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 Post subject: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:03 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 13
I'm starting this to basically have a way of keeping track of my progress. Also, if anyone has any input, I'll gladly take it. I am currently 23 years old, living with my parents for cheap/free, employed making $55k a year, and working to eliminate debt and hopefully accumulate enough capital to buy a house in a few years.

INCOME
$1414.14 take home pay every two weeks, plus I bartend once in a while to make some extra cash, but anyway lets go with a very conservative estimate and just say this:
$2800 per month

DEBTS
CC1 - $0.00 - Always paid off at the end of the month, normally around $200
CC2 - $0.00 - Always paid off at the end of the month, normally around $100
Car - $20,738.80 @ 3.49% - $427.53 per month
SL1 - $43,942.62 @ 7% - $415.15 per month
SL2 - $15,531.46 @ 6.8% - $165.40 per month starting 12/2010
SL3 - $8,509.58 @ 6.8% - $98.58 per month starting 01/2011
Total: $88,722.46 - $1106.66 per month

ASSETS
Checking Account - $620.00
Roth IRA - $14,218.93 (Max contributed for 2010 already)
Investments - $38,848.66 (Stocks and mutual funds, dividends of about $125 per month)
ING Savings Targeted Accounts - $1,105.77 @ 1.10%
TSP - $3,090.93 - Contributing about $400 a month automatically
Total: $57,884.29

NET WORTH: ($30,838.17)

I recently setup $100 per paycheck to be put into my savings account, so that leaves me with $2600 a month for expenses.

For the time being, I am paying $1000/month towards the car and $1000/month towards SL1, leaving me with $600 a month left over. After I pay my credit cards each month, I look at my checking account and see if I have more than $500. Everything over $500 I have is then split in half. I have been taking one half and moving it to ING to be saved in one of my targeted accounts (emergency, vehicle expenses, general), and the other half I add to principal on the car (which is insanely easy to pay online). For instance, this past month I added an extra $61 each to ING and the car payment, and it looks like I'll have somewhere around that amount again this month.

For the time being, I am comfortable. The extra money I make bartending normally goes towards my "discretionary" spending, but every once in awhile if I get a good night, I'll put $100 or $200 into my checking account.

In January, my pay will be increasing, to what I conservatively estimate at being $3,200 a month. This will also mean an increase in my monthly TSP contribution. I plan on throwing the extra money at the loans, though I'm not truly sure which loans should be attacked first due to tax benefits and such.

Long term, I hope to be able to buy my own house in a couple of years, but for now, paying off my debts, while still investing a little bit is my priority.


Last edited by fireEngineer on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:57 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
Hi!Welcome!

I agree that you should save and pay off your loans. I think you should put more money towards your student loans and get rid of them say within 2-3 years.

Are your student loans private? Have you tried to consolidate and get a lower rate?

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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:33 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 13
fantasma wrote:
Hi!Welcome!

I agree that you should save and pay off your loans. I think you should put more money towards your student loans and get rid of them say within 2-3 years.

Are your student loans private? Have you tried to consolidate and get a lower rate?


SL1 is a NJCLASS loan. It is administered by HESAA. I think it is technically a state loan, but am not really sure how I could consolidate it to get a lower rate.

SL2 is a Stafford Loan. Once again, not sure exactly what my options are with that or how to go about it.

Any advice on the consolidation process would be great. A lot of the things I have found while researching it myself looked like scams, so I'm not really sure what the best way to go about something like that is.


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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:56 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
The NJCLASS is not eligible for a federal consolidation loan and its not eligible for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

I think you should concentrate on getting rid of the first loan the quickest. I would't add extra payments to the car because it costs you more to keep the education loans. I would (ATTACK) the student loans. Try to wait and get your first place after you get rid of the loans.

If your not in a hurry to leave home stay there and build wealth.

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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:02 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 13
fantasma wrote:
The NJCLASS is not eligible for a federal consolidation loan and its not eligible for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

I think you should concentrate on getting rid of the first loan the quickest. I would't add extra payments to the car because it costs you more to keep the education loans. I would (ATTACK) the student loans. Try to wait and get your first place after you get rid of the loans.

