I need advice.

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N2Deep
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Re: I need advice.

Postby N2Deep » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:53 pm

Dont feel bad... I only get Verizon as well. It sucks that Altell let them buy them out. :puke:
I can not dwell over that to which I have no control...

jgoldenmba
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Re: I need advice.

Postby jgoldenmba » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:56 pm

I understand Straight Talk uses Verizon's towers and its $45/mo unlimited data,text, and talk. No contract. I'm looking into the accuracy of my recent findings but that could save $80/mo if its true.

N2Deep
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Re: I need advice.

Postby N2Deep » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:07 pm

Yeah... that could save a lot. Might be something for me to look into when my contract is up next Nov.
I can not dwell over that to which I have no control...

LeRainDrop
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Re: I need advice.

Postby LeRainDrop » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:11 pm

jgoldenmba wrote:I have cut to the lowest Internet speed.

Is AT&T U-verse an option where you live? Here, they are advertising for $19.95 per month for the first year for "High Speed Internet Pro - D - 3.0 Mbps." It goes up to $38 per month after a year, but there are other high speed internet options as cheap as $25 per month (full price). Even their most expensive high speed internet option, "High Speed Internet Max Plus - D - 18.0 Mbps," is $34.95 per month for the first year, then $53 per month after a year.

brad
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Re: I need advice.

Postby brad » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:13 pm

jgoldenmba wrote:Where we live daycare is expensive. This daycare is just a normal daycare, it's not pre-private school.


You could move here to Québec, where daycare is $7 per day. ;-)

catchingup
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Re: I need advice.

Postby catchingup » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:02 am

I use an antenna for broadcast channels and it works just fine. If you aren't close to the towers you'll probably want to get one with an amplifier. Most of my TV and movies comes from Netflix - the really young kids I know prefer Netflix type services because they can watch their favorite show over and over again. And over, and over, and over, and over...

brad
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Re: I need advice.

Postby brad » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:12 am

Another option for your TV cable is to ditch it entirely and just purchase the shows you want from iTunes or another service. We got rid of our TV about six years ago and for a while we kept cable and watched TV on my laptop, but ultimately (after realizing that we were spending $70/hour to watch TV, because we're generally too busy to watch more than 10 hours of TV per year), we cancelled the cable. Now when we want to watch TV we buy and download episodes or seasons from iTunes. We spend about $30-$40/year on television and about $25-$30 on films. But we don't have young kids.

Marcopolo
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Re: I need advice.

Postby Marcopolo » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:51 am

jgoldenmba wrote:My wife and I make a decent amount annually, $130k combined. Cashflow is a serious issue. We truly live paycheck to paycheck and have maybe $100 in our accounts at the end of the month. Our monthly cashflow is as follows.

net income $6950 (after taxes, deductions, etc.)
cable $50
electric $170
mortgage $1700
insurance $150
car pmts. $970
student loans $519
cable $70
daycare $1840
cell phone $160
gas $250

This leaves us with about $1000 for any extras like car maintenance, etc. food and diapers for two kids both under 2 years old.. that doesn't leave much to tackle debt/save.
Should we use our tax return and our $6k in savings to pay off one of the student loans which will free up $145/month? Should we try and pay a car down and get rid of it somehow? Should we lower our retirement contributions? My wife does $100 per check, I do 10%... If we have to just accept being tight what little we have... what should we do with it? save? pay down car loan? studnet loans? I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!



Look at your spending categories. Don't spend $970 a month on car payments, are you kidding me? Save $6000 and buy a Honda civic, then use savings to buy outright the second car that can tote the kids ( Honda odyssey , passport?)

Does your wife (the lower income earner i assume) make enough in her job as take home to pay for the day care. If not, have her quit her job and take care of the kids until daycare is no longer needed.

Those are the two most material items. Sure do the other things that comments reflect- cell phones, cable vs Netflix . But solve these items and you will create substantial free cash flow.

Macro polo

jgoldenmba
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Re: I need advice.

Postby jgoldenmba » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:16 pm

Marcopolo wrote:
jgoldenmba wrote:My wife and I make a decent amount annually, $130k combined. Cashflow is a serious issue. We truly live paycheck to paycheck and have maybe $100 in our accounts at the end of the month. Our monthly cashflow is as follows.

net income $6950 (after taxes, deductions, etc.)
cable $50
electric $170
mortgage $1700
insurance $150
car pmts. $970
student loans $519
cable $70
daycare $1840
cell phone $160
gas $250

This leaves us with about $1000 for any extras like car maintenance, etc. food and diapers for two kids both under 2 years old.. that doesn't leave much to tackle debt/save.
Should we use our tax return and our $6k in savings to pay off one of the student loans which will free up $145/month? Should we try and pay a car down and get rid of it somehow? Should we lower our retirement contributions? My wife does $100 per check, I do 10%... If we have to just accept being tight what little we have... what should we do with it? save? pay down car loan? studnet loans? I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!



