Author Topic: Newbie: are we just screwed?  (Read 22601 times)

galliver

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2015, 01:30:47 PM »
You know, when I hear a new idea/suggestion, my first reaction is often "no I can't do that!" and probably excuses. But then I walk around with it for a few days/weeks and marinate and eventually decide it's a good idea. It's most obvious for me with working out strategies, not money. Anyway, can't  pick on your attitude too much. ;)

Here's my beef with this thread. You've said your mortgage+student loans are under $1.5k. The phone/tv/internet thing, that's under $200. That's $1.7k. You (together) make $85k; obviously not all of this comes home, but your take home can't be less than $4-5k or so, can it (I'm really not sure here), even after taxes and health insurance contributions, and maybe 401k, if any? So there's 2.3-3.3k going...somewhere. You need transportation, you need food, you probably need occasional clothes, school supplies etc. But those things don't have to cost $2-3k/mo. It really sounds like there are big leaks somewhere in the nickels and dimes, and I think everyone wants to figure out what those are. I do. Maybe you need to go back and do your own re-analysis, but just letting you know we'd love to hear what you find, or what plan(s) you make so we can give you a big thumbs up. :)

Juslookin

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2015, 01:41:59 PM »
My best advice based on what I read. You and your wife should be a team with a plan. If your wife is home while kids are in school there should be absolutely no take out happening at your house. She has her days to plan and prep meals.

The wife works part-time, but even if she didn't, your hard line approach here is pretty harsh. Just because a person stays home while kids are in school doesn't mean that shit doesn't happen sometimes to derail things. Kids sick, mom sick, etc. etc. I would say take out rarely, but come on, we all have our bad days. Or (gasp!) maybe the stay at home spouse might want a break once in a while. It would be better just to budget in two or three take out meals per month and set a price limit. Or conversely, they could have frozen pizza or lasagna in the fridge for when those days happen. But I don't see a problem with occasional take out, but then again, I don't have 100K in student loan debt. I prefer to actually go somewhere, because that gets us all out of the house and seems more like an event. Plus the kitchen stays entirely clean that

I'll explain my point of view better.  I am a wife, I have been a stay at home mom with two kids, I've been a working mom and a work at home mom. Trust me, I know all about what it's like to be home with kids and having your day ruined by the flu,  a snow day or just too much damn laundry. (I swear it multiplies). I'm not just preaching what  I  haven't practiced.

What you said is exactly right, for easy days have a frozen pizza ready to go or scramble some eggs and toss some veggies in it. 

 IMHO if I were in the OPs position there would be zero takeout along with some serious belt tightening and cutbacks.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 05:25:50 PM by Juslookin »

nereo

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2015, 01:49:29 PM »
IISIS (interesting online name btw);

I had a lengthy reply written but then my browser crashed.  I'll try again tonight/tomorrow.

One thing that hasn't been brought up here is the $20k in credit card debt sitting along side "several months worth in savings".    You mentioned leveraging 0% balance transfers, but that's just a short-term fix.  I'll just say that it make no financial sense to keep money in savings when you are (or will very soon be) paying high interest rates on four different credit cards.

I realize that there's a drum-beat chorus out there stressing "have and emergency fund!  3 to 6 months expenses!"  However this does NOT apply when you are carrying cc debt.   Use that money and kill that balance pronto.  It instantly loosen your cash-flow, and save you thousands in interest every single year.  Then you can rebuild your emergency fund/savings fund over the next few months.  If you do have an emergency in that time period, you'll still have the option of your cc to handle it if there is no other option.

