Author Topic: No savings till now, found MMM last week, would like to alter my lifestyle  (Read 34154 times)

wrangler05

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Hello Everyone,

I have been lurking around for a week and registered today and this is my first post. I am ready for any face punches as I deserver them the most. Here is a brief description of my back ground:

I am in my early 30s married, DW is also in her early 30s. We have no kids, but planning for kids in an year or two. I am the crazy one in my family, I have zero savings and live pay check to pay check till now. DW has been saving in her 401k when she joined full time 3 years ago. Here is a breakdown of our finances and expenses. please let me know if you need more information, i will edit the post and append the required info:

Please note that we share(divide equally) the combined bills and pay our individual bills separately and also have independent savings account. I never touch her savings.

Income: (post tax)

Me : $4000  ( no 401K, I am a contract employee, no benefits)
DW: $4350   (after tax and 401k)

Combined Bills:

Mortage: $1820 ($240k @ 3.75% with a $200 PMI)
gas heating/hot water: $200
Electric: $100
Water: $45
Internet: $45
car gas : $200 ( we have a 30 mile commute dialy)

total: $2410 ( $1205 each)

my bills:
car payment: $500 ( 2013 Scion FR-S, I am trying to get rid of it, but I owe $22k and KBB value is $18k)
car insurance: $100
credit cards: $300 ( $6000 debt, all cards maxed out, I only pay minimum payments)
parents: $350 ( I support my mom financially by transferring her this amount every month)
phone: $65 ( I need to have a unlimited call, data as I work for production support and Employer or Client doesnt pay for this)
hospital bills: $100
loan from Cousin: $6300 ( I borrowed $8300 @0% interest from my Cousin and I am giving $1000 every month. This money                 was borrowed to put down payment for our house that we bought in dec, 2014)

total : $2415

DW bills:
car payment: $300 ( 2013 VW Jetta, she will pay off her car in another 4 months)
car insurance: $100
credit cards: $100 ($5k total credit, $2k debt, she will pay it off in another 4 months)
parents: $400 (same as me)
phone : $65 (she is project lead, and also needs unlimited talk, data with good network coverage)

total: $965

monthly spending: (divide equally again)
groceries: $300
restuarant/take outs : $150
clothes/dresses: $50 ( DW buys $50 dresses/tops etc., I never buy clothes unless my work wear is torn/damaged or there is a special occassion)

total: $500

my Salary - (combined bills/2 + my bills + monthly spending/2) = $4000 - ($1205 + $2415 + 250) = $130

DW saves her what is left in her salary in her savings account, honestly I dont know what her savings worth, but know that she saves it in her banks savings account and maxes out her 401k.

We both have an agreement that we should contribute equally to combined expenses/bills. So if we need to pay extra $1000 to our mortgage every month, I need to contribute $500 also.

I need to wake up and sell the car right away, But do not have the money to pay it off a little and sell it. So, I am stuck with monthly payments. I also donot want to borrow money from anyone as I have substantial debt.

I am planning to pick up a weekend job, as I work 5 days a week and mostly free on weekends.

I am 31 now, I have no savings so far. I live pay check to pay check and I am ashamed to say this. I want to start saving and stop living an irresponsible, that i lived so far.

I really appreciate all your suggestions.







Write Thyme

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Do you have to support your parents financially? Honestly you can't afford it. I used to do this for my mom, but I had to cut her off. Magically she was able to make it work without my help.

Have you heard of Republic Wireless? You can get a smart phone monthly plan as low as $5.

Are your jobs stable? Can you move closer? A 30 mile commute is a lot.

justajane

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What's the sq footage of your house? LCOL or HCOL area? Your utilities seem high, and you seem to have bought more house than you can afford. 

Ditch the parents and pay off your credit cards.

How did you get the credit cards maxxed out? Buying stuff? Eating out? Your incomes together are pretty high, so I don't understand where the rest of your money is going.

Also, list your assets.

wrangler05

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Do you have to support your parents financially? Honestly you can't afford it. I used to do this for my mom, but I had to cut her off. Magically she was able to make it work without my help.

Have you heard of Republic Wireless? You can get a smart phone monthly plan as low as $5.

Are your jobs stable? Can you move closer? A 30 mile commute is a lot.

Thank you, i will search for republic wireless and will try to ditch my current cellular plan.

My Wife has a stable job, but I am a contracting IT guy. We thought of moving closer, but cost of living at where we work is more than our house payment + gas for commute.

Our parents need us at this time, They did a lot for us and its time for us to repay them.

dsmexpat

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Car insurance of $100 a month seems high but if we exclude the car payment and credit card as things that we're obviously going to fix then you're looking at predictable monthly expenses of around $1300 of which $700 is building equity in the house. That's not so bad. That's your base level of unavoidable spending and given you have an income of $4000 post tax you're in great shape.

$6000 on the credit card is an emergency obviously but you can pay that off in around 2.5 months, 3 at most. I wouldn't worry about an emergency fund before paying off the credit cards, if an emergency strikes the worst case scenario is you just put the debt back onto the credit cards. I wouldn't delay digging yourself out of the hole for fear that you might get thrown back in, you need to pay that off asaply. You also need to change whatever habits got you $6000 in debt.

Cousin debt, see what you can do to buy yourself three months to pay off the credit cards first. Depends on your relationship with your cousin and how much faith he has in you. You still should be able to pay more than the minimums on the card, even paying $1000 to your cousin, but he's not charging 20% interest and the cards probably are.

Mother, same as cousin, if you can delay, defer or reduce the amounts in the short term without endangering her then do so because again, she isn't charging interest. Every $ you send her costs you more than a $ because you are literally borrowing money on expensive terms to send to her. Put it in those terms in your head and reevaluate the decision. It may be unchanged, if it is then so be it, she's your mother. At the very least talk to her about it though because you can't afford to give money away right now but you could reasonably afford to do it soon.