If your not in a hurry to leave home stay there and build wealth.


Ok, that is what I had figured was the case with my loans. I do know that next year I will be eligible through work for the SLRP, which can help pay for my Stafford Loan as long as I am accepted.


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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:05 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1683
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Congrats, it looks like you've got your finances really well organized. It doesn't look like you need any advice at all. :)

The one comment I would make is that you're 23 years old, making $55,000/year (with a generous raise coming in another 4 months), and you're completely mooching off your parents. You're living there rent-free, not contributing anything to groceries or utilities (according to the numbers you posted). That means they're subsidizing your life. That means the only reason you have so much in savings is because you've basically taken it directly out of their pockets.

I would recommend that you formulate a plan to transition to living on your own in the very near future. Your parents love you, but I'm sure they'd appreciate a little freedom now that they've done their job raising you. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:11 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 13
kombat wrote:
Congrats, it looks like you've got your finances really well organized. It doesn't look like you need any advice at all. :)

The one comment I would make is that you're 23 years old, making $55,000/year (with a generous raise coming in another 4 months), and you're completely mooching off your parents. You're living there rent-free, not contributing anything to groceries or utilities (according to the numbers you posted). That means they're subsidizing your life. That means the only reason you have so much in savings is because you've basically taken it directly out of their pockets.

I would recommend that you formulate a plan to transition to living on your own in the very near future. Your parents love you, but I'm sure they'd appreciate a little freedom now that they've done their job raising you. ;)


Well, I wouldn't exactly say that I am mooching off of my parents. Trust me, when I exited school, the first thing I wanted to do before moving home any of my belongings was to find a place for myself, but my parents were strongly against this for the time being.

As for the savings, the reason it is so large is that I was given an inheritance from a relative several years back, not that my parents had it saved for me. And the Roth was something I opened for myself a few years ago and has been funded mostly through money I've made through summer internships while I was in college.

My father has a very bad knee, so I do a lot of things around the house that he can not do any longer. I do all the yard work when the weather is good, and will be out shoveling snow in a few months. I also help take care of my younger sister who is too young to drive so still needs rides everywhere.

I do want to move out, it is one of my goals, but I think it probably will not happen for at least another year.


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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:49 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 am
Posts: 113
Quote:
As for the savings, the reason it is so large is that I was given an inheritance from a relative several years back, not that my parents had it saved for me.


I think kombat's point is that if you were helping your parents out with even a nominal rent (I don't know where you live, but when I lived with my parents for a year after school I paid $500/mo), that would help them out with expenses (which are higher with you in the house). It would also slow down your savings a bit, but you wouldn't be mooching. (Helping out around the house and giving your sister rides is great, but I doubt they'd have to pay someone else $500/mo to do it if you weren't there.)

Other than that, it looks like you've made great progress. Is your $400/mo to the TSP matched? If so, are you maxing out the amount that will be matched?

I disagree with fantasma that you should switch to paying off your student loans...they're at a higher interest rate, but the interest is tax-deductible and have lower payments. If you can knock out the car loan in the next 1-2 years, you'll have a ton of extra cash each month to throw at the student loans. (As usual, though, the "do what works for you" advice applies...kill whatever loan bugs you the most.)


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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:44 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 13
peaceofmind wrote:
Quote:
Other than that, it looks like you've made great progress. Is your $400/mo to the TSP matched? If so, are you maxing out the amount that will be matched?


The $400/mo is with the highest allowable match for me right now. I do $200 and the gov. does $200. I could put more money into it, but it would not be matched. I basically took as much "free" money as I could, but haven't contributed any additional funds to it. I do intend to put the max into my ROTH each year as I have for the past 2 years.


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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:27 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 13
So... blahhh... found out about a week ago that I actually had one more Sallie Mae loan that got transferred or something, so that has added to my balance a little bit. This has been added to the original post to account for the change. Also, my highest interest loan adjusted the payments to lower the monthly payment, though I am still going to try to attack it aggressively. It is nice to know, however, that I can have some extra wiggle room if I need it now though. Overall, I've been doing well with my spending and have been trying to take a nice balanced approach to getting out of debt over the past month.


