Author Topic: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE  (Read 12297 times)

CharChar

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ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« on: October 26, 2013, 12:48:13 PM »
New to this! I've been reading MMM posts for quite some time but this is my first time on the forum :)

Heres my info:

27/female, no kids
Income: $1350/mo
Student Loan: $8300 total...couple of smaller ones @ 2.9 and the larger one @6.8, I pay $150/mo on these, more than minimum
Car: 2005 Mazda hatchback, paid off
Car insurance: $50/mo
Cat: $120/mo max
Fuel: $200/mo max
General (food, drink, hygene): $200/mo
Savings: $5000 cash (at home)
No 401k or any sort of investment/retirement account
Will be getting an $1800 tax refund in Jan.

Heres my life situation:
I am currently living in my parents basement for free (including free groceries. im very thankful to have supportive parents to help me get back on my feet) while I save and make plans to move to another state (CA - inland area where cost of living is just slightly higher than where I am now) in March. Once there, I hope to be able to live close to work and ride a bike to most places. Right now I do not have a safe bike path to my work(very busy streets, not bike friendly, girl just got hit and lost a leg...scary!)

Up until recently I used the extra money each paycheck to pay off my CC. Now that its paid off(as of last month), I am putting $250-350 into savings each pay period, which I plan to use for the move and have extra rent set aside or use it for my idea stated in the next paragraph...

I've always wanted to dip my feet into real estate investing. I've thought about purchasing a $10,000-$25,000 mobile home w/ at least 20% down when I move and renting out some or all of the rooms. I've been doing lots of research and could have a profit within about a years time if I do it right. Plus I want to use it as an opportunity to learn/practice home maintenance & repairs. I know this is kind of an ambitious goal, but im ok with that.

I've come to terms with the fact that my fields of interest are low-paying. My goal is to eventually open my own retail store (antimustachian i know, sorry. but its been my dream since i was a kid and i have plans to do some good humanitarian deeds with the profits). I sell clothing online and use that money to put into a business account for future business expenses. Im hoping to combine this business with real estate investment to have a decent income. I have a worthless AA degree, btw.

So I guess my biggest challenge is that once I move, my expenses will go up but my income will only slightly increase, if at all. I feel that I do not have any room for investment. I don't even have health insurance(which will obviously have to change soon) or a 401k, which will be a high priority when I get a new job in March.

I feel a little stuck, like I'm in between situations and can't really do anything until I move. March is coming I know, but what can I do, if anything until then, to improve? Is living rent free and saving while paying my current expenses and being patient the best I can do? And what about after I move?

Thank you so much to anyone who wants to give me their thoughts.

11/4 I got a second job! The bad news is that it is minimum wage and on the other side of town (which was pretty much unavoidable). But the number of hours I get depends on how well I do and I know I will do very well. So this is a potential $300-600 extra a month. All of which I plan on using to pay on my student loans in addition to the usual $150 that I pay. Its going to be a very busy holiday season for me but I think it will be well worth it :) My goal is to have half of it ($4000) paid by Feb. 1. Ill let you all know how it works out!



« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 10:14:19 AM by CharChar »

Catbert

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2013, 03:30:33 PM »
I don't have many specific thoughts other than you need to make more money!

Since you're moving to a new area don't buy anything for at least a year.  What if you don't like your job or the area?  You don't want to be stuck owning a not-so-mobile home.

Maybe getting a large tax refund this year isn't a terrible idea since it'll be forced savings for your move, but in general it doesn't make sense to plan on getting a large refund.


apennysaved

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2013, 03:55:14 PM »
I would get health insurance today!  MMM has a few posts on cheap health insurance. I think this is more important than saving the extra $250/month as you never know when something could happen and medical issues can severely hurt your financial situation. You can always cancel if you get a plan through work.

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2013, 04:16:02 PM »
I definitely agree about the large refund. I was kinda hoping "make more money" would not be the only answer. That's been a challenge. Its not that I don't have the skills. Right now I'm working in a leasing office that does not give raises EVER nor do they offer any sort of bonus. I have 2 people above me, my boss and her friend, so no promotion for me either. I am really hoping to find a better company to work for in March. Pretty much counting on it actually.  I have lived near the area I'm moving to and know I will be there for at least a couple of years, so I'm not worried about the rental in that regards.