Car payment, downsize or pay it off asaply. You owe 22k and you pay 6k a year? How many years do you have left on it, what is the % interest on that debt?





In your position I would put 2k a month at the credit card debts, 1.2k at combined expenses and the remaining $800 between car payment, insurance, phone and hospital (assuming my mother wasn't literally starving). If she was then I'd put 1.6k to credit card debts. 3 months and those are gone, it's the start of April now so we're talking start of July to be credit card free, end of July if you're feeding your mother. You've saved yourself paying the interest on those and generated $6k of emergency credit to call upon if you had to. Well done.

Next emergency is the car. At 2k a month there it'll be the start of September before it's worth what you owe on it. That's really not so long to go. By Halloween you'll have enough money lying around to trade the car for a cheaper one which you'll own outright, no payments to make. Now you'll have no credit card debt, no car payment and $6k emergency credit to call upon. We've been paying $100 a month on the hospital bill for 6 months at this point too, I'm assuming that at some point that will be paid off but we're still good there.

At this point we've cut $800 from your monthly bills and an incredible $28000 from your debts and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. You're still earning $4000 but your expenses are around $1400 (before mother). You're now looking at being able to pay back your cousin around 2 to 2.5k a month rather than the intended 1k. We're aggressive about this debt because he's been a very good sport about you not paying him back since April so we're gonna do 2.5k a month. Your original schedule was going to take 6.3 months from today so you were going to finish paying him off in November 2015. Even though we delayed starting payments until the start of November we're still going to pay him off in just 2.5 months so you'll be out of debt to your cousin just two months late, even though you delayed it by six months.

That gets you to January of 2016. Things look somewhat different now. You're still building equity in your home, half of your monthly expenses are on the mortgage which are savings of a sort, and you have an overall savings rate of around 60%. You're maxing retirement accounts, saving money, investing in yourself and generally being awesome. Now we look at this to project a date.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

Around 12 years. Well done.

wrangler05

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What's the sq footage of your house? LCOL or HCOL area? Your utilities seem high, and you seem to have bought more house than you can afford. 

Ditch the parents and pay off your credit cards.

How did you get the credit cards maxxed out? Buying stuff? Eating out? Your incomes together are pretty high, so I don't understand where the rest of your money is going.

Also, list your assets.

The house is 1100 sq ft cape cod. I am a first time home buyer and I am trying to learn how to minimize my utilities.

We love supporting our parents. I am ready to skip meals to save money if needed, but can not stop sending money to parents.

I got the credit cards maxed out when we got married on 2013.

We have separate accounts, I am left with only $130 per month after my expenses/shared bills etc.,

I do not have any other account other than my checking account. I do not have 401k, no other accounts.

DW has 15k in her 401k. and approx $20k in her savings account.

dsmexpat

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If you and your wife are in it together financially the only rational thing to do with that 20k is paying off debt with it immediately. Even if you're financially separate you ought to try and borrow it from her because she charges lower interest than a credit card company and the being able to borrow a dollar on the credit card is as good as having a dollar in an emergency.

Also if your real terms monthly surplus is $130 after your cousin and $1130 before repaying your cousin then you understand that you are giving 90% of your income to him on that debt, right? $1000 on a $4000 income doesn't sound like much but you need to deduct fixed expenses before you work out what your real monthly surplus is.

2Birds1Stone

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Where are you at geographically?

You might be able to cut that gas bill down quite a bit as well as it gets warmer out.

Sell the car at a loss, how far from work do you live??

wrangler05

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If you and your wife are in it together financially the only rational thing to do with that 20k is paying off debt with it immediately. Even if you're financially separate you ought to try and borrow it from her because she charges lower interest than a credit card company and the being able to borrow a dollar on the credit card is as good as having a dollar in an emergency.

Also if your real terms monthly surplus is $130 after your cousin and $1130 before repaying your cousin then you understand that you are giving 90% of your income to him on that debt, right? $1000 on a $4000 income doesn't sound like much but you need to deduct fixed expenses before you work out what your real monthly surplus is.

Thank you, I am thinking of borrowing money from her, but she is not comfortable basing on how careless I am till now. So, I want to save a little or clear off the credit card debt and show her that I am changed now and then borrow money from her.

wrangler05

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Where are you at geographically?

You might be able to cut that gas bill down quite a bit as well as it gets warmer out.

Sell the car at a loss, how far from work do you live??

We live in CT. yes, we can cut down from $200 to $40  when it gets warmer as we will stop using heat and only use gas for hot water.

I have thought of selling the car at loss, but I do not have $4k to pay the difference.

We both have around 30 miles commute to work daily. The rents or house payments near to our work > our current mortgage + gas required for commute. Also, we live in a small town with a peacefull neighborhood.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 03:09:25 PM by sravuri2710 »

clifp

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The good news is that I don't find borrowing money for a house, to be bad debt (nice cousin btw).  If you are paying off a $1,000 you'll be done in 6 months at which point you can start worrying about saving. Right now your entire focus you be getting out of expensive debt.. Credit card is just crazy expensive debt and you should never ever have it except for the most dire of emergencies.

If you are 31 that makes probably makes you parents 55-65 range.  IMO that is way too young an age for a parent to be receiving financial support from their kids.. I don't think anyone that contribute to their parents support qualifies for a completely irresponsible life so don't beat yourself up too much.  However,you can't afford to contribute to your mom's financial support until you get out of credit card debt.  Maybe after you finish paying off your credit card debt and your cousin then you can start paying again.  But you are living paycheck to paycheck, and as independent contractor you are hosed if you get sick, hit bad stretch of find work etc.  So have a talk with mom, and any other siblings you have about how to deal with this in the short term. Where does your mom live?

If your spending is in fact accurate than you don't have a lot of fat to cut.  Yes it was mistake to buy a new car, (I didn't buy a new car until I could pay cash), how ever it isn't a crazy expensive car, and there doesn't seem to be an short term options available.  AFTER you pay your cousin off it maybe worth asking if he would be interested in offer you a debt consolation at reasonable interest rate 6-8%.  One of the problems us saver have is find reasonable interest rates, so I am happy to loan money to family member, good friends with a good track record.

