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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
and exchange ideas
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:58 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 am
Posts: 3
Location: Portland, OR
Hey Everyone,

I've been reading the blog for the past 9 months or so, lots of good info here. I live in Portland OR, working for a tech company. My wife is finishing up with school, so in the next few years we are likely to be dealing with paying down lots of student loan debt, and balancing that with saving for a downpayment for a house. In the last 9 months, we have implemented a strict budget, and built up a 3 month emergency buffer. We pay our credit card in full every month (I've only carried a balance twice in 10 years), and our cars are fully paid for. Currently, 5% of my salary is going into a 401k, and 10% of my paycheck goes into a company SPP. I feel very blessed that right now our biggest financial worry is "should we pay down long term, low interest loans or save for a home downpayment". We are waiting at least a year before buying a house, so we've got some time to build up a good portion of a downpayment if that's where the money ends up going.

Anyway, I'm glad to join the forums, and hope to learna lot more from everyone else.


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 Post subject: I have a friend . . .
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:04 pm
Posts: 13
Location: the Left Coast
and he's gone a little crazy about fiat money and gold. I think he plans to go live in Costa Rica. I tell him that storing gold and living in grass houses has never really worked. He says I'm crazy. We have to prepare for the worst. I love living in North San Diego County and seeing the orange gold of the sunsets from Swami's, I reply. My friend frowns and tells me that I shouldn't worry so little but I laugh because it's Friday night and I'm going dancing. Swing dancing where the ladies are lovely and the blues band is lively. I have a friend . . . and he thinks I'm crazy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:57 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 6
Location: Columbus, OH
Hello all,

I'm Zen (aka Baker), a 25 year old web developer in Columbus, Ohio. I'm married with a baby boy on the way, and a dog to drive me crazy until then.

I run http://www.financialzen.com when I'm not at work, and I'm finishing up my Bachelor's in Finance.

Outside of blogging, working, and studying, I play guitar (and guitar hero!), read, write, draw, and travel when the funds and time allows it.

I've followed GRS for longer then I can remember - currently I'm purchasing a house, I've got two cars (paid off) and a small amount of student debt, and one credit card that will be paid off before the 0% interest is up.

_________________
-
Paz,
Zen
http://www.financialzen.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:07 pm
Posts: 5
Hi all I'm Ben, I'm 25 and I live in Newcastle, Australia. I have only recently started to make changes to the way I handle money. I have $15000 in credit debt plus a mortgage. So I am working hard to reduce my credit card debt as soon as possible. I must say, that in the 4 months I have been really managing my money I have come a very long way and hope to continue this trend for the rest of my life


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:58 pm
Posts: 958
Location: Portland, Oregon
Awesome, Ben. I love to hear about people who have finally managed to stop the bleeding, and are actively looking to bind the wounds of debt. (Ugh, what a labored metaphor!) Glad to have you aboard.


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 Post subject: New Guy
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:02 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 1
Hello all,

Believe or not, this is the first blog I've ever posted to. I really like the GRS idea vice the infomercial "make all the money you'll need for your life in 1 month" scam. Currently, my focus is in real estate but I'm slowly moving into stocks (share builder) . Live in the mid-south region of the U.S. In the military but retiring (from the military) in a couple of years. Look forward to everyone's ideas and information.


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 Post subject: Introduction...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:19 pm
Posts: 17
I am yet another Mike (we abound, it seems) and have been stuck for years in the "digging out of a hole" mode. I made some bad decisions early in life, and then as I tried to get out, expensive things would happen and I kept ending up back where I started. Those of you who are up on your ancient greek legends will recognize this situation.

I have been reading GRS since about february when I followed a Digg link in. I discovered that I had managed to re-invent many of the better strategies in the last year or two. I am attempting to integrate the things I'm learning here. I am basically in the position of having to start on retirement savings before I finish my debt. Being 46, and stuck in the digging out mode all the time, my retirement savings are so close to zero they can be treated as such.

As is usual for me, I was within screaming distance of being out of debt this year, when something expensive (destroyed car because I got t-boned by someone going against a red light) put me back down for several years because a reliable vehicle is a must, and insurance is just another word for fraud. I did go used, though. It seems that if I try to finish debt clearing before saving, I'll never save anything because I'll never be debt-free. As it is, by starting this late in life, it looks like the best I can hope for in my later years is to have enough in reserve to be able to afford to to work a low-end job until old age gets me. In short, retirement does not seem possible.

Oh, well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:58 pm
Posts: 958
Location: Portland, Oregon
Mike, you're right that it can be tough to do debt-elimination before savings. That's why many people (including Dave Ramsey and myself) advocate setting aside an emergency fund first. $1000 is a common "starter" emergency fund number. It wouldn't have helped your car situation, but it helps to mitigate most emergencies. Before you start paying debt, try to set that thousand dollars aside, and then don't touch it for anything but a true emergency.

