SNEVIL1   26,037
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So starting school this week has definitely reduced the amount of gym time ive been able to get in. My presentation i gave today at our county professional development day went well. My goal for tomorrow is to have my lessons planned and materials ready/copied for monday/tuesday. The freshman orientation is at 6, so im going to stay until then and hopefully get all of those plans finished. This will mean that friday and this weekend i can go to the gym and feel comfortable about mon. I am also excited that i bought a new purse and jeans today. I am not a person who switches purses with outfits... i use the same one till it falls apart, so its nice having a new one. I also really like how the jeans feel. Im still far away from my goal, but its better than a month ago. I was close to buying two sweater dresses ($40 each), but decided to wait until i lost more weight. So we'll see how things go. Im going to keep up with tracking my food, packing things for school, and trying to get that exercise in. I have been doing more spontaneous exercise (classrm is on the 2nd floor this year so i hussle up the stairs and do a lot more walking). Slow and steady...

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FIT2TEACHNC 8/29/2010 4:02PM

    You can do it, girl!!! emoticon

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10 lb reward

Saturday, August 21, 2010

So I rewarded myself for losing my first 10 lbs. I got a new gym bag and lunch bag from Target. my old lunchbox was literally falling apart so you could see the foam in between the inside lining and outside material. My "gym bag" was the free backpack that I got when i joined the gym. My new bag has an underneath tube for your shoes and plenty of space for my clothes since lately I've been packing my gym bag the night before so I can go after work. I'm very excited!

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RUNNER_TIFF_07 8/25/2010 7:20PM

    You are doing so well!! Good for you for taking care of yourself AND for rewarding all your hard efforts!

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Where did all of those calories go!?

Friday, August 20, 2010

So i've been looking at my spreadsheet that I use to track my exercising (minutes, miles, calories burned, and the weight I was that day). Since I restarted my Spark journey on 7/19/10, I've done the elliptical or treadmill for a total of 1,461 minutes (that's over 24 hours). I've gone a total of 90.04 miles and have burned 10,935 calories! 90 miles is like going to my parents house and back (about an hr drive one way)! I feel that this is an accomplishment and that I'm on the right track. Last night I went to the gym late after we got back from Atlantic City and left when they closed at 11. Today I went to school, worked on my classroom, and went to the gym after. I think that this year I'll be able to stick with the routine, even when school starts and I have graduate classes. I want to keep with this and to keep seeing the pounds decrease. I've lost 8.2 lbs so far and want to keep going. I feel stronger this time after reading the Beck book and have been able to feel ok with staying away from temptations and pushers. Woohoo!



Saturday, August 14, 2010

So working with the Beck Diet Solutions book I am making a list of things I'm giving myself credit for...
-Only drinking water for just about a solid month (even when we are at bars with friends! that's the hardest part)
-Tracking my food daily
-Tracking my exercising
-Going to the gym at least 3 times a week (burning between 2000-3000 calories a week)
-Measuring my food accurately and honestly (but I do think that sometimes someone switches the cup and 1/2 cup with a slightly smaller one lol)
-Making healthy restaurant decisions and researching my options before we go to a planned outing
-recording how much I've spent on food this month and cutting back how much I'm spending on food
-avoiding fast food and eating out on the go. we've also significantly cut back our restaurant visits
-reading the Beck book and making my cards
-eating slowly and thoughtfully (today I had 18 aldi's chocolate yogurt covered raisins and I sucked on each of them individually so the chocolate melted in my mouth. SO much more satisfying)
-eating while sitting (but i still haven't decided if eating in your car counts. sometimes i have snacks after the gym on my way home... the snacks are measured out and tracked and i'm technically sitting. it's a 45 min ride back home so if I didn't eat anything i'd be pretty dizzy, but something about eating in your car seems like it's not right. lol at least i'm not standing)
-thinking encouraging thoughts when i'm on the scale
-identifying the differences between hunger, desire, and cravings and acting accordingly
-measuring out all of my snacks as soon as i buy them (i.e. aldi's chocolate yogurt covered raisins or aldi's almonds. as soon as i get home i break out my snack ziplocks and start counting out servings so they are handy and ready to grab).
-going through the process of getting my car refinanced (and turns out i also got a $50 target gift card since I did it before aug was over. woohoo!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRIBBY101 8/16/2010 10:48AM

    Awesome!!!! I am going to steal some of these suggestions!

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SNEVIL1 8/15/2010 5:49PM

    I also give myself credit for resisting mcdonalds late last night and still not eating it when my smells were in my car the whole way home as my bf ate his food. I also put a full serving (1/6th) of an outback blooming onion on my plate and only ate a third of it. I allowed the rest of the onion to go uneaten and avoided their bread. Go me!