As far as insurance, that is one of my top priorities right now. I will review that article. Thanks so much for your input!

abhe8

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2013, 04:23:43 PM »
i'd pay off your student loans asap. and get a second job. deliver pizzas, wait tables, get a partime seasonal job in retail? or bump up your game with your online clothing business. i'd also take a hard look at your budget and see how you can save more. maybe from the 200 you spend on food? (if parents are actually paying for your food?)

eta: so i looked at your budget again...you only spend 720 of the 1350 per month, and 120 of that is on the cat? i'd cut the cats budget and work hard on those student loans. if you cut the cats budget to 50 per month, you could then put 700 per month towards the student loans. it would take 5 months at 700 per month plus your 5k savings and the loans are gone by March. Stash the 1800 tax refund into savings and any extra you can cut from your budget and earn from a side job. that will help  you move and get settled.

i agree with pp's advice to rent for a year. find the cheapest place you can within biking distance. will the new job you are moving for pay more? i mean, as it is seems like you are only making minimum wage. i would take about a year at your new location/job and just save up a pile of money, the bigger the better. see what your expenses are like. then maybe start looking into home ownership/landlord.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 04:34:46 PM by abhe8 »

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2013, 12:35:26 PM »
The cat expense varies. It is not always that high, but he is my baby and I am not willing to feed him bottom of the barrel food. I do however plan on putting him on a raw food diet as soon as I can get my hands on a meat processer and that will cut the food cost dramatically.

I do like the idea of getting a second job since its the holiday season and a lot of part time positions are available. I tried that before but couldn't find one that fit my schedule. Think I'll fill out some applications today :) I am actually making $11/hr but my schedule, while just under 40 hours, makes a second job difficult. I don't quite yet know where I'll be working when I move, which is why I wanted to hang onto that $5000 until I got settled and had a job lined up.

engineerjourney

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2013, 12:55:21 PM »
Hey CharChar,
  I know what you mean about feeding your baby the best food but we have three cats and feed them grain free with less than half your expense.  Maybe check out some other brands?  There has been a lot more competition in high quality cat food and there are a lot more options than there were before.  Try to look for a local feed store, they usually have better options/prices.  Petsmart and Petco are not the best when it comes to the high quality prices.  Our cats get a can to share every evening and free feed on two different dry foods.  We use Dave's Pet Food cans, grain free, and they are only $1.19 while most of the others are over $2 and smaller size! Then we feed them a mix of Blue Buffalo Wilderness and Precise cat food.  We get the bigger bags and they last a long time with better value than the small ones.  If your cat is not too picky it would definitely be worth it to see if he like some other cheaper food!  Good luck!

TansyPants

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2013, 01:10:33 PM »
Regarding the cat: we feed three cats on decent quality wet food (the large cans of evo) from wag.com for about what you're spending. I'm trying to convince my boyfriend of the benefits of raw but he's skeeved out. I slip them chicken necks when i can.

As for the rest, I second thrashing the student loan before moving and living in the new place for a year before purchasing a home. Good luck!

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2013, 03:17:27 PM »
Tansy thank you! I will check out that website right now. I really appreciate everyone's advise! I have some thinking to do. I'll give an update soon :)

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2013, 03:31:52 PM »
Engineerjourney I just recently switched him to Blue Buffalo wet and only feed dry for snacks. He is a big cat (not fat just big boned). So yes, it gets expensive. I know you are all going to hate this, but my boyfriend works at a vet clinic and can get science diet for free. I just can't feed that to my kitty though! Its one rediculous expense that I won't compromise.

capital

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 06:36:29 PM »
That's a lot of gas money for a small car-- do you have a really long commute?

