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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Kevin S. on May 13, 2015, 04:33:44 PM

Title: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 13, 2015, 04:33:44 PM


BACKGROUND:

33 years old
Divorced
Working full time
Salary: roughly 42k yr
Debts: 16k car loan, 10k personal loan, 10k credit card debt
Assests: 0


Monthly expenses:
Rent $ 200
Bills $ 1200
Groceries 300


Need help all! Any and all suggestions will be much appreciative

Thanks in advance,
                         Kevin.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: MDM on May 13, 2015, 04:44:23 PM
See http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-write-a-%27case-study%27-topic/ for added details needed from you to help responses be more useful.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 13, 2015, 04:53:07 PM

Life Situation: Single, 33 yrs old, 0 dependents, live in Denver, Co

Gross Salary/Wages: 42k gross per yer

Pre-tax deductions: zero - currently not contributing to any 401k

Other Ordinary Income: 0

Qualified Dividends & Long Term Capital Gains: 0

Rental Income, Actual Expenses, and Depreciation: 0

Adjusted Gross Income: 42k

Taxes: not sure what you are asking? I pay state and federal taxes like everyone else, I have no dependent sand claim 1 on my taxes.

Current expenses: Car payment $ 300 month, 48 months 8 % interest, owe 16.5k  / Motorcycle Payment $ 250 (200 is paid by my ex wife, long story but it's her bike in my name, owe 14k, originally 17.5k, 60 month term) / Personal Loan Payment $ 300 month, 11 % interest, 56 month term originally 15k owe 10k remaining /cc  debt (paying minimum only) $ 220 cc debt highest card 4500 with 8 % interest, 2900 card with 10 % interest, other amounts are small and under 1k / Cell phone $ 100, Cable & internet $ 80 ,


Expected ER expenses:  0

Assets: 0


Specific Question(s): I am looking at trying to make the most of the money - specifically I would like be debt free in 1 yrs time.

What can I do with my money as far as investing - what should I look into ?

My credit score is currently 650 - was a 710 about 1 yr ago but I have been an idiot lately and racked up some credit card debt and took out a cpo used car loan.

What recommendations do you have?

Thank you.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: MDM on May 13, 2015, 05:08:57 PM
Taxes: I file 1 or 0
Eh???

Quote
Current expenses: Car payment $ 300 month / Motorcycle Payment $ 50, Personal Loan Payment $ 300, CC debt (paying minimum only) $ 220
Original balance, interest rate, term, current balance?

Quote
Expected ER expenses: 0 - pretty healthy
That's Early Retirement, not Emergency Room. ;)  Presumably >$0.  "Same as current non-work expenses" is a common default.


The other parts were good - just picking on the ones above.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: greenmimama on May 13, 2015, 05:17:08 PM
Is your cell phone just for you? how can you pay $220/mo?
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 13, 2015, 05:32:03 PM
Is your cell phone just for you? how can you pay $220/mo?

That is credit card debt, my phone is 100 month! Just went up about a month ago as well! Wish I would have know about republic, looking at switching now!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 13, 2015, 05:41:58 PM
Taxes: I file 1 or 0
Eh???

Quote
Current expenses: Car payment $ 300 month / Motorcycle Payment $ 50, Personal Loan Payment $ 300, CC debt (paying minimum only) $ 220
Original balance, interest rate, term, current balance?

Quote
Expected ER expenses: 0 - pretty healthy
That's Early Retirement, not Emergency Room. ;)  Presumably >$0.  "Same as current non-work expenses" is a common default.


Think I fixed it all! Lol

Let me know!

Thanks!


The other parts were good - just picking on the ones above.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: NoraLenderbee on May 13, 2015, 06:17:05 PM
Hi Kevin,
Welcome!
This is what we call a hair-on-fire situation. Your debt is more than your salary, and the interest rates are high. And it's not clear where your money is going.

Your total liabilities:
Car 16,500
Moto 14,000 (partly paid by wife)
Personal loan 10,000
CC 1 4500
CC 2 2900
CC3 <1,000

Total: 48,900.

How much is your take-home pay? You make 42K gross, subtract taxes and any other paycheck deductions (like insurance premiums), the rest is what you have to work with.

Before you can invest, you need to know how much money you have left over after all expenses. If the amount is zero (or less), then you're in a hole and still digging.  Either way, it looks like you are going to have to cut back spending to get out from under the debts. A second job might be needed, too.

Do you have any savings?

Are there other ways money flows out? What do you spend on gas, eating out, going out with friends? If you carry cash, what does it get spent on?

Title: Hi
Post by: firewalker on May 13, 2015, 06:49:19 PM
Hi Kevin S. Don't let the request for detail discourage you. It's a tried and true method to lay one's finances out and prepare for a plan of attack. It also helps mentally to feel in control of the money part of life and the future.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: southern granny on May 13, 2015, 07:33:27 PM
The investing that you need to be doing is paying down your debt.  Build up an emergency fund so that you aren't forced to charge an expected expense and then attack those debts.  Every expense that you can cut will give you more money to pay on debt.  Good luck to you.  You aren't in as bad shape as you think.  You have  a decent income and no dependents .  You can do this.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: okits on May 13, 2015, 09:29:44 PM
$200/month for rent is spectacular unless you're living in a ditch.  $300/month for groceries for one seems a little high.  $180/month for phone+cable+internet also seems high.  Have you looked at Daley's superguide?

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-discussion-thread-1/

(If the guide helps you save money leave a donation when you are able.)

If you want to be debt free in a year you need a second source of income.  Lots of choices for that, many discussed here on the forums.  Watch the video at the end of this post for inspiration (that dude owed way more than you):

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: kpd905 on May 14, 2015, 05:58:26 AM

Specific Question(s): I am looking at trying to make the most of the money - specifically I would like be debt free in 1 yrs time.


Unfortunately your debt is more than you make in a year.  You can try to boost your income to have more to throw at the debt, or cut your expenses (cell phone is way too high, do you need a car worth that much?).  I think if you worked on boosting income and cutting expenses, a good goal would be zero debt in 2 years.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: superone! on May 14, 2015, 06:24:51 AM
Are you underwater on the car? If not I'd try to get rid of it and get something cheaper, maybe around 5k. Is there anyway to get the motorcycle into your ex's name? That might at least make you feel more in control of the debt on top of you.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: justajane on May 14, 2015, 06:47:17 AM
The rate on that personal loan is pretty high. How did that come about? Is it a family member?

To start with, I would do a one month grocery challenge for yourself. Throw down the gauntlet and try to eat for $100 less. That's still $200. Say it's a disaster and you are miserable. It's only one month. But maybe you will find that it isn't that bad. Then you have $100 extra to throw at debt and a stronger sense that you can do this. I think that's one of the big problems with debt is that it controls you. If you switch the power dynamic, you can slay this.

Also, drop the cable. I don't care if it's a bundle and you "only" save $10 a month. You're in debt. Cable is a luxury. With all your newfound time, go through some of your things and try to sell them on Craigslist. If you don't find you have more time post-cable, well, it was a good decision to cancel it, since you didn't really use it.

With $200 rent, you are perfectly primed to pay this debt off in a few years, but you have to find the leaks in your budget. You have to really know where your money is going.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Moonwaves on May 14, 2015, 06:49:42 AM
Is there anyway to get the motorcycle into your ex's name? That might at least make you feel more in control of the debt on top of you.
This seems sensible. I'm not quite sure why you're paying part of that debt either, if she's the one who has the bike. I know you said it's a long story but that doesn't seem quite fair. You didn't mention alimony or any kind of support payments so I assume there are none? Have no idea how all that kind of thing works.

One of the main things you need to do is get rid of the credit cards - cut them up or freeze them in water, whatever. I say this partially because of this:
Quote
My credit score is currently 650 - was a 710 about 1 yr ago but I have been an idiot lately and racked up some credit card debt and took out a cpo used car loan.
If you don't have the cards available to use, you should find it more difficult to be an idiot again and rack up even more credit card debt.
I'd also be inclined to say forget about worrying about your credit score for now. I'm not from the USA so perhaps I don't quite fully understand the nuances of your credit scoring systems but I have read blogs before where people are so focused on trying to improve their credit score they try and trick themselves into thinking all sorts of things for the sake of improving their score and somehow it always seems to involve more credit cards. That might not be you but I'd say focus on clearing your debt and let your credit score take care of itself for a while.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Sibley on May 14, 2015, 07:55:33 AM
Make sure you're tracking your expenses. Excel, quicken, Mint, whatever works for you. Knowledge is power. With detailed knowledge of your spending, you can tell what's wasteful. Every penny needs to be accounted for.

Regarding the ex-wife's bike - it's her bike, she needs to pay for it 100%. Insurance, registration, loan payments, repairs, gas, etc. Ideally, she takes out a loan to buy it from you so it's completely in her name. Less ideally, she pays every penny while it stays in your name, and she pays it on time. If she's not willing to pay 100% (or can't), sell it.

Ditto on everyone else's suggestions.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 14, 2015, 10:23:35 AM
Thanks for all the info and help! You guys/gals are awesome!

So currently I'm looking at the following to reduce my expenses and increase my income

Get rid of my cell phone plan and get Republic wireless, I have heard nothing but good here

Get rid of my cable tv and keep only the cable internet. Nothing good on cable tv anyway!

Get rid of my vehicle and get something cheaper and keep the same reliability ! - need to figure this one out as it's a good chunk of money I could be using for debt repayment, saving, etc - Anyone have any recommendations besides posting it on craigslist and autotrader? Anyone have experience with selling a car to CarMax? I'm sure i'm going to lose some money but hopefully no more than $500-600.

The motorcycle situation - well that is a whole another  ball of wax. Ex-wife and I agreed at the time of our divorce that I would keep the bike in my name (she has really bad credit) and she would pay for the cost - including insurance and registration. She has so far held up her end of the bargain.

The personal loan - that was a tough situation, also due to my divorce / ex-wife. I originally took it out to pay down medical bills - she has had medical issues off and on related to her fibromyalgia, PICOS, IBS, etc. I also used the remainder of the personal loan to pay for the divorce lawyer...ugh! Not fun! Oh well I wouldn't change anything. I'm with a  wonderful woman now...anway to get back on topic.

Food bill ! Is extremely high because I am a lazy shiftless bastard! lol I eat out a lot and take my girlfriend out to eat and treat her well - this also needs to be addressed - I need to find the happy medium and lower my food bill. I don't grocery shop hardly ever! It's pretty lame on my part and leading to a weight gain! Bleh...

Let's see what else, I also need to make more money! Looking at either getting a part time job somewhere or maybe starting to sell some of my art (airbrush / automotive type stuff).

Now I know I'm probably going to get at least 1 punch in the face for even suggesting this but what about the dreaded B word, b is for Bankruptcy! Should I even consider this option? Will they garner my wages if I do ? My car needs to go - this is one way to get rid of it, ex wife and I would be off the hook for the moto (i'm sure she would be mad but hey it's still in my name). I could potentially buy a cheap vehicle right now for 3-4k and start saving massive amounts of my salary and live super cheap, possibly go into the early retirement plan that all you guys talk about as well....

hmmm...lots to think about!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: justajane on May 14, 2015, 12:22:16 PM
I personally wouldn't go the bankruptcy route. Your debt isn't that dire. Besides, hunkering down and paying it off will give you the self-discipline and control needed to actually pursue ER. If you declare bankruptcy, erase your debts instantaneously, what makes you think you have the muscles to be able to save 50-70% of your income? Just my opinion, and you'll find people on here have lots of different opinions on bankruptcy. But there's no magic bullet here unfortunately.

Regarding eating out and your girlfriend, I personally find my husband who cooks a meal for me at home pretty darned sexy....
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Sibley on May 14, 2015, 12:49:20 PM
You're not in that bad of shape financially. Bankruptcy isn't necessary.

Motorcycle - She's not paying 100%. You're paying part of the bill. Either she pays all of it, or sell it and she can get over it. Either way, that helps your budget.

Food - facepunch. You know what you need to do. Stop eating out, start cooking. Learn to cook good food for your GF. Or with her!

Yes, try to sell stuff. Art, random stuff you don't need. Declutter and make a few dollars.

Once you get a handle on the stuff you know about, you should have good expense data (from the tracking you're going to start, remember?) and will know what else to look at.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 14, 2015, 01:10:18 PM
I personally wouldn't go the bankruptcy route. Your debt isn't that dire. Besides, hunkering down and paying it off will give you the self-discipline and control needed to actually pursue ER. If you declare bankruptcy, erase your debts instantaneously, what makes you think you have the muscles to be able to save 50-70% of your income? Just my opinion, and you'll find people on here have lots of different opinions on bankruptcy. But there's no magic bullet here unfortunately.

Regarding eating out and your girlfriend, I personally find my husband who cooks a meal for me at home pretty darned sexy....


Thank you. I need to just hunker down and get this debt paid off and change my lifestyle. I also need to talk to my ex-wife and either have the bike completely in her name (she won't get financed but it's worth a try) or sell the bike outright.