Kaspian

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #53 on: January 30, 2015, 01:50:24 PM »
I don't think many here would see $20K in credit card debt and $15K in retirement "savings".  Most of our minds are wired backward from the mainstream and we'd see -$5K in retirement savings.
Do you smoke?  What sort of grocery stores to you frequent?  The fancy ones are easily twice as much over the long haul for the same damn radishes.  Alcohol expenses?  That shit can add up quickly.
I'll put in my two cents about the sat TV/cable:  My local library has more DVD movies and TV shows than I will ever be able  possibly to watch in this lifetime.  (For free!)  My only qualm when I cut the cable was that (despite MM's preachings) I'm a news junkie.  Can't rent that at the library or through Netflix.  ...But I decided watching an hour-and-half news a night wasn't worth 30 channels and $50/month.  A pair of $10 rabbit ears gets me three channels (one in HD!) and it's enough for me to get my evening news fix of what's going on.  The unexpected bonus was that my mind is way more peaceful now without all that enraging, loud cable TV advertising. 
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 01:52:10 PM by Kaspian »

IsItSnowingInSpace

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #54 on: January 30, 2015, 01:58:19 PM »
You know, when I hear a new idea/suggestion, my first reaction is often "no I can't do that!" and probably excuses. But then I walk around with it for a few days/weeks and marinate and eventually decide it's a good idea. It's most obvious for me with working out strategies, not money. Anyway, can't  pick on your attitude too much. ;)

Here's my beef with this thread. You've said your mortgage+student loans are under $1.5k. The phone/tv/internet thing, that's under $200. That's $1.7k. You (together) make $85k; obviously not all of this comes home, but your take home can't be less than $4-5k or so, can it (I'm really not sure here), even after taxes and health insurance contributions, and maybe 401k, if any? So there's 2.3-3.3k going...somewhere. You need transportation, you need food, you probably need occasional clothes, school supplies etc. But those things don't have to cost $2-3k/mo. It really sounds like there are big leaks somewhere in the nickels and dimes, and I think everyone wants to figure out what those are. I do. Maybe you need to go back and do your own re-analysis, but just letting you know we'd love to hear what you find, or what plan(s) you make so we can give you a big thumbs up. :)
Fair enough. Great observations. :-)

oldfierm

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #55 on: January 30, 2015, 02:15:51 PM »
After reading this thread, I'd still be very interested to see your actual budget, done up case-study style.  That's what most of the early responders were suggesting.  It is a VERY powerful tool and analyzing a budget is what the true Mustachians on this forum are best at.  You seem hesitant to do it, and it will probably be painful, but I'm telling you - you will not believe with the money these folks can find in a budget.  It's not always just nickels and dimes, either! 

IsItSnowingInSpace

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #56 on: January 30, 2015, 02:27:59 PM »
I don't think many here would see $20K in credit card debt and $15K in retirement "savings".  Most of our minds are wired backward from the mainstream and we'd see -$5K in retirement savings.
Do you smoke?  What sort of grocery stores to you frequent?  The fancy ones are easily twice as much over the long haul for the same damn radishes.  Alcohol expenses?  That shit can add up quickly.
I'll put in my two cents about the sat TV/cable:  My local library has more DVD movies and TV shows than I will ever be able  possibly to watch in this lifetime.  (For free!)  My only qualm when I cut the cable was that (despite MM's preachings) I'm a news junkie.  Can't rent that at the library or through Netflix.  ...But I decided watching an hour-and-half news a night wasn't worth 30 channels and $50/month.  A pair of $10 rabbit ears gets me three channels (one in HD!) and it's enough for me to get my evening news fix of what's going on.  The unexpected bonus was that my mind is way more peaceful now without all that enraging, loud cable TV advertising.
Sport junky here, especially football (NFL, and US Soccer). We've actually gone periods where we went without. I was very sad. I went through my political news phase until my wife started hating me for it. No smoking, no drinking, although I'm intermittently addicted to Rockstar energy drink when they offer it for $1.50/can at the c-store where I often get gas...about 1-2 months per year. Big mea cupla on that one. Very wasteful...but that stuff is crack in a can to me. I love diet pop, but work has free soda most of the time. We shop at Costco or Winco almost exclusively, so we're getting the best prices there. We store food in the freezer when there are good deals.

As far as the general public goes, I'm probably like a B/B+ with my money...but that's only b/c most people in this country are dummies when it comes to finances. Here, I'm probably a D-.