Paying off the 6.8% loan is a good plan, but unless you really want to, a loan at 2.9% is cheap enough that you don't need to prioritize paying it off.

engineerjourney

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2013, 06:50:20 PM »
CharChar, good job not feeding him science diet!! That stuff is crap and shouldn't touted as a great pet food, I don't blame you for not wanting to feed him that!! No hate from me, crap is still crap even if its free :)

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 07:06:31 PM »
You've gotten some great advice already. If you're looking for more money, why not ramp up your online clothing sales? Looking into how to turn this into a more profitable business is only going to help you down the road. It sounds like you have an entrepreneureal spirit, so learning more about business will only help you once you move and your paycheck is determined by how smart you can hustle. If your clothing business is all online now, I don't see a reason to wait to get it going full-bore.

imbros

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2013, 11:16:50 AM »
- Replace the cat with a health insurance
- Reroute the savings to pay off Student loan
- Change jobs when/if you can

iamlindoro

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2013, 11:24:12 AM »
- Replace the cat with a health insurance

LOL.  You know no pet owner will do this, right?  And if they did, they'd be kind of a dirtbag?

CommonCents

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2013, 11:37:59 AM »
Wait to move until you have your 6.8% loan paid off, otherwise you'll fall into a debters hole (not making enough to pay for rent, skipping meals to feed your cat).  I also think you have to postpone your dream of owning property until you have a better cash flow and/or less in debt.

I understand your cat is your baby, but holey moley that's some expensive food you are feeding him.  Are you feeding him more than the vet recommends?

Why is gas so high?  Have you looked into (the free) gasbuddy app to figure out where gas is cheapest, and cut back on errands to minimize trips? 

Also recommend health insurance.  You can't afford to not have it and have something happen.

imbros

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2013, 11:55:29 AM »
- Replace the cat with a health insurance

LOL.  You know no pet owner will do this, right?  And if they did, they'd be kind of a dirtbag?

Yeah, I know..
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 12:26:01 PM by imbros »

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 12:23:54 PM »
Wow so many points to address! First off, not getting rid of my cat!

@Tansy & CharChar- I started making my own raw cat food a couple of months ago. I really recommend it! It's so much cheaper than when we were feeding them high-end wet cat food. If you guys want/need recipes for cat food, check out catinfo.org. Our cats have been thriving off of that stuff.

I have checked out that website and that is when I started to get really excited about switching him to a raw food diet. I have some recipes printed off already :)

Wait to move until you have your 6.8% loan paid off, otherwise you'll fall into a debters hole (not making enough to pay for rent, skipping meals to feed your cat).  I also think you have to postpone your dream of owning property until you have a better cash flow and/or less in debt.

I understand your point. I'm thinking about this more and more. I have been living in my parents basement for almost a year though! I'm trying to get out of here as soon as possible.

Why is gas so high?  Have you looked into (the free) gasbuddy app to figure out where gas is cheapest, and cut back on errands to minimize trips? 


I usually end up with $20-30 of gas money leftover from each paycheck. So normally, I only spend about $140-160 each month. We do, however have the occasional trip to the nearest city, which is about a 60 miles away. We do this about once a month. I live in a smaller city where everything is on one side of town and I live on the other side where there are no grocery stores. I try my hardest to keep errands together. I could still improve in this area though.

You've gotten some great advice already. If you're looking for more money, why not ramp up your online clothing sales? Looking into how to turn this into a more profitable business is only going to help you down the road. It sounds like you have an entrepreneureal spirit, so learning more about business will only help you once you move and your paycheck is determined by how smart you can hustle. If your clothing business is all online now, I don't see a reason to wait to get it going full-bore.

I am working on this. I have only been selling online for a few months. I am working on getting more inventory at the moment so once this happens, I am hoping to take it to the next level. It is definitely a learning experience.

It really is a priority for me to move out as soon as possible. I've already been here way longer than planned and my parents are eager to do some remodeling once we are out. I will work on pay that high interest loan and hopefully I am able to pick up a second seasonal job. It's going to be a big challenge. But I am still hanging onto my goal of moving out by March.

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2013, 10:23:15 AM »
I updated my original post to include info on the second job I just landed. Is it an agreement that I should use this extra income to wipe out my student loans as quickly as possible?

StaceStache

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 12:54:14 PM »
Yes, wipe out those 6.8% loans!