I also need to get my car sold and buy something outright super cheap or take a loan out on a cheap vehicle (i'm thinking no more than 7-8k). I do use my car a lot, commuting and running errands and me and the lady do love to go for rides.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 2ndTimer on May 14, 2015, 01:15:16 PM
Glad to hear you have found someone who suits you.  Are you sure you are letting her goodness expand as fully as you could?  Specifically, if she likes you a lot she will be enchanted to spend an evening roasting hotdogs on sticks just for the pleasure of being with you.  Tell her your situation.  You might be surprised at how enthusiastically she embraces economical dating.  She may be politely putting up with "event" type dating when what she really wants is to take a long walk, stare into your eyes and spread a blanket under a tree. 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 14, 2015, 01:32:45 PM
Glad to hear you have found someone who suits you.  Are you sure you are letting her goodness expand as fully as you could?  Specifically, if she likes you a lot she will be enchanted to spend an evening roasting hotdogs on sticks just for the pleasure of being with you.  Tell her your situation.  You might be surprised at how enthusiastically she embraces economical dating.  She may be politely putting up with "event" type dating when what she really wants is to take a long walk, stare into your eyes and spread a blanket under a tree.

Awesomne comment is awesome! Pretty sure she would be up for it I just feel like sometimes I have to take her out and wine and dine her. She has a six figure income, she is a structural engineer and makes me feel dumb all the time with the MATH lol

I'm a lowly claims adjuster and make peanuts but that is ok...

I wonder how it would blow over if I said to her this saturday "lets go for a nice walk in the park, I made lunch" instead of "lets go downtown and I will be blowing a bunch of money on us that I don't have" lol

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kris on May 14, 2015, 01:42:14 PM

I wonder how it would blow over if I said to her this saturday "lets go for a nice walk in the park, I made lunch" instead of "lets go downtown and I will be blowing a bunch of money on us that I don't have" lol

Well, two thoughts:

One, nice walk in the park with you making lunch = super romantic, and much more interesting than just one more restaurant date.

Two, guy taking control of his finances and getting a handle on himself = much more marriageable/long term relationship material than guy who sticks his head in the sand and spends money he doesn't have.

The right woman for you will have these mentalities (actually, #1 is a gimme for most women).  Personally, I would a million times rather be with a guy who made less money than me but wasn't irresponsible with what he did have, than a guy who made twice as much as I did but spent like a blind fool. 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: lindsayk on May 14, 2015, 04:16:04 PM
We have similar situations regarding age, recently divorced, income, and amount of debt, lazy about food spending....so i just wanted to give some encouragement and say WE CAN DO THIS!! Also, I had a car loan on a 2010 Jeep of about $7,000 that was costing me $205 month...i on a whim threw it on Craigslist to see what would happen and sold it in a week....found a 1999 Saturn also on Craigslist with 145,000 miles on it....paid off my Jeep and paid cash for a car all in 1 week! My insurance also dropped dramatically! Most people thought I was crazy because the car I bought was a manual and i had no idea how to drive a manual...a friend took me around in hers one night and now i love it...so happy I sold it! So....selling your car could really make a huge difference for you! Also, I agree with the older ladies....im sure your gf would love her man cooking some home cooked meals for her :) Good luck!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: ChicagoGirl on May 14, 2015, 05:27:25 PM
You don't need bankruptcy...just a lifestyle change that's all. Once you get rid of the debts that are weighing you down from your past, you won't even notice they are gone.  Besides who wants a bankruptcy that will follow you for years, when you are having a nice fresh start with a new ladyfriend. :)   

I would make a different arrangement with the ex-wife's motorcycle...that kind of arrangement just keeps you tethered to the past! Is the insurance in your name also? What if ex gets in an accident with it and the accident is her fault, wouldn't that open you up to all kinds of financial liability?

In an earlier post you asked about selling a car to Carmax.  I have done it, the process is easy.  You won't get as much for it though, it's more of a low-hassle route. I would try Craigslisting it first.  I think Carmax gives you a quote that lasts a few days so you don't have to make a decision on the spot.

Look for creative ways to increase your income, there are few threads on the MMM forum about how people make extra money.

I am rooting for you! :)
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: okits on May 14, 2015, 06:34:42 PM
Glad to hear you have found someone who suits you.  Are you sure you are letting her goodness expand as fully as you could?  Specifically, if she likes you a lot she will be enchanted to spend an evening roasting hotdogs on sticks just for the pleasure of being with you.  Tell her your situation.  You might be surprised at how enthusiastically she embraces economical dating.  She may be politely putting up with "event" type dating when what she really wants is to take a long walk, stare into your eyes and spread a blanket under a tree.

Awesomne comment is awesome! Pretty sure she would be up for it I just feel like sometimes I have to take her out and wine and dine her. She has a six figure income, she is a structural engineer and makes me feel dumb all the time with the MATH lol

I'm a lowly claims adjuster and make peanuts but that is ok...

I wonder how it would blow over if I said to her this saturday "lets go for a nice walk in the park, I made lunch" instead of "lets go downtown and I will be blowing a bunch of money on us that I don't have" lol

Hmm...  Your words make me wonder a little.

No partner in a relationship is obligated to "keep up" income-wise with the higher earner, nor lavish luxury on the other because the other earns more and may be used to it or expecting it. 

Unless you're just dating casually and see no future in it, I recommend seeing how she handles the reality of what $42k-a-year salary really buys and what hard work you need to do to get out of the red.  Find out if she supports and respects your decision to get your financial house in order. Find out if she's happy just to be with you and have a picnic lunch.  Find out if she'd love you more if you made $200k or love you less if you made $20k.  You don't mention her wining and dining you - does she, or is that stuff all on you?

Part of your future financial fitness is ensuring healthy attitudes toward money - yours and your partner's. 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Josiecat on May 14, 2015, 07:30:46 PM
Your motorcycle payment is $250, and the Ex pays $200??  The Ex needs to find a way to pay it off or you need to sell it.  Either way, it is HER problem not yours.  You cannot afford to give an extra $50/month for HER motorcycle.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: AJ on May 14, 2015, 07:53:41 PM
Your motorcycle payment is $250, and the Ex pays $200??  The Ex needs to find a way to pay it off or you need to sell it.  Either way, it is HER problem not yours.  You cannot afford to give an extra $50/month for HER motorcycle.

Honestly, if it were me I would worry about this last. It's $50 a month difference, and while that's not nothing, if the ex is paying every month it could be worse. There's plenty else to work on in the meantime - things that are more directly under your control.

You seem to have made a bunch of great steps already, great job! Are you able to take on any overtime? Or work a side gig?
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 17, 2015, 11:30:27 AM
Thanks AJ! So my ex wife has agreed to pay the bike payments completely now! She is having trouble getting financed but I told her as long as payments and all other fees are done by her I have no problem with keeping the bike in my name.


Now on to my crap...

I currently have comcrap for cable tv/internet - i pay roughly $ 90 a month. It sucks and I want out! I just called them to see what my options are - if I cancel I have to pay a $ 90 fee ! so freaking lame! Oh well it needs to be done.

NOw my question is what ISP are going to be available in my area - i'm in denver, co and from what I have seen my pickings are slim.

I don't need tv but I do need internet for work at my home office.

Thanks all!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: ChicagoGirl on May 17, 2015, 02:54:15 PM
Is your package with Comcast just for basic cable and the internet? Do you have any special channels added like HBO?
Right now I pay $59/mo with Comcast in Chicago which is for high speed internet and basic cable.  We don't even use the cable box and leave it unplugged, it was the only way to get the internet price down.

Comcast wasn't willing to negotiate with you? If you decide to call them again, ask them for the "solutions department" I got more progress when I talked to them...who knows, it's always a crapshoot with them anyway and I think it depends who takes the call.

I.P. Daily has a thread on MMM dedicated to all things technology, might give you an idea of what you need.  I think he has a website, too. 

Here is the forum link if you haven't read it yet...
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-the-isp-voip-and-cellphone-superguide/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 18, 2015, 10:44:23 AM
It's just basic cable - no hd channels, no hbo, etc.

Basic internet as well!

Really sick of Comcast and all the bs tricks they play. I unfortunately can't find anyone else local to me in my zipcode 80014 that has a broadband internet service besides century link that I have heard nothing but bad things about. I was looking at just saying screw it all and tell my work I live out in the sticks or something where I can't get service lol

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: astvilla on May 18, 2015, 09:57:51 PM
I actually want to hear other Mustachian thoughts on this, but do some people use free wifi in libraries, cafes to save on internet costs and don't have it installed at home? Wondering if people actually do this, or if it's even feasible?

Being on this forum and staying here is a great way to get started on improving your financial health. Making your own meals will also make you healthier, fitter, feel cleaner, and save money. It's a win-win.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: waffle on May 19, 2015, 08:32:56 AM
I'm also in Denver and get Comcast internet for 29/month. Comcast is contract free so there shouldn't be any cancellation fees. You should double check to make sure that a fee they were talking about and not just your bill for the last month of service.

A quick look on the Comcast site shows they have several decent promotional deals on internet. Those prices are advertised for people who aren't current customers and go up after one year, but I have had good luck in the past calling Comcast at the end of the promotional period and having them lower the price back down. It helps if you suggest that you are planning to go to a competitor.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 19, 2015, 10:00:07 AM
I guess I will just have to call them again and threaten to cancel and jump ship. See if that lowers my cost and they will let me cancel with a nominal or zero fee for cancellation.

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 19, 2015, 10:20:09 AM
I'm also in Denver and get Comcast internet for 29/month. Comcast is contract free so there shouldn't be any cancellation fees. You should double check to make sure that a fee they were talking about and not just your bill for the last month of service.

A quick look on the Comcast site shows they have several decent promotional deals on internet. Those prices are advertised for people who aren't current customers and go up after one year, but I have had good luck in the past calling Comcast at the end of the promotional period and having them lower the price back down. It helps if you suggest that you are planning to go to a competitor.

It was a cancellation fee for a contract! They have contracts just like every other cable company.

Also your price of 29.99 is for 6 mbps (sad when my cell phone is faster than that lol) and that is only for 12 months after that it goes up to $ 49.95 - fuck Comcast!!!!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 19, 2015, 10:23:14 AM
I actually want to hear other Mustachian thoughts on this, but do some people use free wifi in libraries, cafes to save on internet costs and don't have it installed at home? Wondering if people actually do this, or if it's even feasible?
Before I moved in with my now husband, I didn't have internet at home (or a smart phone).  I used free WiFi at school (was a graduate student) and that was enough.  I actually liked unplugging from my e-mail. 

Think about why you use your home internet.  Could it be replaced with a little bit of effort?  Right now, we watch streaming TV, surf the web and check e-mail.  Work e-mails are the only must-have, which could easily be done on my smartphone.

I'm thinking of doing this! No cable or broadband internet at all. I will use only my phone at home if I need to check emails or write a document I have a tablet with a word document app that should work out ok (hopefully).

 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 4alpacas on May 19, 2015, 10:25:08 AM
I actually want to hear other Mustachian thoughts on this, but do some people use free wifi in libraries, cafes to save on internet costs and don't have it installed at home? Wondering if people actually do this, or if it's even feasible?
Before I moved in with my now husband, I didn't have internet at home (or a smart phone).  I used free WiFi at school (was a graduate student) and that was enough.  I actually liked unplugging from my e-mail. 

Think about why you use your home internet.  Could it be replaced with a little bit of effort?  Right now, we watch streaming TV, surf the web and check e-mail.  Work e-mails are the only must-have, which could easily be done on my smartphone.

I'm thinking of doing this! No cable or broadband internet at all. I will use only my phone at home if I need to check emails or write a document I have a tablet with a word document app that should work out ok (hopefully).
Remember it can be a trial.  I really enjoyed not being so connected.  I read a lot more books and checked out DVDs from the library.  A lot of my friends gave me DVDs (from their collections) when they upgraded to BluRay players. 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: waffle on May 19, 2015, 12:50:01 PM
I'm also in Denver and get Comcast internet for 29/month. Comcast is contract free so there shouldn't be any cancellation fees. You should double check to make sure that a fee they were talking about and not just your bill for the last month of service.

A quick look on the Comcast site shows they have several decent promotional deals on internet. Those prices are advertised for people who aren't current customers and go up after one year, but I have had good luck in the past calling Comcast at the end of the promotional period and having them lower the price back down. It helps if you suggest that you are planning to go to a competitor.

It was a cancellation fee for a contract! They have contracts just like every other cable company.

Also your price of 29.99 is for 6 mbps (sad when my cell phone is faster than that lol) and that is only for 12 months after that it goes up to $ 49.95 - fuck Comcast!!!!

I have started and cancelled Comcast service several times all over the country as I move around and have never once been charged a cancellation fee. It's possible that you were suckered into something, but the main reason I've usually chosen Comcast is because there was no contract and no cancellation fees.

My 29.99 is actually for their 25mbps service. Their prices and promotions tend to jump around a lot, and they really are a terrible company as far as customer service goes so it might take some pressure. I once had to go up the line a bit to get them to remove a charge for installation that I was told would be no charge. A bit of firm patience goes a long way.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 19, 2015, 03:25:35 PM
so to add another thing here to my reducing financial obligations - putting into FI, debt payment, etc

My vehicle needs to go! I owe 17k currently

Autonation just offered me 14k ! Which seems a bit low to be honest.

I'm going to CarMax tonight after work and see what they offer me as well

What do you guys think? Should I just pay the 3k difference and get out of the car loan plus all the other expenses?

I can ride my motorcycle every day all the way until the late fall here if I so desire. Not sure I want to risk that though - possible motorcycle mechanical failures, possible super cold weather here in Colorado - especially on my way to work, possible rider error failures = expensive hospital bills, and missing work!

If I do this I can save up a good chunk of change and pay off my debts way earlier than expected and then buy a cheap 3-5k auto come this fall.