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Financial Help

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ok, I need some opinions. I was awarded $20,000 worth of student loans for the 10-11 school year. I will get half of that for the first semester and half for the second semester. My actual tuition and fees for my graduate classes this year are paid by my county through the teaching cohort and the scholarship I got, so I wanted to use the student loans to help out in other living expense areas. Do you think it would be good to pay off my major credit card ($7,000 worth of debt, 12.99% interest, right now I have $150 minimum monthly payments, but I always pay $200) and then use the rest towards my car ($350 a month payments, have paid for a year on a 5 year loan... payoff amount right now is $14,600)??? My thoughts were that paying off the student loan has a better interest rate and doesn't look as "bad" as just a regular credit card debt. Plus if I put more down on my car then I'll save on that interest in the long run. I have $5,000 worth of student loan debt from undergrad ($50 monthly payments that will go into deferment because I'm a student again). I'm just not sure what to do.

Right now my bills are more than I am making, which forces me to pay things on my credit card, which requires higher payments, which I can't afford... so it's a terrible cycle. I'm also thinking about reducing my car insurance, but I'm not sure what to do about that. My car is an 09 Honda Fit. I bought it new on the 4th of July. I have full coverage and low deductibles. I pay $980 every 6 months, which will probably go up because they are probably going to take away my good student discount since I'm not a full-time student anymore. My bodily injury liability is a $20,000 limit/$40,000 deductible; property damange liability is $15,000; personal injury protection is $2,500 limit with a waived deductible; uninsured motorist bodily injury is $20,000 limit and $40,000 deductible; uninsured motorist property damage is $15,000 limit and $250 deductible; comprehensive is $50 deductible, collision is $250 deductible; and rental reimbursement is $30/day limit with a $900 max. It seems like the most expensive parts of the premium are the collision, property damage liability and bodily injury liability. I'm scared to have less than full coverage or increase my deductibles because if something happens I can't pay more than that. Last year when I was driving to school one early, tired morning I didn't make a turn wide enough and scraped the side of my car on a concrete one-lane bridge. Getting it fixed was very hassle-free and didn't cost me a lot. I'm afraid if something happens like this again or if there's an accident I won't be able to afford to get it fixed. However, is this a stupid thought because the amount I am paying now for insurance is more than it would be to fix it??? I know full coverage provides roadside assistance in the situation that my boyfriend isn't available to help me and also covers theft, vandalism, and acts of mother nature. When I was younger someone in my parent's neighborhood spray painted my car and I'm afraid of a falling tree at granddad's in the middle of the country, so I like knowing that I'm taken care of. What do you think?? I don't know a lot about this.

I have health insurance, vision, and dental through my job, which is taken out of my pay... so I don't really look at that as an extra expense because I never see the money. I get $1,000 bi-weekly from teaching, which really is not enough. I make "40k" a year, but last year when I did taxes it said that I brought home 23k after everything. Rent is $775 a month, cable/internet is $150, cell phone is $89, electric averages to about $50 a month, utilities is about $50 a month, not to mention groceries, gas, etc. So I guess I'm trying to see what I could cut and thought perhaps my car insurance could be adjusted or if it would be a good idea to use the student loan money towards the one credit card and my car. Any thoughts would be appreciated. It's stressing me out.

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FIT2TEACHNC 8/11/2010 8:45PM

    Hey girl...I feel your pain with lots of bills and little money! I'm a special ed teacher in NC, and my pay is 10k less than yours, though thankfully my take-home is similar to yours...idk how that works! I have been teaching for 2 years, and haven't saved a penny...but that doesn't bother me too much, because I'm young (25), and still working out this whole professional job and bills balance. I'm very lucky to have a husband that works two jobs to keep us afloat, because I too have plenty of credit card, student loan, and car payment debt. I also have a second job, tutoring, which helps me put a little extra onto my cards each month. I say take the student loan and get yourself out of the car/credit card parents have always told me that student loan debt is the best kind of debt (if you can call it "best kind"), because the interest rate is SO low, and the payments are pretty doable.
Anyway, hang in there, friend. We certainly didn't pick our career for the money, did we? :-D

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SNEVIL1 8/9/2010 12:34PM

    Exciting update... called my credit union. I guess my credit score is 702 and i can go from a 5.4% rate on my car to 4.99% if i refinance. If i do it for 5 yrs my monthly payment would be 276 versus 350. Im gonna pay atleast 300 a month so i can get done sooner. I also called comcast to see if they r running any specials since im not at my apt much. The guy said "let me see what we can do". Now ive gone from 143 a month plus tax for cable and internet to 104 a month plus tax for the exact same service. Plus now i have a 50$ credit cuz when i paid my last bill i overpaid since he reduced it. Yeahhh!!