As far as kids go, you can't afford them. Now maybe your wife can, but if you guys have kids she's going to need to A. continue to work, and B. pay for them. I'm not married but this doesn't seem like particular good plan for martial bliss.

wrangler05

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Car insurance of $100 a month seems high but if we exclude the car payment and credit card as things that we're obviously going to fix then you're looking at predictable monthly expenses of around $1300 of which $700 is building equity in the house. That's not so bad. That's your base level of unavoidable spending and given you have an income of $4000 post tax you're in great shape.

$6000 on the credit card is an emergency obviously but you can pay that off in around 2.5 months, 3 at most. I wouldn't worry about an emergency fund before paying off the credit cards, if an emergency strikes the worst case scenario is you just put the debt back onto the credit cards. I wouldn't delay digging yourself out of the hole for fear that you might get thrown back in, you need to pay that off asaply. You also need to change whatever habits got you $6000 in debt.

Cousin debt, see what you can do to buy yourself three months to pay off the credit cards first. Depends on your relationship with your cousin and how much faith he has in you. You still should be able to pay more than the minimums on the card, even paying $1000 to your cousin, but he's not charging 20% interest and the cards probably are.

Mother, same as cousin, if you can delay, defer or reduce the amounts in the short term without endangering her then do so because again, she isn't charging interest. Every $ you send her costs you more than a $ because you are literally borrowing money on expensive terms to send to her. Put it in those terms in your head and reevaluate the decision. It may be unchanged, if it is then so be it, she's your mother. At the very least talk to her about it though because you can't afford to give money away right now but you could reasonably afford to do it soon.

Car payment, downsize or pay it off asaply. You owe 22k and you pay 6k a year? How many years do you have left on it, what is the % interest on that debt?





In your position I would put 2k a month at the credit card debts, 1.2k at combined expenses and the remaining $800 between car payment, insurance, phone and hospital (assuming my mother wasn't literally starving). If she was then I'd put 1.6k to credit card debts. 3 months and those are gone, it's the start of April now so we're talking start of July to be credit card free, end of July if you're feeding your mother. You've saved yourself paying the interest on those and generated $6k of emergency credit to call upon if you had to. Well done.

Next emergency is the car. At 2k a month there it'll be the start of September before it's worth what you owe on it. That's really not so long to go. By Halloween you'll have enough money lying around to trade the car for a cheaper one which you'll own outright, no payments to make. Now you'll have no credit card debt, no car payment and $6k emergency credit to call upon. We've been paying $100 a month on the hospital bill for 6 months at this point too, I'm assuming that at some point that will be paid off but we're still good there.

At this point we've cut $800 from your monthly bills and an incredible $28000 from your debts and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. You're still earning $4000 but your expenses are around $1400 (before mother). You're now looking at being able to pay back your cousin around 2 to 2.5k a month rather than the intended 1k. We're aggressive about this debt because he's been a very good sport about you not paying him back since April so we're gonna do 2.5k a month. Your original schedule was going to take 6.3 months from today so you were going to finish paying him off in November 2015. Even though we delayed starting payments until the start of November we're still going to pay him off in just 2.5 months so you'll be out of debt to your cousin just two months late, even though you delayed it by six months.

That gets you to January of 2016. Things look somewhat different now. You're still building equity in your home, half of your monthly expenses are on the mortgage which are savings of a sort, and you have an overall savings rate of around 60%. You're maxing retirement accounts, saving money, investing in yourself and generally being awesome. Now we look at this to project a date.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

Around 12 years. Well done.

Spot on.

I could not think of more appropriate solution. In fact, I just called my cousin and left a voicemail to him. I will try to work on things as you suggested.

car loan details:
original loan amount: 29k
amount owed today: 22k
interest : 6.99
72 months (24 months paid so far)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 03:24:04 PM by sravuri2710 »

wrangler05

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The good news is that I don't find borrowing money for a house, to be bad debt (nice cousin btw).  If you are paying off a $1,000 you'll be done in 6 months at which point you can start worrying about saving. Right now your entire focus you be getting out of expensive debt.. Credit card is just crazy expensive debt and you should never ever have it except for the most dire of emergencies.

If you are 31 that makes probably makes you parents 55-65 range.  IMO that is way too young an age for a parent to be receiving financial support from their kids.. I don't think anyone that contribute to their parents support qualifies for a completely irresponsible life so don't beat yourself up too much.  However,you can't afford to contribute to your mom's financial support until you get out of credit card debt.  Maybe after you finish paying off your credit card debt and your cousin then you can start paying again.  But you are living paycheck to paycheck, and as independent contractor you are hosed if you get sick, hit bad stretch of find work etc.  So have a talk with mom, and any other siblings you have about how to deal with this in the short term. Where does your mom live?

If your spending is in fact accurate than you don't have a lot of fat to cut.  Yes it was mistake to buy a new car, (I didn't buy a new car until I could pay cash), how ever it isn't a crazy expensive car, and there doesn't seem to be an short term options available.  AFTER you pay your cousin off it maybe worth asking if he would be interested in offer you a debt consolation at reasonable interest rate 6-8%.  One of the problems us saver have is find reasonable interest rates, so I am happy to loan money to family member, good friends with a good track record.

As far as kids go, you can't afford them. Now maybe your wife can, but if you guys have kids she's going to need to A. continue to work, and B. pay for them. I'm not married but this doesn't seem like particular good plan for martial bliss.

You are right about the kids. We are still debating, DW wants kids, I want to delay for atleast 2 years.

My parents are separated and My mom lives in INDIA. She depends on what I send her per month. I will try to cut down other things rather than stop sending her money.