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2013, 01:45:10 PM »
OK! I am making my challenge known to all you fine folks! $4000 by Feb. 1. Here goes...

chasesfish

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2013, 03:57:50 AM »
Engineerjourney I just recently switched him to Blue Buffalo wet and only feed dry for snacks. He is a big cat (not fat just big boned). So yes, it gets expensive. I know you are all going to hate this, but my boyfriend works at a vet clinic and can get science diet for free. I just can't feed that to my kitty though! Its one rediculous expense that I won't compromise.

Purina Cat Chow, 2/3 of a cup, twice a day.  It's fine for your cat.

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2013, 07:16:56 AM »
I updated my original post to include info on the second job I just landed. Is it an agreement that I should use this extra income to wipe out my student loans as quickly as possible?
Slay that thing!!

Exflyboy

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2013, 10:18:59 AM »
Ok... ITS a CAT!... I have my 15 year old moggy and I love her to death but come on really!... I buy a 30lb bag of cat food for $5 and she is as happy as a clam.

Goes outside, chases mice, curls up on my lap.. She has only been to the vet once to get spayed.

You really need to get a reality check here.

Also, I'd take my $5000 savings and pay $4000 off on my student loans. You are paying 6.8% to borrow your own money otherwise... Thats just dumb and you don't need that level of emergency savings.

chasesfish

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve?
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2013, 07:30:06 PM »
Engineerjourney I just recently switched him to Blue Buffalo wet and only feed dry for snacks. He is a big cat (not fat just big boned). So yes, it gets expensive. I know you are all going to hate this, but my boyfriend works at a vet clinic and can get science diet for free. I just can't feed that to my kitty though! Its one rediculous expense that I won't compromise.

Purina Cat Chow, 2/3 of a cup, twice a day.  It's fine for your cat.

I'm dead serious about the suggestion above, I'm married to a vet and we do everything for our animals.  The larger brands have better quality control, dry food keeps down the teeth bills in old age, and it's a heck of a lot better than eating rodents, which the critters did before being domesticated.  Rationing food to the animal is lower cost and keeps them at a better weight

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2013, 10:51:42 AM »
Ok... ITS a CAT!... I have my 15 year old moggy and I love her to death but come on really!... I buy a 30lb bag of cat food for $5 and she is as happy as a clam.

Goes outside, chases mice, curls up on my lap.. She has only been to the vet once to get spayed.

You really need to get a reality check here.

You are obviously one of those "oh come on its just a cat!" people. But for me, he is my child. I'm not sure I will ever even have a human child. But regardless, he is a living creature and deserves the best care. There may be exceptions, but poor nutrition CAN and often DOES lead to serious health problems. I'm fine not taking that chance.

Also, I'd take my $5000 savings and pay $4000 off on my student loans. You are paying 6.8% to borrow your own money otherwise... Thats just dumb and you don't need that level of emergency savings.

The $5000 is not an emergency fund. I have a separate emergency fund of $1000 (which I had to borrow from for my car so that is now about $550). The $5000 is what I have saved for moving out of my parents house in a few months. I want to keep a good amount of that until I have a job, because I will be relocating to a new city. If I can get my high interest school loan paid off by that time, then I plan on using some or all of that $5000 to purchase a mobile home for the purpose of converting it into a rental. I could use it to pay a large amount on my school loan now, but then I run the risk of not having enough money to move when that time comes. And that is a MUST.

[/quote]
I'm dead serious about the suggestion above, I'm married to a vet and we do everything for our animals.  The larger brands have better quality control, dry food keeps down the teeth bills in old age, and it's a heck of a lot better than eating rodents, which the critters did before being domesticated.  Rationing food to the animal is lower cost and keeps them at a better weight
[/quote]

See, most vets in my area recommend Science Diet, obviously because they are sponsored by them. Not because they actually think it's the best food for them. I've always been skeptical about nutrition advice from a vet (no offense to your partner). But that's why I took it upon myself to do some research on the subject. Their NATURAL diet is better for them than any processed manufactured food. That is why a raw food or partially cooked diet is the absolute best for them. And that is the case with any living creature, including humans.

If you look at my expenses, they are really very minimal. Even if I cut back on expenses, I think a higher income is crutial.

