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It is currently Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:38 am




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 Post subject: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 1:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Posts: 87
I'm not in the financial shape I expected to be in at 30, but a recent change in my life (quitting a full-time job) is forcing me to face the future a little blind.

I am lazy so most of my numbers are approximations, but accurate as I check the balances monthly.

Take-home
Current
- 450, rental income from a one-bedroom house. I check in but tenant self-manages the property in exchange for lower rent; tenant is also responsible for paying for repair services and yard maintenance. When tenant leaves (or by Oct of next year) I'll probably go up to 600 as I know I am undercharging...Zillow says I can rent out for 980, but that's a bit overkill, especially with no laundry hook up.
- 2500 (not counting the 6% employer 401k match), full-time job
- 550, part time job
TOTAL: 3550

Take-home, effective June 1st (last day at my full-time job)
- 450, rental income
- 950, part time (expected income after picking up more hours)
TOTAL: 1400

Expenses
Clearly my focus has been on reduced expenses, not income:
- Housing: 535 PITI payment
100 to my grandmother for letting me stay in my old room. I also
buy most of the household staples since I have a Costco card.
- CC: 50 for minimum on 0% interest Home Depot card, due in full in Feb 2015
- Groceries, including household stuff: 200 (I don't spend much now because of not eating out anymore, and bulk buying. Also my parents have a small homestead so I cook many meals straight from their gardens). As of today I have not bought a single thing in two weeks.
- Gas: 90 (rarely do I have to fill it up more than twice/ month, if that; about $45/ per fill)
- 110, car insurance
- 145 health insurance, through marketplace starting June 1st since I'll be losing employer coverage May 31st.
- 100 misc
- 30, cell phone
TOTAL: 1360

Debts
- 5500, Home Depot cc, 0%
- 58,000, mortgage
- 350, Amex 0% until Dec 2014; this will likely grow by about $500/ month as I'll be using it to finance my under-employment until I work full-time again. Insurance premiums, and gas and groceries will go on here.

Assets
- 22,000, 401k
- 7000, ROTH
- 4000, CD (matures June 2015)
- 6000, cash
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GOALS for 2014
- Don't touch any cash or investments during underemployment
- Don't use more than 50% of the AMEX limit, which I'll be using to finance everything that doesn't require cash payments
- Have fun on my trip to Africa and not worry about getting a full-time job until I get back LOL!
- Get a full-time job in the hotel industry as soon as I return and get right back to saving 50% of my income so I don't have to use savings to pay off any credit cards before the 0% promotions are up. I have one expiring in Dec 2014, and another in Feb 2015.
- I basically want to get through the next 3 months of underemployment without having to touch any cash or CDs, and come into 2015 having paid off the credit cards and even adding to my savings.

Goals for 2015
- Prepare for the set-back of earning up to 30% less from full-time job by reducing expenses - I will no longer have to pay the full health insurance premium, or $100 in CC minimums
- Raise rent by $150 as I am way undercharging
- Double my hours at the part-time job (I've been given more responsibilities which allow me to work after-hour events...big help since my availability is only nights and weekends).
- Somehow using the above to come as close to replacing the income of my current full-time job as possible.
- Save a min of $1000/ month, and work my way up to $1500 by the end of the year
- Invest in some index funds (well, first learn about investing in index funds)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clearly I don't have children, or a S.O. with a second income (hence my heavy use of 0% credit cards, or else I would get nowhere really fast). I trust myself with using credit cards as a budgeting method because I've always been very responsible with them and have never paid a penny of interest in my 12 years of using credit. I understand though that my "reliance" on them may cause some people to clutch their pearls, and rightly so. I totally realize that I am dancing with danger, but I'd feel more anxious about draining my cash than I would running up debt. And I need to get through the next 3 months with a clear head and without panicking because although I am not in the ideal position to quit a job and jet set across the world for two months...it could be worse, right? riight?!


Last edited by LMoot on Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Posts: 87
Well I got my last paycheck last Friday from my former job. It's going to be weird not being paid every week as my part-time job pays on the alternate week, and even weirder (scarier?) not getting the larger of my two paychecks anymore. I've been able to pick up a lot more shifts at the PT job, but I make less than half what I made with the FT one; keeping my chin up and being thankful for still having some income, afterall this was a decision I happily made with a (mostly) clear head.

I'm still getting rental income and my tenant is always on time with rent since they moved in last October (thank you!). I checked in on them and in their words they plan on staying until I "kick them out". Good to hear since I won't be able to work full-time again until end of Aug - Sept.