I will try to clear off the credit card debit and then clear off cousin's debt. You gave me a very good idea, i will first clear my cousin's debt and then will borrow money from him for interest.

frugaldrummer

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I'm confused - you borrowed money from the cousin to buy a house that you and your wife live in, correct?  If so, then why isn't your wife also contributing to the repayment of that debt - after all, that is joint debt incurred to buy the marital home.

I would have her contribute to that debt as well and keep paying it off- you should not take advantage of your cousin by asking them to delay payment.

rpr

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I'm confused - you borrowed money from the cousin to buy a house that you and your wife live in, correct?  If so, then why isn't your wife also contributing to the repayment of that debt - after all, that is joint debt incurred to buy the marital home.

I would have her contribute to that debt as well and keep paying it off- you should not take advantage of your cousin by asking them to delay payment.
I assume that she put down her share of the down-payment via savings she had while OP borrowed his from his cousin.

Josiecat

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It would be better if you and your wife could work together as a married couple.  Recommend combing yourselves financially and working towards your goals as a family instead of separately.

wrangler05

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I'm confused - you borrowed money from the cousin to buy a house that you and your wife live in, correct?  If so, then why isn't your wife also contributing to the repayment of that debt - after all, that is joint debt incurred to buy the marital home.

I would have her contribute to that debt as well and keep paying it off- you should not take advantage of your cousin by asking them to delay payment.
I assume that she put down her share of the down-payment via savings she had while OP borrowed his from his cousin.

Yes, you are right. she put half the money down.

clifp

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You are right about the kids. We are still debating, DW wants kids, I want to delay for atleast 2 years.

My parents are separated and My mom lives in INDIA. She depends on what I send her per month. I will try to cut down other things rather than stop sending her money.

I will try to clear off the credit card debit and then clear off cousin's debt. You gave me a very good idea, i will first clear my cousin's debt and then will borrow money from him for interest.

Based on your strong conviction, I was guessing either the Philippines or India.  Just FYI, the assumption I (and suspect others) were making was that mom was living in the US and eligible for Social Security and/or had employment prospect.  Given that's not true and the $350/month goes a lot further in India than it would in the US, I can see why cutting it is not an option.  I'll say its very admirable quality which is pretty foreign to most native born American, to prioritize the needs of your parents over your own.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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It really jumps out at me that you and your wife are not a team. She won't LOAN you money??? Even though that would keep way more money between the two of you as a couple? She does not trust you. Maybe she loves you, but I would personally be alarmed that she wants to combine DNA (aka, have a baby) but not even start to combine finances. (Just as an example of teamwork--when my sister married her husband, he quit his job to take care of her kids from previous marriages and their kid together and she paid off all his credit cards [after cutting them up, of course--he is cash-only now] and bought him a car.)

I'm not saying this to knock your wife, just pointing out that it sounds like the two of you have some serious work to do to become a real partnership where you are planning for the future together, not this I-have-my-money-you-do-your-own-thing status. Please don't have a baby until you've earned her trust and she has granted it.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Oh, and welcome :-).

rpr

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frugalparagon: That was harsh.
  • You are only getting one side of the story (the OPs)
  • You have no idea of other pertinent information such as culture/tradition which may have a strong bearing on the nature of the relationship between the OP and spouse.

That said, I'd try to follow dsmexpat's excellent suggestion with just one change. Pay back the cousin before the car even though it is not the best move financially. Wishing you good luck.

wtjbatman

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It would be better if you and your wife could work together as a married couple.  Recommend combing yourselves financially and working towards your goals as a family instead of separately.

+1

Crazy situation that would be even crazier if you have children together... yet not only don't have combined finances, but don't know what the other person has as far as money/assets? Yikes.

JLR

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I'm curious to see what you end up doing.

Best of luck getting on top of things.

MrsPete

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My advice won't be too far from what's already been said: 

You and your wife are earning a good salary between you -- more than my husband and I earn, in fact, though we have much more to show for it -- but, as others have said, you need to begin working together as a team, and it's imperative that you do this now before you have children.  Children will make everything more complicated.  I agree with you that waiting two years to begin a family is a good idea; with your salary, you should be able to improve this situation in that time, and then you'll be ready. 

One thing that jumped out at me is that you're considering borrowing MORE from your cousin (for interest?).  You can never borrow your way out of debt, so forget that plan.  Don't borrow from anyone for any reason. 

Your transportation costs are crazy high.  Between just car payments and insurance, you're spending $1 out of every $8 you earn on your cars -- that's an incredibly high percentage for transportation, and it doesn't include gas or maintenance.  Do whatever you can to reduce this.  Do either of you have the option of working from home?  Could you share a car?  Can you sell a car and get something that requires no monthly payment.  Note, I didn't say, "Would it be convenient to do these things?"  I said, is it possible?  This one thing can make a giant difference in your budget. 

Your utilities are pretty high for a small house.  This makes me think you have inefficient windows, doors, whatever.  Start reading up on home maintenance, and check around your house to see if you can increase your efficiency. 

For two people $300 in groceries + $150 in take out is pretty high.  Search out less expensive recipes and learn to cook them. 




Giro

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You've gotten good advice so far.

I disagree on the emotion around the wife not "sharing" her income.  The dude maxed out his credit cards, borrowed money from a cousin and bought a new car.  Why should his wife have to pony up when she was responsible and saved/sacrificed before spending all of her money.

How many here would pay off someone else's credit card debt? 

We drive cars we paid cash for, we pack our lunches, we ride bikes, we don't go out to eat or to bars etc etc....why should we pay for folks who didn't do all of those things?

Pay off the cousin, pay off the credit cards and THEN start saving.  You have a good income.  You are just going to have to dig out of the hole that you dug.

wrangler05

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It really jumps out at me that you and your wife are not a team. She won't LOAN you money??? Even though that would keep way more money between the two of you as a couple? She does not trust you. Maybe she loves you, but I would personally be alarmed that she wants to combine DNA (aka, have a baby) but not even start to combine finances. (Just as an example of teamwork--when my sister married her husband, he quit his job to take care of her kids from previous marriages and their kid together and she paid off all his credit cards [after cutting them up, of course--he is cash-only now] and bought him a car.)

