Author Topic: Update:Minnesota Odd Couple, aspiring Mustachian from Minnesota married a Chicag  (Read 2214 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: St Louis Park Minnesota

Hopefully soon I will hear about a promotion at work, looking for around a 10K raise, wife just got a 3% that will take affect next school year. 

Income: Me $76K ex industrial engineer now in corporate, wife special education teacher $50K

Updated the spending analysis(I am looking at best case, really working on getting my wife to start sharing my fiscal goals):
Mortgage                 $1,458     Int rate of 3.875
Food and Dining      $900   We make 95% of our meals at home, wife is a veggie/fish person, we do enjoy going out twice a month which bumps this up.
Car                          $300 
Shopping                $150
Utilities                    $250    cut the cable!
ATM                        $60
Phone                     $100   
Travel                     $400   Like to travel, do one international trip every two years
Sum                       $3868   

income me         $4,350
income wife         $2,916
Total                      $7,266
Net after                 $3,398


Savings(between us both)   $20K
House   $235K est. 
Car-Me   $7K
Car-Wife   $16K
Pension Me   $17K
401K me   $30K
Teacher Retirement   $15K
Total   $340K


Liabilities   Interest
Student Loan   $3K   4%
House   $200K   3.875% + PMI of 1.1% untill we hit 177.6K
Credit Cards   N/A   
Wife Car   $14K   0%
Total   $217K   

Specific Question(s):

Link to first post for some background:

Current situation: 

Making progress on the debt, two more payments.  Everything is going swimingly, strung together a couple of frugal months.  But then...  Wife's friend husband has a side remodel business and we started to get a quote to redo the kitchen.  Quote just came back at 25K!  We are trying to do it on the cheap but the real cost driver is tearing out a wall to open up our main living area.  I think we would get some great value out of it but it is a lot of $!  Luckily my wife is thinking we pass on the remodel. We could pay cash more or less for the entire project, but should we? 

Question is: 

Is it worth it to do a remodel?  Would we get that much value out of it?  Anyone come to the precipice of a large remodel and back off?

If we do not remodel what should we do with the cash?

Max out 401K?  I am putting 5% in 401k to get max match.
Pay off debt?  House than Student loan?  or the other way around?
Go to Vegas ;)

Thanks again for the thoughts!

-Minnesota Jon


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
As you consider this remodel, let's look at your net worth a different way. For assets, you list non-income producing, illiquid assets, which is fine if you want to feel real good about yourself, but it's not great if you want a realistic picture of your financial situation with reference to FI.

Your liquid and/or income-producing assets are: savings @ $20k + pension @ $17k + 401K @ $30k + teacher retirement @ $15k = $82k liquid-ish net worth.

The remodel would be $25k. Is the remodel valuable enough to you to spend 30% of your liquid net worth on it?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: St Louis Park Minnesota
Good point, we were hoping to do it for around half of what it came back.   Starting to think of what kind of DIY we could do to get it there.

25K is too much. 


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!