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SNEVIL1 8/8/2010 11:45AM

    Thats ok. My mom talks to a financial person who i guess is really good at moving things around and getting lower rates so im gonna try to talk to him. Im feeling more positive about the situation and have some ideas about hlw to cut some payments in the next month or two. Thanks everyone!

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KRIBBY101 8/8/2010 8:44AM

    :( Sorry it didn't help. 25 is the magic insurance age (I think), when things get way-cheaper.

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SNEVIL1 8/6/2010 8:01AM

    judi, you're right. i've been through difficult times so this is just another one of those times. things will work themselves out. kribby, i looked at that insurance. it seems like it is about the same as GEICO. it is 1870 if you pay it all at once or over $1900 if you pay it in 4 pieces with a down payment of $450. I guess I'll keep my eyes out.

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JUDI_CUTIE 8/5/2010 1:52PM

    Sara, one more idea for getting extra income is tutoring. It can pay really well, and it is not too hard to get clients. I started out by advertising on craigslist (based on advice from my son) and that worked well. Let me know if you want any tutoring advice.

Also, I will just say that it is really lousy that you cannot earn enough on your teacher's salary to make ends meet. Something is wrong with our society!

Good luck. And remember, you have had troubles before and it has always worked out. Hang in there.

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KRIBBY101 8/5/2010 1:09PM

    Oh, it is just a teachers car insurance company... it was cheaper than Geico and Allstate.
(but I have a 03 Corolla).

It might be cheaper for you... it's worth a try since your insurance is like close to $2K.

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 12:54PM

    what does teacher's insurance do?? i'm already with a credit union, but i think their minimum amount for refinancing is 20k, so i'm not sure if I'll be able to do what I want to do with that.

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KRIBBY101 8/5/2010 12:48PM

    Another thing... have you tried teachers insurance? I have full coverage at $1,060 a year.

But I am older than you...

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KRIBBY101 8/5/2010 12:45PM


In my district you go up a step at the beginning of the school year-- BUT it does depend on union negotiations... if they haven't settled whatever there isn't a pay raise until things are settled. (and then you get overtaxed back pay)

Credit unions are really the way to go-- in a few years you can likely get your mortgage loan through your credit union...

Starting this fall, I am going to start saving for retirement through a credit union-- the CD and IRA rates of return are much higher than all the other banks I've checked.

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 12:29PM

    it was nice knowing where i was going to be and what i was going to teach. i love my school. does it work that at the beginning of every school year you go up a step, or is it at the new year?? the sparksavings is pretty cool. i think i'm going to explore it more. right now i'm looking into maybe changing credit unions to get a better car loan (stresssful!)

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KRIBBY101 8/5/2010 12:21PM


Sometimes I wonder if I should just hang up my chalk and do something mind numbing (like drive a trash truck) and actually use my brain for stuff I really want to do like write novels.

Each school system has it's own thing they do to reel you in... in the city it is the money... I am guessing in the county it is organization--- they hired you in FEB! When I was just starting out teaching in 2003-- I was 'hired' in July but I didn't know my placement until AFTER labor day!

I spent 2 weeks going to the central office and sitting in a chair freaking out that maybe I wasn't going to be paid for sitting (even though I didn't need to be paid-- I needed to work).

It is good that there is a larger pay differential later (at least).

Make sure you are on the right step when school starts!

I think I am going to check out this Spark budgeting feature myself!

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 11:58AM

    i was on a step 1 last year. I'm not really sure how that works or when you switch over to a step 2 because when i got my letter saying where i was going to be teaching this year because my job description technically changed it still said step 1. when you start the difference between the two degrees isn't very much, but after the years add up the gap gets bigger (like on step 12 there's a $10k difference between the two). we got a pay increase last year effective jan 1st i believe, so i'm not sure how that's working this year. last year was my first year so i'm still not really sure how that all works. i guess they don't start you off on a higher step, but because i was special ed i got an advanced contract and was hired in feb (before i had graduated). Also, because i picked New Town i got a signing bonus as well, so that's good. i just thought that when i graduated and had a "real" job id be able to support myself but it still sucks. we have a friend who drives a trash truck that his 2nd year made $80k. i should've gotten my CDL.

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KRIBBY101 8/5/2010 11:53AM

    The pay thing is worrisome-- the county doesn't start you off on Step 4, like the city?

Well, that sucks.

The city also starts folks who do their residency/internship in sped and teach sped at step 6.

(yes, I know Baltimore City gets a bad rep-- but at least the money is there... okay, the conditions frequently suck)....