I'm not saying this to knock your wife, just pointing out that it sounds like the two of you have some serious work to do to become a real partnership where you are planning for the future together, not this I-have-my-money-you-do-your-own-thing status. Please don't have a baby until you've earned her trust and she has granted it.

Thank you for taking time to respond to my post. I should have been more clear in my previous post. It is my decision not to borrow money from her till I change my lifestyle. She packs her lunch, while i eat out everyday. She bought a preowned car, (though it is 2013) for almost 5k less than KBB value, while I bought a flashy new car which can accomodate 2 grown adults (scion fr-s) and doesnt even work in New England winters due to its RWD.

She shares all the information about her 401k, savings accounts and motivates me to save atleast half of what she is saving. I used to nod and forget about it. That is why I do not have any idea about her savings. She provided for both of us when we were dating back in 2011 for complete one year, when i was unemployed. So, I want to change my lifestyle, clear off my credit cards, cousin debt and sell the car this year and then discuss about our finances together.

wrangler05

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My advice won't be too far from what's already been said: 

You and your wife are earning a good salary between you -- more than my husband and I earn, in fact, though we have much more to show for it -- but, as others have said, you need to begin working together as a team, and it's imperative that you do this now before you have children.  Children will make everything more complicated.  I agree with you that waiting two years to begin a family is a good idea; with your salary, you should be able to improve this situation in that time, and then you'll be ready. 

One thing that jumped out at me is that you're considering borrowing MORE from your cousin (for interest?).  You can never borrow your way out of debt, so forget that plan.  Don't borrow from anyone for any reason. 

Your transportation costs are crazy high.  Between just car payments and insurance, you're spending $1 out of every $8 you earn on your cars -- that's an incredibly high percentage for transportation, and it doesn't include gas or maintenance.  Do whatever you can to reduce this.  Do either of you have the option of working from home?  Could you share a car?  Can you sell a car and get something that requires no monthly payment.  Note, I didn't say, "Would it be convenient to do these things?"  I said, is it possible?  This one thing can make a giant difference in your budget. 

Your utilities are pretty high for a small house.  This makes me think you have inefficient windows, doors, whatever.  Start reading up on home maintenance, and check around your house to see if you can increase your efficiency. 

For two people $300 in groceries + $150 in take out is pretty high.  Search out less expensive recipes and learn to cook them.

Thank you Mrs Pete. I want to pay off my cousins debt first, then want to borrow money from him for more interest and pay off credit cards and pay a little towards my car and sell it. Then, I willl start paying off my cousin. I can pay off my credit cards and car without borrowing money from him, but that way I will be paying more interest as I have high interest credit cards.

I concur with your suggestion. We dont need two cars. I will try and sell my car as soon as possible. Also, the take out expense is high because I eat out almost everyday for lunch. I will try and cut that expense.

wrangler05

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You've gotten good advice so far.

I disagree on the emotion around the wife not "sharing" her income.  The dude maxed out his credit cards, borrowed money from a cousin and bought a new car.  Why should his wife have to pony up when she was responsible and saved/sacrificed before spending all of her money.

How many here would pay off someone else's credit card debt? 

We drive cars we paid cash for, we pack our lunches, we ride bikes, we don't go out to eat or to bars etc etc....why should we pay for folks who didn't do all of those things?
Pay off the cousin, pay off the credit cards and THEN start saving.  You have a good income.  You are just going to have to dig out of the hole that you dug.

Spot on Sir. I needed this slap on my face. I totally agree with what you say and trying to change my lifestyle.


« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 02:32:24 PM by sravuri2710 »

use2betrix

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Also, the take out expense is high because I eat out almost everyday for lunch. I will try and cut that expense.

No "trying" on that one. That ones an easy no brainer and adds up majorly financially. I go out to eat maybe once every few months for lunch and it's due to a special occasion, boss is visiting, I'm working off-site, etc.

Pack whatever, cook the night before, bring leftovers. Peanut butter and Jelly's, ham sandwiches, instant pasta's where you add water and microwave, anything is much cheaper! We cook all our meals for the week on Sunday's and Wednesdays. I eat 6x per day, and 4 of those are pre-cooked meals, so we (well, my gf) cook a lot all at one time.

Also, maybe show your wife this thread? I think there is a lot of good info here for you guys to discuss and her to see as well.

Regarding your mom, especially beings she is in India, I find that honorable how much you're willing to sacrifice to make sure she is taken care of. I think that situation is more more appreciable than what typical Americans think of in that situation - supporting a parent who only needs support because they overspend.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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It really jumps out at me that you and your wife are not a team. She won't LOAN you money??? Even though that would keep way more money between the two of you as a couple? She does not trust you. Maybe she loves you, but I would personally be alarmed that she wants to combine DNA (aka, have a baby) but not even start to combine finances. (Just as an example of teamwork--when my sister married her husband, he quit his job to take care of her kids from previous marriages and their kid together and she paid off all his credit cards [after cutting them up, of course--he is cash-only now] and bought him a car.)

I'm not saying this to knock your wife, just pointing out that it sounds like the two of you have some serious work to do to become a real partnership where you are planning for the future together, not this I-have-my-money-you-do-your-own-thing status. Please don't have a baby until you've earned her trust and she has granted it.

Thank you for taking time to respond to my post. I should have been more clear in my previous post. It is my decision not to borrow money from her till I change my lifestyle. She packs her lunch, while i eat out everyday. She bought a preowned car, (though it is 2013) for almost 5k less than KBB value, while I bought a flashy new car which can accomodate 2 grown adults (scion fr-s) and doesnt even work in New England winters due to its RWD.

She shares all the information about her 401k, savings accounts and motivates me to save atleast half of what she is saving. I used to nod and forget about it. That is why I do not have any idea about her savings. She provided for both of us when we were dating back in 2011 for complete one year, when i was unemployed. So, I want to change my lifestyle, clear off my credit cards, cousin debt and sell the car this year and then discuss about our finances together.