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: okits on May 19, 2015, 09:25:11 PM
I actually want to hear other Mustachian thoughts on this, but do some people use free wifi in libraries, cafes to save on internet costs and don't have it installed at home? Wondering if people actually do this, or if it's even feasible?

Being on this forum and staying here is a great way to get started on improving your financial health. Making your own meals will also make you healthier, fitter, feel cleaner, and save money. It's a win-win.

Funny thing about being smashed in like sardines in the city...  Where you work or live you often pick up several wifi networks from nearby businesses.  I figure if I am actually a(n occasional, paying) customer of said establishment it's okay for me to use their free wifi (they give you the password when you're there buying stuff.) I don't replace home internet that way but know people who do.  I figure I save a few hundred a year by purchasing zero data on my phone.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Roses on May 20, 2015, 01:47:03 AM
Wow, you are making good progress and I love your attitude!  You're right on about the dating, grocery bill, cell phone, cable (Comcast is the worst!) etc.  As for the car, try to sell it on Craigslist for the full amount first before you settle for less.  Just give it a couple of weeks and see if there are any takers.  Sounds like you are well on your way to being debt free and then you can start investing.  Any way you can increase you salary?  In any case, you're young and have some time ahead to build a nice stash.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Stashing Swiss-style on May 20, 2015, 04:58:06 AM
You can become debt-free. You have the right ideas and you've come to the right place to get advice.  Learning to shop and cook real food will be a life-changer - your girlfriend will be much happier to have you in financial and physical good health (the two combined lead to much stronger mental health also).  And if she's not happy about not being wined and dined, you have a different problem !

Do this step by step.  One year to be debt free is too aggressive, but 2 years is possible.  Sell that car !!

Good luck and keep posting.  I'll be supporting you all the way.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 20, 2015, 09:45:15 AM
Thanks everyone ! This is an awesome forum with some very helpful and well informed people!

Didn't make it to CarMax last night before they closed. I posted it on craigslist though. Hopefully it sells quick!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: MsSindy on May 20, 2015, 01:37:43 PM

Let's see what else, I also need to make more money! Looking at either getting a part time job somewhere or maybe starting to sell some of my art (airbrush / automotive type stuff).


Instead of selling the airbrush/auto stuff can you make some money with it?  Are you any good?  Can you hire out your services to either individuals or to autobody paint shops....or whatever it is you do with your art stuff.

Also, I agree with folks about coming clean with your gf on your situation - need to build a relationship on honesty.  If you're wining and dining her, she may think you're better off than you are, and that's not being honest.  Or, who knows, maybe she's on another forum saying something like, "my bf is great and keeps taking me out to fancy places, but I know he doesn't have a lot of money, but I don't want to hurt his feelings by suggesting something else....blah, blah, blah"

Your attitude > your debt!   Keep up the great progress.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 20, 2015, 02:23:50 PM

Let's see what else, I also need to make more money! Looking at either getting a part time job somewhere or maybe starting to sell some of my art (airbrush / automotive type stuff).


Instead of selling the airbrush/auto stuff can you make some money with it?  Are you any good?  Can you hire out your services to either individuals or to autobody paint shops....or whatever it is you do with your art stuff.

Also, I agree with folks about coming clean with your gf on your situation - need to build a relationship on honesty.  If you're wining and dining her, she may think you're better off than you are, and that's not being honest.  Or, who knows, maybe she's on another forum saying something like, "my bf is great and keeps taking me out to fancy places, but I know he doesn't have a lot of money, but I don't want to hurt his feelings by suggesting something else....blah, blah, blah"

Your attitude > your debt!   Keep up the great progress.


Actually that is what i'm planning to do! Not sell my art supplies but actually sell my art that I have made (and really do like) but also make some new stuff to sell(need to get the creativity flowing - any suggestions on that front?)!

I have been told I'm pretty good but I have that artist mentality so basically "everything I do sucks and i'm a terrible person" attitude lol

I need to get my art studio setup and start cranking out some new stuff to generate some new business(hopefuly). I really would like to make something of my art...always was my dream when I was younger !


I really hope my lady is not on another forum saying the same or similar thing lol

I need to just break it to here exactly as is  in regards to my financial situation. She knows most of it but not all of it!


Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Evgenia on May 20, 2015, 05:15:00 PM
Just wanted to add some encouragement and a resource to the chorus. Good job! You're thinking about all the right things.

I was in a similar situation back in mid 2006: end of a major relationship (with co-owned property involved in the run-up to the housing bust), debt, etc. I found the book All Your Worth, by none other than Elizabeth Warren, very helpful and straightforward for getting back on track. I liked that her budget method is proportional, the 50/30/20 method: 50% for must-haves, 30% wants, 20% savings. I've never enjoyed tracking every penny spent, so this worked well for me and also just helped me assess the severity of my situation.

The budget ratios vary/adjust depending on your circumstances and preferences -- not surprisingly, Mustachians may choose to save far more, but when times were really tight the 50/30/20 set me on the right path without losing my mind. It also led to small victories that made me want to save more, more aggressively, rather than give up or feel resentful about "deprivation."
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 1967mama on May 21, 2015, 12:55:20 AM

My vehicle needs to go! I owe 17k currently....

....and get out of the car loan plus all the other expenses?

I can ride my motorcycle every day all the way until the late fall here if I so desire. Not sure I want to risk that though - possible motorcycle mechanical failures, possible super cold weather here in Colorado - especially on my way to work, possible rider error failures = expensive hospital bills, and missing work!

So, wait. Maybe I missed something, but you own and insure your own motorcycle?? Assuming this is a different motorcycle than your ex's? How much extra is that insurance? Do you really need 2 vehicles for 1 person?

I really think you're doing a GREAT job of uncovering all these hidden expenses and just wanted to point one out that might have been overlooked. Be relentless in your pursuit of the leaks in your financial boat!



Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 21, 2015, 10:31:37 AM

My vehicle needs to go! I owe 17k currently....

....and get out of the car loan plus all the other expenses?

I can ride my motorcycle every day all the way until the late fall here if I so desire. Not sure I want to risk that though - possible motorcycle mechanical failures, possible super cold weather here in Colorado - especially on my way to work, possible rider error failures = expensive hospital bills, and missing work!

So, wait. Maybe I missed something, but you own and insure your own motorcycle?? Assuming this is a different motorcycle than your ex's? How much extra is that insurance? Do you really need 2 vehicles for 1 person?

I really think you're doing a GREAT job of uncovering all these hidden expenses and just wanted to point one out that might have been overlooked. Be relentless in your pursuit of the leaks in your financial boat!

Yes I own and insure my own vehicle. I own the motorcycle outright. Insurance is really stinking cheap ! $250 for the year!

Unfortunately I can not drive the motorcycle year round here in Colorado - I would say at least 80% of the time I can though.



Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Blonde Lawyer on May 21, 2015, 11:54:16 AM
Before anyone advises him to do anything different with the ex's motorcycle he needs to look at his divorce decree.  If part of a settlement he agreed to make the payments but she keeps possession then he is stuck with it unless he gets the court to change it.  In some states, property division is not modifiable.  If you are paying it to just be nice, that is a different story.  If it is part of a court order, you don't get to unilaterally change that.

I have the same problem with Comcast and have complained on other threads.  What they charge varies from city to city and when they have a monopoly and know it, they charge extortionist rates.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 21, 2015, 03:50:05 PM
I have the agreement with my ex wife to have her make payments. Nothing was done with the motorcycle during my divorce with lawyers or anything like that.

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: neophyte on May 21, 2015, 04:22:23 PM
Quote
Also your price of 29.99 is for 6 mbps (sad when my cell phone is faster than that lol) and that is only for 12 months after that it goes up to $ 49.95 - fuck Comcast!!!!

This got me thinking, how fast do you need your internet to be? Maybe instead of Republic wireless you should look into some of the budget cell options that offer data and ditch the home internet completely. Here I've seen ads for unlimited talk, text, and data from MetroPCS for $30/month. I don't know if that's available everywhere or any of the details, but if that would work for you, if could cut both your phone and internet expenses a lot.

When I lived overseas I was able to make my phone a hotspot so I could still connect my computer to the internet too, so aside from things being a little bit slower, nothing really changed.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 22, 2015, 11:48:10 AM
Quote
Also your price of 29.99 is for 6 mbps (sad when my cell phone is faster than that lol) and that is only for 12 months after that it goes up to $ 49.95 - fuck Comcast!!!!

This got me thinking, how fast do you need your internet to be? Maybe instead of Republic wireless you should look into some of the budget cell options that offer data and ditch the home internet completely. Here I've seen ads for unlimited talk, text, and data from MetroPCS for $30/month. I don't know if that's available everywhere or any of the details, but if that would work for you, if could cut both your phone and internet expenses a lot.

When I lived overseas I was able to make my phone a hotspot so I could still connect my computer to the internet too, so aside from things being a little bit slower, nothing really changed.

So I looked into this...Sprint is my current cell service (soon to be republic) but I just wanted to check, I would have to add on a mobile hotspot - its super expensive (think it was $ 75 bucks!!!)and data is caped at like 3 gig per month ! Freaking bs!
I guess I'm just gonna have to give in to our Comcast overlords...

FML
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 4alpacas on May 22, 2015, 03:32:40 PM
Quote
Also your price of 29.99 is for 6 mbps (sad when my cell phone is faster than that lol) and that is only for 12 months after that it goes up to $ 49.95 - fuck Comcast!!!!

This got me thinking, how fast do you need your internet to be? Maybe instead of Republic wireless you should look into some of the budget cell options that offer data and ditch the home internet completely. Here I've seen ads for unlimited talk, text, and data from MetroPCS for $30/month. I don't know if that's available everywhere or any of the details, but if that would work for you, if could cut both your phone and internet expenses a lot.

When I lived overseas I was able to make my phone a hotspot so I could still connect my computer to the internet too, so aside from things being a little bit slower, nothing really changed.

So I looked into this...Sprint is my current cell service (soon to be republic) but I just wanted to check, I would have to add on a mobile hotspot - its super expensive (think it was $ 75 bucks!!!)and data is caped at like 3 gig per month ! Freaking bs!
I guess I'm just gonna have to give in to our Comcast overlords...

FML
If you have Sprint phones, you can switch to Ting without buying a new handset.  I used to be a Sprint customer, and I switched to Ting to keep my iPhone.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on May 26, 2015, 12:01:46 PM
Quote
Also your price of 29.99 is for 6 mbps (sad when my cell phone is faster than that lol) and that is only for 12 months after that it goes up to $ 49.95 - fuck Comcast!!!!

This got me thinking, how fast do you need your internet to be? Maybe instead of Republic wireless you should look into some of the budget cell options that offer data and ditch the home internet completely. Here I've seen ads for unlimited talk, text, and data from MetroPCS for $30/month. I don't know if that's available everywhere or any of the details, but if that would work for you, if could cut both your phone and internet expenses a lot.

When I lived overseas I was able to make my phone a hotspot so I could still connect my computer to the internet too, so aside from things being a little bit slower, nothing really changed.

So I looked into this...Sprint is my current cell service (soon to be republic) but I just wanted to check, I would have to add on a mobile hotspot - its super expensive (think it was $ 75 bucks!!!)and data is caped at like 3 gig per month ! Freaking bs!
I guess I'm just gonna have to give in to our Comcast overlords...

FML
If you have Sprint phones, you can switch to Ting without buying a new handset.  I used to be a Sprint customer, and I switched to Ting to keep my iPhone.

Small update from me. Hope everyone had a great memorial weekend!

Unfortunately this is not an option for me! I just got a new phone with sprint. I am leasing it and have to pay $ 20 extra per month - I called them to see what the cancellation fee would be, over $ 350 !!!! Since I'm leasing I would be breaking the lease. Way to go me for not reading the policy. Oh well...when my lease is up in about 10 months I'm going to republic or ting and saying goodbye to all this bs.

My Comcast, ugh...I can't find anything else better for internet. If I cancel my tv it will go down from 80 to 40 a month for the first 12 months then climb back up to $ 50-60 a month after the 1 yr agreement. I'm honestly just thinking f it all and cancel it outright! I don't absolutely need internet at my house - I can go to the rec center, library, coffee shops or the million other spots for wifi when I need it! Still this sucks...big time!

My car - currently up on craigslist and CarMax. Have had a couple resposes but they all seem like tire kickers so far.

Debating if I really wanna hold on to my motorcycle. Would be a nice chunk of change that I could use to pay down my debt quicker.

On the job front - have an interview with progressive - should be a good bump in pay $ 50k/yr as compared to my current 42k/yr

My ex-wife has agreed to take over the loan completely - guess her current boyfriend is willing to co-sign for her. I can't wait to get this loan off my books!

What else? I'm enjoying the simple things in life. Had a couple nice long walks with the lady over the weekend. Really need to look at buying some cheap bicycles. I like walking but would much prefer to ride 2 wheels - even if it's only chevro-legs powered!


Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 1967mama on May 26, 2015, 01:32:34 PM

My Comcast, ugh...I can't find anything else better for internet. If I cancel my tv it will go down from 80 to 40 a month for the first 12 months then climb back up to $ 50-60 a month after the 1 yr agreement. I'm honestly just thinking f it all and cancel it outright! I don't absolutely need internet at my house - I can go to the rec center, library, coffee shops or the million other spots for wifi when I need it! Still this sucks.