After reading this thread, I'd still be very interested to see your actual budget, done up case-study style.  That's what most of the early responders were suggesting.  It is a VERY powerful tool and analyzing a budget is what the true Mustachians on this forum are best at.  You seem hesitant to do it, and it will probably be painful, but I'm telling you - you will not believe with the money these folks can find in a budget.  It's not always just nickels and dimes, either! 
I'm not unwilling, I just don't have the data and won't have time to have that compiled for a number of days, maybe even a couple of weeks. It's on my to-do list, though.

Zikoris

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2015, 02:46:21 PM »
I didn't see it anywhere in the thread, but could have missed it - what are the 9K critical house upgrades?

IsItSnowingInSpace

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #58 on: January 30, 2015, 03:01:34 PM »
I didn't see it anywhere in the thread, but could have missed it - what are the 9K critical house upgrades?
Heh...who said critical? Part of he fence is falling down (literally) and it's falling apart. A little embarrassing, but definitely not critical. The sprinkler system PVC lines keeps cracking. We actually already shut down part of it and just watered with a sprinkler last summer. It's corner lot, and the yard is pretty big. We're talking about doing a lot of this work ourselves, like renting a ditch witch or mini backhoe from Home Depot and just doing it piecemeal. But my back isn't what it was 10 years ago.... Anyways, fence materials aren't cheap, and we have to coordinate with the neighbors and agree on something. So at this point we're just holding on to that money until we can see what they want and can afford, too, and then we can talk. Doing most of the labor will save a lot, and we may be able to skip on the longest section, depending on what one neighbor wants and/or can manage (very elderly retired couple).

GAR

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2015, 03:07:31 PM »
Hey there! I just wanted to say that at 48, you could have another 20 years in your current career.  I know that may not be ideal, but it does give you a long time to put your financial house in order.  Over 20 years, small, regular additions to your savings can have a big impact!  Good luck.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2015, 03:31:38 PM »
Quote
OK, presume I eliminate the 1200/year for satellite. On top of that, f**k it, for the sake of this discussion, I'll just completely turn off my phones and internet. That will save me another 170*12 = 2040/year, so that's 3240/year. I chunk that to the credit cards, and I pay off that debt in about 8 years. Now I'm 55. Now I save and invest that for the next 10 years, parlaying it through decent investing into...what? $70K if I'm lucky? About a year's income. Maybe I got lucky with my 401K and built up another $70K. So I can live until I'm 67. Working until I'm 70 will maybe allow me to save another year's income. Let's say I DOUBLE this performance. Still not a very good picture.

Ok - so that's the pessimistic view.  let's take the optimistic view, shall we?  (Based on you retiring 17 years from now at age 65).

You save the above-mentioned $3k a year and pay off the credit cards in 8 years.

Wife finds other part-time work which will pay her better.  (Thoughts - in-home daycare of, say, 3 extra kids at $133/wk each allows her to be there for your kids and earns her $400/wk or about $19,000 a year if she takes 4 weeks off/yr.  That doubles her income right there, AND still allows her to be at home to prep meals etc.  Not for everybody, I know, but this is how my sister has afforded to be home for her daughters.) (Or - a job as a secretary at an elementary school, would coincide with the kids' school schedules and would surely pay more than $10k per year in most places?) (Or - wife starts a side business she can run from home?)  Whatever the choice, let's conservatively say wife could make an additional $6k/yr takehome while still being available for kids.  Since your youngest is 7, let's say that's $6k/yr for the next 7 years = $42k.  Then when youngest is 14, let's say wife gets a job that pays $30k/yr, and let's estimate that this increases her additional takehome pay by another $8k/yr.  Now you have $14k/yr you can save for the remaining 10 years to retirement = 140k.  140k + 42k +maybe $50k in investment returns on that money = $232k.

Also - you have a large house, right?  So let's say you rent one bedroom to a college student for $500 a month.  That's another $6k/yr.  $6k x 17 years = $102k, plus investment interest, say maybe (conservatively) $130k.

Now, let's say your pay gradually rises more than inflation, resulting in a real after-tax increase of $500 per year.  (That's 500 dollars the first year, 1,000 dollars the next year, 1500 dollars the third year etc - real after-tax increase above inflation - which should be easy since some of your costs - the house for instance - will not be inflating).  By the 17th year, your take-home pay after-tax in today's dollars is (17 x $500 = $8500/yr) higher, and your total increase over that 17 years is, say,(somebody else can do the math here, I'm just WAG-ing it) $60k more income over that time.