Glad that I misunderstood and that there is not as much distance as I thought! Sounds like your wife has been trying to show the way without nagging. Funny how sometimes we are more willing to listen to outsiders (eg, MMM) than our own spouses :-).

I agree that there is no "try" on lunches. Just don't even make it an option. Never buy lunch at work again. Starting tomorrow. If you have to, run to the grocery store tonight/before work/whenever and get some canned soup, crackers, string cheese, whatever you like. Once you get in the habit, you can optimize even more by bringing home-cooked food/leftovers, but seriously, just work something else out. I work in the afternoons and often have to my leave my house in the morning with three lunches (one for me, two for the kids), three changes of clothes (my work clothes--since I'm wearing gym clothes at first--and their in-case-they-pee clothes), my own coffee for work, and my morning and afternoon snacks (damn, I hate being hungry). If I can pull off that feat of engineering, you can pack a lunch :-).

dodojojo

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[quote author=clifp link=topic=34935.msg617395#msg617395
 I'll say its very admirable quality which is pretty foreign to most native born American, to prioritize the needs of your parents over your own.
[/quote]

I was a bit surprised to read the first few recommendations was to cut the parents off.  I would understand it if the backstory was the parents were wastrels, grifters, abusers, etc, but if not, I'd think many other things would be cut first before cutting off parents.

As much as I want to FIRE in 12 years--which is possible based on my personal spend rate, I'm planning to FIRE in 16-17 years as I've factored in parental financial support.

MrsPete

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Thank you Mrs Pete. I want to pay off my cousins debt first, then want to borrow money from him for more interest and pay off credit cards and pay a little towards my car and sell it. Then, I willl start paying off my cousin. I can pay off my credit cards and car without borrowing money from him, but that way I will be paying more interest as I have high interest credit cards.
No, no, no -- it  makes no sense to pay off your cousin, then borrow from him again.  I'll repeat what I said before:  You cannot borrow you way out of debt.  Pay him off, and do not borrow again. 
No "trying" on that one. That ones an easy no brainer and adds up majorly financially. I go out to eat maybe once every few months for lunch and it's due to a special occasion, boss is visiting, I'm working off-site, etc.
I hate packing lunch every night, but I don't have the luxury of buying lunch at work ... so, to avoid eating cheese crackers, I often pack 3-4 lunches on Sunday night and store them in the refrigerator at work.  Thus, I have lunch ready for the whole week. 

I also keep canned ravioli and soup in my drawer, and when I make homemade soup or casseroles, I sometimes pack up leftovers in individual-sized portions and freeze them /leave them at work in the freezer.  This means I'm never caught with nothing.


dsmexpat

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Quote from: clifp link=topic=34935.msg617395#msg617395
I'll say its very admirable quality which is pretty foreign to most native born American, to prioritize the needs of your parents over your own.

I was a bit surprised to read the first few recommendations was to cut the parents off.  I would understand it if the backstory was the parents were wastrels, grifters, abusers, etc, but if not, I'd think many other things would be cut first before cutting off parents.

As much as I want to FIRE in 12 years--which is possible based on my personal spend rate, I'm planning to FIRE in 16-17 years as I've factored in parental financial support.
He has less than zero dollars to support his parents with. Every dollar he sends them has an opportunity cost of paying down debt. It can be justifiable to borrow money and pay credit card interest on it for your parents but if you can reduce or delay it at all then it would help a lot.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 06:47:09 AM by dsmexpat »

onwisconsin

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Does your mom know what a tight financial bind you are in?  What would she do if something (god forbid) happened to you?  How would she support herself?  I get that there are cultural differences and it is admirable that you want to support her but you don't have the money (especially if you insist on eating out for lunch every day). 

HairyUpperLip

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Quote from: clifp link=topic=34935.msg617395#msg617395
I'll say its very admirable quality which is pretty foreign to most native born American, to prioritize the needs of your parents over your own.

I was a bit surprised to read the first few recommendations was to cut the parents off.  I would understand it if the backstory was the parents were wastrels, grifters, abusers, etc, but if not, I'd think many other things would be cut first before cutting off parents.

As much as I want to FIRE in 12 years--which is possible based on my personal spend rate, I'm planning to FIRE in 16-17 years as I've factored in parental financial support.
He has less than zero dollars to support his parents with. Every dollar he sends them has an opportunity cost of paying down debt. It can be justifiable to borrow money and pay credit card interest on it for your parents but if you can reduce or delay it at all then it would help a lot.

What if his Mom and lives, eats, and breathes on that $350 a month?

Fuck off with the cutting off his Mom stuff. She popped the guy out and raised him, $350 is pennies compared to the act of raising a human being. I think bigger gains can come from getting rid of his over priced car and cutting his frivolous spending.

Clearly, helping your parents is not something that clicks for white America. Things operate a little different in India, so you can't expect this guy to really come around to full circle American lifestyle.

James

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I concur with your suggestion. We dont need two cars. I will try and sell my car as soon as possible. Also, the take out expense is high because I eat out almost everyday for lunch. I will try and cut that expense.

Your wife is awesome, you have a living example right with you, now it is time for you to take action. I really don't like the phrasing of your last sentence, "I will try and cut that expense"... It really doesn't sound like you get it yet. YOU DON'T HAVE MONEY TO EAT OUT. PERIOD. No "trying to cut", you need to realize the cuts happened when you got your hair on fire debt, and now you have no choice but to change your lifestyle radically. No incremental changes, just rip the old lifestyle off like a bandaid and get used to your new lifestyle. It's really not that bad, it just hurts to change that much all at once. Your future self will really thank you

The lifestyle should be so entirely complete and overwhelming, that your wife knows without doubt you are serious and are a changed person. Read this every day for a while, just to keep your focus: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/

The actual way you go about getting rid of your car and handling your debts are important to you and will change the speed at which you get out of this fire, but they are just the details. Your lifestyle is the main problem, so make sure to focus on that just as much as you focus on the details like where you will get the $4,000 to get rid of your car.

