Author Topic: advise me about my next big job move  (Read 3333 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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advise me about my next big job move
« on: January 29, 2015, 04:14:38 PM »
I've been lurking around here for a while.  I got divorced, sold my house, and finished a degree and realized that I needed to get on top of my financial situation.  I found MMM through YNAB and have realized that I actually do not need to be paying off student loan debt for rest of my natural life, which is what I always assumed previously.  I come from a family that is Not Good with money at all and I never thought to teach myself, until, well, now.  An example of this is that my dad believes to this day that most people bounce a few checks annually.  Okay, dad.  Also, until a couple of months ago, I didn't even know I had a 401K at all, and then I discovered that I did at some old job and it's been sitting there all along.   

I am lucky, though: I'm healthy, I have a job I like that pays pretty well, I like my life, and I got a fabulous education. 

Here's my situation, roughly: 
Income: After taxes and insurance, I am currently bringing home about 40K a year, or about 3K / month  No 401K at work.
I got this job while I was in school because I thought it would be convenient, even though it's not super lucrative, it is super convenient!  I can walk to work and only work 3 days a week (3 12 hour shifts).  There isn't usually any overtime available to pick up, though when I can I do.  I like it there pretty well, although I've gotten a little bored and have a fancy new degree, so I plan to get a new job to make more money.  More on that later. 

Current expenses:
$500/month: rent
$80/month: utilities and phone
$50 / month: car insurance
$400 / month : groceries, fuel, .... stuff.  I know I could reduce this further and I may do so, it's better than it was, working on it.  Go ahead with the facepunches on that if you want, but I just had some dental work done so be gentle. 
expenses: 1,030 /month

9K in 401K
9K in emergency fund savings
Honda Civic 06 is paid off, I don't want to get rid of it.  I live in a rural place, I need it to get to my parents house which is 30 miles away over a lot of hills (and, believe it or not, I don't know how to ride a bicycle! that's another post entirely), and I will probably need it to get to my next job.
:18 K in assets

Liabilities: OMG student loans. 
I owe about 80K in student loans.  I had no clue what I was doing when I took out these loans.  They are not consolidated because I work in a field where I may be able to get state reimbursement for student loans, which is a lot harder when you consolidate, and anyway, I can afford them as they are.  There is a mix in there of truly horrible 9% Sallie Mae and 2% government loans and everything in between.  The minimum payments on these suckers are about $800/month, although I am paying them down more quickly than that right now, tossing them an extra 1K / month.  I plan to throw all my extra money towards these until I am free.   
No other debt though!   

My question:
So, I just finished a fancy new degree.  So, I am ready to get a fancy new job to go with it, with which I am going to pay off all that student debt and then get saving.  I am excited.  In my state, the mean salary for people with my credential is 90K - more than twice what I am making right now.  I expect to make a little less than that right our of the gate.  Yet, I want to find just the right thing - financially and professionally, which I feel I can do since I already have my sweet, convenient job that pays the bills. 

But, like I said, I live in a rural place, so I am looking at jobs, most of which have a commute.  How much commute should I even consider, for what amount of money? I do really get how crappy commuting is for your quality of life and for your wallet.  Any other thoughts on how I could best meet my goals?

Should you ask:
I am not considering relocating at this time. I have a cheap living situation that I really like, with my SO.  We do not combine our finances for multiple reasons, biggest of which, it is too early in the relationship and we have significant income disparity.  She owns this house in which we live and selling it right now is not happening.  If I didn't live here and pay rent, she would get a renter for more than I pay here, so I think this is a good deal.  I have been blathering on to her about my recent financial reading and I think she is interested.  She is already good at living a frugal life. 

Why don't I use that emergency fund to pay down more of my debt?
  Well, that's a good question.  The answer is that I'm 35 and childless.  What does that have to do with it?  Well, I'm thinking I might have a kid in the next couple of years, so I might need that money if that comes to pass.  We'll see about that.  Maybe I'll post about that further down the line. 

Thank you for any thoughts you have on my situation.  I know there's nothing here about FIRE, but I feel I am just in the baby stages of figuring out how to manage my money / my hair is on fire.  I will be getting back to you people again when this debt starts shrinking seriously.  I have been so impressed by how nice and helpful you all are as I've lurked around here lately... so, thank you for any advice / questions / face punches you can provide!


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: advise me about my next big job move
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 04:34:57 PM »
Welcome!  It will take a lot of hard work and discipline to get rid of that debt but take it one day at time.  All the little wins will add up over time and you'll be on your way to semi-early retirement.


  • Stubble
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Re: advise me about my next big job move
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 05:06:20 PM »
I would need to know what your degree was in and what employment experience you have to be able to give advice on how much commute is worth it.


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Re: advise me about my next big job move
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2015, 05:38:15 PM »
At the rate you are going, those students loans won't last long. Especially if you get a job in your field.  Think about the pros and cons of paying off high rate loans and paying off small balance loans. Also investigate what assets your 401k owns. If it is the typical high-fee plan that a lot of employers use, you should consider rolling it over to a low cost IRA. Vanguard is the crowd favorite here.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: advise me about my next big job move
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2015, 05:58:26 PM »
good idea about the 401k, I've been meaning to educate myself more on that.
re: my degree, I'm a nurse, just became a nurse practitioner. I've been working in this field for 6 years.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 06:00:10 PM by Briarly »


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!