Finished buying plane tickets for my trek across the world. NYC to Casablanca for 2 days, then off to the Ivory Coast for 5 weeks! I cannot wait, it's been years since I've had a real vacation and I was starting to get cabin fever. I'm hoping to come back renewed and invigorated and ready to rejoin the full-time work force fullforce. Just gotta get my resume in top shape and create the best cover-letter ever. I already have a list of hotels and positions I want to apply to as soon as I get back so hopefully the search will be easy. Now to practice those interview questions.

My 0% cc balance is creeping up and I'm trying not to panic as this was expected. I just have to have trust in my skills and track-record that I will find a good job and quickly. Technically I'll be okay even if I don't get back to work full-time until next year (though that's not an option for me!) but I really don't want to have to use savings to pay off my 0% balances which are due in full by Dec and Feb. The plan is to get the hotel job and save 50% of my income (doable with my low expenses and side incomes) and pay those cc's off. Officially one month into my under-employment and I have not had to touch savings at all which is good. I've been funding my cash-only expenses--mortgage, heath insurance, cc minimums, cash to grandmother for letting me stay in her house--with income from the rental and my PT job, and am even able to continue putting money into savings; everything else goes onto the 0% cc. My plan has not collapsed onto itself yet....whew!

I've managed to keep pre-vacation spending under control though I haven't gone shopping for the personal things I'll need for the trip yet. So far I've spent $250 on deodorant, vitamins, and various other medications (things my family in IC needs and asks for). My sister and parents will be getting other things as well. I'm going to limit my personal things (clothes and shoes, especially rainboots and gear since we're going during Monsoon season) to $250 as well so I see Good Will and garage sales in my near future. I want to keep my spending at less than $1000 while on my trip. I don't have to spend money on lodging and food is cheap, but we'll be expected to feed everyone in the house while we're there and provide any other household needs.

I'm just going to do the best I can without stressing and then get.to.work when I come back. I leave in a week and probably won't be able to check-in, so I will update again in 2 months, hopefully with news of interviews and a new job.


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:50 am
Posts: 25
Have you checked out YNAB?

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Posts: 87
I've looked at it because I've heard so many others refer to it, but I don't think I'd benefit much from it (at least not enough to justify the time and effort) as I'm already pretty frugal. I regularly saved 50% of my income for the last 6 months, and about 35% prior to that. All of the "financial feels" they refer to on the website "the stress, the frustration and fear of not paying bills, living paycheck-paycheck", luckily has never applied to me. My issue at the moment is income so that's what I'm focused on.


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:14 pm
Posts: 182
Eek! If I hadn't read your other posts around the forum I'd call you crazy. But based off of that, I'd say if there was someone who can handle what you're doing, it's you!

Best of luck, and HAVE FUN!!


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Posts: 87
LOL Thanks Lis! Oh you can still call me crazy, I do :)


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:44 pm
Posts: 321
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Wishing you safe and happy travels, LMoot! I admire your bravery with the move and job change. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Posts: 87
Thank you LeRainDrop. I can't wait to have something to update on (that is I hope I have something to update in the next couple months).


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:30 pm
Posts: 152
Hi Lmoot,
Have fun and a safe trip, I am planning to do a trip to Peru in October and can’t wait. I will be actually doing volunteer work for about 2 week. I have never done any volunteer work oversea before, so this will be a good experience. I wish one day I can also quit my job and do more traveling but I’m not financially ready yet. Enjoy your trip and give us some update on your trip when you get back.

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Posts: 87
wow jpham that sounds exciting! I've always wanted to go to S.A., and to volunteer overseas...maybe one day. Traveling is definitely something I've always wanted to do on a more regular basis and find it hard to do not just for financial reasons, but because of the lack of time. Working to get both is hard but hopefully worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:53 am 
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Well I got back from Africa yesterday (and slept and slept and slept). I feel broke, but maybe that's my survival instinct kicking into overdrive since I do still have some money left. I reviewed any outstanding and upcoming bills and paid those. I had to use cash advances for the first time ever while overseas (about $1200) so I don't know yet if I will use savings to pay that off on the next statement date, or just pay the minimum. Right now my main focus is getting a job and the search starts today. Once I can secure a job I will pay off the cash advance, but right now I'm too shy to spend my savings even though I have it.

