Author Topic: next phase (living off savings for a while)  (Read 9612 times)

deciduous

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next phase (living off savings for a while)
« on: July 12, 2012, 08:46:49 PM »
I'm coming to a big life-decision point and I'm curious about how a mustachian would manage it. I'll try to be brief.

I'm 31, a single software guy who co-founded a company in 2007, one which seems to be on its last legs. Today we had a discussion with our investors, and we may be putting the company into hibernation, meaning we would perform maintenance and so on for our existing clients but will seek individual employment elsewhere. I need to decide what I'm going to do with the next phase of my life: I could get a regular job, pursue a career in academia, or start another company. I have ideas and a sense of the strengths of weaknesses of all those, and the decision of "what do I want to do?" is not really the point of this post. What I'd like input on is: how do I manage my money in the short term?

  • House: own my own place outright, taking on a roommate in August, who will pay $400/month for a room.
  • Car: own a truck outright, which I intend to outfit for traveling. (I'm very outdoorsy.)
  • Cash: just under $30k on hand, sitting in a bank account. normally that would be invested but right now I am risk-averse and want liquidity
  • Retirement: maybe another $30k in 401(k) plans from previous employers
  • Utilities, etc.: in the range of $300/month.
  • No Debt.
  • No non-retirement investments

Immediate plans: do some traveling and consider my options, work on personal projects, polish resume and website, etc.
I am also about to redo my kitchen, which is small and can probably be completed for about $4000 out of pocket. I'm planning on doing the work myself.

Questions I'm considering:
  • Is it a terrible idea to redo my kitchen right now?
  • I figure I should consider some money off limits right now for my hiatus. Is $10k appropriate?
  • Is there a great place to put the money I do have, that's not the stock market? I'm all about index funds, but not when I need to be so careful and live off of savings for a while.
  • Should I heavily favor a job with a stable paycheck next, a retirement plan, benefits, etc.? I'm in good financial standing but not really for the long term. People are advising me to stay away from further entrepreneurship but it's hard to distinguish sound advice from vague fears.
  • I'm roughly guessing that I will be able to take about 6 months off to enjoy myself and figure out my next steps. Is it stupid to try to maximize that time right now, is there a rough conversion where one month off now is worth 2.5 months of real retirement?
  • Has anyone gone health insurance shopping? I would need coverage for, say, a rock climbing injury in British Columbia or Texas.

Thanks so much for checking this out. Any critique or suggestions you can give will be most appreciated. Hopefully when I've mastered living soundly I can give back to the community; but for right now I'm a total novice.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 09:08:09 AM by deciduous »

Lars

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Re: next phase
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2012, 12:28:14 AM »
Questions I'm considering:
  • Is it a terrible idea to redo my kitchen right now?
I discourage doing it now but would concede if you have experience with DIY projects of similar scale and you would likely do it anyway before selling the house. I'm negative on the idea as its a bad time for cost overruns and remodeling and rents seems a bad mix.
Quote
  • I figure I should consider some money off limits right now for my hiatus. Is $10k appropriate?
Assuming you'd be burning through around $2k a month, $10k is reasonable unless you are going to start a new business.
Quote
  • Is there a great place to put the money I do have, that's not the stock market? I'm all about index funds, but not when I need to be so careful and live off of savings for a while.
With all your uncertainty and the short time line, a high yield savings account would be my recommendation.
Quote
  • Should I heavily favor a job with a stable paycheck next, a retirement plan, benefits, etc.? I'm in good financial standing but not really for the long term. People are advising me to stay away from further entrepreneurship but it's hard to distinguish sound advice from vague fears.
I don't believe there is a right or wrong answer here unless, of course, your business plan sucks. :) In seriousness, if your lacking a well developed business plan, a year or two at a regular job makes the most sense to me.
Quote
  • I'm roughly guessing that I will be able to take about 6 months off to enjoy myself and figure out my next steps. Is it stupid to try to maximize that time right now, is there a rough conversion where one month off now is worth 2.5 months of real retirement?
I wouldn't recommend maximizing it. I especially wouldn't recommend if you're a procrastinator but a few months seems like a great idea.
Quote
  • Has anyone gone health insurance shopping? I would need coverage for, say, a rock climbing injury in British Columbia or Texas.

