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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
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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 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.
 
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