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(MSN)   How I dug out of $80,000 in debt. Step #1: Start by saving even just $5 a month somehow   (money.msn.com) divider line 221
    More: Interesting, Married... with Children, SmartMoney, young professional  
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15062 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Jun 2013 at 6:01 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-13 05:01:13 PM
Let me guess:

1. Cut rent as much as possible, either by moving in with parents or with 8 roommates
2. Don't eat out, and eat rice and beans at home
3. Work 80 hours a week, probably including nights and weekends
4. Don't have a car payment, cell phone contract, or any other big ticket expenses
5. Kiss all entertainment and new purchases goodbye
6. Oh...and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage

/ at the end of the day, it's really just about #6
 
2013-06-13 05:01:45 PM
Working two jobs helped out a bit
 
2013-06-13 05:05:59 PM
1. Pay your bills.
 
2013-06-13 05:08:03 PM
Step 2: Find $80,000 in cash on the street.
 
2013-06-13 05:13:30 PM
Some mod just lost their job.


Don't worry Drew, you'll still get my 5 bucks
 
2013-06-13 05:53:56 PM

whistleridge: Let me guess:

1. Cut rent as much as possible, either by moving in with parents or with 8 roommates
2. Don't eat out, and eat rice and beans at home
3. Work 80 hours a week, probably including nights and weekends
4. Don't have a car payment, cell phone contract, or any other big ticket expenses
5. Kiss all entertainment and new purchases goodbye
6. Oh...and
one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage


FTFY
 
2013-06-13 05:55:23 PM
I had a month where I couldn't make the minimum (of about $1,500 a month) anymore.

He could make $1500 a month payments right out of college?
 
2013-06-13 06:06:10 PM
How much of the 80 grand was student loan and how much was CC debt?

There are few finer feelings than paying off your credit cards, even though you realize you don't have extra money in your wallet for fun things just yet, but now that money that was going to pay off the cards can go to paying off your student loans, or a car, or the house that little bit faster.
 
2013-06-13 06:06:25 PM
Get rid of wife that would rather buy a new Coach handbag then pay bills that are due
 
2013-06-13 06:06:47 PM

whistleridge: Let me guess:

1. Cut rent as much as possible, either by moving in with parents or with 8 roommates
2. Don't eat out, and eat rice and beans at home
3. Work 80 hours a week, probably including nights and weekends
4. Don't have a car payment, cell phone contract, or any other big ticket expenses
5. Kiss all entertainment and new purchases goodbye
6. Oh...and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage

/ at the end of the day, it's really just about #6


You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.
 
2013-06-13 06:07:25 PM
Yeah! $5 a month after a year is $60! And after 10 years, with compound interest at 2 percent, it's almost $1,000!

/Don't see how this is touching that $80k. Especially if it's accruing interest.
 
2013-06-13 06:08:47 PM
Subby, you tag it as interesting.
I tag it as bullshiat.
 
2013-06-13 06:09:42 PM
#1 lie
#2 cheat
#3 steal
 
2013-06-13 06:10:09 PM

doglover: I had a month where I couldn't make the minimum (of about $1,500 a month) anymore.

He could make $1500 a month payments right out of college?


I could technically make $1500 payments right out of college.

Of course, I had a roommate in a cheap apartment, and I'm a software dev in the 2nd or 3rd highest COL area in the country.

And I'd be paycheck to paycheck while I was doing it, and doing things like "getting a bed" and "clothes" would be pretty far down the priority list.

/And when shiat does happen (like blowing $4K on an unplanned move and then another $1K on the deductible due to 2 accidents in 3 days to my car (1 my fault, 1 not)), I'd be totally farked instead of merely screwed.
 
2013-06-13 06:10:52 PM
YAY! It's this thread again!

I used to like reading the personal finance threads when I first joined Fark and started caring about my monthly income and expenses. Now I just find them repetitive.
 
2013-06-13 06:11:30 PM
Step #1: Start by saving even just $5 a month along with your $5,000 a month pay, somehow..
 
2013-06-13 06:12:02 PM
No, no, dig UP, stupid!
 
2013-06-13 06:12:23 PM
I think I'll stick to gambling and prostitution thank you very much.
 
2013-06-13 06:13:11 PM
1. Eschew earth money
2. Transcend financial dependence
3. ?
4. Profit
 
2013-06-13 06:13:19 PM
That's why I let other Farkers buy me TF subscriptions. Saving up for a Ferrari.
 
2013-06-13 06:14:29 PM
I married a rich wife...
 
2013-06-13 06:15:23 PM
dustman81:You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.


Doing these in reverse.

#3) Maybe.  Dad did the antenna thing for a bit, got annoyed at not getting certain channels (like ABC and Fox), and picked up super-basic cable for $30/month.
#2) Yup.  Also, if you must have a smartphone, see if you can mooch off family. Picking up $60 to add an extra line to the family plan is WAY cheaper than $120 for your own plan.  (Or heck, if work requires a smartphone, see if you can get them to pay for it or at least make it tax-deductible)
#1) Maybe.  I did the math once, and having a new car with sweet warranty was about $300/month more (including fark-you 20-year old new car insurance) than the used car IF nothing broke.  It may be worth $300/month to have the certainty of never going "Whoops, I blew a head seal and now I'm out 5 grand."
 
2013-06-13 06:15:33 PM
Don't carry a balance on your credit cards.
 
2013-06-13 06:17:09 PM
The majority of people I know in my age group (sans a few outliers) who are more or less debt-free at this point followed one or more of these paths ...

1) Made sure to have wealthy parents, who could pay (or help pay) the bills for large expenses, such as cars, college, credit cards and down payments on homes.
2) Filed bankruptcy before the laws became more restrictive.
3) Own very little and either didn't go to college or stuck with some kind of low-cost/free vocational training.

I listed wealthy parents first, because that seems to be the most common reason why the people in my age group are debt free.  I suspect as I and my peer group get older, this list can and will change quite a bit.
 
2013-06-13 06:17:57 PM

dustman81: Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.


...which will just about keep you even on the interest on a debt like that.

I notice that these stories of bootstrappy debt recovery are usually sponsored by some credit card company or CNBC or some other finance-related entity. Ostensibly, they're supposed to encourage sound fiscal behavior, but I always feel like there's a strong undercurrent of  see? you CAN (and should) work like a dog for 3 - 5 years straight to repay your debt to that multibillion dollar corporation, and not default!

Which is ironic, because those are the self-same companies that get massive low-interest bailout loans when THEY get in trouble. I wonder how AIG would be doing these days if they had been hit with the 22% penalty rate a lot of companies charge you if you miss a payment or two...
 
2013-06-13 06:19:25 PM

fat boy: Get rid of wife that would rather buy a new Coach handbag then pay bills that are due


If she is able to buy a fancy purse and then still pay the bills, why get rid of her?
 
2013-06-13 06:19:25 PM
FTFA:
<i>We can drive ourselves crazy trying to cut out a lot (of small expenses), like trying to bring our lunch to work. If you're really good about it every single day, that might add up to $50 or $100 at the end of the month.</i>

Because we all live in places where we can get lunch for $2.50 to $5.00 per meal. I am sure that is especially true in New York City.

Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people. You go out to eat with your spouse almost any place that isn't Wendy's or Sonic, and you are looking at about $20-$25 minimum.

The exception is having children. You just dropped a minimum of $50,000 for the first 5 years of that little crying poop-machine. Don't have kids. Ever. And that's not just because of cost. Children suck. Why would you do that to yourself EVEN IF RICH?

Finally, a pointer to almost all who will read this. If you don't have at least $80,000 lying around when you graduate high school, then you aren't college material. The only way you would NOT have at least $80,000 lying around is if BOTH of your parents are total losers. And since you are their kid, you are therefore homozygous for loserness. People with a double dose of the lazy stupid loser gene should abandon college fantasy and not spend that money, since nobody is hiring a journalism major with a 2.6 GPA anyway. You losers would be best mowing lawns and the like.
 
2013-06-13 06:19:52 PM
whistleridge: Let me guess  Zul's Divorce Aftermath:

1. Cut rent as much as possible, either by moving in with parents or with 8 roommates
2. Don't eat out, and eat rice and beans at home
3. Work 80 hours a week, probably including nights and weekends
4. Don't have a car payment, cell phone contract, or any other big ticket expenses
5. Kiss all entertainment and new purchases goodbye
6. Oh...and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage

Ain't life grand?
 
2013-06-13 06:21:19 PM

SevenizGud: FTFA:
<i>We can drive ourselves crazy trying to cut out a lot (of small expenses), like trying to bring our lunch to work. If you're really good about it every single day, that might add up to $50 or $100 at the end of the month.</i>

Because we all live in places where we can get lunch for $2.50 to $5.00 per meal. I am sure that is especially true in New York City.

Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people. You go out to eat with your spouse almost any place that isn't Wendy's or Sonic, and you are looking at about $20-$25 minimum.

The exception is having children. You just dropped a minimum of $50,000 for the first 5 years of that little crying poop-machine. Don't have kids. Ever. And that's not just because of cost. Children suck. Why would you do that to yourself EVEN IF RICH?

Finally, a pointer to almost all who will read this. If you don't have at least $80,000 lying around when you graduate high school, then you aren't college material. The only way you would NOT have at least $80,000 lying around is if BOTH of your parents are total losers. And since you are their kid, you are therefore homozygous for loserness. People with a double dose of the lazy stupid loser gene should abandon college fantasy and not spend that money, since nobody is hiring a journalism major with a 2.6 GPA anyway. You losers would be best mowing lawns and the like.


Stupid gene like typing detected.
 
2013-06-13 06:26:25 PM

Zul the Magnificent: whistleridge: Let me guess  Zul's Divorce Aftermath:

1. Cut rent as much as possible, either by moving in with parents or with 8 roommates
2. Don't eat out, and eat rice and beans at home
3. Work 80 hours a week, probably including nights and weekends
4. Don't have a car payment, cell phone contract, or any other big ticket expenses
5. Kiss all entertainment and new purchases goodbye
6. Oh...and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage

Ain't life grand?


Have you maybe considered NOT being an asshole ex husband, and becoming a miserable deadbeat sonofabiatch asshole ex husband instead? Either way you suck, but at least with one of them you get to keep your money...
 
2013-06-13 06:27:31 PM

SevenizGud: Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people.


You fuggin come to my house and cook for me then mr judgemental.

I have two 8am-11pm days and work Saturday mornings. There's usually not enough time in the day and energy in my body left to cook anything worth eating at home and clean up the mess. So I eat out.

Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.
 
2013-06-13 06:32:16 PM

meyerkev: dustman81:You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.

Doing these in reverse.

#3) Maybe.  Dad did the antenna thing for a bit, got annoyed at not getting certain channels (like ABC and Fox), and picked up super-basic cable for $30/month.
#2) Yup.  Also, if you must have a smartphone, see if you can mooch off family. Picking up $60 to add an extra line to the family plan is WAY cheaper than $120 for your own plan.  (Or heck, if work requires a smartphone, see if you can get them to pay for it or at least make it tax-deductible)
#1) Maybe.  I did the math once, and having a new car with sweet warranty was about $300/month more (including fark-you 20-year old new car insurance) than the used car IF nothing broke.  It may be worth $300/month to have the certainty of never going "Whoops, I blew a head seal and now I'm out 5 grand."


your math sucks then. I payed my truck off over 5 years ago and we bought my wifes car around the same time with cash. In the past 5 years we have spent $3100 on repairs between both vehicles. That 3100 also includes oil changes for 5 years. that averages out to only $51 a month for TWO vehicles and included general maintenance. Not to mention our car insurance is significantly cheaper with 2 vehicles that are both over 10 years old vs a new car. The cost of a new car vs used it way more than the $300 a month you claim it is. Not to mention all the money i am saving on those payments is going into my kids college fund and our retirement.
 
2013-06-13 06:32:46 PM
Save $5 a month... then in 1333 years you'll be debt free!
ಠ_ಠ
 
2013-06-13 06:32:55 PM
Saving is like any habit.  You have to build it up and then it becomes natural.  You have to start somewhere.

Anyways, the best way to get out of $80k in debt is to not go $80k in debt.

Sometimes it really is that simple.
 
2013-06-13 06:34:05 PM
somebody got off cheap
 
2013-06-13 06:37:59 PM

whistleridge: Have you maybe considered NOT being an asshole ex husband, and becoming a miserable deadbeat sonofabiatch asshole ex husband instead? Either way you suck, but at least with one of them you get to keep your money...


I have thought about it.  Haven't completely ruled it out, either...
 
2013-06-13 06:38:48 PM

SevenizGud: FTFA:
<i>We can drive ourselves crazy trying to cut out a lot (of small expenses), like trying to bring our lunch to work. If you're really good about it every single day, that might add up to $50 or $100 at the end of the month.</i>

Because we all live in places where we can get lunch for $2.50 to $5.00 per meal. I am sure that is especially true in New York City.

Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people. You go out to eat with your spouse almost any place that isn't Wendy's or Sonic, and you are looking at about $20-$25 minimum.

The exception is having children. You just dropped a minimum of $50,000 for the first 5 years of that little crying poop-machine. Don't have kids. Ever. And that's not just because of cost. Children suck. Why would you do that to yourself EVEN IF RICH?


Hell, I was living very comfortably before I had a girlfriend. She cost me a lot of money.  So instead, just buy a fleshlight and watch free internet porn.
 
2013-06-13 06:38:55 PM

Zul the Magnificent: whistleridge: Have you maybe considered NOT being an asshole ex husband, and becoming a miserable deadbeat sonofabiatch asshole ex husband instead? Either way you suck, but at least with one of them you get to keep your money...

I have thought about it. Haven't completely ruled it out, either...


Need to study up on extradition treaties...
 
2013-06-13 06:39:00 PM
You just did that headline to make the Total*Fark joke, didn't you, submitter?
 
2013-06-13 06:40:48 PM

meyerkev: I blew a head seal


Are you sure it wasn't just ice cream?
 
2013-06-13 06:43:14 PM

2 Replies: Save $5 a month... then in 1333 years you'll be debt free!
ಠ_ಠ


And here we see the financial sense in low-cost, long term embalming techniques!  When the archaeologists of the future dig up your mummified corpse, you'll be completely free of debt!
 
2013-06-13 06:44:35 PM
Rmoney said to just get the money from your parents.  What are ya?  A 47% slacker?  Taker!
 
2013-06-13 06:44:42 PM
Just have a job that allows you not to live paycheck to paycheck. It's kind of hard to save anything when you entire paycheck goes to paying essentials and you're already broke again by noon on payday.
 
2013-06-13 06:45:32 PM
Saving $20 a week no matter what.  Even if you only get to eat once a day.

/skinny
 
2013-06-13 06:45:52 PM

Pray 4 Mojo: meyerkev: I blew a head seal

Are you sure it wasn't just ice cream?


That was Dad's car, but yes.

Car started smoking, we poured about 2 gallons of water into the radiator, got the heck out of Detroit, poured another 5 gallons of water in over the course of the drive home, and Dad got a nice $5000 repair bill after he took it up to the mechanic (or in his case, he said "Fark this noise", went up and dropped $9K on a nice used Camry pre-Cash for Clunkers)
 
2013-06-13 06:46:36 PM

dchurch0: YAY! It's this thread again!

I used to like reading the personal finance threads when I first joined Fark and started caring about my monthly income and expenses. Now I just find them repetitive.


you sound...like you got a raise
 
2013-06-13 06:49:11 PM

doglover: SevenizGud: Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people.

You fuggin come to my house and cook for me then mr judgemental.

I have two 8am-11pm days and work Saturday mornings. There's usually not enough time in the day and energy in my body left to cook anything worth eating at home and clean up the mess. So I eat out.

Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.


Cook a bunch of food all at once. The time to cook 10 servings of pasta is only marginally more than 1 servings. Same thing for sauce; making 10 servings requires a larger pot than a single serving of sauce, and does take more time, but we're talking about maybe a quarter to half an hour.

When I used to work overnight as a security guard, I couldn't leave site to get food, not that there was any available. I had a microwave and a minifridge. Tortillas, guacamole, cheese, and chopped chicken (purchased at El Polo Loco in a single serving), spread it, nuke it, eat it; it's a full meal in of itself, and each instance of it cost like 2.50.

Unless food prices at national chains is omgwtf lower in suburban Southern California than other places, this isn't all that not doable.

/The tortillas could have been cheaper but I was using high-fiber-low-carb tortillas.
 
2013-06-13 06:49:37 PM
Sell weed
 
2013-06-13 06:51:35 PM
sign inMicrosoft account What's this?
 