Thanks so much for checking this out. Any critique or suggestions you can give will be most appreciated. Hopefully when I've mastered living soundly I can give back to the community; but for right now I'm a total novice.

Don't worry about waiting until you mastery until giving back - the rest of us here didn't .

englyn

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Re: next phase
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 02:21:40 AM »
I had the chance recently, in the middle of a professional career, to take a career break and travel for 4 months. I absolutely recommend it. Totally worth the $ to take the time now, while I have the energy and relatively few commitments, even if it postpones later retirement.

It might be antimustachian to enjoy spending money now 'while I am young and energetic' if I spent it on consolation prizes of Stuff but I think it's perfectly mustachian if it gains Time instead. Call it a very early very temporary retirement :)

And to step back and regroup and decide what I wanted to do next with my career. I acquired some ambition that I'd lost and a taste for variety in work... started enjoying work again when I got back. Whole other story.

Be prepared for it to take longer than you expect to get a job, though. Took me 3 flippin months in a career in very high demand in a city with outrageously low employment, mostly because it apparently takes forever for a job offer to get rubber-stamped. Then I got 3 offers at once :-|

deciduous

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Re: next phase
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 07:14:07 AM »
I discourage doing it now but would concede if you have experience with DIY projects of similar scale and you would likely do it anyway before selling the house. I'm negative on the idea as its a bad time for cost overruns and remodeling and rents seems a bad mix.
Thanks, yes, it's definitely a question of "when," not "if." The cabinets are 60 year old steel monsters, with doors that don't work well, and there's a total of about 18" of usable counter space. Ripping all that out and replacing it was the first thing I said I'd do when I looked at the house before buying it. It turned out that there were several jobs which were more urgent, but now we're up to this one.

As far as rents go, I'm taking a roommate not so much out of a desire for income--although that is welcome--but because it's a friend of mine that I feel confident I can enjoy living with while he goes back to school. It's really a situation that kills several birds with one stone; one of them is that I can feel safe going on a long trip and leaving the house to someone I trust. He's already said to me that he's fine with a bit of kitchen turmoil. If I get started on it right away, I have about 6 weeks to finish everything up before he moves in.

It makes perfect sense to me to remodel now, for every reason *except* that it's a large expense right at a time when I'm switching to low-income mode.

I had considered getting a small mortgage type of loan to pay for the remodeling now so it doesn't hit me all at once. But when I was buying the house the banks all laughed in my face at the thought of a mortgage, because of the nature of my job. My guess is that they'd laugh even harder now, right?

My general philosophy has switched to: if I have the money to pay for it, cash is always better than a loan. I'm not sure if that's actually true or not, but it does relieve a hell of a lot of pressure.

Quote
Assuming you'd be burning through around $2k a month, $10k is reasonable unless you are going to start a new business.
Thanks, that's a good point. $2k/month is probably a bit higher than my actual burn rate, but a good conservative number to use when answering the question "how big should the rainy day fund be?" I think it's smart to point out that my likelihood of starting another company should affect the number, I hadn't thought of that.

Quote
With all your uncertainty and the short time line, a high yield savings account would be my recommendation.
Right now it's in a money market. I guess what you're talking about is different?

Quote
I don't believe there is a right or wrong answer here unless, of course, your business plan sucks. :) In seriousness, if your lacking a well developed business plan, a year or two at a regular job makes the most sense to me.
That makes the score 4-0 in favor of "go get a job, idiot." But my gut is telling me to reject all the advice and strike out on my own again.

Quote
I wouldn't recommend maximizing it. I especially wouldn't recommend if you're a procrastinator but a few months seems like a great idea.
Right now it feels like a fairly mandatory course of action.

Quote
Don't worry about waiting until you mastery until giving back - the rest of us here didn't .
Yeah, thanks, I won't. It turns out I do have some suggestions for others already. I just wanted to make it clear that "although this is post #1, I'm not here just to take."

Thanks again!

deciduous

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Re: next phase
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 07:21:50 AM »
I had the chance recently, in the middle of a professional career, to take a career break and travel for 4 months. I absolutely recommend it. Totally worth the $ to take the time now, while I have the energy and relatively few commitments, even if it postpones later retirement.