What a lot of us do is call the thieves cable companies back after the one year contract and ask for the new subscriber rate or threaten to switch. This hour of work once a year will save heaps of $$$. We do it every single year, when our internet rate goes back up. I keep any propaganda that comes in the mail from competitors to use as ammunition.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: ChicagoGirl on May 27, 2015, 11:27:00 AM
Selling your own motorcycle to pay down debt sounds like a good idea.  Then once you unload the car payment and transfer your ex-wife's motorcycle debt you will be making some progress!

Do you have anything else you could sell to pay down debt?

How is your credit score, maybe you could find some ways to lower the interest on your other debts to help get them paid down faster.

I didn't run your cell phone costs, so I don't know if it's worth pursuing...but here is a calculator to see if canceling your cell phone plan now would be a good idea or not...I know the $350 cancel fee is intimidating, but in some cases it's either pay now or pay it later and you could end up saving money by just switching now and take the hit.
Try running your numbers through this simple calculator and see if it's a benefit to switch now.

http://www.techmeshugana.com/tools/wirelessroi.html

I know you said you looked into Republic Wireless, but I use PTEL and pay $20/mo, no contract. I purchased a simple unlocked smartphone. The coverage has been great, no problems, but I live in the midwest, if I recall PTEL runs off of T-Mobile's infrastructure (?)

Great to see the changes you are making! :)
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on June 08, 2015, 11:57:23 AM
So another quick update along with some advice on my car situation.

I have not had any luck on selling my car currently on craigslist or cars.com

I think my asking price is fair and about $ 500 below blue book.

I went to CarMax and did the online appraisal via autonation - both offered me 14k.

I currently owe 16,800 - it doesn't seem worth it to me to sell my car right now and take such a huge loss on it.

Wanted to know what you fellow mustachianners felt about this?

Should I just take the hit and get out of the car payment / insurance / registration - also my registration is due on the new car and I (per CarMax) can't sell the vehicle until it's registered in my name - so there goes at least $ 500 bucks for registration.

I keep going back to saying screw it all and file bankruptcy...I know this is not wise but I feel trapped (of course I know this is my own doing - and my dumbass impulsive decisions)

Motorcycle deal with the ex-wife - that fell through. She can't get financed even with a co-signer. So i'm looking at selling it - she is ok with this. Bike is worth 13,500 - currently owe 14,400  - however it does have an extended warranty that I could possibly cancel and get some money out of - or pay back towards the loan and hopefully not take a loss on the motorcycle as well.

Good news is my motorcycle is up for sale! Should be sold shortly. I sold some of my car parts, odds and ends and have made 1200 bucks in profit!

Comcast still needs to be dealt with...will be calling them this week to either cancel outright or see what deal they can offer me - I will not pay over $ 50 / month for internet 

Phone is now with cricket - pay $ 35 a month! Stoked about that !

Had a big test over the weekend - Glasses broke and need replacement - went to lenscrafters and bought a nice frame and also had an eye test for $ 150 bucks! Old me would have spent way over that ! In fact I had the nice sales rep pull up my file. Last time I spent $ 600 bucks for eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses!

Really think I'm gonna nail this FI thing ! Anyway happy Monday all!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: ROY2007 on June 08, 2015, 12:28:30 PM
It's been fun following this thread Kevin. Hope you find a buyer for your car and motorcycle. Awesome that you were able to sell some stuff you don't need for $1,200! Keep it up!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Trifele on June 08, 2015, 01:18:07 PM
I've been following too, Kevin, and just wanted to add my encouragement.  You are doing great!  Keep it up!

Have you been cooking more at home? 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on June 08, 2015, 01:20:08 PM
Thanks "ROY2007" & "Trifele" appreciate that !

Hopefully both my car and moto sell quick and I don't have to completely take it in the shorts lol

The motorcycle should be relatively easy since it's summer and they are in demand!

Going to go back to my storage unit this weekend and do some more sorting so I can hopefully

1. get rid of storage unit
2. make a good chunk of pennies from the sold crap that I no longer use or intend to use for any future car projects - " you are such a hoarder (with car parts) " per my girlfriend hahaah

As far as me cooking more at home - I unfortunately have not however I just went to the grocery store and have started cooking planned meals - I now have my lunch setup for this week! Pretty happy about that!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on June 12, 2015, 11:05:40 AM
So great news ! I have a buyer for my Honda fit! She is coming today from summit county (about 1hr away from where I live in Denver) to come buy it !

Bad news ! I wake up this morning to find my car has been hit - damage is not susbstantial but it looks
it will need a rear bumper cover and lift gate plus some blending on the passenger rear quarter panel - doesn't look structural (i'm a claims adjuster so I kinda know what I'm talking about)

It just sucks ! The seller called and said she is still interested after the vehicle is repaired. I'm just hoping the repair process goes smoothly and quickly!

Ugh...Not going to let this deter me! Still on my plan to get my self financially healthy just a little bump in the road is all!

Happy Friday all!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on July 10, 2015, 11:56:47 AM
instead of making a new thread I will just post it in here...

I have 10,800 on a personal loan left at 10 % apr

I have roughtly 12k in cc debt with apr ranging from 6% to 12 %

I have saved up about 7k so far since I have decided to be a badass at the money mustache !

What I'm wondering is - should I just keep saving (probably have enough to kill my personal loan in another 2 months!) and then pay off my personal loan which will me net me an extra $330 month that is no longer going towards this pita personal loan or do I pay off most of my credit card debt now?

What makes the most sense financially?

Also it is super super hard not to buy another motorcycle right now with it being riding season here in Colorado and all my buddies having moto's!

Maybe one day I will get another moto...maybe
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 4alpacas on July 10, 2015, 12:02:36 PM
instead of making a new thread I will just post it in here...

I have 10,800 on a personal loan left at 10 % apr

I have roughtly 12k in cc debt with apr ranging from 6% to 12 %

I have saved up about 7k so far since I have decided to be a badass at the money mustache !

What I'm wondering is - should I just keep saving (probably have enough to kill my personal loan in another 2 months!) and then pay off my personal loan which will me net me an extra $330 month that is no longer going towards this pita personal loan or do I pay off most of my credit card debt now?

What makes the most sense financially?

Also it is super super hard not to buy another motorcycle right now with it being riding season here in Colorado and all my buddies having moto's!

Maybe one day I will get another moto...maybe
If I were in your shoes, I would tackle the debt by interest rate and avoid buying a motorcycle ;)
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on July 10, 2015, 12:22:01 PM
so I looked again- i'm retarded...

my personal loan is 14.25 apr and I owe 10,803

my highest cc's are at 14.99 (owe 2600 on) and 10.99 (owe 4200 on)


Another thing I was thinking about is pay off my cc debt first. Get all of it taken care off. Then wait until my credit score has bumped up enough to refinance the personal loan and my car loan (currently at 8 % apr - or sell my car outright).



Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 4alpacas on July 10, 2015, 12:27:04 PM
so I looked again- i'm retarded...

my personal loan is 14.25 apr and I owe 10,803

my highest cc's are at 14.99 (owe 2600 on) and 10.99 (owe 4200 on)


Another thing I was thinking about is pay off my cc debt first. Get all of it taken care off. Then wait until my credit score has bumped up enough to refinance the personal loan and my car loan (currently at 8 % apr - or sell my car outright).
I would focus on paying down your highest credit card debt ($2600), then hit your personal loan ($10k). 

If you're able to refinance your personal loan to 8%, you could always wrap your credit card debt into it.  I would still focus on paying off the highest interest debt first.  As a secondary, work on refinancing to lower rates as you can.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Tyson on July 10, 2015, 01:15:21 PM
so I looked again- i'm retarded...

my personal loan is 14.25 apr and I owe 10,803

my highest cc's are at 14.99 (owe 2600 on) and 10.99 (owe 4200 on)


Another thing I was thinking about is pay off my cc debt first. Get all of it taken care off. Then wait until my credit score has bumped up enough to refinance the personal loan and my car loan (currently at 8 % apr - or sell my car outright).

CC's and Personal loans are all about equally important to pay off.  The way I look at it - right now you have 3 monthly payments, for each of those loans.  If you pay $7k toward your personal loan, you still have 3 monthly payments, which IMO sucks.  If it were me, I'd pay off the 2 CC's now and get rid of those payments completely, then re-focus on the personal loan.  The nice thing is that you'd now be down to only a single payment per month, which should feel very, very good.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Cycling Stache on July 10, 2015, 01:43:50 PM
so I looked again- i'm retarded...

my personal loan is 14.25 apr and I owe 10,803

my highest cc's are at 14.99 (owe 2600 on) and 10.99 (owe 4200 on)


Another thing I was thinking about is pay off my cc debt first. Get all of it taken care off. Then wait until my credit score has bumped up enough to refinance the personal loan and my car loan (currently at 8 % apr - or sell my car outright).

Definitely knock off the 14.99 credit card immediately.   That gives you a card where you can make (limited, necessary) purchases interest-free for 4-6 weeks until the due date, which you then pay in full.  Otherwise, you pay interest from the day you make each purchase.

I probably would knock off the second credit card as well just to have it done and increase focus, although the interest rate on the personal loan is significantly higher.  Is there really no way to get a better rate on the personal loan?  The good news is that rates like that give you all the incentive you could possibly need to knock them off.  You won't get a better guaranteed rate of return on your money than by paying those off ASAP.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: MissStache on July 10, 2015, 01:45:16 PM
You're doing awesome, Kevin! 

If I were in your shoes, I would save 1-2 months worth of emergency funds and then I would throw all the rest of the savings at your debt.  I'd prioritize the 14.99% first, and then the personal loan.  For now I'd pay the minimum due on the 10.99 until the 14.25% is paid off.

How is everything else going- girlfriend, cooking, life in general?
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on July 10, 2015, 02:27:50 PM
Welp there is no going back now !

Paid off my cc with the highest interest rate and paid half of the other cc with the 2nd highest interest.

Feels good man!


"MissStache" thanks for the kind words! It sure hasn't been easy the last coupe months adjusting to everything. I really do miss my motorcycle lol - so it was kinda funny and frustrating all at the same time. I sold my moto, the day after a friend calls me up "wanna go for a ride - just bought blah blah blah moto and it's a gorgeous day! " ugh....really man? WTF!!! Then last weekend another friend bought his moto lol. Oh well

The good news though...

I told the girl everything that is going on with me financially and not only was she supportive we have started helping each other! We broke down all of her expenses and have been able to (just in the last 2 weeks mind you) pay off her unpaid tax debt (5k) pay off one of her cc's (8k) and get her a personal loan at 8 % to pay off the rest of her cc debt which I believe was right around 25k! She is absolutely amazing - and keeps me sane most days lol

Her car was totaled. Sad day...However we turned those lemons into freaking gold! Instead of taking the insurance check and buying a new car she bought a super nice older Toyota corolla wagon all trac with less than 130k on the odo ! She Needed a little tlc - which yours truly completed in a weekend. New timing belt, plugs, wires and all fluids changed and a new starter - thing runs like a champ and will probably run for a very long time! 

The food thing...ugh this is where me and her seem to butt heads. I'm trying to change my eating habits and eat not only healthier but cheapier. However since I don't live there I feel it's not my place to say to her "hey instead of us ordering this overpriced pizza lets go to the grocery store"

I have been making my own lunches and inviting her over to my place more often for dinner.

Lets see other than that. Life is good! Job is doing well, feels nice to get that debt paid off finally and start really seeking out what I want to do in my life.

After I get my debt taken care of I plan on either doing a side business in pdr (paintless dent repair) or some of my custom paint/airbrushing/graphics work - or maybe both.

Also I'm still debating if I want to sell my car or not. She is a super sweet little Honda fit and I love her however I know it's not really needed. I could totally buy a cheap pickup truck for 2-3k and call it good. This will probably be my next step.

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on July 15, 2015, 11:06:27 AM
So another question for you financial Stud muffins and Babe Cakes (google it - it's a thing!)

My car is super nice and reliable, relatively cheap but I need to make it cheaper!

I need to sell my 15 Honda fit. However I need to get the rear liftgate fixed after someone backed into me outside of my house. I can probably get the part cheap enough and do most of the work save for the paint. Not a big deal. However I know when I sell it I'm gonna probably lose about a grand!

I also have insurance due next month and registration! Registration was 500 and insurance premium is $ 750 for 6 months!!!
I'm 33 and have 2 tickets in the last six years! Colorado is just super high for car insurance! My 1700cc super fast muscle cruiser was $ 300 for the year fyi.

My question is should I just sell the car as is? Take a bigger loss and not have to worry about plates/registration and insurance.

Get it fixed and sell it for a lesser loss but still probably lose a grand on it!

My car payment is only $ 270 a month but I don't need it and I feel at this point in my life that being super frugal is kinda "my thing" right now until I get a nice big fat chunk of savings !

Sorry if I'm rambling. lol

Thanks all!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Rosy on July 16, 2015, 09:58:09 PM
Sounds like you are ready to sell and what a nice dent that will make, almost good-bye to that personal loan - going - going - gone:)
 As long as you have some form of transportation it is all good.
What a turn around in such a short time - you are amazing!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on July 17, 2015, 09:45:00 AM
Thanks Rosy! I do have another question to ask

What do you guys/gals do when family/friends ask for money?