2013-06-13 06:51:55 PM

meyerkev: Pray 4 Mojo: meyerkev: I blew a head seal

Are you sure it wasn't just ice cream?

That was Dad's car, but yes.

Car started smoking, we poured about 2 gallons of water into the radiator, got the heck out of Detroit, poured another 5 gallons of water in over the course of the drive home, and Dad got a nice $5000 repair bill after he took it up to the mechanic (or in his case, he said "Fark this noise", went up and dropped $9K on a nice used Camry pre-Cash for Clunkers)


I blew a seal once. I am never allowed back at the Denver Zoo.
 
2013-06-13 06:54:11 PM

Summercat: doglover: SevenizGud: Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people.

You fuggin come to my house and cook for me then mr judgemental.

I have two 8am-11pm days and work Saturday mornings. There's usually not enough time in the day and energy in my body left to cook anything worth eating at home and clean up the mess. So I eat out.

Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.

Cook a bunch of food all at once. The time to cook 10 servings of pasta is only marginally more than 1 servings. Same thing for sauce; making 10 servings requires a larger pot than a single serving of sauce, and does take more time, but we're talking about maybe a quarter to half an hour.

When I used to work overnight as a security guard, I couldn't leave site to get food, not that there was any available. I had a microwave and a minifridge. Tortillas, guacamole, cheese, and chopped chicken (purchased at El Polo Loco in a single serving), spread it, nuke it, eat it; it's a full meal in of itself, and each instance of it cost like 2.50.

Unless food prices at national chains is omgwtf lower in suburban Southern California than other places, this isn't all that not doable.

/The tortillas could have been cheaper but I was using high-fiber-low-carb tortillas.


Eating at home can be far cheaper than even the cheapest fast food if you have knowledge and don't live in a food desert. In these threads there are usually people going on about how it just can't be done, they usually lack the knowledge.
 
2013-06-13 06:55:36 PM

shooteneq1: your math sucks then. I payed my truck off over 5 years ago and we bought my wifes car around the same time with cash. In the past 5 years we have spent $3100 on repairs between both vehicles. That 3100 also includes oil changes for 5 years. that averages out to only $51 a month for TWO vehicles and included general maintenance. Not to mention our car insurance is significantly cheaper with 2 vehicles that are both over 10 years old vs a new car. The cost of a new car vs used it way more than the $300 a month you claim it is. Not to mention all the money i am saving on those payments is going into my kids college fund and our retirement.


Disclaimer: I am 6'4" with a tall torso.  When I buy cars, I don't get to say "Which car is cheapest?," I get to say "Which car do I fit in and it costs HOW MUCH *faint*" (And gets WHAT MPG *faint again*).

New Car:  $400/month payment (for 5 years), $225/month insurance, 18 MPG, 7/70K warranty
Old Car with 100K miles: $250/month payment (for 4 years), $125/month insurance, 16 MPG, no warranty.
 
2013-06-13 06:57:28 PM

jst3p: meyerkev: Pray 4 Mojo: meyerkev: I blew a head seal

Are you sure it wasn't just ice cream?

That was Dad's car, but yes.

Car started smoking, we poured about 2 gallons of water into the radiator, got the heck out of Detroit, poured another 5 gallons of water in over the course of the drive home, and Dad got a nice $5000 repair bill after he took it up to the mechanic (or in his case, he said "Fark this noise", went up and dropped $9K on a nice used Camry pre-Cash for Clunkers)

I blew a seal once. I am never allowed back at the Denver Zoo.


I blew a tranny once.
 
2013-06-13 06:57:48 PM
Lottery tickets
 
2013-06-13 07:01:51 PM

dchurch0: YAY! It's this thread again!

I used to like reading the personal finance threads when I first joined Fark and started caring about my monthly income and expenses. Now I just find them repetitive.


Look, n00b, maybe there are other, newer people who have only recently come to Fark that are now enjoying these types of threads, ones that to them aren't repetitive.  If you find the need to go into threads just to complain that they exist, it might be time to step away from the keyboard, dust off the Cheetos crumbs and go outside.
 
2013-06-13 07:02:10 PM
Is this the thread where I mention I've paid down about $200k of mortgage debt in the last two years and I still have enough left over to feed premium to my Mercedes SUV and spend a month in Europe this summer?
 
2013-06-13 07:02:16 PM

jst3p: Eating at home can be far cheaper than even the cheapest fast food if you have knowledge and don't live in a food desert. In these threads there are usually people going on about how it just can't be done, they usually lack the knowledge.


Eating at home works out about the same for me. However... since I'm fat, single, have money, don't make a list, don't like being in the store and don't have a lot of self discipline about what I eat... I spend a ridiculous amount of money on groceries.

My personal experience would prove that you can eat significantly cheaper at home... if you're smart about it.
 
2013-06-13 07:06:57 PM
Car payments are for suckers. Most of the cost of a car is in the goofy electronics and "appointments". Learn to like cloth interior, manual transmissions and realize you don't need a big, fancy car. There's nothing sexier than a man living below his means. No one's impressed by a new Jetta, anyway, so don't bother trying.
 
2013-06-13 07:10:40 PM

mccallcl: Car payments are for suckers. Most of the cost of a car is in the goofy electronics and "appointments". Learn to like cloth interior, manual transmissions and realize you don't need a big, fancy car. There's nothing sexier than a man living below his means. No one's impressed by a new Jetta, anyway, so don't bother trying.


What if leather, navigation, heated seats, power moonroof and 4 zone climate control are still below our means?
 
2013-06-13 07:11:37 PM
It's very doable on a middle-class salary. Just cut expenses - really, you DON'T need cable, and if you are serious you will not have a car unless it's cheaper than living near work/public transit. If you make $40k, you can probably live on $30k or less and put away/pay off $10k+ a year. If you make $50k or more? Then it's all gravy. Honestly, if you apply yourself you can retire early.

That said, there is an absolute limit to cutting expenses. Even if you are careful, you still need to buy (cheap grocery store) food and pay rent (for the apartment you share with your roommate or roommates). If you make $25k, cutting expenses down to $15k a year is very hard, and if you make $20k you can forget about cutting expenses to $10k. If your pay barely cuts it, you're screwed.

At $5 a month, assuming no interest, it would take over a thousand years to pay off $80k. Sorry.
 
2013-06-13 07:14:55 PM

adamatari: It's very doable on a middle-class salary. Just cut expenses - really, you DON'T need cable, and if you are serious you will not have a car unless it's cheaper than living near work/public transit. If you make $40k, you can probably live on $30k or less and put away/pay off $10k+ a year. If you make $50k or more? Then it's all gravy. Honestly, if you apply yourself you can retire early.

That said, there is an absolute limit to cutting expenses. Even if you are careful, you still need to buy (cheap grocery store) food and pay rent (for the apartment you share with your roommate or roommates). If you make $25k, cutting expenses down to $15k a year is very hard, and if you make $20k you can forget about cutting expenses to $10k. If your pay barely cuts it, you're screwed.

At $5 a month, assuming no interest, it would take over a thousand years to pay off $80k. Sorry.


Something that changed my life, but old advice that not enough people do:

Take 10% of take home pay and send it to an online account the day you get paid. You learn to do without it when it isn't in your account and it adds up. I have emptied mine a few times (I have other investment and savings vehicles) for down payment for house or other things I have deemed reasonable but it is nice to have the cushion. The trick is to keep it ~3days away via transfer. Makes you really think "do I transfer it or get by?"
 
2013-06-13 07:17:33 PM

whistleridge: Let me guess:

1. Cut rent as much as possible, either by moving in with parents or with 8 roommates
2. Don't eat out, and eat rice and beans at home
3. Work 80 hours a week, probably including nights and weekends
4. Don't have a car payment, cell phone contract, or any other big ticket expenses
5. Kiss all entertainment and new purchases goodbye
6. Oh...and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage

/ at the end of the day, it's really just about #6


#4 is really the one where you can start socking away some serious money.  I switched from Sprint to Virgin Mobile and cut my phone bill by almost $100 a month.   No car payment, no cable bill, stopped eating out and going to movies every week / every other week, I was able to free up 500-600 a month.
 
2013-06-13 07:20:32 PM

whistleridge: 6. Oh...and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage

/ at the end of the day, it's really just about #6


6. is a fair assumption, however, if you're talking about paying of a huge student debt.  If you have a college loan, then you had the opportunity to acquire valuable and marketable skills.

After all, your loan debt is supposed to be related to your expected take-home pay, so that you can pay it off in the time alloted.  If you borrow enough to pay off in 10 years with 15% of your take-home pay, then you can kill that amount in 3 years with more like 40% of your take-home pay---severe, but doable by drastic measures.
 
2013-06-13 07:26:00 PM
We were 32k in credit card debt. I played the CC companies against each other. When I got an offer for 0% for a year I'd sign up and transfer over as much as possible. Make minimum payments on that one and pay as much as possible on the ones with high percentages. Those debts were quickly obliterated. Repeat until paid off. Took about 4 years.

No we didn't live extravagantly back then. We drove clunkers and had higher paying jobs than we do now. When money was tight we'd have to use the credit cards on groceries. Stupid, but you do what you have to do. It gets away from you faster than you think it will.

Didn't ruin my credit either (not that that's ever really come in handy anyway). It's 846.
 
2013-06-13 07:29:31 PM

Devo: Don't carry a balance on your credit cards.


Don't have credit cards. I've not had any for 20 years, and it's been a huge relief since my student loans came due. One less problem...
 
2013-06-13 07:29:35 PM
1)  Don't get $80000 in debt unless it's a mortgage or student loans for a PhD in something that pays.

I consider myself in financial emergency mode right now because my expenses are exceeding my income, even though I have decent enough savings to get by until hopefully I actually get a raise next year after 3 years of negative take-home pay growth (and that's before inflation.)  The idea that there are large numbers of people who carry high-interest debt in "normal" circumstances is completely insane.  The idea that they blame their creditors for offering them that credit is even more insane.
 
2013-06-13 07:33:30 PM
Pretty soon he made it to assistant manager, and that's where the big bucks were.
 
2013-06-13 07:36:51 PM

trappedspirit: dchurch0: YAY! It's this thread again!

I used to like reading the personal finance threads when I first joined Fark and started caring about my monthly income and expenses. Now I just find them repetitive.

you sound...like you got a raise


To be fair, I did. I read a lot of these types of threads and took a lot of mental notes. I now live in a low cost of living area (Western Nebraska) and make about $80K a year. The only debts I have are the mortgage and the car payment, so money is not really a worry of mine anymore.
 
2013-06-13 07:37:07 PM

Gyrfalcon: Devo: Don't carry a balance on your credit cards.

Don't have credit cards. I've not had any for 20 years, and it's been a huge relief since my student loans came due. One less problem...


Agreed... but... can't it's really hard to get credit w/out credit cards. It's a farking smarmy system.

I grudgingly have one for that reason. I use it to buy gas and groceries... and autopay it twice a month (on paydays).
 
2013-06-13 07:37:24 PM
dustman81:
You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.


This. I see people all the time with a good job and substantial paycheck who never have any money because they piss their paycheck away on shiat that they do not need and can't really afford.
 
2013-06-13 07:38:03 PM
LDM90:   No we didn't live extravagantly back then. We drove clunkers and had higher paying jobs than we do now. When money was tight we'd have to use the credit cards on groceries. Stupid, but you do what you have to do. It gets away from you faster than you think it will.

Didn't ruin my credit either (not that that's ever really come in handy anyway). It's 846.



Let me get this straight.  I pay everything on time.  I own a house. I have zero LT debts except the mortgage. But my sins was I was late for a credit card and school loan payment 6 years ago (due to moving and missing the bill - admittedly it was a few months before I settled up in full).  And worse I recently lived overseas for 4 years where I didn't use any credit cards at all.

But yet, I have a lower credit score than you and am occassionally considered a credit risk.

I guess that makes sense?
 
2013-06-13 07:39:25 PM

timujin: dchurch0: YAY! It's this thread again!

I used to like reading the personal finance threads when I first joined Fark and started caring about my monthly income and expenses. Now I just find them repetitive.

Look, n00b, maybe there are other, newer people who have only recently come to Fark that are now enjoying these types of threads, ones that to them aren't repetitive.  If you find the need to go into threads just to complain that they exist, it might be time to step away from the keyboard, dust off the Cheetos crumbs and go outside.


Point taken. Sorry for being a d-bag.

I still do enjoy reading threads on Fark, even these types. I have learned a lot in the threads here, and applied a lot of the insight gained to my own life. I'm better off for it. I didn't mean to threadshiat.

/They are Doritos crumbs
//Just came in from outside (yardwork)
///Slashies come in threes
 
2013-06-13 07:39:29 PM

Gyrfalcon: Don't have credit cards. I've not had any for 20 years, and it's been a huge relief since my student loans came due. One less problem.


"Don't have guns, so you don't shoot yourself in the leg with them.  One less problem"

"Don't have a motorcycle, so you don't hit a curb at 140mph.  One less problem"

"Don't have scissors, so you don't cut your finger off.  One less problem"
 
2013-06-13 07:40:26 PM

BMFPitt: The idea that there are large numbers of people who carry high-interest debt in "normal" circumstances is completely insane. The idea that they blame their creditors for offering them that credit is even more insane.


That's another important guideline for paying off debt:  don't blame the system.  Even if the system has cheated you, that attitude makes it easier to give up, or to regard your debt as something inescapable and beyond your control.

One of the easiest ways to never dig out of debt is to start on day 1 with the indignant insistence that it's not possible.  The only challenge is occasionally encountering people who do pay off their debt, but if you encounter them on the Internet you can claim the story is bullshiat written by a paid shill.
 
2013-06-13 07:40:28 PM
Two things that make a chump out of a man:
1) Car payments
2) pussy
 
2013-06-13 07:42:46 PM
SirEattonHogg:
I guess that makes sense?

Simple: it doesn't, credit scores are bullshiat and (nearly)everybody who uses them knows it but they're convenient for lenders.
 
2013-06-13 07:43:02 PM

dchurch0: The only debts I have are the mortgage and the car payment, so money is not really a worry of mine anymore.


Isn't being a grownup just farking awesome?
 
2013-06-13 07:47:59 PM

Pray 4 Mojo: dchurch0: The only debts I have are the mortgage and the car payment, so money is not really a worry of mine anymore.

Isn't being a grownup just farking awesome?


And how!
 
2013-06-13 07:51:39 PM

Voiceofreason01: Simple: it doesn't, credit scores are bullshiat and (nearly)everybody who uses them knows it but they're convenient for lenders.


You should come up with a system that can more accurately predict the credit risk of strangers, then.

You'll make billions.
 
2013-06-13 07:52:36 PM

meyerkev: dustman81:You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.

Doing these in reverse.

#3) Maybe.  Dad did the antenna thing for a bit, got annoyed at not getting certain channels (like ABC and Fox), and picked up super-basic cable for $30/month.
#2) Yup.  Also, if you must have a smartphone, see if you can mooch off family. Picking up $60 to add an extra line to the family plan is WAY cheaper than $120 for your own plan.  (Or heck, if work requires a smartphone, see if you can get them to pay for it or at least make it tax-deductible)
#1) Maybe.  I did the math once, and having a new car with sweet warranty was about $300/month more (including fark-you 20-year old new car insurance) than the used car IF nothing broke.  It may be worth $300/month to have the certainty of never going "Whoops, I blew a head seal and now I'm out 5 grand."


I was going to say pretty much the same thing. Of course you don't need any of those things. You also don't *need* to eat anything but ramen noodles and cereal, either. But I bet you'd be hard pressed to find some who actually is willing to do that.

It's all about the second job. Or, in my case, winning multi million dollar settlements.

/maybe law school wasn't such a bad idea.
 
2013-06-13 07:55:47 PM

BMFPitt: Voiceofreason01: Simple: it doesn't, credit scores are bullshiat and (nearly)everybody who uses them knows it but they're convenient for lenders.

You should come up with a system that can more accurately predict the credit risk of strangers, then.

You'll make billions.


There are better ways to determine credit worthiness but they're difficult to automate. That's why reputable lenders(banks) ask for more than just your name and SS# when you apply for a loan.
 
2013-06-13 08:00:11 PM

Pray 4 Mojo: What if leather, navigation, heated seats, power moonroof and 4 zone climate control are still below our means?

 Go for it, grandma.
 
2013-06-13 08:00:51 PM

2 Replies: Save $5 a month... then in 1333 years you'll be debt free!
ಠ_ಠ


You're forgetting the interest you'd be paying on it over those 1333 years.
 
2013-06-13 08:04:22 PM
step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.
 
2013-06-13 08:07:35 PM

Gyrfalcon: Devo: Don't carry a balance on your credit cards.