So far - I've got $232k + 130k + $60k = $422k in savings by the time you're 65.  Add in social security for you and wife, maybe some home equity by liquidating the large house and downsizing in retirement - you guys should be fine.  But this involves watching those nickels and dimes, figuring out how to raise wife's income by a relatively small amount, and controlling those spending impulses.

If you wanted to retire earlier, I'm sure you could, but it would require more radical changes in expenses and/or earnings.  Starting a profitable side gig, or retiring to a low-cost third world country, are approaches that come to mind.

As to the house remodeling - take your time and learn to be handy.  If you learn to paint, lay laminate flooring, and do tile work, you can probably do most of the cosmetic stuff quite inexpensively, especially if you look for sales and bargains.  You can build sweat equity in your property in the process.  In the garden, get free cuttings from friends and neighbors. 

And bear in mind, most of my estimates above are EXTREMELY conservative.  You might easily find you can do twice as well, with just a few tweaks.  But it definitely won't be the bleak picture you painted, if you focus with intensity right now.


justajane

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2015, 03:39:48 PM »
For every case study, someone mentions the room rental suggestion. But how many people with kids actually do this? I personally would move into a small, cheap apartment with my husband and three kids before I would rent out a room to a random college student. Perhaps this is regional, but I just can't imagine that many people who would want to live with a family either.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2015, 03:48:46 PM »
I think it really depends on the person and the setup.  Many large homes would have a room that could have an outside entrance, or that is a bit removed from the rest of the house.  Some could have a granny flat.  I had room mates in college and when I was first married.  It always surprises me when people overlook such an easy source of extra money. 

And why is renting a room to a "random college student" so different from, say, taking in an exchange student? 

LadyMuMu

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #63 on: January 30, 2015, 04:45:33 PM »
If you aren't willing to do without satellite forever, I'd recommend trying to cancel anyway. Hear me out. We recently cut the cord on our $90 DirecTV bill. Going through the cancellation process, they offered it for $50/month with no contract. Once we had turned in the equipment, they sent another letter offering it for $25/month with upgraded equipment--I forget if it was with a 2-year agreement. So, if you want to keep satellite but are willing to go without for a few weeks--or even just threaten to close your account--you could save almost half on your bill right there.

justajane

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #64 on: January 30, 2015, 05:43:46 PM »
And why is renting a room to a "random college student" so different from, say, taking in an exchange student?

It isn't. I probably wouldn't do that either, although presumably if you take in an exchange student your own children are a comparable age and likely all teenagers. I have young children, so I couldn't imagine having a perfect stranger in our home and sharing our space. But, yes, point taken that some houses are laid out differently.

It just comes up in every. single. case study, and I wonder if someone with children has ever actually done it.

caliq

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #65 on: January 30, 2015, 05:51:14 PM »
And why is renting a room to a "random college student" so different from, say, taking in an exchange student?

It isn't. I probably wouldn't do that either, although presumably if you take in an exchange student your own children are a comparable age and likely all teenagers. I have young children, so I couldn't imagine having a perfect stranger in our home and sharing our space. But, yes, point taken that some houses are laid out differently.

It just comes up in every. single. case study, and I wonder if someone with children has ever actually done it.

Or has anyone been a college student and wanted to rent a room out from a random family with several young children?  I can think of exactly zero of my peers who would be interested in that situation.  I suppose a non-traditional student who was going back to school might be but still...

MrMoogle

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2015, 06:13:21 PM »
And why is renting a room to a "random college student" so different from, say, taking in an exchange student?

It isn't. I probably wouldn't do that either, although presumably if you take in an exchange student your own children are a comparable age and likely all teenagers. I have young children, so I couldn't imagine having a perfect stranger in our home and sharing our space. But, yes, point taken that some houses are laid out differently.

It just comes up in every. single. case study, and I wonder if someone with children has ever actually done it.

