LoriMeyer's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
LoriMeyers
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:47 am
Location: Oregon

LoriMeyer's journal

Post by LoriMeyers » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:33 pm

Today is my 41st birthday, I suppose this is as good a day as any to make my first journal entry. I've been reading other people's journals, and most of you are much more aggressive about getting there than I am. I'm a slacker. But I want FI, too! I may not make it there in 500 posts, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. I didn't want to post because my situation is pretty embarrassing, but I've got to look it in the face if I want to kick its butt. That didn't make any sense literally, but I hope you get my meaning.

A little bit about me:

- ESTJ? I've only done a free online test. Not sure if it's reliable, but it sounds like me. Well, I thought I was an introvert, but that's another topic for another time.
- I'm a middle manager in a small production facility.

Up until now, I've spent more than I earned every month of my life, I'm guessing. I've never not lived paycheck to paycheck, balancing everything on credit, and credit, and more credit. I'm in a deep hole, and I'm just...tired. Anyway, you've all heard this song and dance before. I'm finally going to do something about it. It took me a while to gather everything up for September, but I think I got the hang of it now. Credit to C40 for the chart inspiration.

I'm not even going to start out with savings or dividend growth, because I have none of that. My first goal is to get out of debt. So I needed to see where I am, to see where I am going. This was a real eye opener.

SEPTEMBER 2017

INCOME
Normal Income $3,555
Extra Income $74

EXPENSE
Animals -$56
Car -$635
Credit Card -$568
Entertainment -$151
Food -$449
Household -$27
Housing & Utilities -$713
Medical -$300
Other -$81
Student Loan -$275

LEFTOVER
Debt Paid -$433
Saved $60

TOTALS
Total Income $3,629
Total Spent -$3,688


NET WORTH
Checking $323
Savings $262
Debt -$111,329
TOTAL NET WORTH -$110,744


As much as I pride myself on being unique, clearly when it comes to money, I'm a grade A normal American consumer. But, deep breath, I don't have to keep doing the same thing. I've already had a milestone, even though it seems small. The first two weeks of October, I didn't spend any money except for my paycheck. No credit cards, no stealing from savings. Small victory, but I will take it.

But I'm here to talk about September, not October. And trying to find ways to cut my expenses and/or raise my income. Here are my expenses broken down.

Image

ANIMALS
Not much going to change here. I have lots of animals, and they cost money. I won't be getting more animals, though, and eventually these expenses will pass, as all good animals do.

CAR
I am working on this one. I have a 2014 car that I owe $23k on, with a $386 payment, plus $110 insurance. Can't not have a car (see Housing for why), but I can have a car with no payment and lower insurance. So I am currently trying to save $3000 to buy a truck. Then I can sell my car, and refinance the difference, because naturally I am upside down on it. I'm estimating this will cut $14k off of that loan. Also, I have looked into public transportation. That is not currently an option; there isn't any.

CREDIT CARD
I have six credit cards with balances ranging from $500 to $6200, for a total of $14k in credit card debt. Are you vomiting yet? I've divided this section into regular payments and extra payments.

ENTERTAINMENT
This includes bowling league fees, and subscriptions to various online media. There is definitely room for some cutting in this category, though it's not one of the big ones.

FOOD
I buy all the groceries for my household of two (DH). This category also includes eating out, but we live in a rural area, so I cook almost every single meal. I just finished reading a book on cutting your grocery bill, so I'm working on improving my grocery shopping skills. To be fair, I only learned how to cook in the last two years, I've managed to always have someone else doing the cooking until now. So, I expect to keep improving in this category.

HOUSEHOLD
This isn't much, and I don't expect it to be.

HOUSING
This includes my share of the mortgage ($450) and I pay the cable/internet/phone ($150) and trash ($38). He pays everything else. I've started investigating a different internet service, and I will be cutting the cable, but let's be honest, probably not until after football season is over. I'm doing this FI thing on my own (my debt, my problem). DH is not interested in moving currently, and I live 23 miles from my job. Honestly, I'm not interested in moving either, yet. This house works well for us now. He has expressed a lot of interest lately in building a home out of storage containers (which would involve us buying off-grid property somewhere) so there is something in the air, but right now, this is it.

