Author Topic: Cut down my finances  (Read 4461 times)

cjshay

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Cut down my finances
« on: March 12, 2016, 06:13:34 PM »
Hey friends,

I've been a lurking mustachian for 3 or 4 months now. I decided I finally want to take the plunge and get my budget ripped to shreds by some of you :) . I'm 24, married (my wife is half on-board  for the mustachian ways), living in Providence (potentially the best city in the US).

Monthly Income (after taxes):
$4k (my wife is a public school teacher and I work for a non-profit)

Monthly Expenses:
Rent- $600 (we have a huge 1 bdrm, Providence prices are awesome)
Groceries - $250 (recently I've been spending less, but this is what is budgeted)
Public Transit- $100- (we both take the bus)
Other Transportation $200 (this is split between $100 uber and occasional weekend trips out of state)
Student Loan payment- $300
Internet- $40
Utilities- $100 (it's much less in the summer, but this is what I budget for)
Phones- $26 (switched to republic no data plans 3 months ago, best decision of my life)
Free Spending- $700 (I got my wife to agree to a $350 spend-on-whatever allowance for both of us, has helped her learn to manage her money). (This is mostly broken down into going out to eat, buying clothes, entertainment events, coffee, etc)
Giving $400 (we give 10% of our take home to our church)
Miscellaneous - $100 (This usually goes to household purchases or health-related stuff)

Total Monthly spending- $2816
Total Monthly savings ~ $1200

Savings in 1% savings account: $6K

Loan Amount: 27K @ 3% interest

Strengths:
Cell-phone plan, housing costs, no car, groceries

Weaknesses:
$100 Uber
I don't spend all of my $350 free budget every month, but it's really hard to help my wife not go over it. She's used to not thinking about money. Any advice for how to get wife more excited about spending less would be helpful.

A couple other things: I'm currently training to get a programming job in NYC ~ 90k salary and my wife is looking to move up in high-end non-profit world. My wife and I are going to the peace corps for a couple years which will change my loan-paying off plans for sure. We leave in September.

Any thoughts/advice would be nice!


cjshay

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2016, 06:15:18 PM »
Forgot to mention, my wife has about $200 pretax money that goes into a 401 plan that currently has about 2K in it.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2016, 09:31:05 PM »
You're doing really well. You've got a nice e-fund going and recognize where you need to make adjustments.

MMM has a post about trying to get your SO on board. I can't find it, but I'm hoping someone will chime in with it too.

mozar

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2016, 09:53:46 PM »
Quote
MMM has a post about trying to get your SO on board.

It's a sticky, at the top.

I'm confused, you're training for a new job and you are doing peace corp, both at the same time?

cjshay

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2016, 10:00:50 PM »
Yeah, sorry it is confusing. I'm planning on completing the training when I get back December 2018.

dess1313

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ragesinggoddess

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2016, 07:08:54 AM »
Be sure you're signed up for public service loan forgiveness while you're in PC. Your payments will be $0 and you'll be getting that much closer to your ten years.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2016, 12:30:30 PM »
IDK I think your doing pretty good actually! If you increase your income just try to keep the spending the same

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2016, 12:50:33 PM »
I don't see a ton of waste in there, friend. Well done.

Your "free spending" is a tad high for your income but it includes categories like clothing that others might break out separately. Sure, you can spend less than your budget and funnel the extra into investments at the end of the year if you have $$ left over.

If you want to accelerate further your best bet might be increasing the income side of the equation. Work on improving your job skills and seek out a promotion or a new job in a year or two.

SIS

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2016, 06:30:29 PM »
Right now, you're in a transition period before your Peace Corps service. Most people I know who did PC were sent to other countries. If that's the case then during this transition you are getting prepared to be gone for two years. Where will you store your stuff and how will you pay for that? There are lots of arrangements to make during this time so that what you leave in PA (stuff/money) is secured and not on your minds during your PC adventure. You'll forward your mail to someone responsible and all that.

Because of this transition time, I think your combined $700 PER MONTH spending is too much. Clothes? You likely have enough already and you're leaving for two years where you likely won't need the same clothes. Right now, you need to start eliminating possessions, not bringing more home that will end up in storage that you have to pay for while you're gone.

Also, when you come back from the PC term, you should have a cash reserve that can carry you for several months.

It sounds like the two of you are going to have a great adventure.

NDQ

cjshay

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Re: Cut down my finances
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2016, 10:00:24 PM »
Right now, you're in a transition period before your Peace Corps service. Most people I know who did PC were sent to other countries. If that's the case then during this transition you are getting prepared to be gone for two years. Where will you store your stuff and how will you pay for that? There are lots of arrangements to make during this time so that what you leave in PA (stuff/money) is secured and not on your minds during your PC adventure. You'll forward your mail to someone responsible and all that.

Because of this transition time, I think your combined $700 PER MONTH spending is too much. Clothes? You likely have enough already and you're leaving for two years where you likely won't need the same clothes. Right now, you need to start eliminating possessions, not bringing more home that will end up in storage that you have to pay for while you're gone.

Also, when you come back from the PC term, you should have a cash reserve that can carry you for several months.

It sounds like the two of you are going to have a great adventure.

NDQ

Yeah, thanks for the advice. The good thing is the peace corps give you a transition payment when you return for roughly 8K per person. So we'll come back with about 16k of cushion.