Author Topic: How to increase my badassity?  (Read 4015 times)

j2p2

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How to increase my badassity?
« on: October 20, 2013, 10:58:10 AM »

Hi, I am new here, and would be grateful for any thoughts and tips to become more Mustachian. Iíve read nearly all the blog posts, and Iím getting to grips with the forum; this has brought me much inspiration and I am making major changes to my lifestyle, so thank you!

About me:

Live in SoCal, age 40, no kids, but lucky to have a sweet, beautiful, younger girlfriend, who is patiently waiting for an upgrade in status and to start a family ☺

70K a year gross pay (research scientist, and looking for a better job/increased pay)
3-4K a year side job of technical writing

72K in retirement savings.

7.5K credit card debt, 0% interest until June í14, still excellent credit rating
10.5K, 5 year loan, with 4% interest rate (money was used for self-petitioned green card)

Monthly Expenses:
$925 Rent
$15 renters insurance
Live with girlfriend who also pays $900, and use a home office that effectively reduces my salary by 3300K for taxes.

$80 Car insurance
Ď04 Audi A4, not Mustachian but at least 6speed MT, no loan, I know a good mechanic, and live 10 miles from work.

$25 Cell, virgin mobile
$80 credit card payment
$220 loan payment
$150 Gas (now dropping, from biking)
$300 food
$120 Music lessons
$30 to house cleaning, making girlfriend very happy

~$300 left.
+ $267 to 401K every 2 weeks by work (10% of salary, but is not a match, just added)

Big changes since recently reading MMM:

$1000 403b self-contribution every 2 weeks.

Now I will hit $17500 total at end of year in 403/401, making 25% of salary saved for year.
However, keeping at this new savings level is 50% of salary saved! (up from 10-15%)

Gym cancelled (+$30). Now surfing more, as close to beach, and weights at home.
Bought a bike, bike 2-3 weeks to work and love it, why didnít I do this earlier?
Drink tea, but it is now bought from supermarket
Eating out much less
No new clothes needed or bought for a while
Eating oatmeal!

Where can I improve? Also, are my priorities right in first maxing out 403b contributions and then paying the loan? Keep these same priorities in 2014? (Any 2013 Tax back will go to 10.5K loan first, also I like the lower taxes and increase in stash). I am hoping to fix my emergencies, and then hopefully my future discussions will be on family income/MMM levels.

Catbert

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Re: How to increase my badassity?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 01:17:06 PM »
I would accelerate payments on the credit card enough that it will paid off by June when the 0% interest expires.  At that point it's likely to jump to 15-20%.  I would do this even it meant cutting back on 403b contributions (although if you get a match always contribute enough to get all the match.)  So for me the order would be:

403b up to the match
cc enough to pay off my June 2014
403b to the max
5% personal loan

I'll leave it to others to talk to you about music lessons, maid service, and fun non-mustachian car.

HappyHoya

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Re: How to increase my badassity?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 01:30:21 PM »
Quick question about the house cleaning- how much could you possibly get for $30? My impression, from a brief stint in SoCal, is that most services charge much more than this, even for small studio apartments. While it's sweet you want to make your girlfriend happy, would she be just as happy if the result was the same, but you were doing the work? Would you be willing to do the work? You can do a great job with a few minutes a day, or an hour a week if you prefer to clean less frequently. While saving $30/month isn't going to completely change your financial picture, I find that doing the work myself encourages me to accumulate less unnecessary stuff/clutter, and saves me time because I can weed out things I no longer need as I go. It gives me a better sense of my home and what's in it, so I can repair things or deal with any other issues in a more timely way.

j2p2

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Re: How to increase my badassity?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 09:40:03 PM »
Thanks for the advice HappyHoya and Mary W.

Apologies for making some things not clear, the house cleaning is ~60, where my girlfriend and I each pay 30, for a once a month service, and so I think we are getting a good deal. We also try and keep the place clean (2 bed, 1 bath ~1000sq ft) but get this extra help. All the other numbers I mentioned are just my expenses.

Yes, thanks for refocusing me on getting rid of stuff/clutter, was having success with craigslist a while back, and I will start again!

Yes, I think I'll start paying off the credit card from Jan 2014 onwards. The car was acquired during my pre-Mustacian days and for sure was my biggest waste of resources (bought it used at least) although I'm not sure what to do now, as it may be better to keep it going as long as I can? (its not worth that much). As for music lessons, yes, definitely could have a cheaper hobby, yet I play in public events now and I am very much enjoying it, so not quite sure if I want to stop the lessons just yet.

I hope I am not being too resistant to improving my MMM abilities!


athomeintheworld

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Re: How to increase my badassity?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 10:32:21 PM »
Good job with your changes so far.

Second the paying off credit card faster - even if it means slowing 401k contributions (contribute to get max matching, delay extra beyond that until credit card paid off).  This will pay off your credit card so much faster - and then you can shift that entire amount to investing. 

Things serious with the girlfriend? Is her financial picture in line with yours? Maybe Mustachainism is something to expand on together?

Mojo

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Re: How to increase my badassity?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 02:37:25 PM »
I don't really have any advice for you (since I'm new to this lifestyle as well and much younger/inexperienced).  How's your biking experience been?  Where do you live in SoCal?  I'm interested in transplanting there and daily biking is a must for me. 

chasesfish

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Re: How to increase my badassity?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 06:46:44 PM »
I think you're doing pretty good.

What type of research scientist?  Musician?  I'd start focusing on the income side.

Congrats on finding the $60/mo maid once a month, it's probably cheaper than the girlfriend moving out over this.

j2p2

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Re: How to increase my badassity?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 05:26:43 PM »

OK, so I am in San Diego, I a now ride my bike along the 101 (though often go a few roads closer to the beach in the busier sections, to avoid traffic). It's a great ride, 1 big hill at the end on the way in, but gives you a sense of accomplishment and makes the way back a lot of fun too! If you want to transplant, the weather is fantastic, bike routes can be very good or very bad depending on your location.

I do basic research, mainly cancer and neurodegenerative disease and yes, I'm definitely working on getting a better paid job, which will help get rid of debts and boost savings quicker....

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: How to increase my badassity?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 05:47:20 PM »
I do basic research, mainly cancer and neurodegenerative disease and yes, I'm definitely working on getting a better paid job, which will help get rid of debts and boost savings quicker....

They only pay you $70k to research cancer!?  No wonder we haven't found the cure....