MEDICAL
I have some medical bills I am paying off, but I will pay one off next month, and I have $1000 remaining on the other. This category will then go away. Yay, a little spot of sun.

OTHER
This is just random one-off expense. Will monitor to see if there is a pattern.

STUDENT LOAN
Largest part of my debt. Two different loans, one is $4k, and the other is $68k. Yeah. So I have two degrees, but other than the diplomas, not much else to show for it. Well, the debt. There is that.

I think that about covers it. I was trying to be aggressive with the debt payments, but I need to make the car go away, so all of my extra money is going towards saving for that now. I have some ideas for side income that I'm working on. Also, I've been trying to get minimalist with my stuff, so some of it I can sell.

That was exhausting. I'm going to go lie down now. Thanks for reading this far, feel free to shoot me some encouragement or advice, because holy cow I have a long way to go. I know it's not hopeless, but some days it feels like it. One day at a time, DH keeps telling me. Just make the right choices today, and stop sweating tomorrow. Rinse and repeat.
Last edited by LoriMeyers on Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Bankai
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by Bankai » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:48 pm

Hi ghjess!

Your situation is not that bad. Most importantly, you made a decision to take the responsibility for your life and change what you don't like about it. This alone puts you ahead of probably 90% of the population. Imagine if you only came across ERE 10 years from now... you'd probably be way deeper in debt, while with the right mindset and decisions, in 10 years you can not only be debt-free but also in the process of building a stash. And time will pass anyway, so why not start right away. You also have above average income, which certainly helps.

Looking at the numbers you provided, my first question is what is your housing situation - how much is outstanding on the mortgage, how much is the house worth, what's the interest you're paying? Also, is your husband commuting as well? If his work is in the same direction, could you reconsider moving closer to your jobs? If you spend ~$1300 a month on 2 cars, you could possibly save $156k over the next decade (plus compounding). Certainly worth looking into. At the very least, you should consider downgrading the car to something cheap (you mentioned a truck - do you really need that just to get to work?).

Credit cards - is $568 an interest only? Could you look into refinancing loan - not sure how this works in US, but in UK with your income you could easily get a loan at 5-10% interest to pay all your cards. If this is not possible, your priority should be to pay the cards off completely asap as I guess they all are high interest rate.

Entertainment - I'd take a long, hard look at any online subscriptions.

Food - when I discovered ERE about 5 years ago, we were spending around £450 a month for 2 of us. Over time, as we got better at shopping and cooking, this went down to ~£200 for 2. Food in US is cheaper and you already cook at home, so you're on a good way. Maybe look for local Aldi/Lidl?

Utilities - this £150 cable/internet/phone bill needs to go. For one, you don't need a landline. TV is generally a waste of time and anti-ERE, so it needs to go as well. Broadband alone should cost way less - possibly $100 saved a month?

With only a few changes, it's possible to cut your spending by $736 a month ($386 car, $100 utilities, $250 food). This would allow you to direct $9k more a year towards debt. With cards gone, you can start snowballing from there. If you want to be more ERE, consider selling the house, moving within walking distance from your work and getting rid of the car completely. Either way, good luck in your journey!

Jason
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by Jason » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:18 pm

Happy Birthday from a fellow bowler and slacker.

And congrats on your victory of living within your means for the past two weeks, which is not small, as you created a goal and stuck to it.

There are obviously many opinions on how to skin the debt cat, but from personal experience, when we were indebted and finally got sick of it, the first thing we did was to just stop using them, which you are already doing. The second was to eliminate the credit cards with the lowest balance because it gave us a sense of accomplishment. The relief of removing a monthly envelope is tangible and the call to cancel the card a sound good riddance.

What I also did was start up a retirement account because its nice to get something positive each month. Pay yourself kind of thing.
So with regard to entertainment, I wouldn't immediately starve yourself, but I would eliminate one. As I'm partial to bowling, cut the media. And then take that savings and either pay some debt or add to your savings/retirement.

With regard to food, there are recipe threads here that you should read. You don't have to do an Auschwitz diet to make a serious dent in that. And anyone can learn to cook a week's variety of decent and inexpensive meals.

You can do it.