It might be antimustachian to enjoy spending money now 'while I am young and energetic' if I spent it on consolation prizes of Stuff but I think it's perfectly mustachian if it gains Time instead. Call it a very early very temporary retirement :)

And to step back and regroup and decide what I wanted to do next with my career. I acquired some ambition that I'd lost and a taste for variety in work... started enjoying work again when I got back. Whole other story.

Be prepared for it to take longer than you expect to get a job, though. Took me 3 flippin months in a career in very high demand in a city with outrageously low employment, mostly because it apparently takes forever for a job offer to get rubber-stamped. Then I got 3 offers at once :-|

All of what you're saying lines up pretty well with my own experience. I learned in the summer after undergrad that there is a huge difference between a 2-week vacation and an extended journey, and have been antsy to do it again ever since. The opportunity hasn't arisen. Retirement is great, but since what I really love to do is fairly physically demanding, there is extra incentive to do it now. I won't be scampering around the high sierras with the same springiness ten or twenty years from now, even if I bank my FU money in a decade.

Three months for a job search has been my experience also, ditto the nothing-nothing-nothing-three offers phenomenon. The detailed plan for all that will come after I settle on an overall path; I would roughly expect to be telling people what that is by the family Christmas interrogation circuit.

tooqk4u22

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Re: next phase
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 08:06:35 AM »
At the end of the day you can do whatever you want because you have no dependants, all you have to accept is that there are tradeoffs.  Maybe you travel for six months and stumble upon a town that you love and stay there. Maybe start a business and you become Google, maybe you don't and you are broke for the next 10 years and working until you die. 

Who knows, but your options are limitless because of it.  Dependents don't necessarily impact a persons ER number but it does influence your FU number.  Before I had kids my FU number could have been enough to sustain me for a few months because who cares its only me.  With kids the number has increase dramatically.

deciduous

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Re: next phase
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 09:06:35 AM »
I can definitely appreciate how lucky I've been. I was overseas last summer for work, and had my perception altered pretty thoroughly when I saw what real poverty looks like for the first time. I'm not quite sure yet how best to change my life as a result. I do feel like if/when I have (adopted?) kids that there will be vacations abroad, in part to hammer home the idea that we shouldn't take what we have for granted.

AJ

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Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 11:26:00 AM »
  • Is it a terrible idea to redo my kitchen right now?

Terrible might be too strong, but I would say it is not wise. Think about what you would tell someone who said, "Hey, I just lost my main income source. Should I use a large chunk of my savings on an extraneous purchase?" It just doesn't seem prudent. Unless you plan on selling your house in the next six months, I would wait. You can probably knock out a big chunk of the work after you get a job offer, but before you begin working, with the rest completed nights and weekends.

tooqk4u22

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Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 12:41:52 PM »
I have mixed views on redoing the kitchen and it has more to do with having your cake and eating it too.  You have some savings, are employable, the planned cost is not significant, and more tahn anything else you actually have the time to do it now.  So if you think it will increase the value of your property by more than invested by about 2x (so $8k) then why not. 

On the other hand you want to travel and burn through your savings and that $4k could be useful as you get near the end. 

Like I said above you can do whatever you want but there are tradeoffs.

spider1204

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Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 12:54:08 PM »
I would say that it's probably possible to do some kinda financial conversion between months taken off now and months taken off in the future based on interest rates.  However as you mentioned, this completely ignores the fact that you are the youngest you're ever going to be right now, and will most likely lose climbing ability as time goes on.  Don't forget though about the folks that climb well into their 60s.

Anyway, I took off a year after college and spent most of that time climbing, and even without the money to travel all over for climbing it was still an amazing time to just climb with college friends locally almost every day.  The only drawback to the whole experience is that now I know exactly what I'm missing and can't help but daydream every day at work.  It's worth it though and keeps you on track and motivated so I say definitely go for it!

Finally, if you ever need a partner for the Red River Gorge let me know!

spider1204

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Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2012, 12:57:27 PM »
Also, WRT to the huge differences between a 2 week vacation and an extended journey, that difference is so clear to me know.  I can't even bring myself to think about 2 week vacations, they just seem so pointless, like I'd be turning back almost as soon as I got there.  Think that I'd rather just work through them to get to an extended journey faster.

scantee

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Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 01:34:41 PM »
Quote
The cabinets are 60 year old steel monsters

There are people who will pay good money for steel kitchen cabinets so don't just trash them. There is an entire forum of people looking for old steel kitchen cabinets: retrorenovation.com/forums/ .  I'm hoping to install vintage steel cabinets in my next house so I know how prized they are!

tooqk4u22

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Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2012, 01:39:35 PM »
Quote
The cabinets are 60 year old steel monsters

There are people who will pay good money for steel kitchen cabinets so don't just trash them. There is an entire forum of people looking for old steel kitchen cabinets: retrorenovation.com/forums/ .  I'm hoping to install vintage steel cabinets in my next house so I know how prized they are!