Backstory - Last night I meet up with my buddies (all on the motorcycles except for me since I recently sold mine) - one of my buddies asked if I could loan him $ 200 bucks. I didn't wanna be "that guy" and tell him no. He has always paid me back in the past and it's only $ 200 bucks. However I also wanted to say " dude wtf is wrong you, you have a bike, a nice truck and a big house and you are asking me for money?" Bleh...lame situation for sure.

My mom - ugh this is a super long story but she is super retarded with money.  She currently lives on social security and disability. She and my dad did not plan well (read at all lol) for retirement. Now guess who has to take on the burden - my fancy mustachian self. FML!!!!

So I'm on my way back from Utah earlier in the week  with my lady. Visiting her mom and sister. Drove out because it was cheaper! Stayed at her sisters place. Had a great (and cheap overall) time!

At any rate my mom calls me balling her eyes out, saying she can't sleep and her feet are swollen. Basically it was all a ploy to get me to buy her a bed and possibly a new pair of shoes. I'm supposed to pick her up tomorrow morning and get her a mattress. I am really really torn on this one! It's my mom and I feel good (kinda) helping her out. However I feel that I should be able to just say no to buying her crap like this.

Oh well...Happy Friday all!
 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Moonwaves on July 17, 2015, 10:29:01 AM
Thanks Rosy! I do have another question to ask

What do you guys/gals do when family/friends ask for money?

Backstory - Last night I meet up with my buddies (all on the motorcycles except for me since I recently sold mine) - one of my buddies asked if I could loan him $ 200 bucks. I didn't wanna be "that guy" and tell him no. He has always paid me back in the past and it's only $ 200 bucks. However I also wanted to say " dude wtf is wrong you, you have a bike, a nice truck and a big house and you are asking me for money?" Bleh...lame situation for sure.

My mom - ugh this is a super long story but she is super retarded with money.  She currently lives on social security and disability. She and my dad did not plan well (read at all lol) for retirement. Now guess who has to take on the burden - my fancy mustachian self. FML!!!!

So I'm on my way back from Utah earlier in the week  with my lady. Visiting her mom and sister. Drove out because it was cheaper! Stayed at her sisters place. Had a great (and cheap overall) time!

At any rate my mom calls me balling her eyes out, saying she can't sleep and her feet are swollen. Basically it was all a ploy to get me to buy her a bed and possibly a new pair of shoes. I'm supposed to pick her up tomorrow morning and get her a mattress. I am really really torn on this one! It's my mom and I feel good (kinda) helping her out. However I feel that I should be able to just say no to buying her crap like this.

Oh well...Happy Friday all!
Can't help with the situation with your mother, that sounds like it's going to take quite a bit to sort out. But, throwing money at problems might not necessarily help. Others might have suggestions to help with that - it really depends on whether you want to invest (energy) in that relationship or not.

For friends (and really, for family, too) the simple answer is that you don't actually have any money to give them. You are in debt, you not only don't have money, you have negative amounts of money. Don't get confused  between having access to money and having money, they're two completely different things.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: MissStache on July 17, 2015, 11:15:38 AM
Thanks Rosy! I do have another question to ask

What do you guys/gals do when family/friends ask for money?

Backstory - Last night I meet up with my buddies (all on the motorcycles except for me since I recently sold mine) - one of my buddies asked if I could loan him $ 200 bucks. I didn't wanna be "that guy" and tell him no. He has always paid me back in the past and it's only $ 200 bucks. However I also wanted to say " dude wtf is wrong you, you have a bike, a nice truck and a big house and you are asking me for money?" Bleh...lame situation for sure.

My mom - ugh this is a super long story but she is super retarded with money.  She currently lives on social security and disability. She and my dad did not plan well (read at all lol) for retirement. Now guess who has to take on the burden - my fancy mustachian self. FML!!!!

So I'm on my way back from Utah earlier in the week  with my lady. Visiting her mom and sister. Drove out because it was cheaper! Stayed at her sisters place. Had a great (and cheap overall) time!

At any rate my mom calls me balling her eyes out, saying she can't sleep and her feet are swollen. Basically it was all a ploy to get me to buy her a bed and possibly a new pair of shoes. I'm supposed to pick her up tomorrow morning and get her a mattress. I am really really torn on this one! It's my mom and I feel good (kinda) helping her out. However I feel that I should be able to just say no to buying her crap like this.

Oh well...Happy Friday all!
 

OK, so I should caveat this by saying I've never had anyone ask me for money, but I have thought about this situation before because I have a feeling it may be coming up soon with some friends/family. 

For the friend: I'd commiserate and deflect.  "Oh man, I wish I could, but I'm so strapped for cash.  I have this loan/CC/Bill that I'm trying to pay off that it is really tough- in fact I've been cooking at home all month because I can't afford to go out to eat, even!"  You can be as specific or vague about the loan as you need to be.

With parent:  I'd make suggestions, but ABSOLUTELY not offer/agree to anything. 
Mom:  "My feet/back hurt"
Me:  "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."
Mom: "I think a new mattress will help."
Me:  "That may be a good thing to look into"  HARD STOP.  No elaboration.
Mom:  "but I can't afford one."
Me:  "yeah, mattresses are so expensive.  I had to save up for like 5 months to buy mine!"

If she outright asks you to buy it, give the same story as with your friend.  "I wish I could, but I'm don't have anything extra as I'm trying to pay off these debts."

And then that is IT.  You don't have to argue with her or make excuses.  Saying yes once makes it so hard to say no in the future.  It's a hard cycle from which to remove yourself.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Tyson on July 17, 2015, 11:30:45 AM
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Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Evgenia on July 21, 2015, 11:01:03 AM
In response to: "What do you guys/gals do when family/friends ask for money?"

It depends.

Twice, I have helped family who fell on genuinely hard times. When my dad (Detroit auto worker) was unemployed for two full years, and unemployment ran out, I asked if I could pay his health care premium and utility bills. It was a bit more than $200 month but I knew it was temporary. I wanted to repay him for all the awful, factory overtime he put in to keep my brother and I out of Detroit public schools and in our Catholic one, and all that. I also figured, somewhat selfishly, that it was better to help him at the time than have him use savings that he needs for retirement, which I'd probably have to make up for down the road.

My brother was unemployed for a while at the same time, and I let him live for the price of utilities in a condo I owned in another state (with better job prospects) that wasn't rented, and was up for sale.

On the other hand, a very close friend of mine was recently unemployed. He was hinting around at needing money to see him through until his first pay day at a new job. His pay day was in a week, and he "only had $500" to last him a week until pay day.

He's single, has no children, and has two pets. He is also someone who, while unemployed, bought himself a brand new iPhone (mine is from 2009) and was worried about not being able to send the dog to day care (while he's unemployed and home all day!). In a laughing way, I said "We spend a lot less than $500/week between the two of us! What's the deal -- you got some debts or something you need to pay on?" (Hey, I've been there.)

"Oh no..." And he trailed off. And that time, I just couldn't bring myself to give him anything. I was kind about it, and we're still very close friends, but I said "Man, if you can't make it on $500/week, my giving you more money won't solve that problem." He said, "Yeah, I know, I know, but I'm not like you, I'm just not willing to do some of the things you do..." At least he owned it.

He and I are close, so I had some leeway to say certain, more forward things in a certain way than I might with other people, but I also felt like it was "a teachable moment."
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on July 21, 2015, 01:16:14 PM
Thanks for all the advice and shared experience ! You guys/gals are awesome!

Quick update.
Helped my mom out and bought here a nice supportive mattress (got it on sale of course for $ 800 bucks down from $1500) she has a lot of back issues. It's a sealy posturpedic and she refused to let me buy her shoes ! lol

My mom called me the next day to tell me she had one of the best nights sleep in a long time! That was pretty great to here!

It felt good to help her out but on the other hand I hope this doesn't become a common occurrence !

I gave my buddy the $ 200 bucks which he was grateful for and apparently will be paying me back this Friday (not holding my breath).

I am getting right at where I need to start saving again. With all the recent repayments made to my debt my little stache is starting to become a wee little hitler mustache ! no fun! lol

Time to stop giving handouts and get serious about everything again!

Also I cancelled out Comcast completely ! (not sure if I had mentioned that in a previous post) GOing to look at century link possibly. I have a modem which should work. My plan is to be debt free (completely! 100 % free of all this bs!) in about a years time. That has me pretty stoked! Just have to stick to my guns!

I'm pretty proud of myself though, yesterday I went and looked at my buddies motorcycle he is selling and instead of making an impulsive purchase like the old me would have I walked away and told him I would help him post it on craigs.

I need to get some extra income coming in the door asap! I think the hardest thing for me is the time - the time involved to save and save and save some more is what sucks! lol - sorry i'm just whining now. Till next time mustachianinininininiens!
 
 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Josiecat on August 24, 2015, 09:57:51 PM
What happened with the lady who wanted to buy your car after it was repaired?
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kaikou on August 25, 2015, 03:31:15 AM
Thanks for all the advice and shared experience ! You guys/gals are awesome!

Quick update.
Helped my mom out and bought here a nice supportive mattress (got it on sale of course for $ 800 bucks down from $1500) she has a lot of back issues. It's a sealy posturpedic and she refused to let me buy her shoes ! lol

My mom called me the next day to tell me she had one of the best nights sleep in a long time! That was pretty great to here!

It felt good to help her out but on the other hand I hope this doesn't become a common occurrence !

I gave my buddy the $ 200 bucks which he was grateful for and apparently will be paying me back this Friday (not holding my breath).

I am getting right at where I need to start saving again. With all the recent repayments made to my debt my little stache is starting to become a wee little hitler mustache ! no fun! lol

Time to stop giving handouts and get serious about everything again!

Also I cancelled out Comcast completely ! (not sure if I had mentioned that in a previous post) GOing to look at century link possibly. I have a modem which should work. My plan is to be debt free (completely! 100 % free of all this bs!) in about a years time. That has me pretty stoked! Just have to stick to my guns!

I'm pretty proud of myself though, yesterday I went and looked at my buddies motorcycle he is selling and instead of making an impulsive purchase like the old me would have I walked away and told him I would help him post it on craigs.

I need to get some extra income coming in the door asap! I think the hardest thing for me is the time - the time involved to save and save and save some more is what sucks! lol - sorry i'm just whining now. Till next time mustachianinininininiens!

centurylink customer service is garbage..... carry on
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Basenji on August 25, 2015, 05:44:16 AM
Wow, good stuff, what a great effort. Keep going!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on September 18, 2015, 06:04:55 PM
Wow, good stuff, what a great effort. Keep going!

Thank you very much ! It hasn't been easy and I have fallen of the wagon once or twice (I bought a 92 Miata project car) ugh... It's a daily struggle lol

I have just recently re listed my Honda Fit after getting it fixed and have a coupe people coming to look at it this weekend. Hope it sells quick ! Wish me luck please!

So how about an update here. I have been offered a position as a catastrophe adjuster with a 25k bump in pay annually ! Pretty excited! I start on October 6th. The only thing that worries me is I will be 20 days away from home but my girlfriend is completely understanding (hopefully in a good way and not in "good I can have some alone time" way)

My financial situation. Well it's pretty awesome as opposed to where it was just a couple months ago!!!! I know have only 2 credit cards that have a balance and they are getting smaller by the day! Once the Honda is sold I will hit the personal loan hard and hope to have that paid off by this time next year! I finally have some savings!

I'm really excited for the future and I can not thank you guys/gals on here and mmm himself!

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on September 18, 2015, 06:21:09 PM
What happened with the lady who wanted to buy your car after it was repaired?

She bought another car. Oh well...
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Hey It's Me on September 19, 2015, 05:33:18 AM

Get rid of my cell phone plan and get Republic wireless, I have heard nothing but good here

Rather than Republic Wireless, read IP Daily's superguide and choose a phone service that doesn't make you buy a phone from them first. I have used PTel and have had great success there at ~the cost of Republic, less if you consider cost of the phone.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: TomTX on September 19, 2015, 08:37:50 AM

My Comcast, ugh...I can't find anything else better for internet. If I cancel my tv it will go down from 80 to 40 a month for the first 12 months then climb back up to $ 50-60 a month after the 1 yr agreement. I'm honestly just thinking f it all and cancel it outright! I don't absolutely need internet at my house - I can go to the rec center, library, coffee shops or the million other spots for wifi when I need it! Still this sucks.


What a lot of us do is call the thieves cable companies back after the one year contract and ask for the new subscriber rate or threaten to switch. This hour of work once a year will save heaps of $$$. We do it every single year, when our internet rate goes back up. I keep any propaganda that comes in the mail from competitors to use as ammunition.

Yeah, I have been doing this for like 10 years.

1) Call up Comcast. Politely tell the rep your bill is too high and ask for the current promotional/introductory rate. "Hey, I just can't afford my cable anymore. I saw online that you're offering 20Mbit for $30/month for a year. Could I please get that rate?"  Whatever the answer, thank them and hang up.

2) If they don't give it to you, call again to get a different rep. This happens to me like once every 3 years, I have Time Warner.

3) After a year, go to Step 1.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: TomTX on September 19, 2015, 08:39:29 AM
I can ride my motorcycle every day all the way until the late fall here if I so desire. Not sure I want to risk that though - possible motorcycle mechanical failures, possible super cold weather here in Colorado - especially on my way to work, possible rider error failures = expensive hospital bills, and missing work!

If I do this I can save up a good chunk of change and pay off my debts way earlier than expected and then buy a cheap 3-5k auto come this fall.

Well, either your motorcycle is useful and safe - so, you should be using it as your primary vehicle since it has lower operating cost than the car.