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Chris
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by Chris » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:42 pm

ghjess wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:33 pm
... I can have a car with no payment and lower insurance. So I am currently trying to save $3000 to buy a truck.
Good for you to consider this; most people would just hang on and wait for the next car purchase to make a sensible choice. But you've correctly identified it as problem area.

Any reason you'd switch to a truck instead of another car?
ghjess wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:33 pm
...holy cow I have a long way to go. I know it's not hopeless, but some days it feels like it. One day at a time, DH keeps telling me. Just make the right choices today, and stop sweating tomorrow.
As you kill off loans, interest payments will be reduced in your monthly reports. That freed-up money can then be applied to other loans... and the snowball continues. To help with motivation, make some charts. Even if you're net worth is negative, the line will still go up (-:

LoriMeyers
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Location: Oregon

Re: ghjess's journal

Post by LoriMeyers » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:12 pm

Thanks for all of the advice! I felt pretty awful once I re-read it, what a mess I've gotten myself into it! But I can do this!

Sounds like I should clarify my husband's situation since it pertains to a few things. He is a mechanic who works for himself from home, so he has no commuting costs. (And he makes his own hours, which has been partially responsible for inspiring me to do my own thing, as well). This is also why I am getting a truck for my commute. My current car is a super fast coupe (and I'm really going to miss my turbo, not gonna lie). However, it is useless when it snows. I'm just going to get a little 4 banger Toyota 4x4, and he can keep it running for me; Toyota is his specialty.

@Bankai Thanks for the math inspiration! You're right, just lowering expenses $736 a month makes a huge difference when you add it up!

@Jason Glad there's another bowler here, I really didn't want to give that one up yet. And I keep meaning to open a retirement account, but it seems like currently my money would be better spent paying off my debt. I've read arguments both ways, but I feel like my money is doing more for me when I pay down a 23% interest debt, rather than earning 2% in savings. Please tell me if you see something wrong with my logic!

CS
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by CS » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:40 pm

Congrats on taking the first step to solving this! Someday you will look back on this in amazement of where you came from...

Jason
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by Jason » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:21 am

ghjess wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:12 pm

@Jason Glad there's another bowler here, I really didn't want to give that one up yet. And I keep meaning to open a retirement account, but it seems like currently my money would be better spent paying off my debt. I've read arguments both ways, but I feel like my money is doing more for me when I pay down a 23% interest debt, rather than earning 2% in savings. Please tell me if you see something wrong with my logic!
Athletic activity is something that you will eventually have to give up because of age/health. Now I half-guarantee that some militant DYIer here will suggest axing down a fuckin tree and carving out your own pins and lawn bowling against a bunch of unemployed squirrels or some type of stupid shit like that, but they obviously never felt the rush of raining down a 14 pound ball on a set of manufactured bowling pins and blowing them up like detached human limbs after a perfectly defenestrated bomb on an early 1970's Cambodian village. Not to mention the ensuing parking lot BJ from an aging wet brained Thursday night horned up bowling bimbo. That's something that only true bowlers like you and I would understand.

Re: Debt: I am only speaking from experience, not from expertise, as I recognize the difference i.e. debt is like cancer, having it does not make one an oncologist. I just remember the psychological boost that receiving monthly investment statements had us (not bank statements, but retail investors i.e. Vanguard etc.) It gave us a foretaste of what turning the ship around looked like - having money. On specific financial matter, I would seek the guidance of other forum members. They're typically the type of people that couldn't bowl for jack shit so they made themselves feel better by showing off their math skills by keeping score.

LoriMeyers
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:47 am
Location: Oregon

Re: ghjess's journal

Post by LoriMeyers » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:02 pm

October 2017

First, celebrate the wins: I made it the whole month of October without using a credit card or dipping into my savings! I also tried limiting my trips to the grocery store by meal planning. I made it a week the first try, so then I tried going two weeks, and made it through that, as well. DH may have suffered a little bit because we ran out of Oreos, but other than that, it went okay.

Here’s the expense tally:

Image

Image

Looks like I went down in every expense category. Student loans stayed the same, but they will be changing next month. I am enrolled at the local college, taking some classes for work (they’re paying for it all). This quarter’s class is a 6 credit class. I didn’t think anything of it, but apparently that qualifies me as a half time student, and my student loans just got kicked into deferment through next year. I’m thinking now that I’ll just pay the interest on my student loans, and use that extra money to drill down on these high interest credit card balances I have.