Once she sees you living mustachian for a couple weeks, I don't think she would mind loaning the $4000 to help you get rid of the car, something like that shows clear desire to change your situation and spend less. It is very different than helping pay off your cc debt, etc.

Finally, it's ok if your new lifestyle affects her to some extent. She is doing well financially, but you aren't, and she chose to marry you. If she wants to eat out then she pays for it, because you can't afford it. That means you tell her "I can't afford it", not "you need to pay for it". But you don't go out and do expensive things together if it affects you financially, and that is another way she will realize you mean business. Once you get your "hair on fire" debt put out then you can work out a new lifestyle with some balance, but right now you need to not think about "balance", you need to live a life of frugality and reset your financial muscle memory to a new setting.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 07:52:41 AM by James »

dsmexpat

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Quote from: clifp link=topic=34935.msg617395#msg617395
I'll say its very admirable quality which is pretty foreign to most native born American, to prioritize the needs of your parents over your own.

I was a bit surprised to read the first few recommendations was to cut the parents off.  I would understand it if the backstory was the parents were wastrels, grifters, abusers, etc, but if not, I'd think many other things would be cut first before cutting off parents.

As much as I want to FIRE in 12 years--which is possible based on my personal spend rate, I'm planning to FIRE in 16-17 years as I've factored in parental financial support.
He has less than zero dollars to support his parents with. Every dollar he sends them has an opportunity cost of paying down debt. It can be justifiable to borrow money and pay credit card interest on it for your parents but if you can reduce or delay it at all then it would help a lot.

What if his Mom and lives, eats, and breathes on that $350 a month?

Fuck off with the cutting off his Mom stuff. She popped the guy out and raised him, $350 is pennies compared to the act of raising a human being. I think bigger gains can come from getting rid of his over priced car and cutting his frivolous spending.

Clearly, helping your parents is not something that clicks for white America. Things operate a little different in India, so you can't expect this guy to really come around to full circle American lifestyle.
You're replying to something completely different to what I wrote. I said it can be justifiable but it is important to recognise that he is borrowing money to do it. If I had to I'd borrow money on a credit card for my parents, I think pretty much anyone would if they literally needed it to eat. But if it can be reduced, or even just delayed until after the credit card is paid off, then it should be.

wrangler05

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Thank you Everyone!!!!

1) I brought leftovers for lunch and will continue to pack lunch. I am inspired by the above posts (packing 3-4 lunches/for kids etc.,) and thought I can do it and will do it.

2) I will pay off my credit cards first, then part of my car loan required to sell it and then to my cousin. My cousing is okay with me paying $100 a month from now rather than $1000 a month. He wants me to pay $100 a month, so that I will not forget about him, sounds like a good plan to me.

3) I am planning to be debt free by the end of this year (except for mortgage) and then start saving for my future.

Thanks again for your wonderful comments and suggestions. If anyone is interested, I will update this thread as I progress and also ask for more suggestions.

Neustache

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Please update - would love to see your progress!

Cookie78

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Please update - would love to see your progress!

I agree. Best of luck making these changes. Your wife sounds awesome. I'm curious where the two of you will be in at within a year, in terms of net worth and savings rates. :)

Kaspian

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I just want to say that (while I'm glad I don't have to do it), it's a refreshing switch seeing somebody help out their parents.   The number of people your age we see (even here in the forums) getting economic outpatient care and leeching off their folks without remorse well into their 30s is downright embarrassing.  I think you've taken more criticism than they usually do. 

...And your 3 major steps sound good.  Best of luck!

N

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I just wanted to let you know that doing the Mustachian 180 is totally possible.
You are so lucky that your partner is already frugal and can be a great example for you.
If you continue with the hair on fire attitude, in a year or two, you will be amazed at how much you accomplished.

Examine every single expense you have and determine if it can be eliminated, reduced, delayed.
Attack every single monthly bill and apply the same: eliminate, reduce, delay.

YOu can do it!

Giro

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I also want to note my approval of supporting your parents.  In America, we have it ass-backwards.  Kids living at home and leeching off of their parents well into their 30's.  It's almost more acceptable to borrow money from your parents than it is for parents to get money from their grown children.  As if the parents haven't given them enough already.  hell, parents support their kids for at least the first 18 years of their lives.  Why in the world would they not pay it back when they are working and supporting themselves.

I have twins and a younger child.  The twins are 11 years older than the younger girl.  I am completely paying for the twins college education.  I demanded in return that the twins begin contributing small dollars to their sister's college fund so that she has money for college when she's ready.  I mentioned it in passing and you would have thought I asked them to give up an arm.  I got so much backlash for that on finance forums.  "You can't make children pay for their sister's college!"  ....the hell I can't.  I just paid for each of them to get college degrees, paid cell phones, cars and car insurance for 22 years.  You think I can't make them take a few bucks each month and put it towards their sister to pay it forward.  And for the record, the twins didn't even blink.  But then again, I didn't ask.  I pretty much told them how it would be. 

there is just no sense of family in this country.



HairyUpperLip

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Quote from: clifp link=topic=34935.msg617395#msg617395
I'll say its very admirable quality which is pretty foreign to most native born American, to prioritize the needs of your parents over your own.

I was a bit surprised to read the first few recommendations was to cut the parents off.  I would understand it if the backstory was the parents were wastrels, grifters, abusers, etc, but if not, I'd think many other things would be cut first before cutting off parents.

As much as I want to FIRE in 12 years--which is possible based on my personal spend rate, I'm planning to FIRE in 16-17 years as I've factored in parental financial support.
He has less than zero dollars to support his parents with. Every dollar he sends them has an opportunity cost of paying down debt. It can be justifiable to borrow money and pay credit card interest on it for your parents but if you can reduce or delay it at all then it would help a lot.