Exflyboy

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2013, 11:09:30 AM »
But you see thats the point...

Yes a higher income would be great.. But right now you don't have a higher income, thus any expenditure you have is magnified because its a biiger proportion of your income.

As to the "its just a cat comment".. Well I don't have kids either and before I was married she (the cat) was my only companion. I love her dearly, but she is in the best of health and all I have ever done was feed her dry $5 cat food.. She still gets up and runs around like a kitten and has the attitude of a Hymilan.. I just don't accept that not buying the most expensive food is somehow animal abuse. Oh I also give her injections from the feed store and the local Petco does rabies vaccinations for close to free (I think I make a donation)

As to the stach you have.. yes if you have a plan for that money thats great... But remember every year that plan is delayed is another 6.8%.. If you think your moving/buying a rental is a couple of years out I would pay everything off I could and start sving again with a bigger savings rate, because now your not making payments on the loan.

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2013, 11:49:57 AM »
But you see thats the point...

Yes a higher income would be great.. But right now you don't have a higher income, thus any expenditure you have is magnified because its a biiger proportion of your income.

As to the "its just a cat comment".. Well I don't have kids either and before I was married she (the cat) was my only companion. I love her dearly, but she is in the best of health and all I have ever done was feed her dry $5 cat food.. She still gets up and runs around like a kitten and has the attitude of a Hymilan.. I just don't accept that not buying the most expensive food is somehow animal abuse. Oh I also give her injections from the feed store and the local Petco does rabies vaccinations for close to free (I think I make a donation)

I totally understand. I could have done a little more research on different brands. Instead I just picked out the first one I thought of as "high quality". But I really do intend to switch him to a partially cooked diet once I move. This will save me a lot of money. He does not need to go to the vet much, but if he does, my bf works there and we'd get a great deal. I get certain things for frea, like flea medication for example. So that helps a lot.


As to the stach you have.. yes if you have a plan for that money thats great... But remember every year that plan is delayed is another 6.8%.. If you think your moving/buying a rental is a couple of years out I would pay everything off I could and start sving again with a bigger savings rate, because now your not making payments on the loan.

I've been going back and forth with this in my own head. My high interest loans come out to over $5000. And as of right now I am planning on moving in about 4 months. I will receive about a $1700 tax return in feb, which is slightly less and a month later than I initially expected. But that will all be applied to my loans. So I could maybe pay $2500 on my loan now, then $1700 in feb. That brings it to $800. But I will also be paying every 2 weeks with my second job. I'm not sure how much that will be at this point but it will definitely allow me to wipe out that loan by March. Something I'm seriously thinking about doing..

TrulyStashin

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2013, 03:03:47 PM »
RE:  Cats and babies (the human kind) . . . I've had both and neither one needs gourmet food.   

Cats get Purina dry or the equivalent.  Babies get breast milk (ha!) until they eat solid food then they get the same frugal  but healthy diet that the rest of the family eats with two choices:  1) you can take it or 2) you can leave it.  No picky eaters indulged, whether biped or four-paws.

Time to lay it on the line here.   Your hair is on fire with debt and you're feeding your cat expensive, gourmet food.  That.  Is.  Nuts.

MgoSam

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2013, 03:16:28 PM »
Here is a suggestions that I wish I could claim credit for. One of my friends moved to a new area and because she knew that she would have extra time (hard too have a social life in a new area where you don't know anyone) she got a job at a tea store in the area. This gave her some pocket money while she sold something she loves (tea) and also got a chance to meet some new people and made some friends that way.

chasesfish

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2013, 03:19:09 PM »
"Raw" diet as in uncooked meat?  My wife tells clients who bring this up only feed your cat raw chicken if you're also wiling to eat it raw.

Science Diet, Iams, Royal Canin, and Purina all make quality stuff, but Purina Cat Chow from Costco has the best cost equation.


CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2013, 09:54:38 PM »
"Raw" diet as in uncooked meat?  My wife tells clients who bring this up only feed your cat raw chicken if you're also wiling to eat it raw.

Science Diet, Iams, Royal Canin, and Purina all make quality stuff, but Purina Cat Chow from Costco has the best cost equation.