Looking at this chart, my two highest expense categories are Car and Housing. I’m working to bring both of those down. This month and November, I’m only making minimum payments towards the credit card debt, so that I can save $3000 for a new vehicle. Then I will sell the one that costs me so much every month. I’ll still have a payment to make on it, but I’m hoping to knock $13k at a minimum off of that debt. I should have $3000 by Dec 1, which is mildly depressing. The fact that I am able to save $3000 in two months without even trying that hard proves to me how frivolously I’ve spent my money thus far.

The other high category is housing. Not moving anywhere, but I can work on that $150 cable/internet/phone bill. I’ve got some equipment coming from a different internet provider, if it proves to be worth it, it will cut that bill by $100. DH swears he is okay with me shutting the cable off, we’ll see how it goes.

My years to debt free is based on the amount I paid down during that month. I expect this number to go down, once the car issue is resolved and I can get back to paying extra towards the debt.

Some non-expense related goals for November:

1. I’ve been trying to learn Mandarin, my goal for November is to spend at least 15 minutes daily on that.
2. I also have some side income projects I’ve been trying to develop. My goal for November is to get the websites for both of these up and running.
3. Fitness. I’ve been unable to lift weights for a couple of months, lingering shoulder injury. I’ve been using that as an excuse to not do anything at all. So for November, I would like to get some cardio in at least two times a week.
4. Continue the minimalism. So far I’ve gotten rid of ten (10!) bags of clothing, and six boxes of kitchen items (utensils, pots, pans, dishware). How did I get so much stuff?! I still have close to 750 books, that’s been the hardest for me to part with, since I’ve collected them for so many years. But I am able to look at them as “stuff” now, and I have a library card and a Kindle.

Finally, charts are fun, so I’ve created a chart similar to the wall chart from YMOYL, but I’ve added my net worth to it as well. I want to watch that line hit zero and then start going up again! (the axis for net worth is on the right)

Image

I’ve mostly just been lurking on the rest of the forum, but I’m absorbing like a sponge! I wish I would have discovered this years ago, but no time to dwell on what-ifs, I’m focused on the future now.

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Bankai
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by Bankai » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:26 pm

So your NW went up by over $1k last month regardless of lower income. Imagine what you can do once you clear car and credit card debt.
ghjess wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:02 pm
I still have close to 750 books, that’s been the hardest for me to part with, since I’ve collected them for so many years. But I am able to look at them as “stuff” now, and I have a library card and a Kindle.
We gave away half of our ~500 books collection some time ago and not once any of us regretted this. The only times I remember those books is when I realize I don't actually think of them and don't miss them at all. It's probably worth it to keep some books you want to re-read or keep for reference unless you go full digital.

Jason
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by Jason » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:56 pm

I notice your monthly entertainment went down $90 - did you cancel subscriptions? Good job - 1K of debt removed.

More importantly did you read about this:

https://deadspin.com/long-island-man-bo ... 1819619364

LoriMeyers
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by LoriMeyers » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:34 am

@bankai Thanks for the feedback, you're always so motivating! I read your journal, and was laughing at your first attempt to cut your wife's hair. Still too scared to try that myself, in the meantime, I traded a guitar for my next four hair cuts, I'm set for some time. :)

@jason wow, a 900. I can't even imagine, that's so impressive! I bowled in a pro-am last year, and the pros were all doing trick shots. That was super fun to watch. Oh yeah, and that's why my entertainment costs were down. Stupid shoulder injury kept me from bowling for a few weeks. I'm back at it now, though. And I hope that your bowling bimbos are hotter than mine, most of the ones I see are a little too aged and wet brained for me. Though maybe toothless is your thing. :D

LoriMeyers
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Re: ghjess's journal

Post by LoriMeyers » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:25 pm

This ERE bug has really bitten me hard. I was depressed at first, for sure. I've always been the smartest person in the room, but somehow for the first 40 years of my life, I lived like an oblivious consumer. I totally missed it, that one thing that could have changed my life sooner. I mean sure, I've done my bit of not working and wandering the earth, but you mean, I could have been doing that this whole time, instead of working at jobs that annoy me? Very depressing that I wasted so much time.

