Author Topic: How about this guy right here, assessment needed please, suggestions, etc...  (Read 3010 times)

Water

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I am 23 and so far I have to say i have no idea wth i am doing and i hope with some detail below, this community could help me with better allocation and give me more ideas on how to maximize my savings.

I am full time student with less than 18 months left to complete a dual BS and i work full time (well 32 hours that the company consider full time). I anticipate i will have about 20K student loan debt being paid monthly after 24 months with APR @ more less %4

Debt/Obligations

Sallie Mae Loan, $6843
Rent, $300/monthly (i feel i can run this for the next 24 months or at lease the next 12 months)
Phone, $150/monthly (sprint, still with contract, really need to get rid of it)
Auto, $100 (insurance) $200 (gas)/monthly
Food, $250-$300 (grocery/takeout)/monthly
Misc, $50-100 (random spending,close,shoes,soap,etc)/monthly

Asset!!??

Liquid @ BoA Checking/Savings 5K

Aon Hewitt - current employment 401(k) my contribution is %8 before-tax and %8 roth twice a month (not the most well paying job but it will work for the next 36 months, been with company less than a year and after 3 years of service i will be fully vested in their pension, i do not really know how that work but i know if im %100 vested they'll pay me a lump sum and the monthly annuity)

VBTIX @ 14.322200 Holding
VIIIX @ 49.623068 Holding
VEMPX @ 19.725005 Holding
VDIPX @ 12.769669 Holding

Fidelity - old employment 401(k)

66586W417 @ 12.911 Holding (Northern Trust S&P 500 Index Fund - DC - Non-Lending - Tier Three)
66586W615 @ 3.623 Holding (NT FOCUS 2055)
PHIYX @ 44.391 Holding (PIM HIGH YIELD INST)
TP1T @ 43.212 Holding (LARGE CAP GROWTH STK)
TP1U @ 21.766 Holding (LARGE CAP VALUE STK)

USAA - my first "investment" account

UFSGX @ 112.532 Holding with $50 monthly contribution

Vanguard

VFFVX @ 30.684 Holding

What i need now???

Any feedback is better than no feedback so please feel free to let me know if my current spending/suggestion is really *stupid* antimustache, the more collective feedback, the best it will be for me to make changes and improve my outlook. Thanks! :)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 10:10:04 PM by Water »

Monkey Uncle

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I'm still pretty new at the uber-frugality game, so I don't have a whole lot to offer.  But I did pick up on a couple of things:

  • You've correctly identified your phone plan as a prime target.  Shop around, you can get a good basic phone plan for much less.  Even some of the big name carriers offer budget plans now.  My son has unlimited talk/text and a small amount of data on a US Cellular plan that runs about $36/mo.  Or consider a pre-paid phone.  Do you have a computer and internet connection?  If so, you don't need to have a phone plan with data.  Run the numbers - you may come out ahead even if you pay the penalty for cancelling your current contract.
You auto insurance seems high.  I'm paying about the same amount to cover three vehicles and three drivers, one of whom is a 21-year-old male.  Check your deductible.  It should be at least $1,000 given that you've got a decent cash cushion in the bank.  Are you carrying collision/comprehensive insurance on an old, paid-off car?  Reducing to liability-only coverage should lower your premium quite a bit.  Tell your insurance company that you're shopping around for lower rates and ask what they can offer.  If they don't offer a substantial reduction, then shop around and see what you can find.
  • Your gas expense seems outrageous.  Either you are driving 2,000 miles/month or you have a gas guzzler.  Either way, you need to fix that situation.

    Not really sure what's in the miscellaneous category, but look at specific items there and see if there is anything that can be cut out.

Are you paying for utilities?  Or is that included in your misc. category?
[/list]

Congrats on being able to save 16% of your income in your 401k, plus making a $50/mo deposit in another account.  That may not be much compared to mustachian levels of saving, but you are way ahead of the game compared to most people your age.  My guess is your income will increase after you graduate; if so, try to bank the whole increase if you can (though paying off the student loan may make that difficult for a while).

I can't really say much about your investments with the limited information provided.

FYI - this thread probably ought to be in the "ask a mustachian" section instead of the "investor alley" section.

NP

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Regarding the phone, you should switch to a much cheaper service obviously, but you may also want to reflect on whether your communication habits really benefit you. Most people I know (granted they have no aspirations to be mustachians) behave as if they were addicted to being connected at all times, which is not only expensive but wasteful of your own time and energy.

It's rarely necessary or useful to respond to emails instantaneously or (if you're into those) to check social networking sites frequently. If you cut down these distractions, you not only save money but reduce stress, you'll have more time to do meaningful things and will find it easier to focus. You don't need to disconnect yourself to achieve this, just limit those activities to a few concentrated sessions per day instead of having it on your mind and getting interrupted constantly.

If you have high speed Internet at home or at work or school, or maybe WiFi in some public space you frequent, there's little need for data usage on your phone and definitely no need for some expensive data plan. There's also little need for unlimited minutes because you can have lengthier conversations on some VOIP service like Skype for little to no money and use your cell phone for urgent matters only. Other than coordinating social activities (where to meet etc.) there's very little communication in the life of the typical person that cannot wait a few hours until you're able to do it not only very cheaply but more efficiently.

You can have the best of both worlds: the advantages of modern communication and a somewhat more relaxed way of life if you balance these things wisely. And you'll also pay less. My wife and I average less than $20 a month combined for two pay-as-you-go cell phone plans and Internet calls, even though we have lots of friends and family in various countries overseas. We don't feel limited in any way, our cell phones come with all services, including data, we just don't use those services a lot.

You can get perfectly adequate second hand Android GSM phones for $100 or less. They won't impress your friends but if you're trying to lead a mustachian life you already know that impressing friends by spending a lot is a surefire way to sabotage your financial future. GSM phones allow you to replace SIMs any time you you'd like to, whether to switch to another provider without paying for a new phone, or to use a local SIM abroad, or to pop your SIM into your old GSM phone you have lying around if your current one is malfunctioning. They're very practical, and some SIMs (e.g. Truphone) will make use of both nationwide GSM networks (AT&T and T-Mobile) so coverage can be quite good.

Wadiman

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Great advice NP!

I like your telecommunications philosophy.

Water - NP's post is spot-on!

Water

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I love the feedback so far, Monkey Uncle your recommendation about shopping around for insurance was dead on, i just ran online quote with state farm and my 6 month premium is $328 more than $300 saving from geico, I do have a gas guzzler, i own it and so i really do not want to get a gas efficient car and make monthly payments, i will try to fix this by only driving in the winter for school and work only and use public transportation for the rest of the season for everything. my miscellaneous category include all the necessities, water, electric, internet (Wifi), toothbrush, grooming, oil change (most of which are paid quarterly and the average run about $75/monthly)  I'll make sure to post in the right thread next time, i found this website about a month ago and have been reading daily.

Like stated by Wadiman, NP you are spot-on!, the ETF is $350 if i cancel and the prorated bill will be about $200 but thats alright given the numbers i ran with the new carrier i will go with, i will be paying $10 with republic wireless but i will have to buy a new phone from them which is $99 but i know ill get about $200 for my S4 which effectively make the cost at $459 but with in the next 12 months i will save $1680 by not pay $150/monthly but rather $10/monthly saving about $140/monthly.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 09:15:23 PM by Water »