OR... it's not. So you should sell it.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on September 20, 2015, 10:25:44 PM
I can ride my motorcycle every day all the way until the late fall here if I so desire. Not sure I want to risk that though - possible motorcycle mechanical failures, possible super cold weather here in Colorado - especially on my way to work, possible rider error failures = expensive hospital bills, and missing work!

If I do this I can save up a good chunk of change and pay off my debts way earlier than expected and then buy a cheap 3-5k auto come this fall.

Well, either your motorcycle is useful and safe - so, you should be using it as your primary vehicle since it has lower operating cost than the car.

OR... it's not. So you should sell it.

Thanks for the info but I sold the moto scooter a couple months ago. Also cancelled Comcast and have century link for 40 bucks a month.

Honda Fit sold today! Have get all the paperwork down sometime this week with his loan and the payoff details. One less thing to worry about!

Start the new job on October 6th, pending the background check but everything should be good to go! Pretty excited! Not exactly my dream job but hopefully not as soul crushing as my current daily grind.

I feel like the end of this year and going into 2016 is going to be my first year of some serious savings/finally being healthy financially
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: redmarc32 on September 22, 2015, 05:07:29 PM
I just read through your entire thread, you have done a phenomenal job.  Congratulations, you should be very proud of yourself, and way to pay it forward by helping your girlfriend out too.  Job well done.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on September 23, 2015, 09:59:56 AM
I just read through your entire thread, you have done a phenomenal job.  Congratulations, you should be very proud of yourself, and way to pay it forward by helping your girlfriend out too.  Job well done.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate the kind words! How did I help my girlfriend again?
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Stashing Swiss-style on October 21, 2015, 03:08:05 AM
Have you started the new job yet?  I think you are doing really well and it's great that you have a clear goal to be debt-free and start  building your savings.  Did your friend repay the $200 loan?  Are you and your girlfriend making progress on the food front?
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on October 27, 2015, 01:14:38 PM
No I start November 10th. I have a couple questions regarding luggage.

This job will be mostly travel with me basically being at home 8 days out of the month (ugh - but its a great job that hopefully within a couple years and I can turn into something even greater that requires less travel ((hopefully)) )

My girlfriend wants me purchase a briggs & riley roller bag for something crazy (to me at least) like $ 500-600 bucks !!! It does come with a lifetime warranty but i'm not sure I wanna do that. What are some good makes of luggage that will last me a while? My dad recommended Samsonite lol but they have a lot of negative reviews on the interwebs...

Meh...

I will be traveling for 10 days away at a time so I don't think my simple $ 50 dollar backpack will cut it anymore lol

Thanks for the input "Stashing Swiss-style"

I'm well on my way to being debt free. I have what I believe to be a solid obtainable goal to be debt free by the end of the year.

My friend did not repay me yet...Pretty lame as he just bought a new tv (i'm guessing on credit) Oh well next time I wont be so nice !!!!

Me and the girlfriend are doing great with regards to food. We are eating cheaply and much more healthy. I have cut out soda and have gone down 25 pounds and lost 1 waist size already!!! pretty dang happy about that!
 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Moonwaves on October 27, 2015, 01:23:45 PM
I don't have time to search now but I know the topic of luggage (and specifically frequent use business traveller luggage) has been touched on here before. Maybe in the overheard at work thread? At any rate, worth a search. For very frequent travel spending a bit more to get good quality could be worth it.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Meowmalade on October 27, 2015, 01:34:14 PM
My girlfriend wants me purchase a briggs & riley roller bag for something crazy (to me at least) like $ 500-600 bucks !!! It does come with a lifetime warranty but i'm not sure I wanna do that. What are some good makes of luggage that will last me a while? My dad recommended Samsonite lol but they have a lot of negative reviews on the interwebs...

I wanted to get a Briggs & Riley for my husband, but it was too expensive!  And I kept looking out for sales...  I love my Samsonite rolling carry-on and have had it for over ten years, but I think they don't make them like they used to (and I could have said that even when I bought mine!).  I probably wouldn't get a Samsonite now, unless it was a great deal.

In the end, I scored a Victorinox luggage on Amazon for half the normal price, just happened to come across it when it was cheap.  It seems really well made and rolls really well, though it's on the smaller side.  This open-box one (http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00S7EAQIM&condition=used&me=A2L77EE7U53NWQ&ref=dp-buas-used-wd&pf_rd_p=2097118042&pf_rd_s=special-offers-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00S7EAQIM&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0EY97WSPWN2CAZRWM4VN) looks similar.  The red is the cheapest, though the grey ones are only a bit more!

Edit: If you're travelling for 10 days at a time, maybe you should get something bigger.  But Victorinox and Amazon Warehouse Deals are a good place to look  :)
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Axecleaver on October 27, 2015, 02:52:39 PM
Hi Kevin, I loved your success story. It must feel great to go from 42k salary to 75k in less than a year! You probably know this very well, but it's super important as you make more money to avoid lifestyle inflation. The extra bucks you're making now will retire your debt in no time, and you just keep living like you did on 42k.

Regarding luggage, check out the pawn shops, army/navy and salvation army stores. Rich people love to get rid of their great luggage. I was a travelling consultant (out on Monday, home on Thursday) for years and had used luggage for most of that time. Plus, the airline staff are going to beat the crap out of your stuff, so no sense in buying something new. Victorinox and Umi (for laptops) are my favorites, but anything decent will do.

Is the travel via air, or are you driving places now? If you get a per diem, that's yours to keep tax free, so buy groceries in your travel city and you can make a lot off saving the per diems. If you get actuals reimbursed, the IRS has, and by extension most companies have, a policy that they will reimburse meals up to 24.99 without a receipt - use that knowledge for good or evil, your call! If you aren't reimbursed for meals, you can deduct it. Are you reimbursed for mileage? Your '92 project car will earn you .595 cents per mile that you drive! If you're not reimbursed, you can deduct your mileage on your taxes at that rate, under non-reimbursed business expenses.

Regarding getting friends to repay loans. I like to do this in person. If he can't repay, ask if he can give you $50 a week until it's repaid. If he can't, ask for $10 or $5. Find some way to get regular repayment started. Most people will find a way to get the loan repaid and get you off their back. It's a crappy conversation to have but it has to be done, or you'll never see it again.

I added my "friends and family loan policy" to my written investment policy statement. It's something that I struggle with all the time, and writing down my policy helped me keep the promise to myself once the specifics of an emergency presented themselves. My family (and Mrs Axe's) have these emergencies about 5x a year :)  I like the philosophy, "never work harder to help someone than they're willing to help themselves" which I got from another Mustachian here.

Awesome job, keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 4alpacas on October 27, 2015, 04:18:50 PM
My girlfriend wants me purchase a briggs & riley roller bag for something crazy (to me at least) like $ 500-600 bucks !!! It does come with a lifetime warranty but i'm not sure I wanna do that. What are some good makes of luggage that will last me a while? My dad recommended Samsonite lol but they have a lot of negative reviews on the interwebs...

I wanted to get a Briggs & Riley for my husband, but it was too expensive!  And I kept looking out for sales...  I love my Samsonite rolling carry-on and have had it for over ten years, but I think they don't make them like they used to (and I could have said that even when I bought mine!).  I probably wouldn't get a Samsonite now, unless it was a great deal.

In the end, I scored a Victorinox luggage on Amazon for half the normal price, just happened to come across it when it was cheap.  It seems really well made and rolls really well, though it's on the smaller side.  This open-box one (http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00S7EAQIM&condition=used&me=A2L77EE7U53NWQ&ref=dp-buas-used-wd&pf_rd_p=2097118042&pf_rd_s=special-offers-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00S7EAQIM&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0EY97WSPWN2CAZRWM4VN) looks similar.  The red is the cheapest, though the grey ones are only a bit more!

Edit: If you're travelling for 10 days at a time, maybe you should get something bigger.  But Victorinox and Amazon Warehouse Deals are a good place to look  :)
I have a Victorinox carry-on too.  It's been through a lot with me.  I would recommend getting comfortable traveling with only a carry-on.  It makes business trips a lot less stressful (and you spend less time at the airport).  My carry-on has a small hanging bag inside it, so I can hang up my suits too. 

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: snuggler on October 27, 2015, 06:12:28 PM
Goodwill often has excellent luggage as well. I see great brands (including Samsonite) at my local store all the time.

If you can't find anything there or at other secondhand/pawn shops, try Craigslist.

I also bought a really nice set one year on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I believe I bought it online at Amazon, but I think it's a common post-Thanksgiving sale item at many online and brick-and-mortar stores.

If you're only going to be doing car travel, I might think about just purchasing packing cubes instead, so that you could pack a full day's worth of clothes in one and then switch them out each day. Then, you could just take in a cube and your backpack into the hotel every night.

Have you thought about food savings with your work travel? I've seen traveling workers do some amazing things with Instapots and Crock Pots. For example, check out Plant-Fueled Trucker's blog or Facebook page.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on December 18, 2015, 09:42:53 PM
Hi all my fellow mustachinininininiaaansssszzz ! Merry xmas / happy holidays !

So a little update.

Unfortuantely my dad passed away on november 9th - the day before i was to start my new job. Fortunately my new job is very understanding. I just started here on the 14th. I'm currently typing this from hotel in dallas. I'm on my first 10 day stint of training. I'm on for 10 days and off for 4 days. It's going to be a big adjustment for sure!

The salary is 61k yr not 75k yr like i originally thought. There is some bonus pay though for overtime. From what I have heard you will basically make an addtl 25k a yr unless something crazy happens. So i might be making 86k per year!!!!! Plus i get per diem!!! I get 41 bucks a day per diem. Need to figure out some good ways to cook in my hotel with only a fridge lol

I also need to stay on the healthy track! So far I have slacked off big time while i have been stationed here. I can already feeling the hamburgers and fried food goodness attacking my heart lol

On the luggage front. I was able to find a decent enough no name roller bag at arc thrift store for 12 bucks! I hope it lasts me a while! I also received a nice fancy laptop bag from my work that holds all my electronic stuff that has been given to me by this wonderful new company of mine.

Welp....that is all i have to add. Oh i'm still saving pretty well.

My mom though...i have had to do quite a bit for her financially since my dad and my mom did not plan at all for the eventual early retirement my father was forced into because of declining health.

I really hate to share this but I don't know who else to talk to about it....

So far i have paid in the last month for my dads cremation, almost all of my moms bills (rent, electric, food). She is getting on state food assistance program thankfully. I just don't know what to do with my mom...

I'm at a great point in my life financially but I have to take care of my mom now. I cant let here just suffer and get kicked out of her place. She has some major mental issues that will not allow her to work at this point. Her anxiety and sever depression really hinder any chance she has of getting a job. She recieves social security disability right now but that is her only income....

Ugh....the whole thing is just beyond depressing, just talking about it here stresses me out.

My girlfriend is absolutely wonderful and so understanding! I need to marry her as soon as i can lol. I love this woman to no end!

Bleh...enough rambling.

If anyone wants to add anything about possible ideas to help out with my moms situation feel free but simply telling me " don't support her, she will figure it out " is not going to work. I have had a couple friends tell me that and i just can not do that.

Think about it, if your parent/ family memmber was in the same boat with a recently deceased partner would you hang them out to dry?
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Alchemilla on December 19, 2015, 12:36:49 AM
Just wanted to wish you luck and say Well Done! for acting on the advice.

Do you have/does your Mum have any siblings who could share the load with you?
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: TomTX on December 19, 2015, 06:07:37 AM
Cooking in hotel room: the Instant Pot pressure cooker is probably the most versatile. Electric. All you really need is a sink for water and an electrical outlet.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: little_brown_dog on December 19, 2015, 06:20:14 AM
I’m sorry about your dad. It sounds like you are in a tough situation with mom. I’m assuming you don’t have any adult sibs who could split the cost of your mom’s expenses with you?

If she is just on ss/disability and qualifies for food assistance, chances are she’ll qualify for other types of assistance like rent and utility subsidies. I used to work with the urban poor and it was possible to receive disability, reduced rent, reduced utilities, food stamps, and ebt (cash assistance) all at once depending on your eligibility. Rent and utilities are the big ones so go after those first. Don’t volunteer any info about how you can help with rent, this will count as additional income and you will not receive assistance. Just strictly report only her ss/disability income and that’s it. If you can get in front of a case worker or someone somehow that will help you. Sometimes accessing welfare benefits through eldercare services works better than just going to the govt assistance agencies directly, so see if there is an eldercare office or something similar in her town.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: pbkmaine on December 19, 2015, 06:47:45 AM
+1. What will save you the most money and do her the most good is to become an expert on the services available to lower income people in your area. Be her advocate.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: horsepoor on December 19, 2015, 08:33:31 AM
Sorry for the loss of your father.  I don't have much to add on helping your mom, but agree that you should, whether that is monetary or in other ways (helping with medical appointments, managing bills etc.).  She is lucky to have you looking out for her.

Just read through this thread from the beginning and you've made awesome progress.  Keep it up!

There are several threads on this forum about cooking cheaply and eating healthfully while on the road.  How you do it will probably depend on whether you're flying or driving, and if you have access to a grocery store where you're staying.  Obviously driving is the best scenario since you can pack a cooler full of stuff from home and even a crock pot and utensils.  Flying it gets a little trickier but can still be done.  Even if you can't cook in your hotel room, just hacking your diet to minimize eating out will mean you can save most of your per diem which is pretty cool since it's untaxed.  $41x20 days a month - an extra $820/month on top of essentially doubling your salary.  Pretty awesome!