That is a good catch, I missed that point.  When the prior owners of my house reno'd the kitchen they moved the steel cabinets to the garage - people will take them or leave them but they are awesome in the garage.

Jamesqf

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Re: next phase
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 01:49:22 PM »
It makes perfect sense to me to remodel now, for every reason *except* that it's a large expense right at a time when I'm switching to low-income mode.

If I understood correctly, you'll be doing the work yourself, and only buying the materials?  If so, I'd suggest a Home Depot credit card.  They have a standard 6 month zero interest rate on purchases over $300, and will often have 12 or even 18 month specials.  That puts most of the expense off until you are (with luck!) back into earning mode again.

I'd also suggest looking at getting that $300/month utility bill down a bit.  Seems awfully high to me.

bogart

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Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 02:15:36 PM »

    I'm roughly guessing that I will be able to take about 6 months off to enjoy myself and figure out my next steps. Is it stupid to try to maximize that time right now, is there a rough conversion where one month off now is worth 2.5 months of real retirement?
    [/list]


    No particular words of wisdom, I am a big fan of traveling when you're young/relatively unimpeded (don't have dependents or a house, but the tenant situation you describe reduces the house problem in your case). 

    One idea that occurs to me that you haven't mentioned is lining up a (likely conventional, possibly consulting) job and asking for a delayed start date.  I'd be surprised if any employer wanted a 6 month delay, but somewhere between 1 & 3 might be acceptable. 

    deciduous

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    Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
    « Reply #15 on: July 13, 2012, 04:34:40 PM »
    So if you think it will increase the value of your property by more than invested by about 2x (so $8k) then why not. 

    On the other hand you want to travel and burn through your savings and that $4k could be useful as you get near the end. 

    I would be pretty surprised if the refurbished kitchen paid off like that, in this neighborhood. Without a doubt, I've significantly raised the value of my place already, and I think that--barring furnace catastrophe or something--this would be the end of the major home improvement spending. I don't see this as an investment, so much as a repair: the enamel on the sink is deeply cratered, revealing large rust blotches. I mentioned the busted doors and the square foot of counter space. They're also filthy to the point where I don't really bother to even try cleaning them. Like I said, it's really only a question of when to serve the eviction notice. I know I will like it much better when I can cook without being slightly disgusted... I'm not looking for Italian marble just to have it.

    deciduous

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    Re: next phase
    « Reply #16 on: July 13, 2012, 04:52:20 PM »
    If I understood correctly, you'll be doing the work yourself, and only buying the materials?  If so, I'd suggest a Home Depot credit card.  They have a standard 6 month zero interest rate on purchases over $300, and will often have 12 or even 18 month specials.  That puts most of the expense off until you are (with luck!) back into earning mode again.

    Great suggestion! My existing plan was to buy gift cards at the grocery store and bank up gas discounts--it'd definitely be enough for me to fill the (30 gallon) gas tank for free. (By the way, the truck is big and highly anti-mustachian, i know. But I've been scheming this road trip for years now, and wanted a vehicle to live out of, move friends, make deliveries for my company, etc., etc. I never drive it just to get around.) But the zero-interest card could be a good option too in this particular case, I'll think about it.

    I'd also suggest looking at getting that $300/month utility bill down a bit.  Seems awfully high to me.

    • water: ~25/mo
    • electric: ~36/mo
    • gas: ~40/mo
    • internet: ~55/mo
    • home insurance: ~30/mo
    • car insurance: ~45/mo

    That comes in at about $231/month. I don't know what my property taxes are per month, but it's not too bad. I was just giving a rough estimate off the top of my head for all non-variable costs. We can think of the incoming roommate as wiping all those to zero for the next two years or so, all things going as expected. Hopefully if I find decent health insurance, the roommate will cover that cost as well, meaning that all that I will actually be paying for out of the savings pile is food and gas, both of which I'll have pretty clear control over.

    deciduous

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    Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
    « Reply #17 on: July 13, 2012, 04:55:56 PM »
    Finally, if you ever need a partner for the Red River Gorge let me know!