Is the union at least negotiating a pay increase for the upcoming school year?

Yeah. Okay, I am not being helpful. It annoys me that even with the masters your salary will not significantly increase. It makes the masters (not pointless exactly... but... in a major way...) pointless.

Perhaps you should get a subletter for your apartment or a roommate... Having a roommate really helped me when I was saving to buy a house!!!!


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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 11:19AM

    AMK- I'm not at my apt so I'm not sure what the exact rate is for my car. I pay a total of $349 a month ($82 of that for this month was interest). It says my total payoff amount is $18,104.59. If I were to payoff today it would be $14,623. I can't remember exactly what it was before when I looked it up. I am a member of a credit union. I have a credit card with them. I remember they said they could transfer what I owed on the other credit card, but the credit limit on the credit union card wasn't very high so I didn't transfer anything. I'm not sure how the whole car loan thing works. How would you get a different rate?? I looked at other insurances, but it seemed like they were all pretty high. I have a difficult time switching from something im comfortable with, you knw? I'm happy with the service and when I've had to use roadside assistance and such in the past and it's not terrible calling them so it's hard to pick some place else. I also don't like how you have to pick a person/agent in other companies. I use everything on my phone and like verizon because my bf has it so our calls are unlimited. i get a 15% discount with my job, so that's already down too. my cable i feel like could be adjusted. i dont stay at the apartment (maybe sleep there once a month right now), so why do i have cable? internet i need in case i need to go there to do schoolwork. however, if we move out soon, is it more expensive to get cable cancelled and then turned back on? also, when we need a mental break from gdad we'll hang out at the apartment and watch tv or watch something from the free on-demand, so i don't know. if i cut the few things we do to relax are we going to go crazy and plunge off the cliff?? my whole cable/internet is $150. if i cut cable it'd prob go down quite a bit, but if we moved there and needed it again would there be all kinds of fees for having it again?

Comment edited on: 8/5/2010 11:23:28 AM

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_MSAPRIL17_ 8/5/2010 11:04AM

    I re-read this a couple times and still didn't seem to find what your interest rate is on your car loan????

I work in Finance and when we are typically doing Financial Plans for people we suggest exactly what you are thinking, pay off the higher interest rate debt first. Which would mean, get rid of that credit card first. Pay the credit card down, and ONLY IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT take what you were paying on the card and pay it down on principal on the car.


1) You could pay it down on your car. Shop around for a lower interest rate on your car loan and take the balance on your car and credit card and combine them, using your car as the collateral. You can get some pretty kick a$$ rates on autos right now. The credit union around here was just offering 3.99%. Not sure what's it's like by you.

2) Shop around for lower car insurance. If you are not thrilled with increasing the deductible, then shop around and see what the competitors are pricing out...although something tells me that you probably did this aleady.

3) Can you get your utilities on a "budget Billing?" Meaning, you pay the same thing every month and once a year they review it? We are set up that way right now. Every July they review our usage and either increase or decrease the monthy payment based on that. We were just increased $20 per month though, but last year it went down. You will never get a bill for a giant amount b/c they average it out.

4) Review your cable and phone plans. Is there something else that you can do there? Are you paying for time/minutes/features that you do not need or do not use (HD, DVR, unlimited text, a gazillion minutes) Get basic and stick to it. You can always get more features down the road as you feel comfortable.

I didn't read the other comments so I apologize if this might be a repeat of what others have already suggested.

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 11:00AM

    Thanks Kribby- I agree that I think things will work out if we keep working at them. It just might take time. I think we could improve on being stricter with each other regarding eating out. It's so difficult to say no when ur tired and the other person wants to have a nice dinner out. That's our main "date" activity. We don't do the movies or really anything else. We enjoy being out of the house away from gdad having "us" time at a nice dinner that we don't have to cook and then we don't have to do the dishes either. We've cut back considerably (before it was almost every other day!). It's about once on the weekend now. Maybe instead of eating out but when we need a break we can do dinner at the apartment?? We've gotten it down that we usually don't spend more than $20-30 when we eat out and we still have some outback gift cards, but still. It's hard to put your foot down when the other person is suggesting something you really want, but we need to work on that.

