the right direction.


  • Stubble
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Re: Need Some Advice with steps toward Financial Independence
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 11:09:22 PM »
If you don't like your job, you should definitely be on the lookout for something else.  Remember that a "job search" when you have a job doesn't have to be committal, so don't settle.  If you've been in your position for a few years, you might be surprised how much another company might pay for your experience in your current industry if you're willing to stick it out until your debt is gone.

If you're looking at new jobs, remember to factor in the income from your carpet-cleaning venture into your decision on what is a good salary.  Also, benefits.  My new job has a ton of great benefits--incredibly cheap insurance, subsidized public transportation passes, cheap gym membership--remember that these can save you a lot of money too. 

Since you're in debt, it's hard to financially justify moving to a lower-paying job, but if you're not happy, you need to find something that can help with that.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Need Some Advice with steps toward Financial Independence
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 05:13:32 AM »
Can you post your budget for us to review?  What's your major/industry?


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Need Some Advice with steps toward Financial Independence
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 08:01:08 AM »
You should start looking for a new job right away.  It may take a long time or it may be quick, but being proactive about it will make you feel better about everything.  I'm of the opinion that there is nothing worse than a job you hate (except no job at all!).  While you're doing that, can you pick up more time at the side job and try to eliminate that CC debt ASAP? 

What is the interest rate on your student loans?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Need Some Advice with steps toward Financial Independence
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 08:57:39 AM »
I am in Chemical Sales, I sell industrial strength cleaning chemicals to major restaurant brands in my area, it use to require a bunch of travel but now I am working locally, they give me a company vehicle and expense account. my monthly budget is about $1600 per month give or take a few, and my month income is $2300 per month. My interest rate on my loans varies, Sallie Mae is around 2% to 4 1/2%
and I also have two private loans one is at 5% and the other is at 6%.

Yes my side business, hustle whatever the term is does come in handy throwing extra cash at the CC debt, I figured I will be out of cc debt by the end of December so I am not really to worried about that debt, the student loan debt however is around $29,000 to $30,000 that's what worries me the most it will probably take another 3 to 5 years to pay that off, and reduces the time to really amp up my investing.
Already have 401k, and just sold some of my Netflix stock for cash to put into an emergency fund.


  • Bristles
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Re: Need Some Advice with steps toward Financial Independence
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 10:41:42 AM »
$29,000 of student loan debt (damn you sallie mae).

This is not Sallie Mae's fault in anyway shape or form. 


  • Stubble
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Re: Need Some Advice with steps toward Financial Independence
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 10:56:09 AM »
If I were you I'd ramp up side work for a year, pay down everything as fast as possible on the debts.  If you can up your income another 10-15K a year you can knock this out in under 2 years.  I'd stop 401k (temporarily), raid the emergency fund down to 1 or 2K, sell everything to get rid of those debts.

Basically the "hair on fire, focus like a laser, live on rice" plan.

This is basically the Dave Ramsey plan which has its detractors but I like it for some situations, for people who are under-earning, a little overwhelmed, a little discouraged, there is something about the high level of focus and intentionality, and the step by step reaching of goals along the way that has a psychological affect due to reaching goals, staying focused on one element of the plan, you get more optimistic, you start getting small wins, it will have an affect where you start earning more, basically snowballing your life goals.  I've seen it happen.

Good news is, if you're in sales, and you are getting good at it, you can probably sell anything, and you're income potential is pretty high. Now, you say you don't like it, but if sales is where you want to stay, then you gotta find a product you can rock with, and go do it.

There are lots of people here who don't like the math behind the Dave Ramsey method and have different view of debt as leverage, but I think there is some wisdom in it, especially for people who've had a tendency to run up credit card debt and aren't afraid of a short term sacrifice in taking another job, etc.