    The Red is high on the list. I was there for a few days on the 2003 trip, and it was awesome. I can't wait to get back to Miguel's. I figure that's an excellent place to get STRONG before heading back to Hueco or Bishop. I'll definitely drop you a note as I get closer to Go Time.

    deciduous

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    Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
    « Reply #18 on: July 13, 2012, 04:59:25 PM »
    Quote
    The cabinets are 60 year old steel monsters

    There are people who will pay good money for steel kitchen cabinets so don't just trash them. There is an entire forum of people looking for old steel kitchen cabinets: retrorenovation.com/forums/ .  I'm hoping to install vintage steel cabinets in my next house so I know how prized they are!

    If I can't sell them or reuse them myself in the basement or something, I'll take them to a recycled building supply spot nearby. I'm also considering shopping there for the kitchen countertops or other supplies such as tile for the floor. It's hard to plan based on their stocks though, naturally. And it's extra work just to compare the price to make sure that it's actually advantageous for cost--not always the case!

    Lars

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    Re: next phase
    « Reply #19 on: July 13, 2012, 09:53:22 PM »
    I discourage doing it now but would concede if you have experience with DIY projects of similar scale and you would likely do it anyway before selling the house. I'm negative on the idea as its a bad time for cost overruns and remodeling and rents seems a bad mix.
    Thanks, yes, it's definitely a question of "when," not "if." The cabinets are 60 year old steel monsters, with doors that don't work well, and there's a total of about 18" of usable counter space. Ripping all that out and replacing it was the first thing I said I'd do when I looked at the house before buying it. It turned out that there were several jobs which were more urgent, but now we're up to this one.
    ...
    My general philosophy has switched to: if I have the money to pay for it, cash is always better than a loan. I'm not sure if that's actually true or not, but it does relieve a hell of a lot of pressure.
    Sixty year old metal cabinet bring back memories of the kitchen of my childhood. i'd expect that cabinets will help that $4k go quickly. In my (2) kitchen remodels, I was surprised how expensive decent quality cabinets were and how reasonable the other items - sinks, flooring, counter - were in comparison. I don't know if it possible but if you're able to fix or improve the existing cabinets, your cost would probably be in the $1-2k range (at most) to correct the rest of the issues you mention. I really liked the creative kitchen remodel MM did in one of his rentals.

    Quote
    Quote
    With all your uncertainty and the short time line, a high yield savings account would be my recommendation.
    Right now it's in a money market. I guess what you're talking about is different?
    Not really at least functionally. I was thinking someone place like Discover Bank, Ally, etc that would get you a safe 0.8% rate but your already doing what I ought to have recommended - something safe and nothing fancy.

    Quote
    Quote
    I don't believe there is a right or wrong answer here unless, of course, your business plan sucks. :) In seriousness, if your lacking a well developed business plan, a year or two at a regular job makes the most sense to me.
    That makes the score 4-0 in favor of "go get a job, idiot." But my gut is telling me to reject all the advice and strike out on my own again.
    Don't you love when the head and gut don't agree.

    Good travels! I hope you have a great time off.

    deciduous

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    Re: next phase
    « Reply #20 on: July 13, 2012, 10:54:16 PM »
    Sixty year old metal cabinet bring back memories of the kitchen of my childhood. i'd expect that cabinets will help that $4k go quickly. In my (2) kitchen remodels, I was surprised how expensive decent quality cabinets were and how reasonable the other items - sinks, flooring, counter - were in comparison. I don't know if it possible but if you're able to fix or improve the existing cabinets, your cost would probably be in the $1-2k range (at most) to correct the rest of the issues you mention. I really liked the creative kitchen remodel MM did in one of his rentals.

    Home Depot and Lowe's both have the same brand of pre-fabricated cabinets. I plan on getting the unstained variety, which is pretty cheap, and staining myself. I don't think they're any heirloom-quality pieces but they will be a huge step up from what's in there now. Making the cabinets myself would be cheaper of course, and I'm an enthusiastic woodworker, but there's no way I can match the cost of the factory stuff if we factor in my time to construct them.