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 10:54AM

    On a step 1, a teacher with a bachelor's makes $43k a year. On a step 1, a teacher with a master's makes $44,014. A step 2 with a master's is $44,674 and a step 3 is $45,456. It doesn't seem like that much, but my master's is paid for by the county and my scholarship, so that's good. I think if I get the credit card taken care of then I can start fresh and focus on not using it as much as I was and rebudgeting my lifestyle. My bf def isn't lazy or not wanting to work. And, in my opinion, he hasn't really been looking for a job for THAT long (maybe a month or less??). I know it can take a while, especially with a business management degree. I think it'll work itself out and I'm not unhappy with the effort he's been putting into it at this point. It's just unfortunate circumstances and would def be easier if we were both living in my apartment and had two incomes going into the same bills i'm already paying now. I'm just stressing because I didn't know this is where i was with the whole thing. I have brought up the topic of his parents taking over with gdad to my bf's mom. It's a very sensitive subject and his father's mood is pretty unpredictible. However, it seems like we are moving more towards moving out sometime in the near future so we'll see. Compared to the discussions last year it's a big step so I think we'll get there.

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 10:41AM

    Yea. We have had discussions about money and there have been some changes. He knows how I feel about him being a "professional DJ", so if he does do anything to make his money back it'll probably be school dances or car shows versus dj'ing at a bar a certain day of the night. We discussed finances if we were married and agreed what would work best for us is having a joint account for bills. We'll both deposit equal money into that account so we have enough for our bills (plus a joint savings for emergencies). The leftover will be ours in our own account. That way he can spend it on what he wants to spend it on and I can spend on what I want to spend it on. His parents have no joint accounts. Each parent just pays a different bill. My parents have all joint accounts (which screwed my dad when my real mom divorced him). So I think for us that'll work out. The problem right now is that his racecar has been sitting for a year at a friend's shop waiting to get finished. It basically just needs to be painted. My bf's thought was that if he just finishes tha tproject now and gets it out of the way then we can get married and not have to deal with any more projects that have carried over from when he was in high school and college. If I had a choice I'd rather it be done versus hanging over our head into adulthood. Since he doesn't really have any major bills/committments right now, it might be the best time to get that stuff taken care of before we have a house payment or kids or whatever, you know?? My bills right now shouldn't be his responsibility so I am encouraging us to save so we can have a house and everything in the future, but I don't think he should have to contribute to my bills now. I don't pay his bills, you know?? If I want it and I have it then I need to pay for it. I had good credit when I bought my car, I pay my bills on time, I pay more than the minimum balance on my cards, and I don't spend more than 50% of my total credit limit, but I don't know. He's stressed and frustrated that he hasn't gotten a job yet. My dad went through a VERY difficult time when he was trying to find a job... he got depressed, started drinking a lot, etc. I know, especialy for men, it can be stressful feeling that you can't provide for your family (or that your future inlaws might think you can't provide for their daughter), so I don't want to add to the mental abuse already going on inside of his head, you know? Together we have been helping each other try to eat out less and make good decisions. last night he talked to me about what he ate yesterday and watned to see how many calories he should have a day, so SP is starting to rub off. just like anything else, we are working to help eachother through it. i did used to go to sam's club before a vacation one time. when i start buying toilet paper and paper towels again i should go there (his dad buys that for the house right now). i am tutoring today so I'm going to use that money to go to the grocery store and get myself more healthy food.

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KRIBBY101 8/5/2010 10:38AM


Take the student loan and pay off the debt. THEN figure out your budget- better and save more.

That's my simple answer.

It's simple to me because the interest is better and you aren't pay down your credit cards fast enough because you don't have the money too. Also the student loan is deferred. Yeah, you are deferring your problem, but what does your salary look like in 2 years after the masters?

Mine went up $250 a pay period after taxes and I've been taking the extra $500 a month (during the school year) and paying off the loans I took out to pay for my Masters.

It isn't the best decision but it has worked for me.

The other stuff about your bf... if your relationship works for you-- then it works...

I really think you should have this conversation with your boyfriend. I don't want to use words like slacker or whatnot-- cause I don't know the dude-- but I don't really think he is pulling his financial weight here. Maybe he needs to see the reality that you are living? Just hearing your concerns I think he can do better.

Just a thought... God knows my fiance is much the same way...

That's a big part of the reason why he is still my fiance... but that is another story.


ETA-- okay, the BF is pulling weight ( I read your other posts)-- not financial weight, though-- doesn't seem like he can... BUT he can manage money better-- not eat out, you know... stuff like climberchick said...

It WILL work out for him. Something will give. Something always will if you just keep working at it.

Comment edited on: 8/5/2010 10:49:29 AM

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HDHAWK 8/5/2010 10:38AM

    Pay the credit card off first and foremost. Your bf has to get at least a part time job. You said it would be easy for him to get a mechanic's job. There is no reason for you to be paying everything. He can work at least as hard as you did while you were in school
(and still do). Mom and dad can step up and help with grandpa or hire some help. Sounds like they can afford it. You shouldn't be so stressed worrying about money where there are ways the people who care about you could be helping. Sorry to be blunt but you shouldn't have to pull all the load here. emoticon I've been down the debt road (and currently have my own to pay off). Remember, I'm old enough to be your mom so I'm coming to you from that viewpoint.