Glad you didn't go for a $600 suitcase.  I travel a fair bit and use the same Olympic brand roller for ~15 years now that I bought at Ross for like $40 and it has plenty of life left in it.   
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: mozar on December 19, 2015, 09:26:22 AM
For your mom it sounds like all her expenses are covered by ss and disability? I would figure out how much you can give her a month and tell her she will get no less and no more. You can adjust if she becomes more disabled. So figure out how much you tend to spend on her a year and divide by 12. That way it will become a regular expense that you can plan for.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: 10dollarsatatime on December 20, 2015, 12:33:04 PM

The salary is 61k yr not 75k yr like i originally thought. There is some bonus pay though for overtime. From what I have heard you will basically make an addtl 25k a yr unless something crazy happens. So i might be making 86k per year!!!!! Plus i get per diem!!! I get 41 bucks a day per diem. Need to figure out some good ways to cook in my hotel with only a fridge lol


I went on tour with a small rice cooker in my carry-on.  Rice, lentils, and dehydrated mixed vegetables (or not dehydrated, since you have a fridge) with a mix of spices; curry, taco, veggie boullion... whatever sounds good to you... Just don't transport the spices in ziploc baggies.  Keep them in spice jars or your entire carry-on will end up smelling like indian food... ask me how I know. :)  You could also pick up cans of chicken or those bags of precooked crumbled beef to up your protein.  They can be used to heat up canned soups and such things.  Also, steel cut oats with dried fruit work well.  Experiment at home before you head out so you know what you like and what you can do.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Axecleaver on December 20, 2015, 01:09:58 PM
Shop around for hotels that will let you store a travel bag of your "leave-behinds." Most will check a bag for you until next Monday, or sometimes even let you keep a room or give you a discount monthly rate. You can also leave stuff at the client site with a little planning. Also look for places that serve free breakfast or "manager hour" happy hour snacks, some folks eat all their meals for free there and pocket the per diem.

It's tough to have family with needs like that. At some point, she needs to take responsibility for herself. Anxiety and depression are real problems, but so is learned helplessness. Your job really isn't to take care of all of her problems, it's to help her transition into solving her own problems. She probably needs your emotional support far more than your monetary support. Teach her how to budget and track her expenses, show her how you're doing it. If her lifestyle in unsustainable, then help her come to terms with that and figure out a new lifestyle and budget.

Social services can help with a lot of this, but if she can't handle picking up the phone and getting help for herself (and many people can't) then you'll need to be her advocate. Getting her into a mental health program for her anxiety may be a good place to start. Good luck!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Dezrah on December 21, 2015, 10:29:57 AM
Kevin,

I just read through your thread from beginning to end (at least all of your posts) and I have to say I've been really blown away by the progress. Even the set backs you've encountered show you're not giving up.

I don't mean to make light of your situation, but if it helps, think about how much harder it would be for you and your mother if you hadn't made the progress you have. I'm not saying it's going to be easy but you deserve to feel some peace that this too can be handled.

I'm also a Structural Engineer who earns more than her SO, so your relationship hits especially close to home. Your description of how you challenge and support each other is really lovely. Whatever happens in the long run it sounds like you have each changed for the better.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on February 12, 2016, 02:37:35 PM
Welp update time!

Job making more money and traveling all the time...didn't work out.

I officially resigned 3 weeks ago !

I really like being home every night with my soon to be wife. Bought her a ring but have not officially asked her yet! I like having a life that involves my friends and family. Sitting on a hotel room for 8-9 days straight got really old...really quick! Oh and the travel. Not for me. If was a mid 20 something guy with no tie downs then it might have worked. My situation with my mom basically requires me to be here. I'm ok with that!

Oh well I was able to get my job back and keep my senority. The pay cut is a bit tough but since I've adjusted my way of life and how much I spend on a daily basis I think I can manage it.

Still knocking down debt and should be debt free (hopefully) by the end of the year.

Hopefully in the next 5 yrs I will still be here at this job making a bit more money.

Hope all is well in mustachian land...

Stoked for my future !


Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on April 01, 2016, 12:52:31 PM
Quick update. Me and the lady are looking at buying a home possibly as soon as the end of 2018. Trying to decide how much down, how much house we can afford. I make 45k yr and will have no debt at come the end of this year. My SO makes right over 90k yr. She has a good amount of debt - although she is kicking butt and taking names. It's down from 50k this time last year to right around 35k currently !

We are really doing well. Saving money is actually easy when you just think about it. I have learned so much and I can not thank everyone here enough for all the help ! I don't make impulse buys anymore and personally for me, the hardest part  - not looking at craiglist for project cars / car parts lol

My mom is doing better but still a major financial burden for me and my future wife. 

My mother put her mobile home officially into my name last week. She is on multiple lists for senior subsidized housing. Once she is called and allowed to move into one of those. I will be selling her property. Appraisal value is 15k.

My question is what to do with this 15k(when the property does sell)?

My mother will need some kind of nest egg. I was thinking take 5k off and put that in to a separate savings account for her immediate needs / emergency funds, etc.

Then take the 10k and invest that in mutual fund account ? My mother wants me take some of the money for myself but I don't know if I like that idea. She has zero savings and I have a little but i'm also working and making money and have my shit (relatively lol) together haha

Thanks all !
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Cassie on April 01, 2016, 01:45:12 PM
Mobiles are hard to sell. My MIL's was in a park and they had to approve the new owner. Lot rent goes up every year. Finally to get rid of it we sold it way below value to someone for 100/month/no interest and paid off in 4 years. That gave a poor person a chance to own something but got us from under the lot payment.  I would save the $ for your from the sale Mom when she needs it in the future. 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Axecleaver on April 01, 2016, 02:34:17 PM
I like the idea of a dedicated "emergency Mom fund." Hopefully the waiting lists for subsidized housing are not too long, and this will help her get to a more stabilized living situation. Most of the homes have related services too, like busing to the grocery store and social services caseworkers.

Be careful with the taxes around the sale - she will need to file a gift tax return for a gift over 14k to you, and I believe the 14k sale will be taxable to you when it happens. A rent-to-own deal like Cassie recommended might be a better outcome for you. You might want to ask on the Taxes or real estate board for advice.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: ooeei on April 01, 2016, 02:36:02 PM
Quick update. Me and the lady are looking at buying a home possibly as soon as the end of 2018. Trying to decide how much down, how much house we can afford. I make 45k yr and will have no debt at come the end of this year. My SO makes right over 90k yr. She has a good amount of debt - although she is kicking butt and taking names. It's down from 50k this time last year to right around 35k currently !

We are really doing well. Saving money is actually easy when you just think about it. I have learned so much and I can not thank everyone here enough for all the help ! I don't make impulse buys anymore and personally for me, the hardest part  - not looking at craiglist for project cars / car parts lol

My mom is doing better but still a major financial burden for me and my future wife. 

My mother put her mobile home officially into my name last week. She is on multiple lists for senior subsidized housing. Once she is called and allowed to move into one of those. I will be selling her property. Appraisal value is 15k.

My question is what to do with this 15k(when the property does sell)?

My mother will need some kind of nest egg. I was thinking take 5k off and put that in to a separate savings account for her immediate needs / emergency funds, etc.

Then take the 10k and invest that in mutual fund account ? My mother wants me take some of the money for myself but I don't know if I like that idea. She has zero savings and I have a little but i'm also working and making money and have my shit (relatively lol) together haha

Thanks all !

With regard to buying a house, I'd be hesitant to recommend it when you both still have other debt.  A great resource is this calculator: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html?_r=2

That being said, I just skimmed the thread and am very impressed with the changes you've made.  Keep it up!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on April 01, 2016, 04:07:48 PM
I like the idea of a dedicated "emergency Mom fund." Hopefully the waiting lists for subsidized housing are not too long, and this will help her get to a more stabilized living situation. Most of the homes have related services too, like busing to the grocery store and social services caseworkers.

Be careful with the taxes around the sale - she will need to file a gift tax return for a gift over 14k to you, and I believe the 14k sale will be taxable to you when it happens. A rent-to-own deal like Cassie recommended might be a better outcome for you. You might want to ask on the Taxes or real estate board for advice.

Thanks "Axecleaver"

Weird they didn't mention any of the gift tax return filing when I went with her and had the title signed over into my name. I did have to pay the small fee 35 bucks to get the title in my name. I do have to pay property tax on it every year (i'm already doing this anyway).

Maybe I setup a rent to own process. Not sure if I like that idea though. How can I protect myself from a potentially harmful / irresponsible buyer ?

Gonna have to do some more research on this for sure !
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on November 03, 2016, 11:55:49 AM
Just updating my thread. Went back and read the first page...wow what a difference a year and a half (roughly) can make !

My debt is as follows

$ 2600 cc debt at 0 % interest until July of 2017

$ 4500 cc debt at 0 % interest until December of 2016

Other than that ! I owe nothing ! No personal loan, car payments, etc

I'm currently saving about 50 % of my income. Could possibly bump that up to 60-65 % a month if I really get busy with my frugality !

I'm saving up for either a down payment on a house or putting it away into a nice index fund with very low fee's.

My 401k - currently matching. I max it out for the first 6 months of the year and now I'm matching for the remaining 6 months.

My girlfriend - soon to be fiancÚ - once I sack up the courage to ask her is also doing well and paying down her debt. Although it's still a large amount she is down from over 35k to right under 20k in total debt !

Her 89 corolla all trac is rocking, starting to blow a little smoke on start up but doing well otherwise.

My 07 ranger is a tank! I expect to keep this thing until I die ! lol seriously !

I keep fighting with my spare money and wanting to part with it on car hobbies. The new mustang 5.0 is a great car ! The car payment would be not so great lol.
There is also my hairbrain idea of buying a Toyota mr2 for a fun car and throwing a bunch of money at it. Or maybe another Miata.
Hey look...squirrel !

The struggle is real my friends !


My mom...she is doing a lot better! I was fortunate to sell her mobile home to a nice fellow here. She made money on it and was happy with the deal. The best thing out of all of this is that now she can pay all her bills on her own. I'm currently managing the money for her but it's more of just a very relaxed overlook of her money. If she wants something we go over the details and she will generally decide it's not worth spending the money on or if it's something she really wants we go and find a great deal !

We were able to get her into a low income senior housing area. She loves the place. All is well !

At any rate I just thought I'd share and also I would like to extend my gratitude to you guys/gals for all your help.

Just read jlcollins book "the simple path to wealth" ! Great read and I highly recommend it !

I'm hoping to hit the zero debts goal sometime before summer of next year !

Life is good. My job still sucks and it makes me want to punch a baby and light my boss's desk on fire but eh. My soon to have FU money is going to make this place a lot easier to deal with ! haha
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Stashing Swiss-style on November 03, 2016, 12:58:20 PM
Great to hear from you Kevin!  It sounds like you have make some really strong progress and you can be very proud of yourself (and your girlfriend).  December 2016 is next month - do you have a plan to repay the $4500 cc debt?  If not, what rate of interest will apply. 

Stay strong - STAY AWAY FROM ANY CAR STUFF :-)  Seriously, wait until you are debt-free and your emergency fund is in place before you even so much as look at another car!!

You have done a great service to your mum - well done.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on November 03, 2016, 01:05:07 PM
whoops ! meant dec 2017 haha

Typed all that out in a rush apparently...


Thanks for kind words "Stashing Swiss-style"

It's so hard to stay away from my car hobby. It's basically a huge chunk of my life but I'm trying my best. Trying to fill that hobby / passion with other stuff. Looking at getting a bicycle soon to go riding with my lady. possibly getting an older dog and just trying to enjoy the day in / day out.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: horsepoor on November 03, 2016, 01:40:12 PM
Love this update, thanks for posting!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on November 03, 2016, 01:57:21 PM
Love this update, thanks for posting!


Welcome ! Thanks for the helpful info previously !
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Vindicated on November 03, 2016, 02:01:19 PM
Great work, Kevin!

I've just started my journey, so it's encouraging to see the progress you've made over the past year+. 

Now you know, your story is inspiring others.  Good on you!

-Vin
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on November 03, 2016, 02:28:01 PM
Hey Vin ! Thanks ! Glad I'm able to inspire others ! It was really a major shift in my life. Possibly one of the biggest I have gone through...

I'd say getting divorced and then becoming smart about my money have been huge shifts in my life !

Basically everything in my life has changed from really bad (after the divorce) to really good (after I have realized what's important in life and become mustachian or whatever term you wanna call it with my money / financial well being) !

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on November 29, 2016, 04:02:19 PM
Quick update ! I'm officially (well as soon as it clears my bank) going to be cc debt free ! I owe no one!!!!! So stoked !

I had a nice break and was able to sell off some of my car parts that I really did not want to part with but the money was nice to have !

No more vw bug project...sad day. Oh well, when the time is right me and the fiancÚ will be ready !

I proposed to the better half about a week ago. She said yes ! We are on the fence about having a wedding or just getting eloped and saving our money.

We have been looking at houses but we have both decided to keep saving and rent. It's just not cost effective / make sense for our life(s) to buy right now. Maybe one day...

She is working on her debt but still it's a much bigger mountain to climb. I plan to help her every step of the way that I possibly can !