Don't have credit cards. I've not had any for 20 years, and it's been a huge relief since my student loans came due. One less problem...


Nope. Devo was correct. You can get 1-3% cash back on everything and build a credit score which can be useful for things besides taking out loans, like renting an apartment. As long as you just use it as if it were cash and not "woo, free money," you come out ahead by having one.
 
2013-06-13 08:08:05 PM
I think that the best advice in this thread is not to rack up $80k in debt if you don't have the income to service it.

I know that "fark happens," but $80k is a lot of fark.

I have a friend that got into financial trouble when we were roommates.  He was cruising along just fine and he had a fairly small unexpected expense (A few hundred dollars).  Granted, we had very small incomes back then, so a few hundred bucks felt significant.  However, once he had a credit card balance he couldn't pay in full it was like he'd broken the seal on having credit card debt.  His debt quickly ballooned until he was in a really bad spot (and wrecked his credit in the process).

I wonder about the psychology of what happened.  He was (somewhat) responsible with money until he had a bit of unsecured debt.  Then when he had a small credit card bill he couldn't pay it's as though he decided that if he's going to have a balance he didn't care how big it was.

That's why I think that even a little debt is a really bad thing.  For a lot of people it really is a slippery slope.
 
2013-06-13 08:21:06 PM

ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.


The minimum wage should be ONE MILLION DOLLARS A MINUTE!


/You people are farking idiots.
/Have you thought about how minimum wages affect prices of goods and services?
/The poor were meant to be poor
//In addition poor people smell funny.
 
2013-06-13 08:26:42 PM
I'm a little suspicious since the article was basically lacking in details.  Since part of his $80K in debt was credit cards then interest actually put it over $80K, unless the $80K included the interest.  Saving $80K in 3 years not easy unless he was pulling in good money to start with.
 
2013-06-13 08:29:14 PM

dchurch0: timujin: dchurch0: YAY! It's this thread again!

I used to like reading the personal finance threads when I first joined Fark and started caring about my monthly income and expenses. Now I just find them repetitive.

Look, n00b, maybe there are other, newer people who have only recently come to Fark that are now enjoying these types of threads, ones that to them aren't repetitive.  If you find the need to go into threads just to complain that they exist, it might be time to step away from the keyboard, dust off the Cheetos crumbs and go outside.

Point taken. Sorry for being a d-bag.

I still do enjoy reading threads on Fark, even these types. I have learned a lot in the threads here, and applied a lot of the insight gained to my own life. I'm better off for it. I didn't mean to threadshiat.

/They are Doritos crumbs
//Just came in from outside (yardwork)
///Slashies come in threes


all good, I just like to look for reasons to call someone n00b... makes me feel all tingly inside.
 
2013-06-13 08:30:29 PM

Propain_az: ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.

The minimum wage should be ONE MILLION DOLLARS A MINUTE!


/You people are farking idiots.
/Have you thought about how minimum wages affect prices of goods and services?
/The poor were meant to be poor
//In addition poor people smell funny.


The minimum wage should be zero! Then goods and services will be free!

/Wait, what do you mean it's more nuanced than that?
 
2013-06-13 08:31:22 PM
"My dad is a saver, but my mom is a spender. She used credit cards and just bought the things she wanted. In a lot of marriages, I think the woman's personality ends up winning out. I did what my mom did rather than what my dad said."

Well, duh.  Let that be a lesson and just stay the hell away from women or you'll find yourself back in that spot.
 
2013-06-13 08:31:24 PM
credit card and student loan debt.

Also known as "the two easiest types of debt to defer, refinance, and get out from under".

Call me when he's behind on car payments or has unpaid house payments/back rent, or had his mortgage or a fully-owned business go underwater and magically recovers in three years.  For CC debt and student loans that's not impressive, particularly, basic common sense will get you through that.
 
2013-06-13 08:33:45 PM

ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.


rolls eyes
 
2013-06-13 08:36:04 PM

Propain_az: ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.

The minimum wage should be ONE MILLION DOLLARS A MINUTE!


/You people are farking idiots.
/Have you thought about how minimum wages affect prices of goods and services?
/The poor were meant to be poor
//In addition poor people smell funny.


Look closely in his eyes, you'll see Supply-Side Jesus staring back at you

/or was that Republican Jesus
//NRA Jesus?
///.........Conservipedia Jesus?!
 
2013-06-13 08:37:02 PM
"My wife -- my girlfriend at the time -- knew about it."

Never mind.  It's too late now.  You're farked.
 
2013-06-13 08:39:12 PM

What_do_you_want_now: Propain_az: ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.

The minimum wage should be ONE MILLION DOLLARS A MINUTE!


/You people are farking idiots.
/Have you thought about how minimum wages affect prices of goods and services?
/The poor were meant to be poor
//In addition poor people smell funny.

Look closely in his eyes, you'll see Supply-Side Jesus staring back at you

/or was that Republican Jesus
//NRA Jesus?
///.........Conservipedia Jesus?!


NRA
 
2013-06-13 08:39:35 PM
CSB: I came out of college with $40k in student loans and paid it off in two years on a $40k net salary.

Getting ahead is all about biting the bullet and living well below your usual means - even if it's just for a little while. No credit cards, no mortgage, no car payments, no television, no cell phone, no electronics, no traveling, no parties, no booze, and no girlfriends. I went out for lunch every day and still managed to build up a $10k cash reserve over that period. Had I made my own lunches, that reserve probably would've been more like $15k.

/still haven't figured out what to do with the left over income yet.
//yes, I have a retirement fund.
///no, I'm not feeling charitable.
 
2013-06-13 08:43:42 PM
whistleridge:  . .   you maybe considered NOT being an asshole ex husband, and becoming a miserable deadbeat sonofabiatch asshole ex husband instead? Either way you suck, but at least with one of them you get to keep your money...

an old Eye-talian miser actually told me that once, "If you are going to be called a Son of a biatch either way, you might as well be the Son of a biatch with the money".
 
2013-06-13 08:44:39 PM
VoiceofReason01:
Simple: it doesn't, credit scores are bullshiat and (nearly)everybody who uses them knows it but they're convenient for lenders.

Yes, and it drives our consumerist economy.  God forbid you don't play their stupid game and spend.
 
2013-06-13 08:47:29 PM

screwzloos: CSB: I came out of college with $40k in student loans and paid it off in two years on a $40k net salary.

Getting ahead is all about biting the bullet and living well below your usual means - even if it's just for a little while.


No, it's about getting a $40k/year net salary (if that's net then you're talking $50k/year gross plus you probably have health care) and being lucky enough to have no health problems to speak of.
 
2013-06-13 08:55:42 PM

screwzloos: /still haven't figured out what to do with the left over income yet.


Get a bigger TV.

and a Camaro.

/A good one.
 
2013-06-13 09:02:32 PM

Surpheon: screwzloos: CSB: I came out of college with $40k in student loans and paid it off in two years on a $40k net salary.

Getting ahead is all about biting the bullet and living well below your usual means - even if it's just for a little while.

No, it's about getting a $40k/year net salary (if that's net then you're talking $50k/year gross plus you probably have health care) and being lucky enough to have no health problems to speak of.


I simply applied for a handful of open positions at the university I graduated from. As usual for a university setting, the wages are below private industry standard for this line of work, so there was very little competition for the position. They loved having a fresh local grad to hire. To this day I am surprised at how few people that graduate here try to work here.

You're damn right I have health care. :)
 
2013-06-13 09:07:29 PM

screwzloos: CSB: I came out of college with $40k in student loans and paid it off in two years on a $40k net salary.

Getting ahead is all about biting the bullet and living well below your usual means - even if it's just for a little while. No credit cards, no mortgage, no car payments, no television, no cell phone, no electronics, no traveling, no parties, no booze, and no girlfriends. I went out for lunch every day and still managed to build up a $10k cash reserve over that period. Had I made my own lunches, that reserve probably would've been more like $15k.

/still haven't figured out what to do with the left over income yet.
//yes, I have a retirement fund.
///no, I'm not feeling charitable.


Get a dog. Dogs are awesome. You can still hang onto the money and gain interest, but keeping it as a safety net for any unexpected vet bills. Unless something horrific happens, the you'll feel warm, fuzzy, and that's a pretty good return on your investment.

/A cat is fine too
 
2013-06-13 09:14:45 PM

SirEattonHogg: Let me get this straight. I pay everything on time. I own a house. I have zero LT debts except the mortgage. But my sins was I was late for a credit card and school loan payment 6 years ago (due to moving and missing the bill - admittedly it was a few months before I settled up in full). And worse I recently lived overseas for 4 years where I didn't use any credit cards at all.

But yet, I have a lower credit score than you and am occassionally considered a credit risk.


I'm in the same boat.  My mortgage is basically the only debt I've ever had - every credit card I've had was always paid on time in full, and I paid for college on a combination of employment, scholarship, and savings.  It's funny, but banks are more interested in people who have a large but manageable debt than someone with a relatively high income, high assets, and low debt.

I've taken to taking loans for things like furniture I don't really need (if they're 0% APR for a period, and then pay them off before I owe interest).  It was kind of funny to see someone hemming and hawing over whether they'd give me a $3k line of credit when I could have simply written a check for the furniture ten times over.
 
2013-06-13 09:14:45 PM
doglover:
Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

Yeah, no, they don't.  I can make dinner for the wife and I for $30 that will last for 4-5 days and will be better than some shiatty applebees even on the 4th night of leftovers.
 
2013-06-13 09:16:06 PM

Voiceofreason01: There are better ways to determine credit worthiness but they're difficult to automate.


Somewhat more accurate, but significantly more expensive is not "better" for many purposes for which a score is used by itself currently.

That's why reputable lenders(banks) ask for more than just your name and SS# when you apply for a loan.

That has to do with how much you're borrowing, and whether some third party is buying or insuring your debt.  Those same banks will almost certainly extend smaller amounts based on a a simple credit score.
 
2013-06-13 09:16:49 PM
I was 130k in debt before ... I call it a Mortgage.

// not all debt is created equal
 
2013-06-13 09:18:24 PM
If some college kid grew up in a household where two parents earned $100,000 each, that kid is used to a certain lifestyle. One that assumes everybody has a $40,000 car, $5,000 worth of electronics, pays $100 for a pair of jeans, etc.

College kid needs to understand that the "normal" lifestyle he/she grew up in is a result of two settled people (with degrees AND several years of experience in their fields) who are in their peak earning years raking in  a combo of $200,000.

It will be many years and a lot of hard work (and lucky connection-making) before the new college grad can have that kind of consumer power.  Until then, eat Ramen, shop at Goodwill, save yer pennies.

/For those who like frugal cooking and/or convenience foods (and those who should try it, because it really does save you a helluva lot of money): The HIllbilly Housewife
 
2013-06-13 09:22:17 PM

Surpheon: screwzloos: CSB: I came out of college with $40k in student loans and paid it off in two years on a $40k net salary.

Getting ahead is all about biting the bullet and living well below your usual means - even if it's just for a little while.

No, it's about getting a $40k/year net salary (if that's net then you're talking $50k/year gross plus you probably have health care) and being lucky enough to have no health problems to speak of.


But that's what the loan was for in the first place.  You take out a $40k loan, you get a college education that scores you a $40k/year net salary.
 
2013-06-13 09:26:04 PM

StrangeQ: doglover:
Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

Yeah, no, they don't.  I can make dinner for the wife and I for $30 that will last for 4-5 days and will be better than some shiatty applebees even on the 4th night of leftovers.


Yeah. Cooking good food is dirt cheap if you have a little bit of patience to learn the methods.
2 eggs, 1 cup of flour, pinch of salt = 2 huge servings of home made pasta
1 can of diced tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, some basil = biatchin' tomato sauce
2 Italian sausages sliced thin & fried - yummy meat addition
Add in any diced veggies you have laying around. I usually have sliced olives and a fried red onion.

Total time to do everything is about 35 minutes for me (I make this meal once per week, so I'm getting really good at doing it quickly & well. YMMV) Total cost for 2 large servings is under $5.00.  Plus you have some for lunch the next day.

If you're willing to learn, you can cook a gourmet meal for 2 people for under $10.  Stick to the outside perimeter of the supermarkets for 75-90% of your total shopping, and you'll be shocked at how cheap real food is.
 
2013-06-13 09:35:15 PM

Gortex: 2 Italian sausages sliced thin & fried - yummy meat addition


That plus some onions sauteed until they're carmelized plus some diced up yams and bell pepper with a little salt and pepper is farking awesome as well.
 
kab
2013-06-13 09:40:55 PM
It more or less boils down to deciding what you can and cannot absolutely positively live without, and selling off / eliminating everything that doesn't fit that definition.  After that, it's the patience and consistency to stick with the alteration in your lifestyle.   2 months of frugality followed by a week of binge spending accomplishes nothing.

ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.


step 1.  good luck with that, banks will never allow it to happen.
step 2.  costs of everything will simply go up, accomplishing nothing.
step 3.  reasonable, but that won't happen either.
 
2013-06-13 09:45:07 PM

Sum Dum Gai: It was kind of funny to see someone hemming and hawing over whether they'd give me a $3k line of credit when I could have simply written a check for the furniture ten times over.


He he he... I've been doing the same thing to try to get the credit number back up from a foreclosure.

I was filling out a credit app to buy a farking $1500 TV and the guy slid it back to me and said, "Oh... you're supposed to put weekly income.. not monthly." I just handed it back. It was a pretty funny look I got.

I hate this farking credit score game.
 
2013-06-13 09:51:01 PM

jst3p: adamatari: It's very doable on a middle-class salary. Just cut expenses - really, you DON'T need cable, and if you are serious you will not have a car unless it's cheaper than living near work/public transit. If you make $40k, you can probably live on $30k or less and put away/pay off $10k+ a year. If you make $50k or more? Then it's all gravy. Honestly, if you apply yourself you can retire early.

That said, there is an absolute limit to cutting expenses. Even if you are careful, you still need to buy (cheap grocery store) food and pay rent (for the apartment you share with your roommate or roommates). If you make $25k, cutting expenses down to $15k a year is very hard, and if you make $20k you can forget about cutting expenses to $10k. If your pay barely cuts it, you're screwed.

At $5 a month, assuming no interest, it would take over a thousand years to pay off $80k. Sorry.

Something that changed my life, but old advice that not enough people do:

Take 10% of take home pay and send it to an online account the day you get paid. You learn to do without it when it isn't in your account and it adds up. I have emptied mine a few times (I have other investment and savings vehicles) for down payment for house or other things I have deemed reasonable but it is nice to have the cushion. The trick is to keep it ~3days away via transfer. Makes you really think "do I transfer it or get by?"


www.gonemovies.com 

This guy is even better. Won't give you your moeny unless... well, I don't know when he'd give you your money. :/
 
2013-06-13 09:51:46 PM
Beg people on Fark or Go Fund me. Heck, I was helping my sick dad for years, I've got as good a case as most.
 
2013-06-13 09:54:45 PM

screwzloos: CSB: I came out of college with $40k in student loans and paid it off in two years on a $40k net salary.


Intredasting.  I once crunched the numbers and decided that a reasonable rule of thumb for a college loan is borrowing one year's worth of your expected take-home pay.   Part of my reasoning was that you could pay it off in 10 years comfortably, but could kill it quickly if you wanted to.
 
2013-06-13 09:55:25 PM
I've been using Microsoft Money to manage my finances for the past 20 years.  In my opinion, the best way to control your finances is to have a global view of where your money goes.

Money (and now Mint.com) is great for that: giving you a breakdown of where your money goes

Excluding taxes, mortgage and car, our biggest expenses every month were (1) groceries, (2) restaurants, and (3) alcohol (not alcoholics, booze just costs more in Canada.)
 
2013-06-13 09:58:34 PM

WordyGrrl: If some college kid grew up in a household where two parents earned $100,000 each, that kid is used to a certain lifestyle. One that assumes everybody has a $40,000 car, $5,000 worth of electronics, pays $100 for a pair of jeans, etc.

College kid needs to understand that the "normal" lifestyle he/she grew up in is a result of two settled people (with degrees AND several years of experience in their fields) who are in their peak earning years raking in  a combo of $200,000.

It will be many years and a lot of hard work (and lucky connection-making) before the new college grad can have that kind of consumer power.  Until then, eat Ramen, shop at Goodwill, save yer pennies.

/For those who like frugal cooking and/or convenience foods (and those who should try it, because it really does save you a helluva lot of money): The HIllbilly Housewife


While I agree with every word you're saying, my experience (in Michigan) was that they didn't so much acquire $40,000 cars as they'd acquire extra cars.