See that's the common misconception.  You're right, humans cannot have raw meat. But cats CAN. That's what they eat in nature. They have a completely different digestive system than humans. So it is not accurate to say that they can't eat anything you wouldn't.


RE:  Cats and babies (the human kind) . . . I've had both and neither one needs gourmet food.   

Cats get Purina dry or the equivalent.  Babies get breast milk (ha!) until they eat solid food then they get the same frugal  but healthy diet that the rest of the family eats with two choices:  1) you can take it or 2) you can leave it.  No picky eaters indulged, whether biped or four-paws.

Time to lay it on the line here.   Your hair is on fire with debt and you're feeding your cat expensive, gourmet food.  That.  Is.  Nuts.

I wouldn't call it gourmet food. There are plenty other brands that are more expensive than what I feed him.

I'd really like this post to not focus on whether you do or don't agree with my pet parenting style. I'm not going to budge on the food thing because 1) It hasn't been that long since I switched his food and 2) when I get him on a raw food diet it will be significantly cheaper. So that's that. I appreciate the advice. But I've planned it out already.

I really think I will make a lot of progress over the next year. Even with all the cat food hype, I will have my loans paid off completely and start investing. I am seeing the light. Becoming debt free is an amazing feat that just a few months ago I thought was going to take me a few years to do! 

chasesfish

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2013, 05:20:49 AM »
We're going to have to agree to disagree about the cat food, apparently your internet research is more valuable than the 10 years of vet school and private practice,


To your other questions: 

You have very little income, why do you want to move to California?  It's one of the highest cost of living states.

If your interested in rental real estate, have you considered getting a job with a property management company?  I think that would be some of the best life experience you could get in your 20s

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2013, 01:33:55 PM »
We're going to have to agree to disagree about the cat food, apparently your internet research is more valuable than the 10 years of vet school and private practice,


To your other questions: 

You have very little income, why do you want to move to California?  It's one of the highest cost of living states.

If your interested in rental real estate, have you considered getting a job with a property management company?  I think that would be some of the best life experience you could get in your 20s

I've done more than research the Internet for that information. I actually did an internship with a business owner in the pet industry and have spoken to several brand representatives. I am definitely not claiming to be any better than a vet. I have simply made a decision based on what I know. Given the fact that I've heard different sides from well educated professionals, that's all I can really do, right?

I am actually working as a leasing consultant right now. My parents also own a rental duplex so I've helped out a little with that. As far as moving to california, I'm also considering colorado since it's closer to my family. BUT I really really don't like cold winters. The area I'm looking at in California is in the Coachella valley which is not all that expensive. But like I said, I'm considering my options. It all really depends on where I'm at financially when I'm ready to move as well as job prospects.

chasesfish

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2013, 05:25:17 AM »
We weren't tying to turn this into a pissing match, but spending almost 10% of your income on the cat because of a raw food diet doesn't seem smart to me.

This is a financial forum

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2013, 12:51:43 PM »
She's feeding her cat high quality wet food which is very pricey. She has said that once she is able to feed them raw, the price will go down.

I can attest to that. Once I got a meat grinder, my pet food costs have dropped to $50-55 per month for three 10-lb pets. Meat, at $3.00-$4.00 per lb, is MUCH cheaper than high quality wet pet food.

Thank you ThatGirl. The point of mustachianism is not to reduce your life to the bare minimum. I understand I have a very low income and drastic measures are required. It can't all happen overnight though. My pet costs will go down a lot in the very near future, undoubtedly. The only other areas I can improve dramatically are car expenses and increasing my income. I didn't mention in my original post but I have to have my car for work. The housing community I work out is very large and requires me to drive when showing a home. The company will fill up my gas tank once in a while, but not often. I hope to live in a more bike friendly community when I move and get a job that does not require a car :)

stevewisc

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2013, 03:50:52 PM »
Are there friends or family draw in the CA city?  Moving can be tough - visiting the area for a week or two looking for a job can be a great way to test the waters.  Also, if it were me I wouldn't buy in a new area until at least six months after living there.  (For what it's worth)   


Friendly pet spending harassment to follow :)

Our cat of 21 years did great on 'cat chow' never any issues until the last month.  Not sure it was as good as live mice and birds every day but that's the trade off for not freezing in the winter or worrying about foxes.  (though maybe she would have made it to 24 with the expensive stuff - evil me)

Maybe the humane society should provide warnings - This pet is only $13,000 dollars in small monthly payments.   That's quite a nut at $11/hr.     

