Author Topic: The big 30..  (Read 3554 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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The big 30..
« on: May 04, 2013, 09:04:13 AM »
Hello all,

I turn the big 30 this month. Yay me. I donít know how Iím going to feel, but I have been looking back on my life trying to determine if I did it right, made bad choices, did I learn anything, and trying to figure out where to go after this major milestone in my life. After reading some posts on this site I felt I needed to join. MMM is doing what I said I wanted to do and he is proving that it is very possible and turning naysayers into believers.

Iím far from a frugal person although I take steps to cut money here and there. Cut back on eating out for money and health reasons (thanks to Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead). My financial situation is sort of a mixed bag. I have investments and I have debt. I make a decent salary but always feel broke. Iíve only started to take my money very seriously mid last year and it has helped me with some confidence that I can get it done.

I'm not really new to the plan for saving for retirement and retiring early. I used to say this in my teenage years. Of course people looked at me and questioned my obvious retarded determination to make this happen. Even my own mother said good luck with that. I didn't realize why until a few years ago that people had an almost legit point. That point was only proven because I made those mistakes that the rest of young adults make. DEBT!!

Now to the meat and potatoes. I have 2 student loans $4000 (very minimal and most would laugh at me, a car loan ($1600 excited!!!), 2 credit cards (MC with a revolving balance ($1400, every time I get it down something comes up, smh; Visa ($900) with the same situation, some dings on my credit report from almost 10 years ago. I just got back into the 600ís on my credit score. Lots of bad decisions back then.

My supervisor has also helped me in some ways. He has rental properties, and runs two businesses, and still manages to hold his job. Heís one of the reasons that I decided to pursue this absurd financial freedom according  to the naysayers. He also suggested I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and after I read that I became more empowered.

Currently I rent a house. I wanted to buy a home but I didnít want to risk it with my credit, and some of the bills I had, and my wife has some blemishes too. Felt the need was less than the want so we held back. Other things influenced that decision also is that Iím trying to relocate close to home (Louisiana) and weíre in Georgia.

We struggled after my son was born due to the medical bills, and letting my wife spend that year at home with him. I also had an issue with the IRS (a situation I had no control over) and had to take care of those obligations at the same time which led to the revolving balances and other bills that stacked up over that time.

Fast forward to now and we are contemplating purchasing a home again. I have less than $1K in my savings, but have an IRA which is performing nicely, an Etrade account, some bonds I bought while I was in the military, and an account with Lending Club.
The only reason I come back to the home purchase is I figure why should I keep renting this house and paying someone else. Weíve been in this home over 2 years now and I feel I have nothing to show for it. I feel that having my own home is a much better option but am afraid that I would then get an offer to leave this state. I could always rent it out but that could be a headache being so far away and trying to manage it. Trying to sell could be an even greater issue. The homes in Augusta I feel donít jive with the current salaries in this area. The neighborhood Iím in has homes for sale that have been on the market since before we started renting here.

What should I do in this situation?

There are other questions but I donít want to bombard the site lol.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: The big 30..
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 09:09:51 AM »
You don't seem to have run any of the numbers. Look up the NY Times rent vs. buy calculator. Just because you're not building equity by renting does not mean it is a bad thing. Renting can make financial sense.

I'd pay off your debts and get your emergency fund up to a comfortable enough level that you're not dipping into credit cards every time something comes up. It is fine to use them if you can pay them off but you have 2300 credit card debt with only 1k in savings.

Personally if I was in your shoes I'd shore up my financial foundation so to speak. Pay off your debts, save money, evaluate whether renting or buying is most cost effective for you, then lay out a goal for yourself.


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Re: The big 30..
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 10:16:12 AM »
Prepare for some face punches (from myself and others).

Debts fall off your credit report after 7 years, so if you have 10-year old debt on there, get it removed.

Ditto what matchewed said about renting.  A statement that you "have nothing to show for it" is classic from someone who doesn't understand the numbers.  If it's more expensive to buy, then what you have to show for it is the monthly surplus you have from renting (which you should be investing, but may have blown).

Clearly, if you've been saying since you were a teenager that you wanted to save and retire early, and now you're hitting 30 with very little to show for it, you've been doing things wrong. 

You need to start tracking your net worth monthly to make sure it's going up consistently.  You need to track what you spend, and make, monthly.  You need to work on reducing and increasing those, respectively.  You need to get rid of your debt emergencies (plural!).
You need to get to the basics, first.

And you need to take ownership of your life and your finances.  No more saying things are outside your control.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: The big 30..
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 05:03:09 PM »
Hey I can accept those punches lol. All seriousness though. There were some other obstacles that hindered me. More of someone else caused it. I came out on top though and am working to earn the coveted mustache. I appreciate the tips and anything else that is sent my way. I am very serious about making this happen. I do need to address the 10 year issue on my credit report. I have no liens, bankruptcies, garnishments..etc. 


  • Stubble
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Re: The big 30..
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 09:39:27 PM »
I would suggest not getting too hung up over not building equity. You're either renting space from a landlord, or you're renting money from the bank! Depending on the term of your mortgage, 40% or more of the total price you pay could be interest, and that's at today's record low rates.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: The big 30..
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 10:32:54 PM »
I'm Turing 32 this month and was in a similar situation to you at 30.  I had much more student debt but no credit cards.  Anywho fast forward to now and I'm outta of debt completely and have over 35k in investments.  Things can change very quickly when you make the right choices.  Track your expenses to the penny and find out where your money is really going.  Plug the holes and pay off your debts.  Once your done either build up an emergency fund (or not, I didn't but its a personal choice) and start socking money into vanguard, stocks, or whatever investments you feel comfortable with.  Before you know it you are 32 and on the road to FI.