Look at your spending categories. Don't spend $970 a month on car payments, are you kidding me? Save $6000 and buy a Honda civic, then use savings to buy outright the second car that can tote the kids ( Honda odyssey , passport?)

Does your wife (the lower income earner i assume) make enough in her job as take home to pay for the day care. If not, have her quit her job and take care of the kids until daycare is no longer needed.

Those are the two most material items. Sure do the other things that comments reflect- cell phones, cable vs Netflix . But solve these items and you will create substantial free cash flow.

Macro polo


I understand and we're more than ready and willing to ditch the vehicles but we owe more than they're worth and we don't have the difference in cash. For example we owe $34000 on a car worth $25-$27k. The only way I see freeing up some cashflow is to finance some of that negative equity into a cheaper car along with some of our cash. We could lower the payment from $590 to around $380. She makes around $2500 take home, our insurance is with her employer. Should we suspend retirement contributions? I do 10%, she does 200 per month to an account that will supplement her teacher retirement.
Thanks

nelson
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Re: I need advice.

Postby nelson » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:24 pm

With as much as you're spending on daycare, have you considered becoming a single income family and letting the other take care of the kids? You'd also save money on gasoline that way. Might even be able to get away with one car if you live close to work. And perhaps even open up options to finding a cheaper place to live.

kombat
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Re: I need advice.

Postby kombat » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:57 am

brad wrote:I'm in Canada; here it's possible to have some smartphones without data plans, although I don't think it works for the iPhone.


Sure it does. I have one. I have an iPhone 3 with Rogers, with no data plan. Just voice and text. Virtually everywhere I go has WiFi (home, friends, airports, malls, coffee shops), so I'm rarely out of reach of a data connection. And the rare times I need data and can't get WiFi, you can always just buy a 24-hour data pass for $1 or something by texting "DATA" to 3282.

The only annoying quirk this configuration produces with the iPhone is that now and then, the texting app complains that it doesn't have a data connection. But otherwise, iPhones work just fine without a data plan.

Sonja
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Re: I need advice.

Postby Sonja » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:55 am

From your replies I understand you feel it's important for the kids to go to daycare even if you could find someone to babysit in your home for less than that. Fair enough. But it's not a black or white choice. You can keep the kids in the daycare for monday, wednesday, friday and have an in house sitter for the other two days for example. Or, if there's a family nearby you match with, watch your own children and theirs on tuesdays and let them do the same on thursdays or something like that. That will still give the kids plenty of time to build social skills and keep a good schedule, but at the same time free up some money. Or perhaps one, or both of you can change into 4 10 hour days. That'll free up a day to be a parent, saving on daycare again without losing the benefits of daycare.

The day care, mortgage and car payments make up by far the largest amount of costs so it makes sense to look at those first to save money.

As for the car, go back to the dealer who sold you the car and see if you can get a deal there. Maybe they can lower your debt (and monthly payments, improving cashflow!) and exchange the almost new car for an older version.

With regards to the house, selling and finding something cheaper could be a long term option if you feel it necessary. But maybe if you have a spare room you can find a lodger? Maybe even someone who will watch your kids one or two days a week.

brad
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Re: I need advice.

Postby brad » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:07 am

kombat wrote:
brad wrote:I have an iPhone 3 with Rogers, with no data plan. Just voice and text.


Yeah, I know it works in Canada, but I've been told by friends in the States that you can't use an iPhone in the US without a data plan. That's the part I'm not clear about, and it's one of the reasons I never switched to an iPhone myself because I mainly use my cellphone when I'm traveling in the US.

VinTek
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Re: I need advice.

Postby VinTek » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:05 am

brad wrote:
kombat wrote:
brad wrote:I have an iPhone 3 with Rogers, with no data plan. Just voice and text.


Yeah, I know it works in Canada, but I've been told by friends in the States that you can't use an iPhone in the US without a data plan. That's the part I'm not clear about, and it's one of the reasons I never switched to an iPhone myself because I mainly use my cellphone when I'm traveling in the US.

Not true. You can use WiFi. The real rub is that without signing a data plan, an iPhone is very expensive but that's true of all smartphones here. What's really happening is that the phone is being subsidized by the carrier and the carrier is recouping that cost via the data plan.

brad
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Re: I need advice.

Postby brad » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:17 am

VinTek wrote:Not true. You can use WiFi. The real rub is that without signing a data plan, an iPhone is very expensive but that's true of all smartphones here.


That's great to know! Yes, unlocked smartphones are pricey (an unlocked 32 gig iPhone in Canada costs $800). I paid about $500 for my unlocked Nokia E71 when I bought it four or five years ago. If you travel a lot, you can recoup that cost by not having to pay roaming fees if you have a local SIM card (if I use my Canadian SIM card and roam, I pay about $3/minute to make phone calls in the US or Europe), but then of course none of your contacts have your local phone number when you're traveling unless you give it to them.

Personally I can't justify spending that much on a phone in the future, given that I typically make only a couple of calls per month; when my smartphone dies I'll replace it with a dumb phone and use my iPad to get email and surf the web on WiFi.


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