So Mom would have the Minivan to help move kids from after-school activities and Dad would have the nice sedan.  And then they'd turn around and pick up the Prius, and hand the old sedan off to the kid just to make the insurance something you could reasonably afford on a teenager's salary at minimum wage 10 hours a week (in exchange for the kid running errands in his free time).  And then you'd repeat that for each kid (or pre-Cash For Clunkers, maybe you'd grab a cheap car off the lot if you didn't have a free car coming up).  And at some point, maybe the gas price shock hit hard, so the minivan got put in the garage for special events (like after-school events or trips where you needed the trunk space) and Mom got a hatchback, and it was fairly trivial to end up with 4 cars for a 3 driver family.  (Or notably, the single income family down the street that had 8 kids and 6 cars including a 15 seat van)

Note that at no point did anyone ever get a Porsche or a Mustang or similar.  Maybe the empty-nesters picked up a low-end Lexus (or Grandpa Cooper had a Mini-Cooper for a few years), but they also tossed out the minivan and an old sedan in the process (as well as not having to afford kids).

/Keep in mind that this was the land of huge driveways, plentiful street parking, and 100K homes.
 
2013-06-13 10:06:21 PM
frugalfellas.com
 
2013-06-13 10:08:12 PM

Xcott: Intredasting.  I once crunched the numbers and decided that a reasonable rule of thumb for a college loan is borrowing one year's worth of your expected take-home pay.   Part of my reasoning was that you could pay it off in 10 years comfortably, but could kill it quickly if you wanted to.


I'd say 4 years of take home pay minus 4 years of what you could get with just a HS diploma.  $25k in loans for a $30k job is not worth it.  $50k in loans for a $70k job is.

// $20k for $50k right out of school 10 years ago is even better.
 
2013-06-13 10:08:47 PM

Xcott: But that's what the loan was for in the first place.  You take out a $40k loan, you get a college education that scores you a $40k/year net salary.


Where it breaks down is you can just as easily take out that $40k loan and  get a college education that scores you a minimum wage job.
 
2013-06-13 10:08:50 PM

kab: ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.

step 1.  good luck with that, banks will never allow it to happen.


Especially considering that this generation defines "usurious" to mean 6.5%.
 
2013-06-13 10:11:08 PM

meyerkev: WordyGrrl: If some college kid grew up in a household where two parents earned $100,000 each, that kid is used to a certain lifestyle. One that assumes everybody has a $40,000 car, $5,000 worth of electronics, pays $100 for a pair of jeans, etc.

College kid needs to understand that the "normal" lifestyle he/she grew up in is a result of two settled people (with degrees AND several years of experience in their fields) who are in their peak earning years raking in  a combo of $200,000.

It will be many years and a lot of hard work (and lucky connection-making) before the new college grad can have that kind of consumer power.  Until then, eat Ramen, shop at Goodwill, save yer pennies.

/For those who like frugal cooking and/or convenience foods (and those who should try it, because it really does save you a helluva lot of money): The HIllbilly Housewife

While I agree with every word you're saying, my experience (in Michigan) was that they didn't so much acquire $40,000 cars as they'd acquire extra cars.

So Mom would have the Minivan to help move kids from after-school activities and Dad would have the nice sedan.  And then they'd turn around and pick up the Prius, and hand the old sedan off to the kid just to make the insurance something you could reasonably afford on a teenager's salary at minimum wage 10 hours a week (in exchange for the kid running errands in his free time).  And then you'd repeat that for each kid (or pre-Cash For Clunkers, maybe you'd grab a cheap car off the lot if you didn't have a free car coming up).  And at some point, maybe the gas price shock hit hard, so the minivan got put in the garage for special events (like after-school events or trips where you needed the trunk space) and Mom got a hatchback, and it was fairly trivial to end up with 4 cars for a 3 driver family.  (Or notably, the single income family down the street that had 8 kids and 6 cars including a 15 seat van)

Note that at no point did anyone ever get a Porsche or a Mustan ...


The scenario you described is actually more financially prudent than a couple $40k cars.

/3.5 cars in a 2 driver household
//The Spitfire barely runs, only counts as 0.5 at the moment
///Working on selling the Porsche, hoping to get $4k for it
 
2013-06-13 10:12:16 PM

whistleridge: Let me guess:

1. Cut rent as much as possible, either by moving in with parents or with 8 roommates
2. Don't eat out, and eat rice and beans at home
3. Work 80 hours a week, probably including nights and weekends
4. Don't have a car payment, cell phone contract, or any other big ticket expenses
5. Kiss all entertainment and new purchases goodbye
6. Oh...and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage

/ at the end of the day, it's really just about #6


And usually #7:  Marry someone who makes a six figure salary.
 
2013-06-13 10:14:15 PM

Sum Dum Gai: I've taken to taking loans for things like furniture I don't really need (if they're 0% APR for a period, and then pay them off before I owe interest).  It was kind of funny to see someone hemming and hawing over whether they'd give me a $3k line of credit when I could have simply written a check for the furniture ten times over.


Actually, this is how I discovered an error in one of my credit reports. Apparently, my credit had "merged" with some deadbeat in Georgia (I'm in Maryland), and JC Penny balked at letting me open a CC account for the full value of the couch I was buying (would've been something like 10% off, same-as cash financing for however long). Cut a check for the balance, went home and got that shiat fixed forthwith.

/I mean, weeks of phone calls and letters, but I started the process that night.
//Pristine credit
///Back to work with me.
 
2013-06-13 10:18:52 PM
Learn taxidermy in the home!

Send 5$ cash and a self addresses stamped envelope to

The Human Fund
5555 Easy Street
Pueblo, CO  95995
 
2013-06-13 10:33:46 PM

DigitalCoffee: [frugalfellas.com image 275x270]


Came here for this.

/it's really that simple.
 
2013-06-13 10:43:51 PM

Surpheon: Xcott: But that's what the loan was for in the first place.  You take out a $40k loan, you get a college education that scores you a $40k/year net salary.

Where it breaks down is you can just as easily take out that $40k loan and get a college education that scores you a minimum wage job.


I won't dispute that you can do that easily.   Walking out of college with a blank resume is probably the easiest path to take, short of dropping out.
 
2013-06-13 10:48:28 PM

Surpheon: Xcott: But that's what the loan was for in the first place.  You take out a $40k loan, you get a college education that scores you a $40k/year net salary.

Where it breaks down is you can just as easily take out that $40k loan and  get a college education that scores you a minimum wage job.


I would suggest not doing that. Perhaps spend an hour or two researching the job prospects and starting salaries of your major prior to taking out a 5 digit loan.
 
2013-06-13 10:58:03 PM

Gortex: StrangeQ: doglover:
Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

If you're willing to learn, you can cook a gourmet meal for 2 people for under $10.  Stick to the outside perimeter of the supermarkets for 75-90% of your total shopping, and you'll be shocked at how cheap real food is.


I agree, there is literally no way that any fast food can beat making your own meals. As a guideline to myself, I try to stick with foods that are under $1 per lb (admittedly I live in a low cost of living area so YMMV). Some fruits are always at this price, others need to be in season (berries), some vegetables (especially in season), pretty much all grains, chicken (at my stores you can buy whole chicken for $1/lb, the back doesn't have to be a waste if you make stock, which you can use to make soup, which is a super cheap meal; my store also has chicken back/thighs for $0.69/lb- insanely cheap.), milk (@ $4/gallon milk would be $0.50/lb), eggs. If you can't cook a meal with those things, your problem is cooking skill, not lack of food.

I also throw in fish (Tilapia is cheap, the rest are like $12/lb) once a week.. my store will have sale fish (which I assume is old), but it is a serious bargain if you want to eat fish that night.

Also because I live in the country, about every year friends/family are wanting some people to split a cow/pig with them- it is an easy way to get a TON of cheap, good meat.
 
2013-06-13 11:09:10 PM

spidermilk: Gortex: StrangeQ: doglover:
Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

Also because I live in the country, about every year friends/family are wanting some people to split a cow/pig with them- it is an easy way to get a TON of cheap, good meat.


OK I guess I want to adjust my statement. If you live in a food dessert and don't have public transportation or a proper grocery store (or ethnic grocery store since they are crazy full of deals) then I understand why it would be incredibly hard to buy cheap, healthy food.
 
2013-06-13 11:16:21 PM
I have the opposite problem.  I make a little less than 6 figures, but all my expenses are paid except for car insurance and cell phone.  I'm thinking of just using the work phone which will save $80/mo, and I can't seem to find a way to blow enough on my week off.
 
2013-06-13 11:24:17 PM
some day, I'll regret all this drinking....I wonder if it will be from a Hospital bed or the Poor house
 
2013-06-13 11:31:11 PM

Summercat: doglover: SevenizGud: Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people.

You fuggin come to my house and cook for me then mr judgemental.

I have two 8am-11pm days and work Saturday mornings. There's usually not enough time in the day and energy in my body left to cook anything worth eating at home and clean up the mess. So I eat out.

Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.

Cook a bunch of food all at once. The time to cook 10 servings of pasta is only marginally more than 1 servings. Same thing for sauce; making 10 servings requires a larger pot than a single serving of sauce, and does take more time, but we're talking about maybe a quarter to half an hour.

When I used to work overnight as a security guard, I couldn't leave site to get food, not that there was any available. I had a microwave and a minifridge. Tortillas, guacamole, cheese, and chopped chicken (purchased at El Polo Loco in a single serving), spread it, nuke it, eat it; it's a full meal in of itself, and each instance of it cost like 2.50.

Unless food prices at national chains is omgwtf lower in suburban Southern California than other places, this isn't all that not doable.

/The tortillas could have been cheaper but I was using high-fiber-low-carb tortillas.


I'll just save up a week's worth of food in my one room aparment with no room for a full sized fridge in the middle of a 90% 36 degree summer and spend my one day a week off work cooking a week's worth of crappy, week old sandwiches. Brilliant plan.

Or I can get an awesome lunch for $5-$10 and be happy at work making that money back in minutes.

Don't save a dime, make a buck.
 
2013-06-13 11:31:45 PM
dustman81:You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.


Phones are the single most expensive waste of money.  A car payment may be a necessity but a fancy phone is not.  Yet every welfare asshole out there has the latest iCrap.  That's why they're poor.  They're chained to the slavery of keeping up with the joneses.  Free yourself and mock the Joneses.  They're up to their eyeballs in debt.  Any one of their creditors can destroy them.  And they will do everything they can to do just that.

Cut the chains of slavery and live a simpler life.  Then go fishing, without a phone.
 
2013-06-13 11:32:05 PM

redly1: some day, I'll regret all this drinking....I wonder if it will be from a Hospital bed or the Poor house


Cheers!
 
2013-06-13 11:44:15 PM

doglover: Summercat: doglover: SevenizGud: Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people.

You fuggin come to my house and cook for me then mr judgemental.

I have two 8am-11pm days and work Saturday mornings. There's usually not enough time in the day and energy in my body left to cook anything worth eating at home and clean up the mess. So I eat out.

Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.

Cook a bunch of food all at once. The time to cook 10 servings of pasta is only marginally more than 1 servings. Same thing for sauce; making 10 servings requires a larger pot than a single serving of sauce, and does take more time, but we're talking about maybe a quarter to half an hour.

When I used to work overnight as a security guard, I couldn't leave site to get food, not that there was any available. I had a microwave and a minifridge. Tortillas, guacamole, cheese, and chopped chicken (purchased at El Polo Loco in a single serving), spread it, nuke it, eat it; it's a full meal in of itself, and each instance of it cost like 2.50.

Unless food prices at national chains is omgwtf lower in suburban Southern California than other places, this isn't all that not doable.

/The tortillas could have been cheaper but I was using high-fiber-low-carb tortillas.

I'll just save up a week's worth of food in my one room aparment with no room for a full sized fridge in the middle of a 90% 36 degree summer and spend my one day a week off work cooking a week's worth of crappy, week old sandwiches. Brilliant plan.

Or I can get an awesome lunch for $5-$10 and be happy at work making that money back in minutes.

Don't save a dime, make a buck.


You would spend all day cooking sandwiches? No wonder you have such a very odd sense of how much it costs to make your own food.
 
2013-06-13 11:53:32 PM

Summercat: doglover: Summercat: doglover: SevenizGud: Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people.

You fuggin come to my house and cook for me then mr judgemental.

I have two 8am-11pm days and work Saturday mornings. There's usually not enough time in the day and energy in my body left to cook anything worth eating at home and clean up the mess. So I eat out.

Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.

Cook a bunch of food all at once. The time to cook 10 servings of pasta is only marginally more than 1 servings. Same thing for sauce; making 10 servings requires a larger pot than a single serving of sauce, and does take more time, but we're talking about maybe a quarter to half an hour.

When I used to work overnight as a security guard, I couldn't leave site to get food, not that there was any available. I had a microwave and a minifridge. Tortillas, guacamole, cheese, and chopped chicken (purchased at El Polo Loco in a single serving), spread it, nuke it, eat it; it's a full meal in of itself, and each instance of it cost like 2.50.

Unless food prices at national chains is omgwtf lower in suburban Southern California than other places, this isn't all that not doable.

/The tortillas could have been cheaper but I was using high-fiber-low-carb tortillas.

I'll just save up a week's worth of food in my one room aparment with no room for a full sized fridge in the middle of a 90% 36 degree summer and spend my one day a week off work cooking a week's worth of crappy, week old sandwiches. Brilliant plan.

Or I can get an awesome lunch for $5-$10 and be happy at work making that money back in minutes.

Don't save a dime, make a buck.

You would spend all day cooking sandwiches? No wonder you have such a very odd sense of how much it costs to make your own food.


Work 70 hours a week for a year or two and tell me you wanna cook dinner on a tuesday night.

Also, don't forget to factor in time and travel. Going to the grocery store, train fare, gas, electricity, your time and effort, even storage space: these all cost.

You spend all day trying to save a dime, you might just save two dimes if you're lucky.

But if you learn to make a dollar, you can drop $.70 and still have more money than the dime saver.
 
2013-06-14 12:01:21 AM
I really don't understand what people are doing wrong. Until last year, my fiance an I made about $50k a year, combined, as we were working to get our business off the ground. I had a car payment, child support, and a hefty bill from going to visit my daughter every month. We still managed to take 2-3 week-long international vacations a year, ate out 3-4 times a week minimum (and ate out well), paid rent in NEW YORK, went out drinking every week at least once (and we drink a lot. We're talking 6 hours straight of mid-shelf stuff). And we don't have any credit card debt. In fact, the only debt we're carrying is from business taxes, and since the interest on that is virtually non-existent I'm not in a hurry to pay it off.

So WTF is everyone doing that they have tens of thousands in debt? WTF are you guys doing wrong that you have to subsist on cold rice and beans and sublet a closet? I really just don't understand.
 
2013-06-14 12:09:10 AM

doglover: Work 70 hours a week for a year or two and tell me you wanna cook dinner on a tuesday night.


I worked 70+ hours regularly over the last few years. Trying to start a business while keeping down a full-time job will do that. Out the door by 8, back by 8-9pm, then get to work on my own thing. Amazingly, I almost always maanged to cook a meal for dinner. My grocery budget for two people is about $40. It takes about 30 minutes to cook a decent meal (usually a  starch or grain, side of vegetables, and a meat). If you're spending more than about $20 per person per week, or spending more than 45 minutes cooking, you're failing at life (and probably buying crap at the grocery store). There is absolutely no reason to eat out EVER unless you actually just want to eat out (because you know, sometimes you just want sushi, and sushi-grade fish is expensive).
 
2013-06-14 12:19:16 AM

doglover: SevenizGud: Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people.

You fuggin come to my house and cook for me then mr judgemental.

I have two 8am-11pm days and work Saturday mornings. There's usually not enough time in the day and energy in my body left to cook anything worth eating at home and clean up the mess. So I eat out.

Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.


Have you ever tried slow cooker recipes? They are magic and pretty infallable. They even come in single person size. Throw frozen chicken in with a bottle of bbq sauce and 8 hours later throw it on a bun. Heaven.
 
2013-06-14 12:30:37 AM
These threads always devolve into posts with folks bragging about their awesome, cheap cooking skills. Like the sun coming up in the morning.
 
2013-06-14 12:31:26 AM

BMFPitt: Perhaps spend an hour or two researching the job prospects and starting salaries of your major prior to taking out a 5 digit loan.


Not even that always works.  You're still at the mercy of the economy, and the floor can drop out from under a major that seemed good.

/In 2000, computer science majors were in super high demand.
//In 2002, it was impossible to get a job unless you knew the right people or already had a shiatload of job experience.
///guess when I graduated in computer science...
 
