Author Topic: New to MMM, how am I doing?  (Read 2160 times)

jpm989

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New to MMM, how am I doing?
« on: February 28, 2016, 12:50:47 PM »
Hello everyone, my name is Jon. I just wanted to say hi and thanks for this awesome forum.  Learned quite a bit from reading some of the articles so far.  Looking for some perspective on my current financial situation and if there is anything I can do to improve myself.

30 year old
Currently live in Little Rock, Ark
Yearly gross 70k
Auto Technician

Ally safety net that I do not touch and put $50 a week in
$17,500

Local savings account for immediate emergencies/spending
$5,500

Checking for monthly bills
Ranging from 800 to 2000 monthly

Credit union
$1200. I put $50 a week into this for down payments on cars.  Next with be end of 2018

401k with 3% employer match
$26,300

Roth basic
$4000 6%, want to up to 10 by end of year

Betterment
$6200, I put anything over the 2000 from checking into the betterment account.  I have the goal on the site to be building wealth

Bills are mostly fixed. Mortgage, car payment, insurance comes of of my checking. The rest gas, food, cable, Directtv, phone goes on my Amazon rewards card and paid off every month.

Only outstanding debt I have is $1600 on 0%/24 months interest Best Buy card I pay $200 every month, $9000 Snap On tool box I pay 100 weekly to.  Planning to try and pay down by the end of this year.  I will be able to during the spring/ summer months when business picks back up. And mortgage payment of course.

My overall question and feeling is I should be be putting more towards my investments. Or putting extra payments towards my mortgage.  I read about people maxing out their 401k/ Roth investments for the year. Admittedly I am one of those people who sleep better at night knowing I have cash available to me incase something comes up. But in the back of my mind I don't see myself having any expensive bills coming anytime soon besides my girlfriends car.  I drive a 2016 Mazda(a lease), my house is only 2 years old, all appliances were paid for when I bought the house so they are all the same age.

The only frivolous spending I want to do this year is the Sony VR headset when I comes out for the PS4 and invest in a 4k blu Ray player around black friday when more players and movies start to come out.  Otherwise my goals are to pay off the BB card and tool box.

Any and all advice or criticism is welcome and I appreciate anything you can give me.

Thanks

Kwill

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Re: New to MMM, how am I doing?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 01:30:09 PM »
Well . . . You've got some savings, and that's good. Congratulations! But you shouldn't need a monthly payment on a brand-new car or the newest shiniest video game toys. Cable and DirectTv aren't very frugal . . . you have both? Plus a still-new house and practically brand-new appliances. You're living a pretty spendy life. That's okay, if that's what you really want, as long as you are aware of it.

What is this about buying your girlfriend's car? Do you think she might rather have a ring if you want to commit that much money to her? Just saying.

But given the spending as you have it, it might be more efficient to go ahead and spend down your safety net at Ally and the credit union and the savings account in order to max out your Roth IRA and pay off your tool box if you're paying interest on it. You could even live off some of it for a few months in order to pay more to your 401k, if that's a goal. Then combine the savings you have left into whichever account pays the most interest rather than having three separate bits of money.

jpm989

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Re: New to MMM, how am I doing?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2016, 05:03:45 PM »
Thanks for the reply kwill. To answer your question no I only have direct tv, only cable internet. I had been staying with my parents for a few years trying to get out of debt and saved up enough for a down payment on a house after the debt fix. Ever since I just mostly save much of my money but I do spend here and there on frivolous things. Most technology.

I got this car because my gf wrecked hers and did not have money for a down payment so I gave her my old one which is paid off and she pays the insurance on. It has over 200k miles on it so it's only a matter of time. I wouldn't buy her a new car just a car to get her from a to b.

I've gotten advice to put into a 401k what the company matches, max out the Roth then if I have extra to put the rest into the 401k. Instead I've started putting some into the betterment account as a build wealth goal in which I can take it out before retirement if I deem fit. I don't know if it's the smart thing to do but I thought I would give it a shot.

Nickels Dimes Quarters

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Re: New to MMM, how am I doing?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2016, 05:28:40 PM »
I'm not sure what your goals are, but you've made a start.

Read more of the MMM blogs and forum. I think you need to stop buying "stuff" until you get a better idea of what you want to achieve and by when. New house, leased vehicle, video games and equipment...you're buying in the moment and screwing your future self. Grossing $70k means you could be saving and investing a lot more than you are.

Out of curiosity, what did you pay for your house and how many square feet? What do you pay on your car lease and when does the lease end?

NDQ

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: New to MMM, how am I doing?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 06:17:19 PM »
Let's start with the positive.  Actually really positive in your case: You have a lot of cash!

Now for the negative: You have a lot of cash!

First: What does your monthly budget look like?  Don't know how much you need every month?  That's a sign you need a budget :)  The amount of cash you have should be somewhere between 3-6 months of your needs.

Second: Stop leasing a damn car.  You're a mechanic? Perfect.  Find a car that you can pay $3-5k for.  Cash.  Who cares if the paint sucks.  If you're a good mechanic, you'll be able to find a car in good shape and can perform any maintenance required.  Your career is setting you up nicely for being able to save on vehicle maintenance.

Third: Regarding the Betterment account... Why do you have it?  It seems as though you already have a house, so what are you saving up for?  Retirement?  Use your 401k and/or Roth instead.  Personally, I wouldn't be touching the Betterment until you can save 20% of your salary in tax-advantaged (401k or Roth) accounts.

Ok, that's a lot!  What do you think?