DEBTS
CC1 - $0.00 - Always paid off at the end of the month, normally around $200
CC2 - $0.00 - Always paid off at the end of the month, normally around $100
Car - $19,918.83 @ 3.49% - $427.53 per month
SL1 - $43,089.57 @ 7% - $415.15 per month (lowered to ~$388.46 per month)
SL2 - $15,587.61 @ 6.8% - $165.40 per month starting 12/2010
SL3 - $8,509.58 @ 6.8% - $98.58 per month starting 01/2011
Total: $87,105.59 - $1079.97 per month

ASSETS
Checking Account - $651.95
Roth IRA - $14,424.48 (Max contributed for 2010 already)
Investments - $39,070.22 (Stocks and mutual funds, dividends of about $125 per month)
ING Savings Targeted Accounts - $1,681.85 @ 1.10%
TSP - $3,603.06 - Contributing about $400 a month automatically
Total: $59,431.56

NET WORTH: ($27,674.03)


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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:52 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 13
So, post-holiday update. Credit cards have just been paid off for the holidays, and the changes are pretty drastic since the last update. I was able to do really well during the holiday season working extra at the bar since a lot of other people wanted off. This helped out a ton. Also, I was able to get by without spending much on Christmas due to GottaDeal and some other sites, and I was able to cut back on a lot of my other wasteful spending. And also last time, I purposely posted numbers before any loan payments cleared, but also took them out of my bank account balance to kind of give myself a psychological jump start. Anyway, pay increase should be coming pretty soon which is another thing to look forward to. Here is an updated status:

DEBTS
CC1 - $0.00
CC2 - $0.00
Car - $17,316.71 @ 3.49% - $427.53 per month
SL1 - $36,988.60 @ 7% - $386.46 per month
SL2 - $15,552.04 @ 6.8% - $165.40 per month starting 12/2010
SL3 - $8,496.44 @ 6.8% - $98.58 per month starting 01/2011
Total: $78,353.79 - $1077.97 per month

ASSETS
Checking Account - $2420.39
Roth IRA - $14,630.42 (Max contributed for 2010 already)
Investments - $37,444.26 (Stocks and mutual funds, dividends of about $125 per month)
ING Savings Targeted Accounts - $3,610.09@ 1.10%
TSP - $4,995.73 - Contributing about $400 a month automatically
Total: $63,100.89

NET WORTH: ($15,252.90)


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 Post subject: Re: Paying for school, the car, and looking ahead
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:31 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:25 am
Posts: 13
So, a lot has changed since my last update. My girlfriend and I broke up after 3 years. Kind of funny though because it came about by me telling her of my plans to get my own place within the next 6 months or so. I asked if she would consider moving in with me, and then she went off on a rant of how she had to end things because we have different religions. This all only happened about a week ago and has had me pretty heart broken, but other than that life is good.

I've also decided that I will be attending law school part time in the fall during the evenings. I will be able to keep my current job and will be taking all night classes. Tuition will be about $3500 per semester after scholarship, so it is not that much.

Also, work has agreed to start making my payments for me on SL2 and SL3 for the next year because I work for the government and they are federal loans, so that should help as well.

Anyway, I'm coming close to finally having a positive net worth!!! I can't wait for that to come up soon. Looking back at the numbers from when I started, I'm really happy with a lot of the progress I have made so far.

DEBTS
CC1 - $0.00
CC2 - $0.00
Car - $14,912.56 @ 3.49% - $427.53 per month
SL1 - $33,789.52 @ 7% - $386.46 per month
SL2 - $15,246.00 @ 6.8% - $165.40 per month starting 12/2010
SL3 - $8,346.87@ 6.8% - $98.58 per month starting 01/2011
Total: $72,294.95 - $1077.97 per month

ASSETS
Checking Account - $486.84
Roth IRA - $19,814.66 (Max contributed for 2011 already)
Investments - $33,858.22 (Stocks and mutual funds, dividends of about $125 per month)
ING Savings Targeted Accounts - $5,541.14 @ 1.10%
TSP - $6,273.61 - Contributing about $450 a month automatically
Total: $65,974.47

NET WORTH: ($6,320.48)


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