2013-06-14 12:33:43 AM

BMFPitt: Gyrfalcon: Don't have credit cards. I've not had any for 20 years, and it's been a huge relief since my student loans came due. One less problem.

"Don't have guns, so you don't shoot yourself in the leg with them.  One less problem"

"Don't have a motorcycle, so you don't hit a curb at 140mph.  One less problem"

"Don't have scissors, so you don't cut your finger off.  One less problem"


Yes, it does work. Look, some people cannot have credit cards. I am one. My financial situation is precarious enough that having credit is very risky for me: I'm much safer if I simply don't buy anything unless I actually have the money to pay for it. This is somehow fit for your mockery? I will wager dollars to donuts that in other threads, you are the same type of person who routinely berates poor people for buying homes they can't afford, or having kids they're not able to support, amirite?

OTOH, when I had a motorcycle, I was able to control my riding so that I never went 140 mph, so I never had to worry about hitting a curb at 140. It was never a problem. I've never cut off a finger with scissors, so I can keep them around the house without concern. I guess if you routinely chop your fingers off, you might not want to keep scissors around. If you're the type of person whose finances are not stable, then you should recognize it (as I have) and not keep credit cards around--then you don't find yourself with no job and unpayable credit card bills each month.

Thus, when I found myself with a large amount of student loans, unlike many of my colleagues, I did NOT also have large credit card bills (because I don't have any) or large car payments (because I don't buy on credit) or anything being paid for on installments, because I'm used to not buying unless I have saved in advance. I do apologize if you find that unbearably unAmerican, but I guess I can live with your scorn.
 
2013-06-14 12:34:19 AM

screwzloos: /still haven't figured out what to do with the left over income yet.


2 chicks at the same time.
 
2013-06-14 12:40:01 AM

mbillips: Yeah! $5 a month after a year is $60! And after 10 years, with compound interest at 2 percent, it's almost $1,000!

/Don't see how this is touching that $80k. Especially if it's accruing interest.


WHERE the FARK are you getting 2%?
 
2013-06-14 12:42:01 AM
People still post on MSN?  I thought that disappeared about the time Windows 98 was released.
 
2013-06-14 12:48:07 AM

doglover: Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.



How can a restaurant afford to buy the food, pay waitresses, cooks, busboys, rent, insurance, utilities, and I don't know what all, on a 50 cent per meal profit on the food cost alone?

You didn't leave a tip either did you?
 
2013-06-14 12:57:29 AM

Lusiphur: I really don't understand what people are doing wrong. Until last year, my fiance an I made about $50k a year, combined, as we were working to get our business off the ground. I had a car payment, child support, and a hefty bill from going to visit my daughter every month. We still managed to take 2-3 week-long international vacations a year, ate out 3-4 times a week minimum (and ate out well), paid rent in NEW YORK, went out drinking every week at least once (and we drink a lot. We're talking 6 hours straight of mid-shelf stuff). And we don't have any credit card debt. In fact, the only debt we're carrying is from business taxes, and since the interest on that is virtually non-existent I'm not in a hurry to pay it off.

So WTF is everyone doing that they have tens of thousands in debt? WTF are you guys doing wrong that you have to subsist on cold rice and beans and sublet a closet? I really just don't understand.


Most probably live like they make $50k a year while only making $25k a year, putting the balance on credit cards and only making the minimum payments. Eventually the minimum payments become more than they can afford and suddenly they realize how deep they've gotten themselves in debt.
And then there's the people who live within their means only to lose half - or all - their income. For the past 20 years at least, your continued employment has been unrelated to your performance. You can get fired just because the boss wants more profit. When that happens, it gets pretty hairy. Even if you've only lost half your income, the portion of your income going to your cost of living doubles. That's some pretty harsh adjustment.
 
2013-06-14 01:02:37 AM

CourtroomWolf: /In 2000, computer science majors were in super high demand.
//In 2002, it was impossible to get a job unless you knew the right people or already had a shiatload of job experience.


No, it wasn't.  There was never a year when CS grads suddenly faced a freak 80% unemployment rate, or a sudden drop in their consistently high average starting salaries.  Even the bursting of the tech bubble didn't really hurt CS grads---rather, the bubble created an insatiable demand that college could not supply.  The bubble gave a lot of coding jobs to high school graduates and self-taught freelancers who probably shouldn't have been writing code for e-commerce sites.
 
2013-06-14 01:07:44 AM

dustman81: whistleridge: Let me guess:

1. Cut rent as much as possible, either by moving in with parents or with 8 roommates
2. Don't eat out, and eat rice and beans at home
3. Work 80 hours a week, probably including nights and weekends
4. Don't have a car payment, cell phone contract, or any other big ticket expenses
5. Kiss all entertainment and new purchases goodbye
6. Oh...and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage

/ at the end of the day, it's really just about #6

You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.


Get an antenna? Sure, we'll follow that advice, grandpa. I'd discuss horse-drawn carriage providers with you too, but I see those kids crossing your yard again.
 
2013-06-14 01:12:02 AM

mbillips: Yeah! $5 a month after a year is $60! And after 10 years, with compound interest at 2 percent, it's almost $1,000!

/Don't see how this is touching that $80k. Especially if it's accruing interest.


Yeah, pretty much what I was thinking. $5/month isn't gonna do shiat...
 
2013-06-14 01:15:56 AM

Devo: Don't carry a balance on your credit cards.


Yeah, but that Farks up your credit score. If you have them, and have no balance, they do you no good. You don't have to max them out, but they recommend about 40% of your balance, and pay them off each month.

Part of it is to not have too many cards with too much of a limit. We have a single $500 card that is easy to pay off, yet still has enough of an limit to help when a car repair or emergency tank of gas comes up before payday...
 
2013-06-14 01:22:40 AM

Smeggy Smurf: Phones are the single most expensive waste of money.


The ability to access the collected knowledge of humankind anywhere and anytime is a power everyone should have. The cost is almost entirely the user's responsibility, unlike, say, operating a car or owning a home, which have a much greater negative social impact than having a smartphone.

In my opinion, the single biggest waste of money possible is smoking cigarettes. No question about it, it's the most expensive hobby you can have. The smokes themselves are expensive, the social cost is high, and of course, the health problems are also costly. And I say this as a smoker who's trying to quit.
 
2013-06-14 01:24:14 AM

JWideman: Most probably live like they make $50k a year while only making $25k a year, putting the balance on credit cards and only making the minimum payments. Eventually the minimum payments become more than they can afford and suddenly they realize how deep they've gotten themselves in debt.
And then there's the people who live within their means only to lose half - or all - their income. For the past 20 years at least, your continued employment has been unrelated to your performance. You can get fired just because the boss wants more profit. When that happens, it gets pretty hairy. Even if you've only lost half your income, the portion of your income going to your cost of living doubles. That's some pretty harsh adjustment.


But that's the thing - what kind of adult couple is actually only earning 25k a year? You can get more than that with two working adults both doing minimum wage. Hell, you can mow lawns and make more than that in a summer. And if you're a single adult, making 25k isn't great, but it's enough to afford a comfortable living in any city in any country in the world. As far as getting laid off, of course that's an issue. It's also fairly easy to get out of. When we started this business, my fiance was making 1600 a month in unemployment, and I had just gone through a major divorce and the resultant upheaval ended in me unemployed for a month or two. It's not a harsh adjustment at all. All of a sudden, you have less money - you pay off what debt you can, default on whatever debt you either can't pay or the debt holder isn't willing to compromise on (because the collections company WILL compromise, and you can knock out half the debt immediately), and stop spending money until you're out of the hole. It isn't difficult at all.

My bigger question, though, is where is everyone's money going? Until this year, I made a middle-class salary in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and for all intents and purposes lived like a king. Meanwhile, I hear people in West Bumfark, Iowa who cannot possibly be making that much less (despite 1/10th the cost of living. I've checked. My ex-wife lives in MS - for what I paid in rent in NYC, I could have bought a third of a brand new subdivision. Not a third of a home in a subdivision. A third of the homes IN a subdivision) constantly complain about how they don't have the money to do anything, can't afford to eat anywhere nicer than an Applebee's (and even that, only once a month), have to pinch every penny when grocery shopping, never take vacations outside of the states (or maybe a once-a-decade trip to a "safe" resort in Jamaica or Puerto Rico or Mexico), and just live miserable spartan lives. Where is all their money going? What are they doing wrong, or what am I doing right? It confuses the shiat out of me.
 
2013-06-14 01:26:14 AM

doglover: SevenizGud: Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people.

You fuggin come to my house and cook for me then mr judgemental.

I have two 8am-11pm days and work Saturday mornings. There's usually not enough time in the day and energy in my body left to cook anything worth eating at home and clean up the mess. So I eat out.

Also, don't know the last time you went grocery shopping, but most of my good meals come out to the same price as something cheap from take out as well.

So the real choice is between paying $10 for lunch with clean up or $10.50 for lunch with no cleanup.


One word for you to eat well cheaply: Costco. Even when my wife and I were really struggling, we could eat steak on a regular basis, (good steak, too) and I still slept with a clean conscience. We can get a 4 pack of nice thick ribeyes for about $28, and freeze all of them. They weigh close to a pound each, and my wife and I alone would eat about 1 1/4 between us. Throw in a couple of baked taters and salad, and the two of us are eating steak dinner for about $5.50 each. Add in my kids, and it gets a little cheaper, since they don't eat a full steak either.

Not only are the meat prices good at Costco, the quality is good, and the cuts are very generous. For the past 12 years, we've probably bought grocery store steaks 10 times total. It would be a payoff for the Costco membership even if steak is all we bought.

Bonus is, it's a quick dinner, too. Taters take about an hour in the oven, sure, but all you do is preheat it and drop them in, you can do other stuff while they're cooking, and medium rare steaks only take about 6 minutes per side, plus 5 minutes to rest up afterwards. Once again, throw the steaks on, and during that 6 minutes, you can do whatever you want, it's a meal that is easy to cook while winding down after work, or going thru the day's mail.
 
2013-06-14 01:35:55 AM
I don't understand people who freak out over student loans...

1. They are low interest, and if you got hosed and got them when interest was high, you can consolidate when the rate drops again.

2. You have forever to pay them, and the payments are low. Sure, you have that for 30 years, but only if you pay that minimum $120/month payment.

3. They are easy as Hell to work with lenders on. I don't know how many times I've had to defer my loans or get a forbearance due to unexpected financial issues. I have never been denied, and it takes very little effort.

4. They actually improve your credit scores nicely. I have $35K I student loans, my wife has none, otherwise our credit is identical. I am usually 60-100 points ahead of her, as long as we're current.

5. If you go back to school, you don't have to pay and interest doesn't accrue while you are back in school.

I can't figure out if the people who raise the big stink are mostly Obama haters, totally ignorant about the subject, stupid, or just talking shiat to talk shiat, but if I had a choice between a standard $5K loan from a bank, and my $35K student loans, I'd take the student loans any day.
 
2013-06-14 01:50:25 AM
Tip? Ha!

Only in America.
 
2013-06-14 01:56:55 AM
If you want to get out of debt, here's a how-to guide.


ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-06-14 02:34:42 AM

Mikey1969: I don't understand people who freak out over student loans...

1. They are low interest, and if you got hosed and got them when interest was high, you can consolidate when the rate drops again.


Low interest on $80k for 20 years is still a lot of money.

2. You have forever to pay them, and the payments are low. Sure, you have that for 30 years, but only if you pay that minimum $120/month payment.

It's designed that way on purpose.  The bank wants you in debt for as long as possible so you'll keep paying interest.  Look at the your amortization schedule for your student loan.  Over 30 years, you'll end up paying them triple what you borrowed.

3. They are easy as Hell to work with lenders on. I don't know how many times I've had to defer my loans or get a forbearance due to unexpected financial issues. I have never been denied, and it takes very little effort.

Lenders don't mind making them because they're federally secured.  There is zero risk to the bank because if you don't pay, the government does.  As a consequence, it is impossible to have them charged off in a bankruptcy and they'll garnish your wages if you get behind.  They're as bad as the IRS.

4. They actually improve your credit scores nicely. I have $35K I student loans, my wife has none, otherwise our credit is identical. I am usually 60-100 points ahead of her, as long as we're current.

Of course it's higher.  Your credit score is not a measure of credit-worthiness.  It's a measure of how profitable you are as a customer.  You measure your financial health in terms of net worth, and I'm sure your wife's is higher than yours.

5. If you go back to school, you don't have to pay and interest doesn't accrue while you are back in school.

This is for the bank as much as it's for you.  The deeper you dig that hole, the higher your interest payments will be.  The goal is to keep you indebted to them for as long as possible in order to maximize profits.

I can't figure out if the people who raise the big stink are mostly Obama haters, totally ignorant about the subject, stupid, or just talking shiat to talk shiat, but if I had a choice between a standard $5K loan from a bank, and my $35K student loans, I'd take the student loans any day.

You'd rather be $35k in debt than $5k in debt?  And you think other people are ignorant about money?
 
2013-06-14 02:39:27 AM

mike_the_engineer: As a consequence, it is impossible to have them charged off in a bankruptcy and they'll garnish your wages if you get behind. They're as bad as the IRS.


That's because if you stop paying, they can't repossess your degree.
 
2013-06-14 02:51:46 AM

evil saltine: mike_the_engineer: As a consequence, it is impossible to have them charged off in a bankruptcy and they'll garnish your wages if you get behind. They're as bad as the IRS.

That's because if you stop paying, they can't repossess your degree.


You have no idea how far behind I've gotten, and garnishment never entered the picture. Years behind.

And interest isn't low so that you'll take forever to pay it back, its designed so that people who just got out of school aren't paying the equivalent of a house payment on top of their normal bills.

Also, I've been a customer plenty of other times regarding money, they don't work with you so well just because they're making money off of you, or it would be this easy with EVERY creditor.

And I'm sorry I didn't spell it out more clearly for you; From the perspective of how easy it us to afford my payments, make arrangements when needed, put the loan on hold if I go back to school, and because of the low interest, my student loans are far less of a burden overall than a standard loan. I was speaking hyperbolicly.
 
2013-06-14 03:02:11 AM
What I do:

Every two weeks I set aside half of the money I need to pay bills: electricity,rent, phone,car,insurance (this way at the end of the month I have money to pay for it all). Then I just "live" with the rest of the paycheck... once I hit the next paycheck I transfer the remaining money that I had from the previous one to a savings account. The way I see it I'm hitting "reset" every two weeks, that leaves me with around 1k$ for two weeks... I'm single so I end up saving around 400$ or so every two weeks.

Not bad!
 
2013-06-14 03:54:01 AM
Lusiphur:
But that's the thing - what kind of adult couple is actually only earning 25k a year? You can get more than that with two working adults both doing minimum wage. Hell, you can mow lawns and make more than that in a summer.

You're pretty confident, but I suspect you don't realize how poor people can be and how easy it is to end up that poor. Two people with minimum wage together make over $25k - but a single person, assuming they can get full time hours for 50 weeks, will end up with something like $15k. That's pretty farking hard unless you can walk/bike to your work and cut expenses quite severely. Having two people makes it marginally better but it still is very close to the edge. Additionally, though you seem to be completely unaware of this, employers try very hard to keep their minimum wage staff below the insurance cut, which is 30 hours federal and 20 hours in my state.

As for mowing lawns and making $25k a summer, if that's so easy, please tell me how I can do this. It's like summer all year here in Hawaii and $100k mowing lawns sounds great. I'll be doing this tomorrow of you fill me in on your magic "$25k a summer" lawn-mowing scheme.

Yes, somebody drawing $50k should not complain about their finances. Cutting debt is essential, and most people should probably kill all their debts. But I think you have unrealistic assumptions about what employment is like for many people. If you have skills, educations, connections, a reputation, then a decent job is nothing. But if you are critically lacking in some thing, you can end up stocking shelves part time for minimum wage. Also many people find themselves deeply in debt because they have no understanding of how finances work - they lease cars, get mortgages, use credit, because they don't realize how quickly $15 here and $30 there turns into $10k of debt.
 
2013-06-14 04:46:10 AM

mike_the_engineer: If you want to get out of debt, here's a how-to guide.


[ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x300]


Write a best selling book about money management?
 
2013-06-14 07:17:12 AM

SevenizGud: FTFA:
<i>We can drive ourselves crazy trying to cut out a lot (of small expenses), like trying to bring our lunch to work. If you're really good about it every single day, that might add up to $50 or $100 at the end of the month.</i>

Because we all live in places where we can get lunch for $2.50 to $5.00 per meal. I am sure that is especially true in New York City.