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RUNNER_TIFF_07 8/5/2010 10:25AM

    I agree that you need to talk to your bf about your concerns with what he spends his money on. If you two are sharing bills, and thinking about getting married someday, then the money you both have should be spent in ways that you can both agree. It's not an easy convo, but sometimes relationships are not always easy, right?

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CLIMBERCHICK14 8/5/2010 10:24AM

    We stopped eating out, bought generic foods for awhile (and in bulk at Sams or from Walmart or the Commissary). We made a lot from the sales on Craigslist. We both spent an entire weekend applying for scholarships and financial aid as "free money". We sold old textbooks, got rid of cable and opted for Netflix ($9/ month compared to $150). That was a big one! Went with Sprint for cell service since it's the cheapest out there. Started cooking in batches and freezing leftovers (way cheaper). Stopped buying bottled water and bought a purifier. Started walking/bike riding and not just driving everywhere. Started meal planning so we'd only go to the store ONCE a week and we'd use all the food we bought without wasting any.

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 10:20AM

    He does sell a lot of things on craigslist. His garage is full of car parts that he's saved up knowing they were worth something. I'd just wish that when he gets money from sales that wouldn't go back into other projects, but it's getting somewhat better. What other things did you change to get in a better situation?? He doesn't have health insurance right now, which I see being a problem in the future. When we get married he can go on mine, but to put him on mine now before we are married is very expensive. My checks before taxes and insurance and all of that is double when I come home with, so it would be fabulous if all that other stuff would disappear lol.

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CLIMBERCHICK14 8/5/2010 10:19AM

    Have you talked to him about this? I know it's not an easy conversation to have but it sounds like it's weighing on you a lot and if talking to each other can result in a resolution, then maybe it's best...

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 10:17AM

    Now that you mention it, I might have to have full coverage. Who knows.

I wouldn't say that I'm really "supporting him". I've paid for vacations and we have mutually given eachother payday loans here and there, but it's evened out. If we go out to eat we take turns paying and I don't pay his cell phone or any other bills. I'll buy food for the house sometimes and his dad goes shopping when he comes up to gdads on the weekend. If I want something special (like skim milk or fruits or whole grain pasta) then I'll get that myself. I just think that because he hasn't had to pay a regular, full load of bills that when he does get money his priorities are a little different than mine. He spends a lot of money on cars and now DJ stuff. He could do some DJ gigs and make that money back and he could eventually sell the cars, so it's not like empty spending, but I'm not a huge fan of him being a DJ and the cars aren't being sold now, you know? Girls stalk him as it is, so I think if he started being a DJ it would just get a lot worse. I can live without the drama and trashy girls being disrespectful to me in hopes of getting with him so I'd like to avoid that career path if at all possible. We plan on leaving gdad's eventually, but the garage with all of his cars is at gdads. The more cars that add up the more difficult it's going to be when we are ready to leave, so that's my stance, but his perspective is different. He is very business conscious so the things he spends his money on could all be sold. It's just hard for me to see that when we are scraping, you know? But I guess it'll all work itself out.

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CLIMBERCHICK14 8/5/2010 10:13AM

    I know my situation isn't like most people's. I'm not saying it's the norm, we've been very blessed and very careful with our decisions. We live off ONE income and that's less then $50K a year (my husband's a Marine). But we're blessed with free health insurance which helps a lot. My point in stating those things was that we weren't always well off, we weren't always financially stable. We started with debt, we started making negative income every month BEFORE groceries and gas. But by changing a few things, we were able to get to a very financially comfortable place. It's great that your BF is trying to get a job. That's a fantastic idea! The only other thing I can think to say is that at the beginning, we spent a lot of time listing things on Craigslist (I did while my husband worked since I'm a full time student and had more time near a comp to do so) to sell. We made quite a bit of money selling old junk on the internet.