What sort of work do you do? If you feel like you're going to have to work all your life, I think it's important to find something you enjoy doing. I like writing, for example, so if I were able to make a living at that (and I'm getting close), then I wouldn't mind having to continue to work until I'm 80! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:19 pm
Posts: 17
I do computer end-user support. If they break it, I look to see if it is easy to fix, if they REALLY break it, I call the screwdriver and wrench brigade. I am fortunate that I regard computers as big fancy toys, so I get paid to play with toys. If I'm going to be working much of my life, this is not a bad way to do it, but after enough years, age will lock me out of computer work with businesses of any size, and I'm hoping to have enough by then to get by on whatever scut-work oldsters can get by that time.

As I said, I've given up on being debt-free, unless something changes it will never happen. Nothing in my life is as reliable as that next big expense just as I'm within a year of getting even. Thus, I have started saving. I have an account at ING, and am avoiding the problems with transfer limits by setting up accounts as lines in a spreadsheet instead of sub-accounts at ING. I have a cell that compares the allocations among all accounts against the balance, and if the cell is not zero, I've made an error. Positive values indicate unallocated money, negative over-allocated money.

Each of the account lines where it is applicable has a target value cell ( the goal) and a difference remaining cell.

I have an account for an emergency fund. My goal there is 4 months wages. I have to overshoot your suggested minimum as $1000 is about .8 of a paycheck (net) and is always short of the disaster of the year. I also have accounts for things like household repairs, auto repair, medical and dental expenses (the goal here is to have the money ahead, instead of paying behind as usual, my dentist and doctor are very good about this, but I still want to get ahead). I have an account for money to build up enough to make some form of higher-interest investment, I am attempting to get ahead of the car insurance (as I have discovered the hard way, utterly useless, but legally required). Then there is a line for the property taxes (I actually managed to pay off the mortgage coming up on two years ago) and homeowners insurance. I'm also budgeting for a few weekend trips, which are keyed to events that many of my friends go to. I gotta fit some fun in there.

I should hit the $1000 mark for the emergency fund by June, through the simple expedient that on my two-week pay cycle, June is a 3 paycheck month. The extra check will be divided among accounts, with the bulk going to the emergency fund.

It's going to be a rough year trying to get ahead of some of the bills, but the drag in installment fees adds up to some hundreds a year, I want to be rid of that.

Sorry to be so wordy, it's kind of a relief to find a group with this as a common problem that is making efforts to get out. Some of my friends...eek! And they aren't as far along as I am.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:56 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Trumbull, CT
Hey, I'm Rob Blatt.

My fiance and I bought a house one year ago on May 22nd. We've been doing our best to lower our electric bill, but it's hard because they're increasing our generation rates by 50%.

I live in CT and I'm 25.

_________________
/transmission

http://www.robblatt.com
http://www.blattcavepodcasting.com


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 Post subject: Just thinking . . .
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:05 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:04 pm
Posts: 13
Location: the Left Coast
Just got through reading a terrific post on thesimpledollar.com about the use of windmill power for personal electric uses. The cost of an individual setup is about $8500 but maybe several houses in an area could share the cost and the usage. As Trent pointed out, what you don't use goes back into the grid. Just a thought.


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 Post subject: And MikeVr
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:09 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:04 pm
Posts: 13
Location: the Left Coast
You have probably thought about this but if your mortage is paid up then a home equity line might be a way to eliminate the credit card debt and establish solidity to your financials.


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 Post subject: Mama sez Hi
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:59 pm
Posts: 7
Doh! I saw the "post these here" post right after posting my own intro.

Hi, I'm Mama, from Mama's Money Diary (http://mamasmoneydiary.wordpress.com/).

I'm fairly new to the Personal Finance blogosphere, at least as an author. I've been reading off and on for awhile now. I work full time in the corporate world, as does my partner Mrs Mama, and we are both the legal moms to our wonderful 1 year old. We're hoping to make him a Big Brother when he's around 2.

In terms of PF, I'm in paydown consumer debt and save for retirement mode, with paying Baby #2 adoption costs next in line, and paying off student loans and saving for kids' college in line after that. We're homeowners, too, with the plan to move to a somewhat less expensive area (closer to family) in the next couple of years.

Nice "meeting" everyone!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:47 pm
Posts: 1
Another long-time GRS lurker here. At 25, I'm married and a homeowner (we moved to an inexpensive area of the country to be able to afford it), but I somehow ended up as the sole earner in our household, which is where my interest in frugality and common sense PF comes from. I'm excited to join the conversation!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:54 pm
Posts: 12
Hi

Yet another Mike here. I'm not sure how long I've been reading GRS, but it's probably been close to the full year. I'm 31, married, and live in Ottawa, Canada. Our financial habits are generally quite good (we're free of consumer debt, max our RRSPs, and are paying down our mortgage principal as savings permit) but I'm always in search of ways to improve. Ideally, we're working toward the option of early retirement. GRS is one of only a couple US personal finance blogs that I read along with a bunch of Canadian PF blogs.


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