Or has anyone been a college student and wanted to rent a room out from a random family with several young children?  I can think of exactly zero of my peers who would be interested in that situation.  I suppose a non-traditional student who was going back to school might be but still...
If my aunt and uncle lived 20 miles closer to school, I would have been glad to live with them and my young cousins.  But I was already in very inexpensive apartments with people my age, so I'm not sure I'd do that with strangers. 

caliq

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2015, 06:24:01 PM »
And why is renting a room to a "random college student" so different from, say, taking in an exchange student?

It isn't. I probably wouldn't do that either, although presumably if you take in an exchange student your own children are a comparable age and likely all teenagers. I have young children, so I couldn't imagine having a perfect stranger in our home and sharing our space. But, yes, point taken that some houses are laid out differently.

It just comes up in every. single. case study, and I wonder if someone with children has ever actually done it.

Or has anyone been a college student and wanted to rent a room out from a random family with several young children?  I can think of exactly zero of my peers who would be interested in that situation.  I suppose a non-traditional student who was going back to school might be but still...
If my aunt and uncle lived 20 miles closer to school, I would have been glad to live with them and my young cousins.  But I was already in very inexpensive apartments with people my age, so I'm not sure I'd do that with strangers.

Hopefully you don't think of your aunt and uncle as random people ;)

Zikoris

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2015, 06:45:00 PM »
I've worked with a couple of people who had arrangements with local college students to get a room for free or VERY cheap in exchange for childcare (not full time, just picking kids up from school when shift work made it impossible for the parent to). It worked out well for both parties - the parent got childcare and could work full time, the student got a free place to live in exchange for minimal work. Collective living is becoming pretty popular in Vancouver as well where a bunch of people rent or own a large house, share meals, split costs, etc, and there are a lot of families that go into those (often more to keep costs down, but the "building a community" aspect is nice too).

Just a couple of examples I've seen of people with both young kids and roommates.

MrMoogle

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2015, 07:11:29 PM »
And why is renting a room to a "random college student" so different from, say, taking in an exchange student?

It isn't. I probably wouldn't do that either, although presumably if you take in an exchange student your own children are a comparable age and likely all teenagers. I have young children, so I couldn't imagine having a perfect stranger in our home and sharing our space. But, yes, point taken that some houses are laid out differently.

It just comes up in every. single. case study, and I wonder if someone with children has ever actually done it.

Or has anyone been a college student and wanted to rent a room out from a random family with several young children?  I can think of exactly zero of my peers who would be interested in that situation.  I suppose a non-traditional student who was going back to school might be but still...
If my aunt and uncle lived 20 miles closer to school, I would have been glad to live with them and my young cousins.  But I was already in very inexpensive apartments with people my age, so I'm not sure I'd do that with strangers.

Hopefully you don't think of your aunt and uncle as random people ;)

Well they are random (interesting at least), but they aren't strangers :)

Dicey

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2015, 08:45:33 PM »
Nickle and dime is an obvious thing.
Sorry, I just gotta be the one to say this...

It's N-I-C-K-E-L

First you learn to spell it, then you learn to save it, eventually you retire and live happily ever after. With sufficient motivation you can and you will.

Mazzinator

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #71 on: January 31, 2015, 10:20:37 AM »
If you use YNAB, then why isn't your data very handy?

Red Beard

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2015, 03:02:22 PM »
I am also a sports nut. And I love TV - I really do. When I first came here, we paid around $100 a month and got every single cent out of what we put in.

Then one day, someone said something along the lines of "try it, and if you literally can't do it, at least you know you tried and you can focus somewhere else". So when our contract was up we went the Prime, Netflix, Hulu Plus route. When setting up our internet package Comcast agreed to give us the "regular channels" free.

Fast forward 8 months. I still love sports and I still love TV - I just don't watch all of the filler I used to. We save $80 a month and are actually HAPPIER with our TV situation than before.

Someone mentioned it here - but make sure you look into Sling TV. ESPN and the other ABC/Disney channels for $20. That plus CBS, FOX and NBC should address your sports hankering. Try it, and if it doesn't work DISH will welcome you back with open arms and an account credit :)

Keep working hard and and focus on the "what would happen if" instead of the "this would never happen"

jtriplett

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #73 on: January 31, 2015, 09:48:27 PM »
I don't know if someone else suggested it yet, but YNAB (You Need A Budget) is one of the single BEST tools out there for gaining control over personal finances. 

