Author Topic: Too late to start? Best organization practices?  (Read 4734 times)

DancingDan

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Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« on: February 11, 2015, 12:48:49 PM »
Hello

I am in the initial thrill zone having recently found MMM blog. I just have a couple of questions. One is really a call for encouragement, the other more practical.

1. - I am 52 with substantial debt (+$100K). Is it too late? I don't think it is. I am fired up to tackle this new life. Words of wisdom?

2. - With all the links and fantastic information directly related to my current situation, I find myself overwhelmed. Does anyone have suggestions for useful, well designed organization software, methods, etc.?

Thank you. I hope to be involved for some time.

Daniel

SunshineGirl

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 12:53:35 PM »
Hi & welcome!

No, it's not too late. Plenty of people have more than $100K in debt via their homes and cars. You'll want to post a case study ASAP to get specific ideas.

rocketman48097

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 12:55:10 PM »
1.  No, it's never too late to start.  Don't let age discourage you, your problem is still fixable and, assuming you start biking everywhere and remain in good health, you will live a very long time yet.

2.  your age is an advantage in many respects, I am only 38.  At 55, you can retire and immediately have access, penalty free, to 401k withdrawals, I can't for another 17 years.  At only 59.5, all IRA, roth IRA and 401k money is accessible without penalties.  At 62, you can begin to draw money from social security.  This is still 24 years away for me.

3.  My advice is this, read as many articles as you can on this blog.  They are almost ALL worthwhile.  Over time you will master these concepts and skills.  Good luck. 

DancingDan

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2015, 01:06:42 PM »
WOW! I posted this just a few minutes ago and already a few answers. That's great. Yes, I will read up on how to do a case study and post soon. Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it.
Daniel

rocketman48097

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2015, 01:09:42 PM »
My name is Daniel too.  Only difference between us is age.  I'm 38. 

Secretly Saving

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2015, 01:19:57 PM »
No, it's not too late.  In fact, the most important thing you've already done.  You've committed to making changes!

- Learn, Learn, Learn -- Read everything you can.  On the forum, blogs, books, etc
- Eat that Frog -- remember that baby steps put together create giant leaps.
- Appreciate -- Find happiness in the positives associated with this.  In reality, there is always someone who is worse off than you. 
- Take advantage -- Use all of the "catch-up" contributions that you can. 
- Make a plan -- Then dig, dig, dig! You'll be able to find your way out. 

forestbound

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2015, 01:20:06 PM »
First off... start tracking your money! Mint is FREE, sign up and track where you money is going. Start with expenses and cut, cut, cut... You can do it!

ZiziPB

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 01:25:29 PM »
Welcome Daniel!  It's never too late!

As others suggested, start tracking your money to see where it is going.  Make a budget and a plan for paying off debt/saving (lots of resources and advice available on these forums) and execute.  There are a lot of fantastic people on these forums and if you hang out here enough, you will get all the encouragement and help you need.

Best of luck!

MsPeacock

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 07:17:09 AM »
I just stumbled on here a little over a month ago - same sense of being overwhelmed. The thing that I have done, and it has helped a lot, is to start tracking my money. I made a spreadsheet, e.g. housing, transportation, credit card payments, clothing, groceries, household, pet, etc. etc. and enter every.single.thing. I tried mint but it miscategorized stuff and because of delays in processing various transactions messed up my tracking month-by-month. So, I just use an excel spreadsheet. January was my first month. At the end of the month I checked it against my bank statement for any transactions I missed (there were only a few) and got my totals. I also put on auto-pay everything that has a monthly payment that doesn't change. That way at the start of the month I can cut and paste all that information into the next month's spreadsheet.

Tracking my spending has also made me pay much closer attention to every single penny that leaves my fingers. Do I really want that $1.25 soda from the machine that oh-so-easy takes my debit card (so I don't have to scrounge around for singles or change)? Can I wait until I get home or will I die if I don't eat that hotdog from the food court right now? Etc. For the first time ever I know how much is coming in and going out, and exactly what it is going out for.

I am a bit younger - but hit w/ unavoidable and unwanted extreme expenses related to ungoing rediculousness about legal custody. So, I keep digging out as fast as I can, even while it is piling back up. You just have to start from whatever point you are at and make the best of it you can. 52 is neither too late or too early - it just is where you start and that is all.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 08:32:35 AM »
For me, Step 1 is to start tracking expenses.  It took a couple years after my wife and I graduated from college, but once we started watching our expenses, our eyes were really opened to how much money we were wasting.

It's a bit tricky to get somewhere when you don't know where you're starting from :).

ninjaneer

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 10:42:31 PM »
You've got to figure out what your money it's doing every month to have any hope of controlling it, and that means a budget.  I like mint for a budget since it auto links everything.  Others prefer YNAB (You Need A Budget), which I think would be helpful for a beginner.  Or you can just use a spreadsheet.  Any way you slice it, a budget is you first place to start.  From there, you just keep trimming the fat until your life it's running like a smooth, well oiled machine :-)

M from Loveland

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 11:39:27 PM »
Welcome DancingDan!. I'd say that after you track where the money is going, having a budget, cutting expenses, and saving as much as you can, you'll have to figure out how to invest those savings. For that, I'll recommend you to read the stock series by Jim Collins

http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

Very simple writing, straight forward advices, and very illustrative case studies. I was clueless about investing and such, and I learned soooo much. Still waiting for the published book, hope Jim can put it together soon :).

Good luck!

M.

happy

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 04:50:09 AM »
Definitely not too late: You can Retire Earlier, if not retire early. I was about your age 3 years ago when I found MMM/ERE. I still have mortgage debt  (but could downsize and have none). I've pulled my retirement age from 67 or so, back to 60.

The other benefit of being older, is that one doesn't have so long in retirement to plan for.

Jacob at ERE says the big 3 costs are housing/transport/food…so look at those first to see what you can do. If work means that housing/transport are fixed, you can at least look at food.


DancingDan

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2015, 12:36:29 PM »
Folks,

Thanks again for the continued support and info. I'm feeling pretty good about our spending, we live pretty simply, even so we are making cuts. Have tracked spending in MINT for 3 years, currently using YNAB for budgeting. It's the accumulated debt that is killing us. But, we are starting to feel inspired and looking toward the future.

Looking forward to more conversations.

Daniel

begood

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2015, 12:42:57 PM »
I tell myself this every day (from Arthur Ashe): "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."

You're here - that's a great start!

I have never used Dave Ramsey, but many folks here think his advice is great for debt reduction (not so much for investing).

KD

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2015, 01:05:50 PM »
Nope, not too late.  Make a net worth statement.

Assets - Liabilities = Net Worth

Then if you don't already create a budget.  Try to account for things that are upcoming and don't treat them like it is some emergency (i.e. I'm sooooo surprised my 6 year old car needs new brakes!  Sooooo NOT an emergency, we all know there will be car repair expenses, birthdays, health expenses, etc. - budget for them ahead of time.) 

Pay yourself first.  Be it a 401K, simple savings account, whatever, just start something going back for YOU.  If it has to be 2% to start, whatever, just start those RESERVES to building.

Estimate what you think you'll need to live on in retirement.

Once you have a couple of those pieces in place, create a Case Study on here.

catccc

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Re: Too late to start? Best organization practices?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2015, 01:10:13 PM »
I tell myself this every day (from Arthur Ashe): "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."

You're here - that's a great start!


This is also my mantra!  Welcome to the forums.  Better late than never, right?!