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2013, 05:10:17 PM »
Are there friends or family draw in the CA city?  Moving can be tough - visiting the area for a week or two looking for a job can be a great way to test the waters.  Also, if it were me I wouldn't buy in a new area until at least six months after living there.  (For what it's worth)         


My absolute best friends live in CA about 1 1/2 hours from where I'm looking. The main reason I want to buy is for the purpose of renting it out. So, if I had to move back to the area I'm familiar with, I'd still be close enough to manage the property. But like I said, I am considering other options. I will be visiting Colorado in december so I will get a taste of what it is like in the winter. If I can't hack it, then California will most likely become my new home. But I have a few other things to consider before making a definite decision.

Are there friends or family draw in the CA city?  Moving can be tough - visiting the area for a week or two looking for a job can be a great way to test the waters.  Also, if it were me I wouldn't buy in a new area until at least six months after living there.  (For what it's worth)   


Friendly pet spending harassment to follow :)

Our cat of 21 years did great on 'cat chow' never any issues until the last month.  Not sure it was as good as live mice and birds every day but that's the trade off for not freezing in the winter or worrying about foxes.  (though maybe she would have made it to 24 with the expensive stuff - evil me)

Maybe the humane society should provide warnings - This pet is only $13,000 dollars in small monthly payments.   That's quite a nut at $11/hr.     


I absolutely agree! That is the reason so many pets end up without homes. People get them because they want them but they don't have enough money to care for them. I could definitely feed my cat the cheapest cat chow and save some money. But I have made a personal choice not to do so. It's not like it's keeping me from paying my rent or other bills. It is just keeping me from reaching retirement before retirement age. But Ill work out a way to make up for it. A lot of people say their animals lived a long happy life on the cheap stuff. Well ya of course. But how many do you think end up with health problems that even if they don't become life threatening, create the need for expensive vet bills? Its like humans eating healthy and in turn reducing their need for medical care when they are older, as MMM explained in one of his posts :)

CharChar

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2013, 07:14:12 PM »
I'd also like to let everyone know that I made a $2000 payment on my high interest student loans today :) I will continue to make regular payments with the income from my second job. And any leftovers from my main job's paycheck will go into savings until I move. So far on the right track!

_JT

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Re: ReaderCaseStudy - Where to start, how to improve? UPDATE
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2013, 11:27:27 AM »
Nice!

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Had to chime in on the pet food issue with a few points:

1) In the same way that there are fat cardiologists, there are PLENTY of vets who know very little about animal nutrition. There are also plenty who know TONS. We're humans -- there is variance. I train and foster dogs, and I've been to a few vets who were clueless about both nutrition and training. From talking to my friends who are vets, nutrition and training isn't something that's covered much in vet school, which makes perfect sense to me. This isn't something most vets are going to be focusing on, as their work is more critical than that. Science Diet is crap, and all of the major manufacturers of dry food are worse. They're chock full of chemicals, and made from ingredients that would HORRIFY you if you read about them. And, to everyone who says "I feed my pet the cheapest stuff possible and they're fine with it!" That is awesome for you, seriously. My grandmother chain smoked for 60 years and then died from Alzheimers. That doesn't mean that smoking doesn't cause cancer. Anecdotal evidence should be taken with a large grain of salt.

I pay roughly twice as much a month for better food for my dog (grain free), and am totally fine with that. Of course, my expenses for my dog are a tiny fraction of my income, which leads me to my next point.

2) Your cat expenses are way over the top, and way more than they need to be. Comparison shop, and find somewhere you can get her good food for half of what you pay now. At least. And if a meat grinder is the thing stopping you from feeding raw, start hounding craigslist and ebay for one. You'd make your money back on it in under a month, I'd guess.