Eating out is the #1 money waster for most people. You go out to eat with your spouse almost any place that isn't Wendy's or Sonic, and you are looking at about $20-$25 minimum.

The exception is having children. You just dropped a minimum of $50,000 for the first 5 years of that little crying poop-machine. Don't have kids. Ever. And that's not just because of cost. Children suck. Why would you do that to yourself EVEN IF RICH?

Finally, a pointer to almost all who will read this. If you don't have at least $80,000 lying around when you graduate high school, then you aren't college material. The only way you would NOT have at least $80,000 lying around is if BOTH of your parents are total losers. And since you are their kid, you are therefore homozygous for loserness. People with a double dose of the lazy stupid loser gene should abandon college fantasy and not spend that money, since nobody is hiring a journalism major with a 2.6 GPA anyway. You losers would be best mowing lawns and the like.


Wow.
SOMEone is certainly an entitled douche.
 
2013-06-14 08:14:43 AM

Lusiphur: My bigger question, though, is where is everyone's money going? Until this year, I made a middle-class salary in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and for all intents and purposes lived like a king.


Have you considered asking someone? I mean, not a group of strangers on the internet, but the next time someone you know is complaining about not having any money, ask them "what's your biggest expense right now?". They'll tell you, probably.

/kids and healthcare
 
2013-06-14 08:44:07 AM

ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.


Let's say you go to college and rack up $200,000K in debt studying eastern european 18th century literature.

Which will get you out of debt with clear credit faster?

1) Paying the loans at $200/month.
2) Bankruptcy

Hint: Bankruptcy stops farking with your life in just 7 years.

What's to keep every student from declaring bankruptcy?
 
2013-06-14 08:45:45 AM

CourtroomWolf: Not even that always works.  You're still at the mercy of the economy, and the floor can drop out from under a major that seemed good.

/In 2000, computer science majors were in super high demand.
//In 2002, it was impossible to get a job unless you knew the right people or already had a shiatload of job experience.
///guess when I graduated in computer science...


I graduated in CS in 2003, and started my job a week later.  I had friends that didn't find anything "real" for 2 years.  But they're all doing just fine now.

It was also nice that I actually like coding and wasn't just trying to jump on the .com bandwagon.

Gyrfalcon: Yes, it does work. Look, some people cannot have credit cards. I am one. My financial situation is precarious enough that having credit is very risky for me: I'm much safer if I simply don't buy anything unless I actually have the money to pay for it. This is somehow fit for your mockery?


I'm mocking the fact that you are telling others not to use a particular tool because you yourself could not use it responsibly.

I will wager dollars to donuts that in other threads, you are the same type of person who routinely berates poor people for buying homes they can't afford, or having kids they're not able to support, amirite?

So people's shouldn't have a credit card to buy essentials that they need to buy anyway, but no problem with people getting a mortgage that devastates them financially?  Got it.

OTOH, when I had a motorcycle, I was able to control my riding so that I never went 140 mph, so I never had to worry about hitting a curb at 140. It was never a problem.

And yet I know someone who did just that.  Should they go around telling you to not have a bike?

If you're the type of person whose finances are not stable, then you should recognize it (as I have) and not keep credit cards around--then you don't find yourself with no job and unpayable credit card bills each month.

If you're the type of person who can't comprehend the idea that you shouldn't buy anything with a credit card that you wouldn't buy with cash, and that when used correctly it will not only make you money but allow you to more easily track your expenses, then you should (and have) recognize that you cannot be trusted with this highly useful tool.

Thus, when I found myself with a large amount of student loans, unlike many of my colleagues, I did NOT also have large credit card bills (because I don't have any) or large car payments (because I don't buy on credit) or anything being paid for on installments, because I'm used to not buying unless I have saved in advance. I do apologize if you find that unbearably unAmerican, but I guess I can live with your scorn.

What?  You didn't just save in advance for college?  You used credit to (and I'm making a generous assumption that you got a reasonable degree at a reasonable school here) purchase something that you needed so that you were in a better financial position overall?
 
2013-06-14 08:56:35 AM
just had a wreck that totaled my camaro. took the settlement money and bought a used car (its no camaro) with cash. no more car loan...and it feels nice. nicer than a camaro.

camaro.
 
2013-06-14 10:06:55 AM
whistleridge:and one of those 2-3 jobs will need to pay significantly more than minimum wage


Protip: If you are going to be working in a job paying minimum wage, perhaps you shouldn't rack up $80,000 in debt.

Just saying.
 
2013-06-14 10:10:51 AM

adamatari: a single person, assuming they can get full time hours for 50 weeks, will end up with something like $15k. That's pretty farking hard unless you can walk/bike to your work and cut expenses quite severely.


If you're single and working for minimum wage, you *must* walk/bike/BUSto work. You can't afford a car. Get used to it.

And if "work's too far away and there's no public transit" - MOVE. You don't own a house, so pack your shiat up and go to where the jobs are.
 
2013-06-14 10:46:56 AM

ripple123: step 1. pass regulations limiting usurious interest rates.
step 2. make the minimum wage a realistic number, that allows one to live in reasonable dignity and comfort.
step 3. make student debt dispellable in bankruptcy.


Step two is, perhaps counter-intuitively, the fastest way to fix the economy. You actually wouldn't need steps 1 & 3 if we did that.
 
2013-06-14 10:52:34 AM
I'm an old guy and have been through this too many times. What gets you in trouble is when life happens, and it does. You have to count on it. The experts say to save, but the plan is to work extra jobs and live like a street person to dig out - maximize saving by living cheap until you dig yourself out. People, the problem is life will keep throwing you curve balls. Say it takes you a couple years to dig yourself out, just to get back to the same lifestyle you had before - you'll probably have a couple month breather before deciding to treat yourself. Then while you're again leveraged the next life changing emergency just "happens". Before you know it, you're over 50 where the future is now.

The best advice I can give that isn't a stolen rehash that is found everywhere is - pay it forward using reverse logic. Early in your career don't take out loans, that's a no brainer, but beyond that do little things like overpay your bills. For example, if your cable bill is $60/mo., pay $75. When they send the next invoice for $45, just go ahead and pay $75 again. Pretty soon they will be sending invoices for $0, (or not sending any to make you slip up - sometime you get a phone call). Companies make a lot more when you are late on a payment than they do on the positive balance they carry forward. Now, money managers will tell you this is not good - think of all the interest you lose. That piddly few bucks interest you make over a year might pay for dinner out, and really, does the average person let 100 bucks sit in a savings account when the shopping urge hits? Paying it forward is a free insurance policy for when life rolls the wrong way.

OK, this might not make sense to you. Why give the bastards more than they are due?

Real easy - life is going to happen. Get laid off? Cushion. Medical problems? Cushion. Instead of taking on extra work when it probably isn't available or not able to do it - you can focus 100% of your income at the problem without worrying about next months bills. Major life change like moving to a new state? Cancel service and they send you a check. The main point is to set yourself up where stress doesn't go exponential when life happens. Savings accounts can be used, but you work hard to build up savings and any withdrawal adds stress. A little less positive balance on a bill won't bother you as much and allows you to focus on the real problem.

I like about 3 months ahead. I'll probably never win the lottery, but when life happens to me I don't stop going to Starbucks or work 7 days a week while living on a diet of starch. If I can't afford to pay an extra 10% on a bill, I probably can't afford it.
 
2013-06-14 11:00:59 AM

Lusiphur: doglover: Work 70 hours a week for a year or two and tell me you wanna cook dinner on a tuesday night.

I worked 70+ hours regularly over the last few years. Trying to start a business while keeping down a full-time job will do that. Out the door by 8, back by 8-9pm, then get to work on my own thing. Amazingly, I almost always maanged to cook a meal for dinner. My grocery budget for two people is about $40. It takes about 30 minutes to cook a decent meal (usually a  starch or grain, side of vegetables, and a meat). If you're spending more than about $20 per person per week, or spending more than 45 minutes cooking, you're failing at life (and probably buying crap at the grocery store). There is absolutely no reason to eat out EVER unless you actually just want to eat out (because you know, sometimes you just want sushi, and sushi-grade fish is expensive).


$20 per person, per week? If you only eat one meal a day, that's $3 per meal. You could probably put together one meal of rice, vegetables, and chicken for $3, but what about breakfast and dinner?
 
2013-06-14 11:01:40 AM

Lusiphur: I really don't understand what people are doing wrong. Until last year, my fiance an I made about $50k a year, combined, as we were working to get our business off the ground. I had a car payment, child support, and a hefty bill from going to visit my daughter every month. We still managed to take 2-3 week-long international vacations a year, ate out 3-4 times a week minimum (and ate out well), paid rent in NEW YORK, went out drinking every week at least once (and we drink a lot. We're talking 6 hours straight of mid-shelf stuff). And we don't have any credit card debt. In fact, the only debt we're carrying is from business taxes, and since the interest on that is virtually non-existent I'm not in a hurry to pay it off.

So WTF is everyone doing that they have tens of thousands in debt? WTF are you guys doing wrong that you have to subsist on cold rice and beans and sublet a closet? I really just don't understand.


We're not lying on the internet? That might be the difference.
 
2013-06-14 11:03:44 AM

fatbear: adamatari: a single person, assuming they can get full time hours for 50 weeks, will end up with something like $15k. That's pretty farking hard unless you can walk/bike to your work and cut expenses quite severely.

If you're single and working for minimum wage, you *must* walk/bike/BUSto work. You can't afford a car. Get used to it.

And if "work's too far away and there's no public transit" - MOVE. You don't own a house, so pack your shiat up and go to where the jobs are.


Lots of people do this. Then they find out that rent, utilities, food, and cost of living is much, much higher there due to the booming economy from all those jobs. Then they're late to work because the bus is late and they get fired.
 
2013-06-14 11:18:30 AM

adamatari: You're pretty confident, but I suspect you don't realize how poor people can be and how easy it is to end up that poor.


I actually do. I dropped out of college after one year. Worked a LOT of crappy minimum wage jobs until I found my calling. When I needed extra money, I worked two or three jobs at a time. This was back when minimum wage was $5.25, too. When my then-wife got pregnant, I was actually working two minimum wage jobs. So I started busting my ass at one, rose up the ranks, and picked up some skills in a related field. It wasn't difficult, and I saw plenty of people who could have done the same thing but chose to goof off instead.

But we're getting sidetracked. Only about 1/3rd of households make under $40,000, and they aren't generally the ones that you see complaining about lifestyle. I'm more wondering about that middle third - the ones making somewhere between 30k and 70k - and what's going on with them that I seem to be able to maintain a much better (maybe not the right term...more full? Richer? More extravagant?) lifestyle than them.

mccallcl: Have you considered asking someone? I mean, not a group of strangers on the internet, but the next time someone you know is complaining about not having any money, ask them "what's your biggest expense right now?". They'll tell you, probably.


I have, and I get irregular answers, or answers that don't make sense to me. Things like "Have you seen the cost of groceries???" I have, since I buy groceries. Or "Kids are expensive!" - I have a child, so I'm familiar. More often, though, I don't get any answer at all. People are very reluctant to talk money in person, especially when they feel like they aren't keeping up with everyone else. Hence asking anonymous strangers.
 
2013-06-14 11:40:13 AM

mike_the_engineer: Low interest on $80k for 20 years is still a lot of money.


But so what?  $320k for 80 years is also a lot of money---both numbers are irrelevant, because you're not supposed to take out a college loan that big.

At average in-state public rates, $80k is enough to put the entirety of a 4-year degree on credit, including room and board and books.  It's the sort of debt you'd accumulate if you only used credit to pay for school---but college loans are for covering whatever you can't pay by other means, including working, saving, parental support, and grants.  Putting the whole thing on loan is an abuse of the system.

The bank wants you in debt for as long as possible so you'll keep paying interest.  Look at the your amortization schedule for your student loan.  Over 30 years, you'll end up paying them triple what you borrowed.

All lenders want to make as much interest as possible.  So do you, as an investor.

But that doesn't somehow imply that a lender is evil for giving you leeway in paying back your loan.   Would they be less evil if they enforced a 10-year payoff with stiff penalties, no forebearance, and immediate garnishment of your paychecks?

I guess you can see a lax repayment schedule as a trap for unwary graduates to fall into eternal debt slavery.  In that respect, college is also a trap given our lax rules about curricula, attendance and participation:  you can major in general studies, skip class and miss homework assignments, and nobody's going to confront you or call your parents or stop you from ruining your future career prospects.  I suppose both systems expect you to take the initiative as an adult to do what you're supposed to do, and not abuse the leeway you're given.
 
2013-06-14 11:41:58 AM

kriegsgeist: $20 per person, per week? If you only eat one meal a day, that's $3 per meal. You could probably put together one meal of rice, vegetables, and chicken for $3, but what about breakfast and dinner?


A carton of eggs is about $2. Hot cereal is even cheaper. Getting regular home-cooked meals to a dollar or less per person per meal is not nearly as impossible as it seems. Chicken is less than a dollar per lb. if you get it on sale. You can get little packs of thin-cut steaks and cut them up into pieces, add some cheap vegetables and sauce, and have enough stir-fry to last a week for about $5-6 total.

kriegsgeist: We're not lying on the internet? That might be the difference.


I don't think I've made any claims that come anywhere near being outrageous enough to be suspicious. I made about $50k last year - not amazing, but certainly better than a lot of people. I lived in Brooklyn until about a month ago. I paid about $1400 in rent between myself and my fiance. I've taken two international vacations so far this year (4 days in bermuda because JetBlue was offering 50% off on flights) and 10 days in St. Petersburg and Moscow (plus a working vacation in Vegas in January). There were some other minor claims I've made (some obviously exaggerated slightly e.g. buying a third of a subdivision - realistically, I could only get about three houses when you factor in insurance and property taxes). What am I lying about?

This is exactly what I'm talking about - lately I've been getting the feeling that I live much differently than most people, and I'm terribly confused about what other people are doing so wrong that my claims seem so outrageous that I may as well be lying?
 
2013-06-14 11:54:05 AM
JWideman:
If you're single and working for minimum wage, you *must* walk/bike/BUS to work. You can't afford a car. Get used to it.

And if "work's too far away and there's no public transit" - MOVE. You don't own a house, so pack your shiat up and go to where the jobs are.

Lots of people do this. Then they find out that rent, utilities, food, and cost of living is much, much higher there due to the booming economy from all those jobs. Then they're late to work because the bus is late and they get fired.


1) You don't need a "booming economy" to find a zero-skill minimum wage job. You need a normal economy. If you move to Williston, ND and work for minimum wage, you're doing it wrong.

2) If you're late once and get fired, get another job. That one sucked. If you're late often enough that you get fired for cause, you've had plenty of time to learn that the bus is unreliable and you should be getting up earlier.

PS - Good employees don't get fired because they're late once. It just doesn't happen. There's more to the story.
 
2013-06-14 12:00:16 PM

Lusiphur: A carton of eggs is about $2. Hot cereal is even cheaper. Getting regular home-cooked meals to a dollar or less per person per meal is not nearly as impossible as it seems. Chicken is less than a dollar per lb. if you get it on sale. You can get little packs of thin-cut steaks and cut them up into pieces, add some cheap vegetables and sauce, and have enough stir-fry to last a week for about $5-6 total.


Making food for a week is also a huge savings of time---and debunks the notion that people are too busy to cook.  Are you so busy that you can't find one night a week to make a big-ass lasagna?

After having a kid, I've learned that soup is also great for this.  You just buy lots of different veggies at the store, and every two weeks or whenever you peel and cut it all into cubes or shreds and put them in freezer bags.  Once a week, you take the bags out of the freezer and put a bunch of handfuls into a pressure cooker with water and a little salt.  Cook, puree it with a hand blender, maybe add some water.  Then you can put servings in Tupperware containers and put those in the freezer.  Now you have soup for a week, and it handles all of your veggie needs.
 
2013-06-14 12:00:47 PM
Lusiphur:

I actually do. I dropped out of college after one year. Worked a LOT of crappy minimum wage jobs until I found my calling. When I needed extra money, I worked two or three jobs at a time. This was back when minimum wage was $5.25, too. When my then-wife got pregnant, I was actually working two minimum wage jobs. So I started busting my ass at one, rose up the ranks, and picked up some skills in a related field. It wasn't difficult, and I saw plenty of people who could have done the same thing but chose to goof off instead.
 I was going to give you applause.gif, but then I thought - why are we giving out applause for behavior that should be standard? That's what we've come to - what you did is now the exception instead of the rule. How did we get here?
/started at $3.35/hr
 
2013-06-14 12:05:25 PM

Ficoce:  ...a couple month breather before deciding to treat yourself. Then while you're again leveraged...