Just thought I'd share. It's a really great feeling to not owe any credit card companies. I don't think I have been here since possibly 99 when I got my first credit card.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: meandmyfamily on November 29, 2016, 05:50:06 PM
Awesome!!!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Retire-Canada on November 29, 2016, 05:59:59 PM
Quick update ! I'm officially (well as soon as it clears my bank) going to be cc debt free ! I owe no one!!!!! So stoked !

Congrats! Nice work. :)
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: pbkmaine on November 29, 2016, 06:19:48 PM
If she has debt, elope.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Retire-Canada on November 29, 2016, 06:24:34 PM
If she has debt, elope.

Even better decide to elope right after the debt is paid off so you start off married life debt free. :)
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Stashing Swiss-style on November 30, 2016, 01:40:18 AM
That is a fantastic result!  You really have turned things around.  Congrats on your engagement. With your support, I'm sure your girlfriend will become debt-free sooner rather than later.  Weddings don't have to be expensive, but they have to be fun!  If there is no rush to get married, then focus on the debt first.  Starting out together in a strong financial position will give you a great foundation.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Trifele on November 30, 2016, 03:51:55 AM
Congratulations on both paying off your debt and the engagement! I've followed your story and that is fantastic. 

+2 on either eloping or doing a wedding on the cheap.  We did it on the cheap -- justice of the peace in our backyard, barbecue with friends and family, and it was great.  Happy memories. 

All the best to both of you!
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: wenchsenior on November 30, 2016, 08:14:40 AM
Awesome!  Congratulations on all progress. No need for a spendy wedding (ours wasn't an elopement, but it was pretty pretty cheap (about 3K total, I think) and it was great. No need to rush the wedding anyway...engagements are a good time to really think about your partnered roles and get psyched for them.

I suggest holding off on buying the house until your fiancee's debt is paid. You'll need to build a down payment anyway, and it's good to have the frugality habit well ingrained or you might be tempted to overbuy.

Also, in a few years when you are solid in your frugal habits, you could then consider setting a budget for your car hobby. But not until then LOL! That's what I did with my main hobby (thankfully not as expensive) after a few years of tracking how I burned cash on it.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Moonwaves on November 30, 2016, 08:34:05 AM
Congratulations on clearing the CC debt. It's a great feeling. Now just enjoy being engaged for a while before deciding on the wedding (but, yep, as the others say, definitely spend least possible amount of money on that and, if possible, wait until her debt is cleared).
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on November 30, 2016, 12:21:55 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies, nice comments !

It's really a great feeling. Looking at my next paycheck and wondering now what do with all my extra money. I can finally start getting serious about investing !

So my plan so far is the following -  maxing out my 401k first, then open and max a roth then invest the rest in an index fund. I doubt I will have enough extra to do all that but I can at least max my 401k and open a roth.

I think if we do any kind of wedding it will be very frugal. Even if all her debt is taken care of in the next year. The idea of spending over 5k even for a wedding is just sickening to me lol

My last wedding (which I paid for) was roughly 25k. Crazy to think about how much financially and my life in general has changed since then. I would never even dream of spending that much now.

I would like my thread to show that even my financially illiterate self can tackle some big debt , just have to change your life goals and what you want out of it ! Hard at first but so rewarding now! The idea of FI is becoming more of a reality with every passing day ! Super stoked for my future and potentially being able to fulfill my life long goal of being an artist !
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: NewbieFrugalUK on November 30, 2016, 12:51:58 PM
You, sir, are an inspiration :)
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on December 01, 2016, 11:10:32 AM
You, sir, are an inspiration :)

Thank you very much "NewbieFrugalUK"

I will say as much hard work as I have done. I couldn't have done it without a lot of help from the members here and of course my wonderful and very supportive fiancÚ!

This is probably one of the most helpful / generally caring forums I have ever been a part of !
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Tyson on December 01, 2016, 10:29:01 PM
Man, you are rockin' it!  I used to be in a lot of debt so I know exactly how awesome this tipping point is.

The thing I now realize, which I wish I would have learned sooner, is that when you are in debt, you are paying other people to use THEIR money.  But when you get out of debt and start investing, other people are paying YOU to use YOUR money.  That's pretty dang cool.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on December 02, 2016, 11:58:36 AM
Man, you are rockin' it!  I used to be in a lot of debt so I know exactly how awesome this tipping point is.

The thing I now realize, which I wish I would have learned sooner, is that when you are in debt, you are paying other people to use THEIR money.  But when you get out of debt and start investing, other people are paying YOU to use YOUR money.  That's pretty dang cool.

I Wish there was a like button ! lol

That is a great statement ! I hope to really start taking advantage of having people pay me to use my money !
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on December 13, 2016, 12:12:24 PM
So I have a general question. Figured you guys/gals have been very helpful in the past so why not ask again.

My fiancÚ is in debt. She has about 30k of debt. She makes just over 100k yr.

My question is, should I look at helping her get out of debt ?

She has not asked and I doubt she ever would.

After getting myself out of the hole. I feel that it would not be right to let her barely tread water.

We are a partnership. She is an amazing person and someone who I will be spending the rest of my life with !

I have no problem doing this at all. I feel that if I can help her get out of debt quicker than so be it.

I have not asked her...yet

So what is the average mustachians opinion ?

Thanks !
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Retire-Canada on December 13, 2016, 01:08:59 PM

So what is the average mustachians opinion ?

Thanks !

I would let her pay that off herself. She can kill that in about a year. It would be a good goal to shoot for to see that you are on the same page financially.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on December 13, 2016, 01:48:18 PM

So what is the average mustachians opinion ?

Thanks !

I would let her pay that off herself. She can kill that in about a year. It would be a good goal to shoot for to see that you are on the same page financially.

Why let her struggle though, I mean I will have roughly 50-60 % of my income free - I could be putting that into FI funds but for now why not help her ? Then we can both start down our path to FI together. Helping each other and what not?

Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: pbkmaine on December 13, 2016, 01:54:38 PM

So what is the average mustachians opinion ?

Thanks !

I would let her pay that off herself. She can kill that in about a year. It would be a good goal to shoot for to see that you are on the same page financially.

Why let her struggle though, I mean I will have roughly 50-60 % of my income free - I could be putting that into FI funds but for now why not help her ? Then we can both start down our path to FI together. Helping each other and what not?

Paying it off herself would show her commitment to you and to a frugal life.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: englishteacheralex on December 13, 2016, 02:05:14 PM
Hi Kevin,

I've been enjoying this thread for a while. You're so upbeat and positive! Here's my perspective on your question about your fiance's debt.

My husband brought 45k of student loan debt and 10k of a car loan into our marriage, which was our only debt. When we met, he also had around 5k of credit card debt. Now, I've been very frugal my whole life and debt is Not An Option for me. So my then-boyfriend's debt worried me a bit.

What made me ok with it is that I could see he was changing his orientation towards debt very rapidly, and he was also fascinated with my own methods for tracking spending, saving, and investing. Unbenownst to me, he downloaded his own Mint account, paid off his credit card debt within six months of meeting me, and then saved up enough to buy me an engagement ring for $1,500.

When we got married right after our honeymoon we went to the bank together and I wrote a check to pay off his car loan, which pretty much drained the emergency fund I had saved over the course of my twenties. He then sold the car (put it back into the emergency fund) and we were a one car couple for four months while we saved to buy a beater.

The student loan is on a forgiveness plan because my husband is a government social worker. We pay on an income-based schedule and the rest of the debt will be cancelled in 2020. We could pay it off entirely right now but we've done the math and we come out about 10k ahead if we do it this way.

Long story short, once you're married, the debt is "our" debt, not "her" debt. Before that, in my opinion, it's best to keep things separate because the legal relationship is different.

As long as she's showing signs of being committed to being sensible with money, I wouldn't worry about it too much. My husband has become more frugal than I have ever been, and is now amazing at wealth-building stuff. He DIY's all repairs on youtube, researches asset allocation, does all our mortgage stuff, and now manages our joint Mint account along with me during our monthly budget date. He brags about how my financial skills turned him around to anyone who will listen, which always makes me feel good about myself. In our three years of marriage, our net worth has gone from about 30k to about 150k (we make a pretty good combined income). Marrying him was the best financial move I've ever made, despite his debt.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Retire-Canada on December 13, 2016, 02:19:03 PM
Why let her struggle though, I mean I will have roughly 50-60 % of my income free - I could be putting that into FI funds but for now why not help her ? Then we can both start down our path to FI together. Helping each other and what not?

Firstly a $30K debt for someone making $100K a year is not a struggle. If it is there are other problems that need attention.

Secondly if you are really going to be a team then letting her flex her 'stash growing muscles is a good thing so you'll be able to work together on your married financial plans having both done some heavy lifting. And if she pays off that $30K while you save and invest $12K the $12K will be Team Money once you are married so what you are doing is also for the "team".

Personally I look at relationships as a way to support each other as needed to reach our individual and couple goals. I don't look at it as life support for one or the other person. My GF is a smart capable woman I don't try and "fix" her shit when I see her working on something. I let her fix it unless she asks for help or is having some real significant problems. To my mind that shows that I have faith in her and her skills. Plus there is no way to become more competent at something if you never get a chance to own the issue and solve it.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Moonwaves on December 13, 2016, 02:41:19 PM
There are always going to be different schools of thought on this. As long as she is working on paying off her debt, let her do so. You can help her in other ways, by supporting the frugal lifestyle that will allow her to do it as quickly as possible, for example. Have you thought about whether or not paying it off herself might be a point of pride for her? Perhaps she'd like to clear her debt herself before starting your new married life together.
You could just keep stashing and, if she hasn't managed to clear her debt by a certain time, like englishteacheralex you will have the cash to clear what's left of the debt in one fell swoop. If you don't need to and she clears the debt herself, well, then you've already got a decent start on building up your (both of your) FI stash.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: SilveradoBojangles on December 13, 2016, 02:57:46 PM
Hi Kevin - great work, really impressive to see how far you've come. And congrats on getting engaged. I have some thoughts about your question related to helping your fiance pay off her debt.

So, I got married fairly recently (2 years ago), and I think that one of the best things that we did was start to slowly merge our finances during our engagement, and discuss budgeting, etc. So maybe you guys should consider something similar, which would help you figure out a plan of attack for her debt as well as some of your longer term goals.

We started just by tracking our expenses for a few months (something you already appear to do - does she?). Then we made a joint monthly budget that took into account both our shared expenses like rent, food, utilities, as well as individual bills and fun money for hobbies. It also included some short term savings goals. We then created a joint bank account. We decided that to each contribute equal amounts to the shared bank account (we were both in grad school and making similar amounts at that point, but you may consider doing it based on percent of income). We used that account to pay all of our shared expenses, as well as put money away for an emergency fund and some other things we were saving for (like the wedding). This allowed us to get used to thinking about money decisions together, while still retaining mostly separate finances (our pay checks were deposited into our own accounts, and we could spend that however we liked). We used YNAB to budget and track spending, including personal (non-shared) spending. This encouraged us to be open about our spending, discuss our priorities, our weak points, etc, while still keeping most of our income (aside from joint expenses) separate. Luckily, we had no debt, but my husband had never really budgeted before, and needed to get a handle on his impulse purchases (which has has done very well), and in general we were just spending too much. We trimmed a lot of fat, and have reduced our average monthly spending by about 1500$, which was great. 

After we were married, we merged a bit more. We started having all of our paychecks deposited straight to the shared account, and then a certain amount of money (for us it is $300 each) was shuttled each month towards our personal accounts to use as we saw fit. We use this money on hobbies, clothes, hair cuts, individual travel (sometimes i go visit friends with out him), and presents for each other. Because we are now good at budgeting, our personal + shared expenses are far less than our income. So then we started making longer term savings goals, and discussing how best to handle retirement savings, tax planning, etc. We are also saving for a house. At this point I make more than 3 times what my husband makes (he's still in school, I'm out of it). We decided to keep our spending at the level it was in grad school, and save all of my extra income for a down payment. The plan is that, when he graduates and gets a job next summer, we will have enough to put a down payment on a house where ever we end up.

So, that was really long, but my basic point is that starting to merge your finances now in a slow, step-by-step fashion will facilitate conversations about short and long term goals, and may help you guys both decide how best to tackle her debt. Maybe what works for you both is that you take on a greater proportion of the shared expenses, allowing her to hammer her debt to eliminate it quickly. Maybe what works best is for you to be saving your extra cash towards a downpayment and an emergency fund while she handles the debt. There are many possible right answers, and she should be part of the conversation in determining a solution.

Best of luck.
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Tyson on December 13, 2016, 03:15:37 PM
Don't give her a fish.  Teach her how to fish. 
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Stashing Swiss-style on December 14, 2016, 03:41:17 AM
You got some great advice!  I believe we all learn best by doing things for ourselves.  Learning to be more frugal is easier for some than for others, but generally we learn fast when we have to do something.  Support your girlfriend, but don't bail her out - she's earning a good income and she will get there herself.  Remember how great you felt at your own achievement?  Don't take that away from her :-)
Title: Re: Newbie-trying to get my self healthy financially and mentally (please be gentle)
Post by: Kevin S. on December 14, 2016, 10:40:00 AM
Thanks for the advice all ! I'm going to help her along the way as much as possible (without giving her anything financially). We are going to breakdown her expenses this weekend and see what fat we can start to trim. She is already pretty lean but I'm sure I can find some stuff. If she is 2yrs out before her debt is paid off to zero then so be it.

Like others have said. It will be more rewarding if she does it herself.