    Home Depot has a wider selection of cabinets available, for special order. Lowe's seems to keep stuff in stock and offer lower prices, but has a limited selection. If I get these cabinets I'll play them against each other in order to get my lowest price.

    Here's my draft budget:

    itemmodel #qtyeachtotal cost
    fridgeLG LRBP1031W1650650
    18" drawer1127127
    24" drawer2139278
    9" base16464
    30" sink1104104
    24"x36" bridge279158
    30"x12" bridge15252
    30"x24" wall17373
    countertop 42"x24" (7 sq. ft)720140
    countertop
      63"x24" (10.5 sq.ft)
    10.520210
    range hood1300300
    sink1200200
    faucet19090
    total2446

    You can see here that my quoted figure of $4000 is actually a pretty conservative guess with lots of room under it for overrun. If I get countertops at the big box stores made to fit, the cost of that goes up a few hundred, but I can probably use something off the shelf or go to the recycled construction warehouse to get something that will require more work on my end. I think I can rip out the linoleum and lay tile without going over $4000 out of pocket, but we'll see.

    There's also a dark horse option: I know a guy who sells what amounts to the Lowe's/Home Depot stock list to institutions and so forth. There's an outside chance that I could get some or all of everything at wholesale instead, but I have to talk to him to get the details.

    I'm also not counting here any potential resale value for the existing fridge (which is too big for the space) or steel cabinets. That could possibly help keep it down.

    deciduous

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    Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
    « Reply #21 on: July 13, 2012, 11:21:04 PM »
    I'm guessing this is the article you mentioned?
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/04/this-old-house-cheap-edition/


    MMM clued me in to ikea in there. I don't like what I see there in terms of cabinets, but holy crap, this counter is $40! That should more or less solve that problem.
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70145556/

    Jamesqf

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    Re: next phase
    « Reply #22 on: July 14, 2012, 12:09:55 AM »
    By the way, the truck is big and highly anti-mustachian, i know. But I've been scheming this road trip for years now, and wanted a vehicle to live out of...

    Oh, come on!  Back in the day, I lived out of an Austin-Healey for several months :-)

    Your list of utilities seems reasonable: I just didn't expect to see home and car insurance under that heading.  You might be able to get the internet down a bit: mine (cable) used to be about that, but a few months ago I upgraded to a higher speed (from the same company) at about half the cost per month.  Some people's business models just don't make much sense.

    deciduous

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    Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
    « Reply #23 on: July 14, 2012, 06:01:12 AM »
    I sweated the internet decision for a couple months, ultimately deciding to get the smallest and simplest fios plan I could. It's probably about $15/mo more expensive than the corresponding cable option, but man is it nice.

    I forgot to include my adobe subscription, which is $30/mo for the first year. I use those tools quite a bit both personally and professionally, and while that's a sort of luxury now, it's not hard to afford and there just aren't any cheaper options that come anywhere close to that level of comprehensive quality that I know of. I will be doing some prototyping during the vacation on the ideas that I'm thinking of starting another company for. I'm confident I'll get my money's worth.

    Thanks again to everyone for all your help. It's a little unsettling putting so many personal details online but it is nice to submit to a rigorous inspection to make sure there's not a huge difference between what I think is reasonable and what a whole community of frugality enthusiasts do. (I acknowledge it's an unpopular plan to remodel right now, and I seem to be ignoring that, but I'm sure it's a good idea for enough reasons that I was only going to postpone it if I'd gotten truly overwhelming resistance.)

    Lars

    • Stubble
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    • Posts: 105
    Re: next phase (living off savings for a while)
    « Reply #24 on: July 14, 2012, 10:34:48 AM »
    I'm guessing this is the article you mentioned?
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/04/this-old-house-cheap-edition/


    MMM clued me in to ikea in there. I don't like what I see there in terms of cabinets, but holy crap, this counter is $40! That should more or less solve that problem.
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70145556/

    Once last thing since your wrapping the thread up - If you happen to have a Menards nearby,  their stock counters run about that price in more traditional patterns. Also, in our area at least, they have the same counter brand as Lowe and Home Depot for roughly a third less on cut to order.
    http://www.menards.com/main/kitchen/countertops-laminate/c-3629.htm