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 10:08AM

    He graduated when I did with a business degree. He started a repo company, so he technically has his own business. He went through that whole process, has the tow truck, etc., but found out that financial companies from banks who provide repo companies with the work would rather deal with big companies versus a small, new company. It took him a while to find a company that would give him insurance since he was under 25, but he finally found someone willing to insure him. The truck insurance on a repo truck is like 10k a year, so he wanted to make sure he got a contract first, but can't find a contract since he's a small company. In the past year he has talked to everyone he can about getting work, but it's not working out. He recently decided that it would be in his best interest to get a "regular" job and if something comes along for his company then great, but agrees that he needs to be working. He has applied to government jobs and other business jobs on the internet, but hasn't heard back from anyone. His days a spend on the computer looking for jobs. His dad works at Aberdeen (a pretty big military base not too far from granddad's), so he's hoping that his dad can get his foot in the door with someone there. He's applied to government jobs there, but it seems like it's all about who you know. His experience is mostly automotive, so on paper I'm not sure if he looks the best compared to people with years of experience. It's good that he has a degree, but just needs some opportunity to get in with someone. He might be able to get in with a company in DC, but that's an hour and 45 min drive without traffic one way, so he's not sure if that would be the best either. He is ambitious and is very good at working with people. He's a good manager and can do just about anything, he just needs someone to give him a chance. Yes, he could get his CDL and drive a tractor trailer, but he looks into the future and wants something that has the possibility of future advancement, you know?? I'm trying to be supportive and let him find what's going to be good for him so he doesn't resent it later. He could easily get a job right now as a mechanic, but he doesn't want to limit his posibilities and to say that's all he is capable of, you know?? I've seen my parents go through difficulties with jobs they didn't like because they limited their options, so I don't want him to go through that too. Plus since he's taking care of granddad he kind of has to be available at home for doctor's appointments and in case there is an emergency. I agree that we are right around the time that changes need to be made. He needs to be able to start his life and have the opportunity to find what's right for him. I think his parents need to start caring for gdad so my bf is able to find what he's looking for without the committments at home, you know? His dad gives him some money for being at home, but still... before you know it his 20's will be gone and more time will be spent without a good job. So who knows. He has been looking and is getting frustrated that he's not really getting any chances. I think if something good came along that's when we would take the steps so that he could pursue that job, so perhaps his parents would have to step up with gdad's care, but right now nothing has really been coming together. If he were to stop trying and were ok with staying home I would start to get concerned, but it's been a struggle for him. He is an over-worker like myself and can't stand staying home. My thoughts are that it's best to keep supporting him and helping around the house to make the gdad situation more manageable (physically and mentally). I help with applications and wording of things when he asks, but I don't see how it would be productive to start nagging, you know?? He is absolutely motivated and knows what he needs to do. There's no need for me to keep shoving it in his face. So we'll see. It's been difficult. My dad recently had to retire from the airforce. he doesn't have a degree but has 26 years of experience (some of which includes years of experience as a flight attendant on Air Force 1 with the president!) and had the hardest time finding a job. So I don't know. We'll see how things go I guess. I am inspired to get to that point where I can save so much and be in a better situation, but I think now I'm doing the best that I can. I've recognized where the situation is and am going to focus more on cutting out the little things (like eating out, which I should be doing anyways for health reasons). I appreciate all of the opinions. It's hard to see things when you are inside of the situation.

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RUNNER_TIFF_07 8/5/2010 9:46AM

    To be perfectly honest, Sara, most 22 year olds do NOT own a house and cars WITHOUT debt. I don't know Climberchick and I'm not saying anything bad about her, but her situation is not the norm and it's not expected for someone who just graduated college. Most of us cannot save half of our earnings every month... I'd be surprised if my husband and I are able to save 25% of our income! [which, by the way, my paychecks are almost IDENTICAL to yours, and I have a master's degree with like $80,000 in student loan debt -- which adds up to around $600/month for repayment!] So, don't feel bad because you have debt and not everything you have is paid off already [I mean, really, how does someone have a house without any debt... aren't mortgages usually 20-30 year plans?!?]. I'm not sure what you should do but I think you're idea to pay off your credit card debt and then put the rest towards your car is fine. And about the car insurance, don't you have to have full coverage when there's still money owed towards the car debt?

One question for you though -- why is your boyfriend not working? If he's in school, he can still work. I worked all through undergrad and grad school so that's not really a good reason. If he can't find a job in the economy, that's not really fair for him to say either -- he can get SOMETHING, ANYTHING to help you out. Even fast food. Sorry, but he needs to help you out if he can!

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CLIMBERCHICK14 8/5/2010 9:35AM

    Is there a reason he's unemployed? Can he get a job to help? Are you supporting him too?

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SNEVIL1 8/5/2010 9:33AM

    I'm 22 and graduated from college last May. The car that I had was "hooked up" and was a less flashy version of fast and the furious. I was going to teach high school so I wanted something professional that would be better for taking my stuff too and from school versus trying to get bags and everything out of a two-door civic. I didn't want to be peeling into the parking lot with a huge exhaust and a scoop on the hood, especially at a high school. The dealership was having a new grad program, so I got my car. It's good on gas, I just drive a lot (31k miles in the last year!). It is very reliable and a good, "adult" car for starting a new job. I could have my boyfriend find a sh*tbox for $600 cash, but then comes maintenance and unreliability. I dealt with having a sh*tbox civic hatch for years and got tired of having to run outside of my car, pushing it down a hill trying to bump start it in 2nd gear because the battery was dead again. I guess I should've just stuck with trash, but having achieved such an accomplishment and starting a "real" job I wanted to feel like I was an adult in some sense, you know?? We have been trying to put $50 a paycheck into a separate savings account we started so we can save for a house, but because his income is based on randomly selling car parts here and there it's mostly my money. Right now we have $370 towards that.