What if his Mom and lives, eats, and breathes on that $350 a month?

Fuck off with the cutting off his Mom stuff. She popped the guy out and raised him, $350 is pennies compared to the act of raising a human being. I think bigger gains can come from getting rid of his over priced car and cutting his frivolous spending.

Clearly, helping your parents is not something that clicks for white America. Things operate a little different in India, so you can't expect this guy to really come around to full circle American lifestyle.
You're replying to something completely different to what I wrote. I said it can be justifiable but it is important to recognise that he is borrowing money to do it. If I had to I'd borrow money on a credit card for my parents, I think pretty much anyone would if they literally needed it to eat. But if it can be reduced, or even just delayed until after the credit card is paid off, then it should be.

Sorry man, over reaction from my part. Just think there is a lot he can do before cutting off his Mom (assuming she's dependent on the loot).

HairyUpperLip

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Do you eat daal?

Daal and rice makes a cheap lunch and your wife can make daal in bulk.

rpr

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Do you eat daal?

Daal and rice makes a cheap lunch and your wife can make daal in bulk.
I don't want this thread to digress, but the above sentence really grates on me (and I'm a guy).  Why can't he make daal in bulk for both of them to take for lunch? 

Sometimes following culture and traditions is good, and other times not.

wrangler05

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I also want to note my approval of supporting your parents.  In America, we have it ass-backwards.  Kids living at home and leeching off of their parents well into their 30's.  It's almost more acceptable to borrow money from your parents than it is for parents to get money from their grown children.  As if the parents haven't given them enough already.  hell, parents support their kids for at least the first 18 years of their lives.  Why in the world would they not pay it back when they are working and supporting themselves.

I have twins and a younger child.  The twins are 11 years older than the younger girl.  I am completely paying for the twins college education.  I demanded in return that the twins begin contributing small dollars to their sister's college fund so that she has money for college when she's ready.  I mentioned it in passing and you would have thought I asked them to give up an arm.  I got so much backlash for that on finance forums.  "You can't make children pay for their sister's college!"  ....the hell I can't.  I just paid for each of them to get college degrees, paid cell phones, cars and car insurance for 22 years.  You think I can't make them take a few bucks each month and put it towards their sister to pay it forward.  And for the record, the twins didn't even blink.  But then again, I didn't ask.  I pretty much told them how it would be. 

there is just no sense of family in this country.

You approach to teach kids that they should be responsible for their younger sister is good. When they are contributing towards their sister's college fund, they will know the value of your effort in completely paying for their college education.

I just wanted to let you know that doing the Mustachian 180 is totally possible.
You are so lucky that your partner is already frugal and can be a great example for you.
If you continue with the hair on fire attitude, in a year or two, you will be amazed at how much you accomplished.

Examine every single expense you have and determine if it can be eliminated, reduced, delayed.
Attack every single monthly bill and apply the same: eliminate, reduce, delay.

YOu can do it!

Thank You N!!!

I just want to say that (while I'm glad I don't have to do it), it's a refreshing switch seeing somebody help out their parents.   The number of people your age we see (even here in the forums) getting economic outpatient care and leeching off their folks without remorse well into their 30s is downright embarrassing.  I think you've taken more criticism than they usually do. 

...And your 3 major steps sound good.  Best of luck!

Thank you Kaspian, you guys are all very supportive and this forum is amazing.

Do you eat daal?

Daal and rice makes a cheap lunch and your wife can make daal in bulk.

I actually have diet restrictions due to my IBD(Inflammatory Bowel Disease), But I am planning on preparing meals over the weekend and wednesday as @MrsPete suggested above 

wrangler05

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Do you eat daal?

Daal and rice makes a cheap lunch and your wife can make daal in bulk.
I don't want this thread to digress, but the above sentence really grates on me (and I'm a guy).  Why can't he make daal in bulk for both of them to take for lunch? 

Sometimes following culture and traditions is good, and other times not.

We share all household work. My wife is awesome at cooking. I clean up after, do the dishes, mop the floors etc., I sometimes cook too, when she is tired or doesnt want to cook but I am a below average cook and can only cook a few items :-)

Making my spouse feel inferior or making her to do designated household work basing on gender was never a part of our culture or tradition.

I am always more than happy to take work load of her and do all the house hold work, whenever I am working from home and she does the same when she is working from home.

wrangler05

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Does your mom know what a tight financial bind you are in?  What would she do if something (god forbid) happened to you?  How would she support herself?  I get that there are cultural differences and it is admirable that you want to support her but you don't have the money (especially if you insist on eating out for lunch every day).

My mom is not aware of my financial situation. If something happens to me, I have life insurance and part of it will be contributed to my mom. I have an younger brother who will be starting his first job in few months. He will support her also eventually.

I stopped eating outside starting from today and will continue to pack lunch.

rpr

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No savings till now, found MMM last week, would like to alter my lifestyle
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2015, 12:41:27 PM »

Do you eat daal?

Daal and rice makes a cheap lunch and your wife can make daal in bulk.
I don't want this thread to digress, but the above sentence really grates on me (and I'm a guy).  Why can't he make daal in bulk for both of them to take for lunch? 

Sometimes following culture and traditions is good, and other times not.

We share all household work. My wife is awesome at cooking. I clean up after, do the dishes, mop the floors etc., I sometimes cook too, when she is tired or doesnt want to cook but I am a below average cook and can only cook a few items :-)

Making my spouse feel inferior or making her to do designated household work basing on gender was never a part of our culture or tradition.

I am always more than happy to take work load of her and do all the house hold work, whenever I am working from home and she does the same when she is working from home.
I did not imply so. I was responding to the different poster above..

Good to hear and good for you. Learn how to cook well. Start by spending time in the kitchen with your wife helping her. Cooking together is one of my joys. Cooking is not that hard. Look at recipes online especially for things your wife does not make currently and to match your dietary requirements. Shop ahead of time. Cook with love and passion for the people you are feeding (including yourself). It always comes out delicious.