If you need to borrow to "treat yourself" you're doing it wrong.
 
2013-06-14 12:13:34 PM

LoneWolf343: dustman81: 
You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.

Get an antenna? Sure, we'll follow that advice, grandpa. I'd discuss horse-drawn carriage providers with you too, but I see those kids crossing your yard again.


We're talking about how to reduce $80K of debt. If you're not willing to sacrifice, you're not going to get out of debt.

Anyone who complains about being broke while watching $150/month cable on a $1000 TV deserves what they get.
 
2013-06-14 12:17:27 PM
doglover:
I'll just save up a week's worth of food in my one room aparment with no room for a full sized fridge in the middle of a 90% 36 degree summer and spend my one day a week off work cooking a week's worth of crappy, week old sandwiches. Brilliant plan.

Why do you need a full-size fridge if you live in a one-room apt?
 
2013-06-14 12:59:59 PM

meyerkev: Pray 4 Mojo: meyerkev: I blew a head seal

Are you sure it wasn't just ice cream?

That was Dad's car, but yes.

Car started smoking, we poured about 2 gallons of water into the radiator, got the heck out of Detroit, poured another 5 gallons of water in over the course of the drive home, and Dad got a nice $5000 repair bill after he took it up to the mechanic (or in his case, he said "Fark this noise", went up and dropped $9K on a nice used Camry pre-Cash for Clunkers)


Sorry, but your dad screwed up. Blowing a head gasket (not seal) is relatively cheap. Overheating an engine to the point of failure because you kept driving it after you blew a head gasket is not.

"But we had to get out of Detroit!"

Which would have been cheaper: Motel 6 for a night + rental car for a week, or $5000 for a new engine?
 
2013-06-14 01:26:23 PM

stappawho: Saving is like any habit.  You have to build it up and then it becomes natural.  You have to start somewhere.

Anyways, the best way to get out of $80k in debt is to not go $80k in debt.

Sometimes it really is that simple.


True, but that is like saying "the best way to get a dent out of a '86 Dodge Charger is to not get in an accident."
 
2013-06-14 01:30:01 PM

Holfax: stappawho: Saving is like any habit.  You have to build it up and then it becomes natural.  You have to start somewhere.

Anyways, the best way to get out of $80k in debt is to not go $80k in debt.

Sometimes it really is that simple.

True, but that is like saying "the best way to get a dent out of a '86 Dodge Charger is to not get in an accident."


The debt described in the article is no accident.
 
2013-06-14 01:56:01 PM

Lusiphur: kriegsgeist: $20 per person, per week? If you only eat one meal a day, that's $3 per meal. You could probably put together one meal of rice, vegetables, and chicken for $3, but what about breakfast and dinner?

A carton of eggs is about $2. Hot cereal is even cheaper. Getting regular home-cooked meals to a dollar or less per person per meal is not nearly as impossible as it seems. Chicken is less than a dollar per lb. if you get it on sale. You can get little packs of thin-cut steaks and cut them up into pieces, add some cheap vegetables and sauce, and have enough stir-fry to last a week for about $5-6 total.


Where are you getting chicken for less than a dollar a pound? The lowest I see whole fryers on sale for is a little over a dollar. Maybe 3 or 4 years ago you could occasionally get a whole chicken for less than $1/pound, but remember - the carcass is like 30% of the weight. Steaks are going to be $3 a pound at the lowest, for the cheapest, nastiest Walmart steaks you can get. I guess it's possible that in NYC food prices are lower than where I live, but I doubt it.

kriegsgeist: We're not lying on the internet? That might be the difference.

I don't think I've made any claims that come anywhere near being outrageous enough to be suspicious. I made about $50k last year - not amazing, but certainly better than a lot of people. I lived in Brooklyn until about a month ago. I paid about $1400 in rent between myself and my fiance. I've taken two international vacations so far this year (4 days in bermuda because JetBlue was offering 50% off on flights) and 10 days in St. Petersburg and Moscow (plus a working vacation in Vegas in January). There were some other minor claims I've made (some obviously exaggerated slightly e.g. buying a third of a subdivision - realistically, I could only get about three houses when you factor in insurance and property taxes). What am I lying about?

This is exactly what I'm talking about - lately I've been getting the feeling that I live much differently than most people, and I'm terribly confused about what other people are doing so wrong that my claims seem so outrageous that I may as well be lying?


The $25 k per year being enough to live comfortably in any city on earth is a start. I don't know, maybe you aren't lying, but just have trouble with not exaggerating numbers.

If you are talking about making middle-class level income and being fine, that makes sense. But the difference between $25k per year and $30k per year is about $5000 in potential disposable income (depending on your local cost of living and whether or not you are single and healthy, of course). Once you make enough to cover the necessities, lifestyle choices make a difference. Get below that line, and it doesn't really matter what you do, you are not going to make it. That's the problem these days - necessities have increased 30-40% just in the last couple of years, but wages have been the same for at least a decade (at the lower levels).
 
2013-06-14 02:03:16 PM

Mikey1969: Devo: Don't carry a balance on your credit cards.

Yeah, but that Farks up your credit score. If you have them, and have no balance, they do you no good. You don't have to max them out, but they recommend about 40% of your balance, and pay them off each month.

Part of it is to not have too many cards with too much of a limit. We have a single $500 card that is easy to pay off, yet still has enough of an limit to help when a car repair or emergency tank of gas comes up before payday...


fatbear: Lusiphur:

I actually do. I dropped out of college after one year. Worked a LOT of crappy minimum wage jobs until I found my calling. When I needed extra money, I worked two or three jobs at a time. This was back when minimum wage was $5.25, too. When my then-wife got pregnant, I was actually working two minimum wage jobs. So I started busting my ass at one, rose up the ranks, and picked up some skills in a related field. It wasn't difficult, and I saw plenty of people who could have done the same thing but chose to goof off instead.
 I was going to give you applause.gif, but then I thought - why are we giving out applause for behavior that should be standard? That's what we've come to - what you did is now the exception instead of the rule. How did we get here?
/started at $3.35/hr


Back when the minimum wage was $3.35, it was equivalent to $8.95/hour in today's money, which is 12% higher than the highest current minimum wage in the country. Also, inflation is heavily weighted towards things like cell phones and laptops since they started messing with the CPI. That $8.95 has to cover a lot more in food and gas than it did in the 80's.

So you are bragging about making more and having to spend less. What's wrong with people today? Why weren't they just born earlier?
 
2013-06-14 02:18:18 PM

addy2: These threads always devolve into posts with folks bragging about their awesome, cheap cooking skills. Like the sun coming up in the morning.


Why wouldn't they? The grocery bill is one of the few bills you have complete control over, and knowing how to feed yourself is a survival skill. Restaurant meals cost way more than cooking at home, and being able to make a nice meal for yourself is one of the cheapest ways to treat yourself. Nobody wants to live on beans, rice and chicken thighs forever. Bring on the recipes!
 
2013-06-14 03:19:06 PM

fatbear: LoneWolf343: dustman81: 
You don't need a brand new car (with the attached car payment). Get a good used car
You don't need the unlimited everything iPhone 5 plan. Get a Tracfone
You don't need the cable package with every premium channel on the planet. Get an antenna

Those three alone will save you at least $500 a month.

Get an antenna? Sure, we'll follow that advice, grandpa. I'd discuss horse-drawn carriage providers with you too, but I see those kids crossing your yard again.

We're talking about how to reduce $80K of debt. If you're not willing to sacrifice, you're not going to get out of debt.

Anyone who complains about being broke while watching $150/month cable on a $1000 TV deserves what they get.


Well, if we are going to fall back on archaic technology, at least books will make you smarter.
 
2013-06-14 03:29:39 PM
LoneWolf343:
We're talking about how to reduce $80K of debt. If you're not willing to sacrifice, you're not going to get out of debt.

Anyone who complains about being broke while watching $150/month cable on a $1000 TV deserves what they get.

Well, if we are going to fall back on archaic technology, at least books will make you smarter.


It's not about falling back, it's about doing without. TV is a luxury. The MINIMUM wage doesn't cover luxuries.
 
2013-06-14 03:41:50 PM

WordyGrrl: addy2: These threads always devolve into posts with folks bragging about their awesome, cheap cooking skills. Like the sun coming up in the morning.

Why wouldn't they? The grocery bill is one of the few bills you have complete control over, and knowing how to feed yourself is a survival skill. Restaurant meals cost way more than cooking at home, and being able to make a nice meal for yourself is one of the cheapest ways to treat yourself. Nobody wants to live on beans, rice and chicken thighs forever. Bring on the recipes!


I think this is true to an extent. You can do really great things in the kitchen with not a lot of money, as long as you are willing and able to spend the time learning how to do it. I think the problem is that on both sides people aren't realistic. You have one group claiming $20 and one hour per week is all you need to create three home-cooked, healthy meals a day, and the other side says there's no way to beat $10 restaurant meals. Neither one is true. I have a bunch of recipes I use to minimize costs, but you have to spend some money and time. For two people our grocery bill is around $100 per week, which we could probably cut down to $80 or so if we never bought anything pre-prepared or packaged. But, I spend probably 5-6 hours a week cooking, and to cut out that last $20 per week, it would have to go up to 8 or 9. That's not worth it to me, but to some people it might be. I think that in general, it is always cheaper to cook for yourself unless you make more than about $15/hour and would have actually spent that time working. The more people you have sharing, the more sense it makes economically. Sure, a single person can make a cheap lasagna and eat it for every meal for 4 days, but who would do that, realistically?

Since you asked for recipes, here's a couple that I use. First, I buy a whole chicken, and roast it:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/perfect-roast-chic ke n-recipe/index.html

I'll cook some vegetables (green beans, broccoli, squash, or sometimes just a salad) and either rice or potatoes to go with it. If we don't end up eating it all over the next day or two, I take all the meat off the carcass and make a stock:

http://www.salon.com/2011/01/22/how_to_make_stock/

I use the stock and meat to make a casserole or chicken and dumplings, depending on how much time I feel like spending (dumplings take longer):

http://www.food.com/recipe/the-best-chicken-rice-casserole-332009

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chicken_and_dumplings/

Chicken and dumplings makes another 4-6 meals, and chicken and rice is more like 6-8. There is always leftover stock, so I reduce it and freeze it. When I get sick of chicken, I use the leftover stock to make rice and beans:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/red-beans-and-rice -r ecipe2/index.html

That one takes some time, so I don't make it too often. But, it will make enough for about 8 meals.
 
2013-06-14 03:42:05 PM
kriegsgeist:
Back when the minimum wage was $3.35, it was equivalent to $8.95/hour in today's money, which is 12% higher than the highest current minimum wage in the country. Also, inflation is heavily weighted towards things like cell phones and laptops since they started messing with the CPI. That $8.95 has to cover a lot more in food and gas than it did in the 80's.

So you are bragging about making more and having to spend less. What's wrong with people today? Why weren't they just born earlier?


My math says your math sucks.  I get $7.22/hr in today's money, or almost exactly today's federal minimum of $7.25. 1986 CPI, 109.6. Today's CPI, 232.5. Many states are higher.

The point is that it's a MINIMUM wage, not a wonderful wage. If your job requires no skill and you're only willing to put in 40hrs/wk, you shouldn't expect anything more than subsistence wages.

And by "heavily weighted towards cell phones and laptops" - well, again, your math sucks. Cell phones and laptops are less than 1% of the CPI. Food and gas are over 20%.
 
2013-06-14 03:44:35 PM

fatbear: Anyone who complains about being broke while watching $150/month cable on a $1000 TV deserves what they get.


I agree about the $150/month cable, but if that $1000 TV lasts 10 years, it's costing you about $8 a month.
 
2013-06-14 03:59:20 PM

Xcott: fatbear: Anyone who complains about being broke while watching $150/month cable on a $1000 TV deserves what they get.

I agree about the $150/month cable, but if that $1000 TV lasts 10 years, it's costing you about $8 a month.


$8.33, actually, at zero percent interest. Where do you get a zero percent interest loan on a TV?

If you're broke (and that's who we're talking about here) you're putting it on a credit card.At 18% over 10 years, that's $18.02/month.

And quite frankly, people who spend $1000 on a TV aren't likely to keep them for 10 years - they're the types who will be trading up every 3-4 years. 4 years, 18% - now it's almost $30 a month. Affordable? Possibly.

Or - buy a $100 TV off craigslist and save over $3000 over the next 10 years.
 
2013-06-14 04:04:09 PM
Pray 4 Mojo:
I was filling out a credit app to buy a farking $1500 TV and the guy slid it back to me and said, "Oh... you're supposed to put weekly income.. not monthly." I just handed it back. It was a pretty funny look I got.

Why are you borrowing money to buy a TV when your income is 4x higher than most people expect? The best way to repair your credit is not to take out a bazillion lines of credit - it's "don't fark up" for 7 years.
 
2013-06-14 04:46:44 PM

Lusiphur: Hence asking anonymous strangers.


Participation in pop culture is expensive. You strike me as more of an individualist. You probably don't watch a lot of commercial TV, you do things your own way and you ignore stupid trends.

Workout fads, diet fads, luxury denim, health crazes and the like are expensive to keep up with. There's also paying for pop culture, like movies and cable TV. Attending events that are geared towards kids are a great way to spend money. Coconut water instead of just water. Delivery food. $6 boxes of cereal. $130 running shoes. $200 fashion watches. $300 headphones.

The lifestyle I described above is not luxurious, it's typical middle-class behavior to spend $30/person on a meal in a restaurant located inside a shopping mall. No shiat. That's a weekly thing for some people. I know a couple, who make $150K combined who spend $56K on food. They eat out for every meal, and their two kids do too. People can't tell you why probably because it's so ingrained in them to drop $30 every time they get in their car that they don't even notice it. $200/wk on gum, coffee, clif bars, magazines. That's $10K after taxes! On stuff you wouldn't even remember you even bought. Sad.
 
2013-06-14 04:55:04 PM

kriegsgeist: Where are you getting chicken for less than a dollar a pound? The lowest I see whole fryers on sale for is a little over a dollar. Maybe 3 or 4 years ago you could occasionally get a whole chicken for less than $1/pound, but remember - the carcass is like 30% of the weight. Steaks are going to be $3 a pound at the lowest, for the cheapest, nastiest Walmart steaks you can get. I guess it's possible that in NYC food prices are lower than where I live, but I doubt it.


Steaks, or beef in general, is rarely down to a dollar a lb, but chicken wings and drumsticks still regularly drop to .99c a lb. Whole fryers are often in the .89-.99c range, and as someone above emntioned, you can use all the icky pieces to make delicious soup. You can also often find turkey for about .99c a lb (or just a little over). Also, keep in mind that 1lb of chicken is a LOT more than a single meal. You can easily get 2-3 individual servings per lb.

kriegsgeist: That's the problem these days - necessities have increased 30-40% just in the last couple of years, but wages have been the same for at least a decade (at the lower levels).


I'm not saying that there isn't a squeeze going on, but if you're single, and don't mind making some lifestyle adjustments, it's possible to live comfortably on less than $25k. If you get a couple of roommates, you can split the cost of housing/utilities/cable down to next to nothing. If you have a couple of roommates you trust, go in with them on a family phone plan - it's a lot cheaper to get a family plan with 4 lines and split it between 4 people than to get one individual phone plan.

If you aren't single, you should be bringing in more income. I know unemployment is high, but there is ALWAYS something you can do to make some extra cash. Hell, go strip on webcam for two bucks a minute. I hear a lot of people talking about how much of a financial burden children are. Well, don't have children if you can't support them easily. I know it sounds like shiatty advice, but it's the truth. Realistically, it takes about $500 a month to live as an individual. Anything above that is extra, and you need to think of it like that.
 
2013-06-14 05:11:12 PM

WordyGrrl: addy2: These threads always devolve into posts with folks bragging about their awesome, cheap cooking skills. Like the sun coming up in the morning.

Why wouldn't they? The grocery bill is one of the few bills you have complete control over, and knowing how to feed yourself is a survival skill. Restaurant meals cost way more than cooking at home, and being able to make a nice meal for yourself is one of the cheapest ways to treat yourself. Nobody wants to live on beans, rice and chicken thighs forever. Bring on the recipes!


Because it's less being helpful and more, "lordy, aren't you a dumba** for eating out and not making a lasagna and chicken stock on Sunday because us boot strappy types do it." Please. I've saved tons of the recipes and tips I've got on Fark but it's the holier than thou tone in these threads I'm talking about.
 
2013-06-14 05:13:05 PM

Lusiphur: there is ALWAYS something you can do to make some extra cash


You can make $50/hr setting up peoples' wordpress sites, buying domains and reselling your hosting, for instance.
 