I just went into and made my monthly budget/expenses. Without food or gas or anything else I'm at $-23 a month. With those things (but no clothes or entertainment or anything) I'm at $-483 a month. It is very difficult because my boyfriend is technically unemployed, so everything is on my own. It would be FABULOUS to have a joint income, but maybe in a few years. I would love to save half of my income every month, but then I can't pay my bills, you know?? I wasn't this much in debt when I graduated. I guess I didn't know that I would only be coming home with half of my salary after insurance, social security, taxes, etc. I did have $180 a check automatically put into a summer savings account, but had to withdraw it to pay bills. My school is on 10 month pay, so the rest of the summer I don't have an income (hence why I teach summer school, so it evens out). Looking back I shouldn't have eatten out so much and we probably shouldn't have gone to a friend's wedding in Jersey, but jeez I need a freaking break sometimes, you know?? Living in a house that's starting to smell like a nursing home with a very old man constantly busting into the bathroom when you are trying to shower or get ready is exhausting. You can only take so much so sometimes we want to get away, you know?? I just don't know what to do. I am very anal about recording all of my transactions for each account and I've never EVER overdrawn. It would be helpful if my boyfriend had a job and could contribute to vacations and groceries and other expenses. He buys a lot of cars and DJ equipment, which yes is an investment, but he's also not used to paying real bills. His mom paid his apartment in college, he lives with his grandfather now, his mom pays his cell phone, his dad buys food for him and granddad, his dad pays for the cable and internet at granddad's, and his insurance on all of his cars is very cheap because it's still under his parent's account and they probably have close to 15+ vehicles on the policy. His dad makes well over 100k a year and his mom works as well so they've lived differently than I am used to. I lived in a rented townhouse with 6 kids and 2 adults when I was in high school and neither of my parents have a degree, so we didn't go on extravegant vacations. My bf is the only child, so he has been to vegas and bermuda and other places. They would travel the country for car shows and stay at hotels I could only dream of. He isn't "bad" with money, but I also don't knwo if he realistically knows what kind of situation I am in and how close it is each check. I'm not trying to make a lot of excuses, but I don't want you to think I'm a bad person who lives this crazy life. The only reason I've bought any clothes recently is because I was gaining weight and needed something for work, you know?? I have the desire to save and it's not like I don't want to... I just have nothing to save. I don't want to cut the cable and internet at the apartment, because when I start graduate school I'm going to need reliable internet. I need a cell phone, so I can't see being able to get rid of that.... so I don't know. How were you able to pay for everything on your own before you got married and still save so much?? I am not lazy. I work very hard and tutor every other weekend for two-three children. I worked my butt off in college so that I only had $5,000 worth of student loans. at one point I was taking 21 credits and had 6 jobs. I worked over 60 hours a week in addition to all of my classes. I know the feeling of working one's self into the ground, but it was still never enough. After I get my master's and the number of years that I've taught add up I'll gradually make more money, but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong....

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CLIMBERCHICK14 8/5/2010 8:58AM

    My husband just turned 26 and I'll be 22 on the 14th. We have credit scores in the mid 700's (more like 780s), own a house, 3 vehicles outright and have zero debt. This isn't bragging. It's stating. With that said, when we first got married my husband had credit card debt that he'd accumulated trying to stay afloat paying way too much in child support and making way too little. He also owned a TRUCK. A gas gusseling, over paid for truck. Anywho, I'm extremely frugal and I'm a big believer in savings. At 21 I'd purchased two cars in cash and had a savings account in the 5 figures. No I didn't make much money, but what I did make, I'd save half of every month. Anywho, here's my point....

When we got married we traded his truck in for a more economical car. The payments are less then half and we save over $200 a week in gas alone. We used some of my savings and paid off all his credit card debt in full (I recommend doing this FAST). As for the car, if your interest rates aren't that high then I'd keep over paying every month as it'll help increase your credit score.

For the car insurance, keep it. Honestly there are so many uninsured drivers out there you're protecting yourself by having it. Can I ask why you bought a brand new car when you're in debt? I'm not being judgmental so please don't take it that way. I'm just curious.

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