It will empower you to feel great about life again. 

Allie

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #74 on: January 31, 2015, 11:22:06 PM »
I'm glad you're here, looking for solutions to your problems.  This is the best first step you can make.  The nice thing about money (not the people spending the money) is that it isn't a loose, fluid, undefined entity.  If you have 100,000 dollars in debt at a certain interest rate, you have to pay that exact amount plus the interest.  Every time you find a way to cut out some expense, the amount you owe will get smaller.  Every time you find a way to make a couple extra bucks, the amount will get smaller.  Every good decision you make, the amount you owe will get smaller, whether it saves one or one thousand dollars.

We paid off quite a bit more debt than you have, on a slightly higher salary, before we had kids.  We used Dave Ramsey as a motivator as MMM wasn't around yet.  It's doable and once it's done you will kick yourself for thinking satellite TV was more important than getting your financial house in order.  I think most of the posters on this board have either been where you are and can look back with 20/20 vision or will be with you for the journey.  :-)

When you can, post your budget.  Prepare yourself for some face punches and take the good ideas back to your family.  Then, start a journal to help keep you accountable.  Good luck!

IsItSnowingInSpace

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #75 on: February 01, 2015, 11:38:47 AM »
I don't know if someone else suggested it yet, but YNAB (You Need A Budget) is one of the single BEST tools out there for gaining control over personal finances. 

It will empower you to feel great about life again.
Yes, I said above I'm already using it.

If you use YNAB, then why isn't your data very handy?
I went through it, and my wife just hasn't used enough categories. So this is gonna take a while. :-/

tardis

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #76 on: February 01, 2015, 01:03:57 PM »
Just going to add to the side track and say I'm a student who has lived with random families- usually older women/couples who have a bigger house than they need once the kids have moved out admittedly (and done bits of dog care as a bonus), but I'd be open to a home with kids past the frequent crying/tantrum stage given the rent was right.  The arrangement minimizes any homesickness I get as I'm living with an "adopted family" in a sense if I live there multiple terms, and I'm a mild introvert who likes having people around but not having to interact with them that much.

nereo

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #77 on: February 02, 2015, 09:01:04 AM »
Just going to add to the side track and say I'm a student who has lived with random families- [...]
+1.  In college I lived with two different families, and when I first met me SO she was living with a single mother and her daughter.  I'd estimate that about half of my friends from college lived with another family at least once during their four years.  Sometimes it was in a 'granny-unit' with a separate entrance, and sometimes it was with more co-mingling.  While growing up, my parents housed three different exchange students and two 'children-of-old-friends' for a couple months each.  Now I periodically take in renters (normally friends of friends) to 'supercharge' paying off the mortgage.  In our case all common spaces are shared. 

I think it comes down to a change in mindset.  Many people view their home as a personal space where no one else besides family can be.  But if you start viewing it as an asset that can be leveraged to bring in income, then it's an incredibly powerful way of getting to FI.  Despite my aprehension at taking in a new renter, in most cases everyone just adapts to one another very quickly.

JLee

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #78 on: February 02, 2015, 09:18:57 AM »
Just going to add to the side track and say I'm a student who has lived with random families- [...]
+1.  In college I lived with two different families, and when I first met me SO she was living with a single mother and her daughter.  I'd estimate that about half of my friends from college lived with another family at least once during their four years.  Sometimes it was in a 'granny-unit' with a separate entrance, and sometimes it was with more co-mingling.  While growing up, my parents housed three different exchange students and two 'children-of-old-friends' for a couple months each.  Now I periodically take in renters (normally friends of friends) to 'supercharge' paying off the mortgage.  In our case all common spaces are shared. 

I think it comes down to a change in mindset.  Many people view their home as a personal space where no one else besides family can be.  But if you start viewing it as an asset that can be leveraged to bring in income, then it's an incredibly powerful way of getting to FI.  Despite my aprehension at taking in a new renter, in most cases everyone just adapts to one another very quickly.
My roommates are absolutely amazing. We get along well enough that I would be sad if they left, and not just because of the rent checks.