I've moved on to the next stage, though. No point in looking back, only forward. I realized when I woke up this morning, the first thought I had was the same thought I went to bed with: How I can get to a 75% savings rate? I'm obsessed. I need to set small goals, or I get overwhelmed. So goal # 1, get my expenses down to $1500/month. Based on my current income, that will get me to 50% savings. Still not enough. I've started looking for another job. If I have to work at a job I hate for five more years, I may as well get paid more money for it. I'm good at what I do, and I'm underpaid. In the meantime, I keep thinking about something Jacob wrote recently, about how people use their skills for themselves, instead of getting paid for them. He used playing video games as an example. So I'm spending some time assessing my skills and what I'm good at, and how I can use that to get paid. I have good 3d modeling skills and access to a 3d printer, maybe there's some money to be made in that. I'm also really good at snarky remarks, but not sure how to turn that in to dollars yet.

I also want to take a moment and name some things that I have accomplished, because I tend to spend a lot of time dwelling on my failings, and why I'm not FI already. But I am making good choices, too.
1. I have lost over 65 lbs in the last couple of years. Healthy body, healthy mind.
2. I have finally accepted that most of my possessions are just meaningless stuff, and I am making good strides towards paring down to the minimum necessary. I brought over 300 books to work for people to grab, and then I donated what was left to the library. It felt really good.
3. I have begun reading more books on investing than science fiction. I love a good book, but right now I want all my time sinks to be dedicated to improvements in my life.
4. The sleeper has awakened! Most important of all, I am actually changing my life, not just bitching about it.

I see the world through different eyes now. When I see a beautiful car on the freeway these days, all I see is a big pile of debt driving by. DH is slowly coming round, probably because I just can't shut up about it. But I can't help it! For the first time in my life, there is an actual light at the end of the tunnel. It's a beautiful thing. I'm just going to leave this happiness right here, so I can come back and visit it when the work seems overwhelming. Because I'm not fooling myself, I have to work hard to make this happen. But only for a little while longer. :)

LoriMeyers
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Re: LoriMeyer's journal

Post by LoriMeyers » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:47 pm

It's been a few months, but I'm still here on the path. I've spent the last few months working on my plan for how FI is going to become my reality. I've set a goal date of May 2026, which is 100 months from Jan 2018. I'm thinking 25 months to pay off all my debt except my student loan, then 75 months to pay off student loan and accumulate wealth. The amount of wealth I want to obtain varies from day to day ($150k-$500k), and I'm nowhere near any of those numbers, so I'll reevaluate that when it's actually pertinent.The high end is definitely a stretch goal, but I spend all my time running the numbers over and over again, and I think I can do it.

I don't think I'll be posting charts any more, either. While I'm still definitely keeping spreadsheets because I love playing with Excel, the most important number to me now is my personal expense ratio. Though I can't dump 75% of my income towards investing yet because of my debt, I can still work on the living off of 25% part. So I've started dividing all of my spending into two categories: True Expenses (25%)and Debt/Savings (75%). I went back and ran the numbers for August through today (most of February), and guess what? I'm not at 25/75. Shocking. February is running 39/61, though, and my average since August has been 43/57. I like looking at these numbers, they are a meaningful indicator to me.

The basic steps: Increase my income, lower my expenses. It was definitely two steps forward, one step back at first, but I have made some progress.

Income: I got myself a big fat raise, so there's some income increase. I actually told my boss whatever raise he was thinking of giving me, he should double it. And he did! So that was awesome, especially because for the first time in my life, I'm not using a raise to increase my spending. What a strange feeling. Naturally, I ran the numbers, and this pay increase means I'm currently going to pay off my debt at Month 20 instead of Month 25! Stoked about that.

Expense: I've been intrigued by the idea of living off of $5k/year. I don't think that's something I'll ever pull off, but I do want to know how low I actually can get. One of the many, many, areas I've been studying since I read the ERE book is food. I've learned a lot about building a well stocked pantry, and the bulk section of the store has become my favorite place! We also went veg, so that has been a cost savings, as well. I convinced DH to cut the cable, and saved $120/month with one fell swoop.