2013-06-14 05:16:12 PM

kriegsgeist: That's the problem these days - necessities have increased 30-40% just in the last couple of years, but wages have been the same for at least a decade (at the lower levels).


Seriously, where do you get your numbers? The minimum wage 10 years ago was $5.15. Today it's $7.25. That's an increase of over 40%. In other words, wages are keeping pace with necessities.
 
2013-06-14 05:18:22 PM

kriegsgeist: Back when the minimum wage was $3.35, it was equivalent to $8.95/hour in today's money, which is 12% higher than the highest current minimum wage in the country. Also, inflation is heavily weighted towards things like cell phones and laptops since they started messing with the CPI. That $8.95 has to cover a lot more in food and gas than it did in the 80's.


Yes and no. At the state level, WA is actually $9.19/hr., OR is exactly $8.95. If you look at the local level, San Fransisco is $10.55/hr. (but with a cost of living of "fark you, that's why").
 
2013-06-14 05:23:11 PM
ProfessorOhki:

Yes and no. At the state level, WA is actually $9.19/hr., OR is exactly $8.95. If you look at the local level, San Fransisco is $10.55/hr. (but with a cost of living of "fark you, that's why").

First, his math sucks (see above.)

Second, those don't come close to touching Burlington, VT. If you are a private employer and you want to have a contract with the city (or subcontract with someone who has a contract,)  you must pay your workers $17.71/hr (less if you offer full health insurance.)
 
2013-06-14 05:28:41 PM
Lusiphur: kriegsgeist: Where are you getting chicken for less than a dollar a pound? The lowest I see whole fryers on sale for is a little over a dollar. Maybe 3 or 4 years ago you could occasionally get a whole chicken for less than $1/pound, but remember - the carcass is like 30% of the weight. Steaks are going to be $3 a pound at the lowest, for the cheapest, nastiest Walmart steaks you can get. I guess it's possible that in NYC food prices are lower than where I live, but I doubt it.

Steaks, or beef in general, is rarely down to a dollar a lb, but chicken wings and drumsticks still regularly drop to .99c a lb. Whole fryers are often in the .89-.99c range, and as someone above emntioned, you can use all the icky pieces to make delicious soup. You can also often find turkey for about .99c a lb (or just a little over). Also, keep in mind that 1lb of chicken is a LOT more than a single meal. You can easily get 2-3 individual servings per lb.


kriegsgeist: That's the problem these days - necessities have increased 30-40% just in the last couple of years, but wages have been the same for at least a decade (at the lower levels).

I'm not saying that there isn't a squeeze going on, but if you're single, and don't mind making some lifestyle adjustments, it's possible to live comfortably on less than $25k. If you get a couple of roommates, you can split the cost of housing/utilities/cable down to next to nothing. If you have a couple of roommates you trust, go in with them on a family phone plan - it's a lot cheaper to get a family plan with 4 lines and split it between 4 people than to get one individual phone plan.

If you aren't single, you should be bringing in more income. I know unemployment is high, but there is ALWAYS something you can do to make some extra cash. Hell, go strip on webcam for two bucks a minute. I hear a lot of people talking about how much of a financial burden children are. Well, don't have children if you can't support them easily. I know it sounds like ..


You had me going until the "strip on webcam" suggestion.

If you are serious, I think you'll find that the reason you can't figure this out is that you want to apply specific cases of "you could do this" or "it's possible" as a general solution.

I agree that you  can live cheaply, and that most people don't live as inexpensively as they could. I don't agree that your suggestions are realistic for most people.
 
2013-06-14 05:33:10 PM

fatbear: kriegsgeist: That's the problem these days - necessities have increased 30-40% just in the last couple of years, but wages have been the same for at least a decade (at the lower levels).

Seriously, where do you get your numbers? The minimum wage 10 years ago was $5.15. Today it's $7.25. That's an increase of over 40%. In other words, wages are keeping pace with necessities.


You're right about minimum wage, but I was talking about wage distributions. They have stayed level for the lower 20% for at least 10 years now. Meanwhile, minimum wage is adjusted by CPI, which no longer includes things that are volatile, like gas and food. The problem is, poor people spend almost all their money on gas and food, so that index doesn't really help them.
 
2013-06-14 05:41:46 PM

fatbear: ProfessorOhki:

Yes and no. At the state level, WA is actually $9.19/hr., OR is exactly $8.95. If you look at the local level, San Fransisco is $10.55/hr. (but with a cost of living of "fark you, that's why").

First, his math sucks (see above.)

Second, those don't come close to touching Burlington, VT. If you are a private employer and you want to have a contract with the city (or subcontract with someone who has a contract,)  you must pay your workers $17.71/hr (less if you offer full health insurance.)


fark it. You're right, my math sucks. Minimum wage is fine. Pay hasn't stagnated, we have all just become lazy.

May you never find out how wrong you are.
 
2013-06-14 05:41:54 PM
kriegsgeist:

You're right about minimum wage, but I was talking about wage distributions. They have stayed level for the lower 20% for at least 10 years now. Meanwhile, minimum wage is adjusted by CPI, which no longer includes things that are volatile, like gas and food. The problem is, poor people spend almost all their money on gas and food, so that index doesn't really help them.

Sorry, but so much else of what you've said is just plain wrong that I don't believe it. Got a source about the stagnant wages?

Food & gas are 20% of the CPI.
 
2013-06-14 05:45:59 PM
kriegsgeist:

fark it. You're right, my math sucks. Minimum wage is fine. Pay hasn't stagnated, we have all just become lazy.

May you never find out how wrong you are.


It's not just your math, it's all your "facts."

Minimum wage isn't fine, it sucks. But it's fair pay for having minimum skills and doing minimal work, and it results in a minimal lifestyle. That's why they call it minimum wage.

/been there, done that more than you know
 
2013-06-14 05:56:52 PM

fatbear: LoneWolf343:
We're talking about how to reduce $80K of debt. If you're not willing to sacrifice, you're not going to get out of debt.

Anyone who complains about being broke while watching $150/month cable on a $1000 TV deserves what they get.

Well, if we are going to fall back on archaic technology, at least books will make you smarter.

It's not about falling back, it's about doing without. TV is a luxury. The MINIMUM wage doesn't cover luxuries.


You need to read a book.
 
2013-06-14 05:59:20 PM

LoneWolf343: fatbear: LoneWolf343:
We're talking about how to reduce $80K of debt. If you're not willing to sacrifice, you're not going to get out of debt.

Anyone who complains about being broke while watching $150/month cable on a $1000 TV deserves what they get.

Well, if we are going to fall back on archaic technology, at least books will make you smarter.

It's not about falling back, it's about doing without. TV is a luxury. The MINIMUM wage doesn't cover luxuries.

You need to read a book.


Touché. But I stand by what I said.
 
2013-06-14 06:16:03 PM

fatbear: kriegsgeist:

You're right about minimum wage, but I was talking about wage distributions. They have stayed level for the lower 20% for at least 10 years now. Meanwhile, minimum wage is adjusted by CPI, which no longer includes things that are volatile, like gas and food. The problem is, poor people spend almost all their money on gas and food, so that index doesn't really help them.

Sorry, but so much else of what you've said is just plain wrong that I don't believe it. Got a source about the stagnant wages?

Food & gas are 20% of the CPI.


https://www.google.com/search?q=US+wage+stagnation

Take your pick.

You're right about food and gas - I was remembering a story from several years ago about them being removed or reduced drastically. After reading this...:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Consumer_Price_Index#Core _C PI

...I think they must have been talking about the core CPI. 

At any rate, the amount of money that poor people spend on those categories is higher than what middle-class and wealthy people spend, and so changes in those categories impact the poor more, and the poor are the ones making minimum wage.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/08/01/157664524/how-the-poor-the -m iddle-class-and-the-rich-spend-their-money

fatbear: kriegsgeist:

fark it. You're right, my math sucks. Minimum wage is fine. Pay hasn't stagnated, we have all just become lazy.

May you never find out how wrong you are.

It's not just your math, it's all your "facts."

Minimum wage isn't fine, it sucks. But it's fair pay for having minimum skills and doing minimal work, and it results in a minimal lifestyle. That's why they call it minimum wage.

/been there, done that more than you know


Unless you were "doing that" within the last few years, you weren't really. It has gotten worse. If minimum wage isn't enough to cover basic necessities and allow investment (not necessarily money - could just be time), then anyone who is forced to take a minimum wage job by life circumstances is basically trapped forever. This results in an ever-growing underclass. Which is what has been happening.

I'm not talking about a single person making $50k a year with $100k of credit card debt. I'm talking about a family of 4 with one person working overtime on minimum wage just to scrape by. Pretending like everyone is immune to that situation and could get out of it just by working harder or being more frugal is simply incorrect.
 
2013-06-14 06:31:41 PM
kriegsgeist:

https://www.google.com/search?q=US+wage+stagnation

Take your pick.


You do realize those articles support what I'm saying, right? Did you actually read them? From the very first one: "real hourly pay has essentially stagnated." Real pay is indexed to inflation - so if real pay has stagnated, then pay is keeping pace with inflation.

At any rate, the amount of money that poor people spend on those categories is higher than what middle-class and wealthy people spend, and so changes in those categories impact the poor more, and the poor are the ones making minimum wage.

Of course. But the whole CPI is geared to basic needs. You won't find yachts on there anywhere. It's shiat people need, which is why it exists.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/08/01/157664524/how-the-poor-the -m iddle-class-and-the-rich-spend-their-money

If you compare that chart to the CPI, you'll find a *very* close match with the lower income spending distribution.

anyone who is forced to take a minimum wage job by life circumstances is basically trapped forever

I couldn't agree more. Minimum wage sucks, and if you only do the 40 hours, and you don't pick up some skills, you're doomed to be the Taco Bell drive-thru clerk forever.

So let's summarize what I've learned from your links:
The CPI is full of shiat people need.
Wages have risen at about the same rate as the CPI.
People working minimum wage can buy the same amount of shiat they need as they could 10 years ago.

So, to summarize: Minimum wage sucks just as much today as it did 10 years ago. No more, no less.

And no, I haven't done it in the past few years. My years of multiple minimum wage jobs, layoffs, evictions, homelessness and general suckage were 3 decades ago.

talking about a family of 4 with one person working overtime on minimum wage just to scrape by

Holy shiat - why are two people who only have the skills to make minimum wage having kids? Of course they're farked.
 
2013-06-14 06:56:09 PM

fatbear: talking about a family of 4 with one person working overtime on minimum wage just to scrape by

Holy shiat - why are two people who only have the skills to make minimum wage having kids? Of course they're farked.


Better yet, there's only one income.  Honestly, if you're really that farked, welfare might be for you, and if you're that farked, I won't even grumble too hard about you being on welfare.

/And no seriously, if you're a family of 4 (so 2 kids) and only 1 working parent and that 1 working guy is on minimum wage (And who makes minimum wage?  My (albeit limited) experience is that there's a lot of jobs that are near minumum wage, but very few that are at minimum wage), you're farked. You've been farked since the dawn of time and you're going to be farked until the sun goes out.  That's just a thing.    You want to know why the rich upper-middle class couple is upper-middle class?  They both worked (or Daddy was a lawyer/doctor, which is a whole 'nother category in and of itself).  And probably didn't have kids until they were at a career point where money really wasn't a blocker.
 
2013-06-14 07:00:03 PM

fatbear: kriegsgeist:


So let's summarize what I've learned from your links:
The CPI is full of shiat people need.
Wages have risen at about the same rate as the CPI.
People working minimum wage can buy the same amount of shiat they need as they could 10 years ago.

So, to summarize: Minimum wage sucks just as much today as it did 10 years ago. No more, no less.

And no, I haven't done it in the past few years. My years of multiple minimum wage jobs, layoffs, evictions, homelessness and general suckage were 3 decades ago.

talking about a family of 4 with one person working overtime on minimum wage just to scrape by

Holy shiat - why are two people who only have the skills to make minimum wage having kids? Of course they're farked.


The CPI basket has changed. If I remember hearing that, I'm surprised you don't.

It is different now than it was 30 years ago. Superficially we have nicer stuff, but it is harder to scrape by. Like I said, I hope you never have to find that out.

Kids is one example - there are lots of reasons a person might not be able to make it on minimum wage. And there are a lot of reasons besides "no skills" and "lazy" that a person might have to take a minimum wage job.

I don't know about you, but I would like to live in a world where the cashier at Walmart can afford to feed her kids and still have a little left over. If you wouldn't, maybe consider that the ability of the poorest people to spend money beyond the necessities is necessary for a strong modern economy.
 
2013-06-14 07:14:00 PM

meyerkev: fatbear: talking about a family of 4 with one person working overtime on minimum wage just to scrape by

Holy shiat - why are two people who only have the skills to make minimum wage having kids? Of course they're farked.

Better yet, there's only one income.  Honestly, if you're really that farked, welfare might be for you, and if you're that farked, I won't even grumble too hard about you being on welfare.

/And no seriously, if you're a family of 4 (so 2 kids) and only 1 working parent and that 1 working guy is on minimum wage (And who makes minimum wage?  My (albeit limited) experience is that there's a lot of jobs that are near minumum wage, but very few that are at minimum wage), you're farked. You've been farked since the dawn of time and you're going to be farked until the sun goes out.  That's just a thing.    You want to know why the rich upper-middle class couple is upper-middle class?  They both worked (or Daddy was a lawyer/doctor, which is a whole 'nother category in and of itself).  And probably didn't have kids until they were at a career point where money really wasn't a blocker.


This is exactly my point. For a lot of people, saying "just live within your means" is useless advice. Below a certain point, there is no legitimate way out of the financial trap. Not getting into the trap in the first place is a great idea, but many people don't have the choice, made a mistake, or were ignorant of the consequences.

If you want to take the stance that for those situations you are just farked, fine. But I was talking about whether those people can just suck it up, tighten their belts, and work harder. They can in some cases, but in many cases they can't.
 
2013-06-14 11:37:27 PM

kriegsgeist:  Below a certain point, there is no legitimate way out of the financial trap. Not getting into the trap in the first place is a great idea, but many people

 don't have the choice,

If life threw them a curveball that interrupted their carefully laid plans, I'm all for helping out. But I think it's ridiculous to raise the minimum wage for *everyone* because a few people need help for circumstances beyond their control.

made a mistake
Tough shiat. We all make mistakes. If you make mistakes and don't learn, you deserve to stay in the cellar.

or were ignorant of the consequences.
See above.

But I was talking about whether those people can just suck it up, tighten their belts, and work harder. They can in some cases, but in many cases they can't.

I'll reverse your statement and say they can in many cases (and they should!) but in some cases they can't. For those that can't help themselves due to circumstances beyond their control, I'm all for helping out. But I don't see the point in giving everyone a free ride just because some people have tough luck.

saying "just live within your means" is useless advice
This is a serious problem. It's excellent advice and should be given earlier.

The CPI basket has changed. If I remember hearing that, I'm surprised you don't.
Of course it has. It now includes laptops and cell phones (less than 1%.) Look it over and tell me where it doesn't line up with a typical low income family.

I would like to live in a world where the cashier at Walmart can afford to feed her kids and still have a little left over. If you wouldn't, maybe consider that the ability of the poorest people to spend money beyond the necessities is necessary for a strong modern economy.

I'd like to live in a world where the cashier at Walmart either
a) doesn't have kids or
b) is there because it's temporary or
c) works as hard as she can to better herself so her kids don't consider a minimum wage job a good idea.

I don't want to live in a world where people think the cashier at Walmart deserves something extra just for showing up.
 
2013-06-14 11:51:48 PM

kriegsgeist: the ability of the poorest people to spend money beyond the necessities is necessary for a strong modern economy


This is a huge fallacy. We only shifted to a consumption-driven economy in the last two decades, and its those decades in which the distribution of wealth has really gone off the rails. It used to be a production-driven economy.

I don't know how we get back to a production economy, but encouraging the poorest to spend (instead of saving) is a dead-on, sure-fire way to guarantee that they're locked in the cycle of poverty forever.
 
2013-06-14 11:59:26 PM
Remember how I said it was no harder today than the 80's? I was wrong.

It's easier.

1983: 12.2% of all workers make minimum wage. Unemployment rate is 9.6%.
Today: 4.7% of all workers make minimum wage. Unemployment rate is 7.7%.

Sure, you can say that I haven't had it hard in the past few years. But I can sure as shiat say you didn't have it hard in the 80's. So for either of us to say one was harder than the other, we have to look at the data. And the data says today ain't that bad.

Suck it up.
 
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