My dream (for the moment) job was posted Aug 1st, the day I returned so I can't help but get drunk off the serendipity and am preparing my application and resume TODAY. Next up is to drive to my part time job today and let them know I am back and am ready to take any and all shifts. I'll probably show up in uniform just to show I'm serious to get back to work lol. All in all my mood is mostly hopeful with a dose of nervous excitement...just the right amount to motivate me to go after what I want. I practiced enough french in my month long stay that for the first time I feel comfortable putting "French" on the language part of applications. My sister had a medical emergency an hour after we arrived in a larger city and had to have emergency surgery. My french was tested to the limit as she is the french speaker and was in and out of consciousness. We spent most of our time in a rural village and had we chose to come 1/2 a day later she would have died as the nearest hospital (which probably didn't even have the capability to correct the issue...only to delay the condition) was a 2 hour drive down a bumpy clay road. Seriously scary stuff. Fortunately even an under developed country was developed enough to have public health care and the surgery was free. Anesthesia was $80, the best private room (which was not optimal...the toilet had to be flushed with a bucket of water that you had to get from a well...and you needed to supply your own toilet paper), was $60 for 3 nights, and the various medications and supplies were about $200; so we came in at less than $500 for surgery and a 3-night stay in a private hospital room.

Anyway, she recovered enough for us to enjoy the rest of the vacation (the incident happened about 1/2 way through). I'm between happy to be back, and wishing I had another month. My parents will be going next year and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I'm on that trip, even if I can only go for 2 weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:30 pm
Posts: 152
Hey LMoot, welcome back to reality, hope you have fun. Sounds like you did anyways, minus your sister going into the emergency room that sucks. Hope she have a speedy recovery. Hopefully you can get the job you wanted. Also I'm 2 more months away from my trip to Peru and looking forward to it. Good luck with your job hunting.

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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Posts: 87
Thanks jpham50! ^
------------------------------------------------------------
Well I guess turning 30 must have killed half of my braincells (or doubled my nerves) because even though I don't have a full time job lined up yet I'm already planning my next trip to Africa....in 9 months. My parents bought some land (picked out by sis and I while we were there) and city law dictates construction in this particular area needs to begin within a year of the land purchase so they are planning to go early next summer to get that started and I'm going to do my darndest to tag along.

I got the following wild hair idea after receiving the 3rd rejection email from yet another hotel I applied to for a full-time position (guess they really were serious about preferring lots of hospitality experience...sheesh.).

Obviously getting a full time job would interfere with another trip to Africa (let's not forget why I quit the last one...so I could spend more time in Africa) and I really don't want to quit 2 jobs within a year as I'm not the type to apply for jobs I intend to dip out on soon. So, in the spirit of nurturing this new plan of coasting on part-time work until next summer, I applied for a seasonal tour guide gig at a popular theme park...it would include above min wage pay (yes, this is a bonus for me since my current part timer is a non-profit, and therefore min wage), and drunk people giving tips. I was told of the legend of a guy that made 2k in one month on tips, from a friend who works at the park. Anyway, it's only 3 days a week (30 hours), overnight, for 2 - 3 months. So I can work there (if I'm hired) and work the other 4 days at my current job. After that gig ends I just need to find another temporary (or a quick way to earn some extra cash for a few months), then by that time (May-ish) it would be Africa time again.

I can smell the crazy on myself as I type this but as easy as it would be to go back to a decent paying 9-5 insurance type job with the paid gym, $50 Cadillac insurance (health and dental) and 401k matching, I refuse; in case you didn't hear me..............
I REFUSE!

In financial news, it's officially 3 months since I've been out of full time work and so far I have not spent a cent of savings...and even added about $250 to savings. I got another credit card...an 18 month interest-free card, which I'm going to transfer my AMEX balance to (that I put the plane tickets on and various other expenses...like CostCo groceries and gas since it's the only CC I'm allowed to use there) to buy myself more time as the AMEX 0% is up this Dec. It's a 3% transaction fee which only comes out to less than $200 dollars (and which my AMEX end of year cash reward will cover most or all of anyway). Worth it IMO for a HUGE peace of mind and possible extension of my career break. I will probably end up paying half of the AMEX balance off with cash before the offer expires, and only balance transfer the other half (but NOT from current savings...cash earned over the next few months from rental income and the PT job). Currently the only interest I'm paying is the interest on my cash advance of about $1200, which I will pay off out of savings the second I get another source of guaranteed income.

Wow, are ya'll clutchin your pearls yet GRS?!?


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:00 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:14 pm
Posts: 182
Wow, my pearls are clutched! Good luck!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Dirty Laundry
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:50 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:30 pm
Posts: 152
Seem like you got it all worked out. I would love to be care free and free spirit like you. I would like to leave me 9 - 5 job, but in my case it’s 12 hours 7 days a week, that’s what I get for working oversea job. :D the only benefit is the money but I would like to take a 2 – 3 month break one day. Right now I am just saving and aggressively investing. One of these days I hope to do more traveling, so I will have to suck it up. Good luck with your journey.

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