My favorite part of this has been my new thought experiment every time I need something: How can I solve this problem without spending any money? I don't think I'll get tired of that game. Oh, and based on my average expenses since August, I'm currently living off of ~$19k/year. I'm going to try and get that down to $12k, but that's probably going to involve either quitting my job or moving closer to it. My commute costs me ~$3.5k/yr. Ouch. Never fear, though, there is a plan for that.

My brain never stops demanding input, and until now, I've filled it with trivial interests. I feel so powerful now, filling it with useful knowledge. I keep waiting for the librarian to make a comment, when the books range from beekeeping to writing Chinese characters to investment analysis. How do people live without a library card?

End of ramble.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: LoriMeyer's journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:07 pm

Good job with the debt. Nothing wrong with saving 60% either.

wolf
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Re: LoriMeyer's journal

Post by wolf » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:05 am

Great done on the income side! Also it's good that you have a KPI, that you follow quite strictly. You can control and watch over changes, e.g. increase in income, but also decrease of expenses.
I have some ideas for your food expenses, although I don't know what you already do: drink tap water and/or loose tea, buy everything in bulk and compare weight/cost-ratios, prepare 2-4 portions by cooking 1x, try intermediate fasting only eat two meals a day, bring your own coffee-to-go/food/drinks from home, buy food that is on sale, experiment with recipes and come up with the two-five favourite recipes -> optimize them, dry to cook only on one hotplate, cook efficiently by using energy&heat efficiently. Well there might be much more.
However, the important part IMO, is to keep on learning and experimenting. Be creative to find new ways of doing things.

EdithKeeler
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Re: LoriMeyer's journal

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:15 am

Just found your journal and am enjoying your story—and your enthusiasm! I jumped on the ERE bandwagon late, too, but you’ll be amazed at your progress now that you’ve focused.

Keep writing and telling your story.

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singvestor
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Re: LoriMeyer's journal

Post by singvestor » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:10 pm

Great read, please keep up your journal! It is highly satisfying to read and see how changes are possible.
Do you have any stuff that you might be able to sell from your consumer days? That might accelerate things even further!

LoriMeyers
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Re: LoriMeyer's journal

Post by LoriMeyers » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:21 pm

Hard to believe it's been months since I posted. That's a good thing, I guess. It means I'm that many months closer to being financially independent. I have to keep telling myself that. It's extremely frustrating spending months and months throwing money at debt, when I could be investing already. I suppose it's just like losing weight. I didn't put it all on in one night, and it ain't going away in one night either. It took a couple of years, but that weight went away, and so will this debt.

I have definitely been a two steps forward, one step back traveler on this journey. But I keep studying and learning, and most importantly, trying not to make the same mistakes more than once. It's tough, though, getting caught in the web of the American dream. It's a vicious cycle to get trapped in. My refrigerator died and it was unrepairable. So my savings went to a new fridge. No problem, I keep a $1000 emergency fund (that's a very recent thing). But then there was an unexpected veterinary visit. Next thing I know, I've got a credit card balance on a card that I'd finally paid off! I know that there's light at the end of the tunnel if I just keep going, but frustrating, did I mention?

I do have a new plan forward. Well, I have new plans everyday. It's probably a good thing that I don't get around to posting more often. My plans change with the wind. I don't mind it, it's the way my mind works. Which is why this corporate gig is killing me slowly. I need financial independence so my mind can breathe. I've never understood people who think retirement would be boring, that they need their jobs. I want to know about everything in the world! There aren't enough hours in the day to learn it all, but I would be willing to give it my best shot. I am endlessly entertained by the world around me. But I never have enough time to learn it all, because at a minimum 10 of 24 hours of every day are dedicated to making money for someone else, doing something I'm not really interested in. Granted, I'm staying there, because they pay me pretty well, and it is a challenging job running a plant, so I'm never bored at all. But if I were able to walk away tomorrow, I would without hesitation.