Lia-Aimee

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #79 on: February 02, 2015, 09:29:07 AM »
I lived with familes with young children while in college, and I had a few friends who did the same.  I'm not easily annoyed, and would be much more tolerant of being woken up by a screaming toddler than by a screaming drunk.  I'm also not a homebody so concerns about sharing common space with strangers was almost irrelevant.

What about hosting a foreign exchange student? Many want to live with a family with young children, and may be more studious than the average local.


2ndTimer

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #80 on: February 02, 2015, 05:01:12 PM »
I rented a room from a single mother with two kids age 3 and 5 when I was in grad school.  It worked.

jmusic

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #81 on: February 05, 2015, 03:06:21 PM »
I've been uncomfortable for a while now with the home upgrade plans she wants to make, so I'm slowly massaging that, appealing to her frugality, etc. I was actually astonished when she caught some of the Dave Ramsey fever a few years ago and was on board with reading TTMMO. She hasn't completely committed to the frugality lifestyle, though (nor have I); she wants to take a more measured approach, even if it takes longer to get out of debt. So it's a negotiation process. But, we've stalled out on paying off the debt. We're actually meeting about that tomorrow. My foray here is to begin exploring this again, and find ways to get her to agree to scale back further so that really have complete control of our finances, macro and micro. Nickle and dime is an obvious thing. Scaling back on plans so that those plans take our unsecured debt into account is another obvious one. Figuring out how to increase our income (which we've almost doubled from about 5 years ago...man did it suck back then) is another.

Many of us here deal with the "reluctant spouse" problem, and I'm concerned by your choice of words: "find ways to get her to agree to scale back..."  Remember that it's a team effort, so please don't take an accusatory tone.  Most divorces are caused by disagreements over money...  What I recommend is that instead of asking her to cut out X, maybe approach it in a "Can you help me figure this out?" kind of way.  I'd also come in with something that you're willing to give up yourself as a way to open the negotiation, and ask what ideas she might have.

My apologies for beating a dead horse, but is the resistence to cutting cable your issue, hers, or both?  I understand the issue with cancelling a contract which would make it hard to undo; how about buying a Roku, Chromecast, or other internet TV device from Amazon or somewhere with a really good return policy, and give it a trial run? 

If you don't like it you can return it and no harm done.  If it works for you then you have spent $100 one time to save $1200/year.

irishbear99

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #82 on: February 05, 2015, 04:35:03 PM »
2) I have a reminder in my phone at the end of every week that says "Can you put a little extra in savings today?"  And every week, it turns out that of course, I can.  So I'll log on to my bank and move, say, $25, to my primary savings account.  Some weeks it's more, etc.  But the point is, as a result of this, I am consistently saving hundreds of dollars more per month *more* than I would have if I was just passively buying lattes and not thinking about it, because I know there's plenty of "extra" money in my checking account.

WOW! I love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing; I'm going to put a reminder in my phone right now.

Kris

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Re: Newbie: are we just screwed?
« Reply #83 on: February 05, 2015, 07:03:28 PM »
2) I have a reminder in my phone at the end of every week that says "Can you put a little extra in savings today?"  And every week, it turns out that of course, I can.  So I'll log on to my bank and move, say, $25, to my primary savings account.  Some weeks it's more, etc.  But the point is, as a result of this, I am consistently saving hundreds of dollars more per month *more* than I would have if I was just passively buying lattes and not thinking about it, because I know there's plenty of "extra" money in my checking account.

WOW! I love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing; I'm going to put a reminder in my phone right now.

Glad you like it!  I would estimate that since I've started doing this, I have saved anywhere from $200 to $500 extra every month.  And of course, it's also helped to cut down on mindless spending, since whenever I feel like buying some small, dumb impulse buy, it's always in the back of my mind that if I don't buy it, that money can go into savings at the end of the week.  It's actually become a fun little game, and it's always very pleasurable to move the money into savings every weekend.