Anyway, I'm digressing. Full disclosure, there is whiskey involved in this journal entry. Right, so the credit card cycle thing. Even with setbacks like earlier this year, I'm still on track to have all of my credit cards paid off by the end of the year. At that point, I will only have my car loan and two student loans remaining. That sounds great, but those are actually 90% of my total debt (which will only be five digits large by the end of year, woohoo). So, I'm going to do two things next. First, I'm going to get a new tattoo. I haven't been able to afford one in years, and this one will be paid for in cash. My reward to myself for paying off all those MF high interest credit cards. Technically, I won't be getting a new tattoo. Instead I'm going to give my USN tattoo a total makeover. Stoked about that. Second, I'm going to keep making the minimum payments on my car and student loans for a minute, while I divert the 50-60% of my income I'm currently throwing at debt towards having an emergency fund of a years expenses. Which should take me less than six months, but I'm sure it will take seven or eight, because the Matrix. But that's the plan. A year's expenses should cover any emergency that arises. It will also make me feel better about going to the day job, because I'll secretly know in my heart I could walk out if I needed to. Once I have that, I'll go back to pounding at the debt.

What else is new? Oh, here's something. Since I discovered this path last year, I've been telling DH about it. I'm not one to force anything on anybody, but it makes such unbelievable sense, I've been telling everyone about it. Well, not so much anymore. People don't want to change, and that's cool, but it's not stopping me. Anyway, DH has been working for himself for some time now, but he's of the school of thought that just rides the tide. He would take just enough jobs to cover his expenses, and do whatever he wanted the rest of the month. Of course, I was insanely jealous of that at first. It was actually my motivation for reading more financial things, and how I found my way here. But now that I knew we could both stop working forever, I had to get him on board. He was already very frugal and debt free, so it's not like it was a reach. A couple months back, he went and got a job making good money, and began saving the extra money. It's very ironic to me that he's going to get there before me now, because he didn't start with six figure debt. I don't really hold it against him, though. I'm just excited that we're going there together now.

Some numbers just for tracking purposes. I measure the percentage of my income that is going towards paying off debt against the remainder of my expenses. If I were debt free, that's how much I would be saving each month, and living off of the rest. I'd love to hit 75%, but realistically I stay closer to 50%. I've cut my expenses as low as I can, for now. The next steps would involve moving or changing jobs, and I don't expect that to happen anytime soon. But stay tuned. Currently the plan in the wind is to move to Texas, and I've been pushing for it to happen sooner rather than later. It's so much more expensive in Oregon, and quite frankly, I'm a Louisiana girl. I'm tired of being cold.

Debt/Expense Ratios:

Feb 2018 71% / 29%!! An all time record that I fear I may never repeat.
Mar 2018 54% / 46%
Apr 2018 49% / 51% This is the month I ended up with some unexpected costs
May 2018 62% / 38%

Just realized I haven't done June yet. I expect it to be good, though, I haven't bought anything except gas and groceries. Oh, and this bottle of whiskey.

I guess that's all for now. I'm going to try and be better about writing this down. It's hard not having anyone to talk to about these things in my head, but if anyone gets it, you do. So thanks for that.

George the original one
Posts: 4579
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: LoriMeyer's journal

Post by George the original one » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:03 pm

LoriMeyers wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:21 pm
Currently the plan in the wind is to move to Texas, and I've been pushing for it to happen sooner rather than later. It's so much more expensive in Oregon, and quite frankly, I'm a Louisiana girl. I'm tired of being cold.
Ironically you write this when Portland's forecast for the upcoming week has a lot of 90F days... out here on the coast, however, we're having very moderate temps, probably no more than 75F even a few miles inland. I can see how a Louisiana girl would feel cold if she were on the coast.

LoriMeyers
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:47 am
Location: Oregon

Re: LoriMeyer's journal

Post by LoriMeyers » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:00 am

Yes, it has finally gotten warm, thank goodness. But this winter I had to wear a coat/jacket for over seven months straight. That's too many months out of a year for me! It's too bad, everything else about Oregon is perfect. In fact, this is my second time living here; I couldn't wait to move back! I never get tired of the natural beauty of this state, but apparently I wasn't built for the cold. I said to DH that I needed to live somewhere that I could be barefoot year round, and he said there were lots of folks in Oregon who do that now. I'm sure I'll see some of them at the Oregon Country Fair this weekend. :D

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